A couple weeks ago I decided to play the new Tomb Raider game and live tweet the experience. As a result of the livetweets, I’m definitely going to go play more games and livetweet them from a visually impaired perspective. Because you all seem to find it interesting.
Obviously – a spoiler warning is HERE if you don’t want to know what happens in the game, skip this post!
So – what did I think? Well, first of all, it’s one of the first FPS games I haven’t become frustrated with 1/3 of the way in and just stopped playing – so that’s something.
1) I really liked that throughout the game if you got into a situation where you had to hit a certain sequence of keys, I didn’t have to rely on remembering which keys I needed to hit (although sometimes those key combinations were hard for me to hit and so I ended up having to redo them a lot.)
2) The bright red crosshairs made it so I could actually shoot enemies (and other things). This was a feature I haven’t experienced in many games, but it helped me successfully play the game
3) The ability to hit “q” and see moving objects in red, things I needed to collect in white, and food objects made it so that I could actually find people and things! Because I missed a lot of stuff by not using that particular skill at the beginning of the game. (Yes, even in video games, my eyesight sucks.)
But there were some things which I *really* didn’t like about this game. There were things which frustrated the hell out of me. And they were as follows:
1) Situations where the camera changed drastically during running sequences. I had to adjust for the new camera angle and figure out the spatial skill difference. This takes more time for me to process in my brain.
2) Changing camera angles become particularly problematic when there are various New Things Happening. Buildings exploding and being on fire. Wind (and wind should not be visible, guys. That just makes it harder for me to see.)
3) There were a number of sequences where you were falling enormously fast and you had to avoid unseen objects (or maybe some people can see those things, but I can’t.) I had to replay those sequences pretty often to get them right.
4) For visually impaired players, it helps to have save points that you can go back to. For example, in one section I was pretty sure I had completely screwed the pooch on getting out of the situation I was in, but fortunately my save had corrupted and I was able to go back and fix it.
5) For me it is difficult to deal with having to shift my camera around a lot. I start to get motion sick, so for the two big giant fights, they involved needing to pause a lot, because I had to keep track of being able to shoot them in the back.
All in all, the game actually felt like an accomplishment for me. I shot a lot of things (in the head!) and stole some stuff. I flew down ziplines, ran down burning hallways, climbed cliffs, and managed to only die multiple times in a variety of zones that were difficult for me to see.
Overall, this game was a success for me – though I’m looking forward to playing it through again now that I understand the basics a bit better – I almost always do better playing a game for the second time through, by then I’ve learned the spatial skills I need to actually succeed in a game.
So – What shall I play next? Portal? Fallout? Skyrim? (Ok, maybe not Skyrim. That would take FOREVER…)