I Yearn To Quick Save

I Yearn To Quick Save

Quick saving is an important part of many PC games, it is a feature which I have come to rely on in many cases, I have lost track of the number of times I have quick saved in games like Half-Life and the early Call of Duty titles. For me, quick saving is almost something which I think should be found in every game.

Dead Rising 2 is one such game which would greatly benefit from employing a quick save feature. You see, the saving system in DR2 is, frankly, appalling. Some crazy individual decided that you can only save your game in toilets, one of the most bizarre choices I have ever come across in gaming, the problem lies in the fact that there really aren’t that many toilets around in the game, and when there are some you are too often battling a horde of zombies or running somewhere before your time limit runs out (more on that another time) to think about nipping into the loo to save your game.

This is where quick saving would come in oh so handy, no longer would you have to smack millions of zombies, get to where you wanted to go only to run out of food to nourish your battered body and get munched by the nearest walking dead. Instead you would be able to quick save halfway through your treck and instantly return to that point if you die no faffing around with reloading from where you last saved proper, say at the safe house, and having to go on that journey once more. Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with fighting the zombs in DR2, it is great fun, it would just help with the frustration of having to start all over again.

On the flip side I have had one particularly bad experience with quick saves, I’m going back in time a few years to the original Half-Life, where am I? I’m in the Blast Chamber section of the game. My last full save was back before I went through the blast doors leading to the first area of the Blast Chamber. I had trundled along the train tracks and jumped over poisonous gloop before getting into that cavernous area with the bridges leading to the Chamber proper. Of course I had quick saved along on my journey as was the norm. (My F5 button took some hammerings back in the day.) At some point in this land of the bridges I had shot at a Bullsquid or some such alien on a bridge in the far distance.

The result of such reckless shooting? The bridge blew up. Of course at the time I didn’t realise I was going to need to traverse the bridge so I carried on my quick saving ways when sneaking past that bloody three headed tentacle bastard. I then got to the missing bridge, and found that I was unable to get across. I looked at my saves, and any quick saves or auto saves left on there were from a time after I destroyed that infernal bridge. I really couldn’t be bothered to go back to last main save I had made and was unable to get across the gap any other way. I sadly left Half-Life alone for a time after that fateful incident.

Another fateful incident occurred at a time when I lent a friend my Half-Life disc (this was long before the dawn of Steam) knowing that I was able to play the game without it in my driver. So I thought. Cast your minds back folks to the early stages of meeting the marines, at one point you get in an elevator which takes you close to your first glimpse of the surface. What happened when I reached this point without the disc in my drive? The lift got stuck and glitched me to death. Time after time I died in exactly the same place.

If memory serves me correct, this was an innovative anti-piracy trick employed by Valve, but again it put my Half-Life experience on hold. To my eternal shame I still haven’t defeated the last boss on the PC version of the game, I somehow managed it on the PS2 version mind, but it isn’t the same.

Seven hundred words later I come to the point of this ramble, all PC games should have a quick save feature, but the lesson is, don’t rely on it too much. Real saves are just as good sometimes.

4 thoughts on “I Yearn To Quick Save

  1. It’s worth noting that the absence of a quicksave/quickload feature is often a powerful device to make the player think harder about the choices he makes, to discourage immersion-breaking casualness about the risk of death.

    In an ideal game, I deny myself quicksaves. Often in RPGs, where I only save when I sleep, forcing me to think hard about each choice I make, and fight desperately for the knowledge I might lose a great deal of progress.

    Unstable games with the risk of crashing prevent this from being a reasonable prospect, as do annoying and buggy games in which the AI occasionally does something blatantly and frustratingly unfair.

    In general, I do like being forced to think about what I do, and really devote time and thought to a game. I crave challenge and intensity more and more in my game as I grow older.

    … Dead Rising achieved this to some degree, but mostly, yes, the save system is just fucking retarded.

    Blame Capcom’s adoration of retro fashions. Saving in toilets is this generation’s typewriter.

    Clarification: I love Resident Evil’s limited save system, designed with precisely this kind of demanding, intense gameplay in mind.

  2. What would be ideal really is an option to turn quick saving on or off which can be used on top of the main saving feature of the game, be it going to the toilet or going to bed. Give us options!

  3. Options, always options. Forcing the player into something should only be done in multiplayer games, where the player’s choices directly impact whether another player enjoys his experience.

    Singleplayer, a dev should aid to give the player every choice possible – customisable difficulty modes, the freedom to save IF he wants to, or play ‘Iron Man’, i.e. no saving except at key points..

    I think we have to take Capcom games for what they are though. They have a distinct style that’s worthy of respect. Many games are bad by accident; Capcom chooses to make games the way they do – what we see as flaws, their designers did not, and I can often respect their viewpoints even if I don’t strictly agree.

    They’ll continue to make good but very strange games, and I will continue to play them with a big smile.

    1. I heartedly agree that there shoud always be a myriad of options in the single-player modes of any game, people should be able to alter the game as they wish simply without having to delve into various config files. Of course you will still likely get people up-in-arms that their favourite game series suddenly includes something like a mini-map or quest guide arrows, but they should be able to turn them off easily.

      Multiplayer obviously has to be different though otherwise you end up with a mess!

      Certainly Capcom have their own unique way of doing things and we should praise them for having the balls to carry on like that, as long as they don’t go too over the top mind.

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