Being a gamer for the last few years has opened me up to experiencing fun gameplays, great storytelling, and the sheer glee of shooting and blowing shit up, as my wonderful friends would lovingly put it. I love being able to have a console or handheld waiting for me at home when there’s a game I really want to continue playing, or for those days when things haven’t gone right for me and I just need a few hours to be alone and forget my own reality for a little while.
Games that are broken up into missions are great for when you want to dive in and out of a game on your own time. Games like Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row 2 has some of the most fun missions I’ve played and adds some variety to the games without them ever being boring at all. Maybe the only missions I can probably do without are driving missions or any mission involving the use of operating any sort of vehicle.
There are about a handful of games I’ve played which involve driving either in a mission or just used as a regular means of transportation to get to one end of an open world environment to another. I’m terrible at steering cars, helicopters, or planes in games. Being able to drive during those times when I’m not doing a mission allows me to sort of relax into getting my character to where he/she needs to go. Oftentimes, I do find myself controlling the driving in a game as if I’m a drunk behind the wheel. I’m constantly driving cars into walls, wrecking property, or running over people. All of this is done without any of it ever being intentional at all. My panic mode kicks in when it’s a requirement to drive during a mission.
When a game starts off as a stress reliever for myself, it quickly escalates into a stressful experience of trying to finish a mission on a set timer or making sure you’re tailing an enemy close enough without losing them in a chase scene. Clearly, I don’t do too well under pressure. My driving in games becomes even more reckless and erratic. I’m slamming other cars out of the way and hitting and running over pedestrians, as if they’re mere bowling pins. Talk about the worst road rage ever.
Being not so good at steering a vehicle has me walking a fine line between being able to complete my objective and keeping the car under some semblance of control. I can’t count the many times I’ve got my vehicle under control only to lose it at the last second. Most of the time the cause can be traced back to being rear ended by another random car from behind, which then sends my car sailing mid-air and slamming into a wall. Trying to backup and steer myself back into the direction of the getaway car has been a cause of frustration for a number of games I’ve played and usually it means mission failure for me.
After multiple tries and nearly losing my cool, I do eventually get a mission complete. Of course, I can still do without having to be the one in control of the car, as I try to stop my enemies by any means necessary. The missions become more complicated for me when a game expects me to drive and shoot someone down at the same time in a moving vehicle. Seriously?! You expect me to drive and shoot at the same time? What madness is this? Where’s my partner to do the driving as I shoot? What happened to team effort, damn it?! I’ve experienced this in missions for Saints Row 2 when one of the missions has me stopping gang members from reaching the Saints hideout first. Trying to keep the motorcycles in my line of vision while shooting them down isn’t exactly a cakewalk. Probably I made the mission harder than it had to be on myself by not using the right weapon to get the job done, but there’s often no right or wrong way to get anything done in a game mission anyway.
Whenever I play a mission for a game, I find myself holding my breath in the hopes my next mission won’t involve driving at all. Drive to this location and then take out crime bosses? No problem! Break into this facility and disable the security cameras? You got it! But chasing down someone getting away from the scene by driving in the vehicle conveniently provided for me? No. I can do without that one, thank you.
What’s your personal experience with driving in games? Are you a smooth operator, or a destructive tornado on the road?