Extra Punctuation: Why Regenerating Health Sucks

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You know, this is why I like Yahtzee's articles. I usually don't give a flying rat's hat about critics because, well, I just dislike the idea of people telling me that what I like is actually a piece of trash. But Yahtzee is the only guy who I will listen to, consider what he's saying, laugh it off and...well, that's it.
Point being (And back to topic) is that I completely agree with him. I'm fairly new to FPS, the first exclusive FPS game I played was Modern Warfare 2 just a couple of months ago. I recall almost dying and running around looking for a Health pack (I know, I was new) only to find out I was fine just seconds later. I mean, after that, strategy went out the window. I didn't have to worry about being cautious or sneaky anymore. I could prance in front of the enemy, do a little dance, get shot, run for cover and I'd be fine. The worst part, though, is that my enemies could do the same so: This is the game that never ends!~

Personally, my favorite regenerative method is the one use used in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. It's been mentioned before but whatever, here it goes again. Basically, Snake eats, his stamina goes up and he heals faster after a while, not immediately. Not only that, but he must stand still in order to heal. This takes a complete opposite approach from FPS nowadays, if you think about it. So if Snake is starving, he's not gonna heal because he doesn't have the energy (or nutrients?) to heal. Also, food isn't just lying around everywhere, obviously. You need to plan ahead and carry some food around in case you get shot or something. Yes, that brings up the question "How can Snake carry two dead birds, five insta-meals, and three different kinds of fruit at the same time?" but I think we agreed logic goes out the window sometimes. In this case, it is something I can deal with, though.

The second best option would be a health bar. It's classic and it work. So hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, am I right? Resident Evil 4 is the first game that comes to mind. The game gives you a very limited amount of healing items and it's in your best interest to use them wisely throughout the game. If for whatever reason you decided to store your healing items in the chest by the Save room, then you're forced to play strategically and to carefully make your way to the Save room. I mean, yeah, your character can take up a beating before it does but the amount of damage dealt also depends on the attack. For example, a guy carrying a chainsaw is instakill, most of the time. Same with gigantic tentacle monsters that attack you. A guy shooting at you will only deal a moderate amount of damage (Somehow) but if he keeps at it, he'll eventually kill you, obviously.

As far as the luck system, I'll have to disagree with that. I absolutely hate that system. Here you are planning this amazing attack and taking your time just to make sure you do it right. But your efforts could easily go down the toilet if Lady Luck decides to be a jerk about it. If your attack is well thought of, luck should have no room in that equation. If you're just shooting randomly, then clearly one of those bullets is bound to hit your opponent. It's not luck, it's logic. I don't know if I'm misinterpreting the idea or not but that's what I think.

Anywho, why am I rambling about this?

I like Halo: Combat Evolved's health system... The hybrid of regenerating and non-regenerating health I find to be a great system, because it still gives you the low-health thrill and challenges, but ensures you at least have enough health that you don't get stuck going into a battle where getting hit is guarenteed with only 1 hit left.

I also agree with this guy. Original Halo's health system meant that your shields would recharge but you health did not.

I also liked the health system in Aliens VS Predator (original) where aliens had to eat people to get health and predators had to spend precious energy to get health back. "Do I save my energy to power my weapons or gain health"

Alright. Having played a lot of games with health-regeneration lately, I'm going to say I think it's honestly not a bad idea. I don't think it's necessarily been implemented all that well, but I think it could actually heighten the tension and give a game a sense of faster, more tense pacing. I feel this for two reasons... firstly; in games with regenerating health they often give you less health to work with, and secondly; those few moments where you're waiting for your health to regenerate becomes almost more tense because you know that one hit, maybe two, will kill you. The best example of this system that I personally have seen is in halo reach, where they do give you shields, but also health which won't actually regenerate all the way. If they were to, say, make it able to absorb only one hit it would actually make the use of it rather tactically open.

The problem I see with most games that give you regenerating health is that they act just like games that give you normal health. There are enemies, you kill them, and then there are no more enemies. If it were more like an actual guerrilla combat game, or a stealthier shooter, it would work. Not with an actual stealth game, but perhaps one where after you shoot the hell out of a group of people, their buddies come charging in looking for you, and the whole thing becomes basically a constant firefight with very few lulls in the action. Now add that the enemies actually actively look for you if they know you're there and you're hiding. Suddenly just ducking into a corner to regenerate your shields becomes a very tense endeavor because, while it's not as near-hopeless as going up against a mob of 500 tanks with 5 hit points left, that shred of hopeful optimism you have for actually making it through it alive almost makes you more tense, because if you fail it's that much worse simply because you COULD have made it.

In the first halo game, there were actually quite a few moments like that, and even in the second one, though not quite enough to keep the tension high.

The Luck concept gave me an idea for a somewhat futuristic shooter.

Same core concept, different look: Instead of just being lucky, your character has some magnetic shield (or whatever) that repels bullets. Each bullet that would normally hit you is pushed away by the shield. However, each time it pushes a bullet away it drains some of it's battery which can be replenished in any combination of the ways Yahtzee listed (I like half life's power station idea).

The shield can also stop explosive devices, like grenades or RPGs, by "dudding" the explosive if it's within range. This takes more energy than bullets, and should appropriately drain more of the shield's battery.

Once the shield is depleted, you'll have to do you best to avoid getting shot, because it will be very lethal.

Good write up Yahtzee. Lot of food for thought.

I tend to find this argument inherently exhausting simply because the arguments in support of or lambasting regenerating health systems tend to miss the point altogether. Determining what system one wants to use for health, generally at least, has nothing to do with realism or immersion; instead, it is chosen based upon the fundamental mechanics on display.

If we consider just the FPS genre, we can watch the trend in a fairly easy to understand space. In the older FPS games (Quake, Duke Nukem 3D, Doom, etc) the primary thing standing between the player and ultimate victory was a series of locked doors. The player was forced to go searching about for keys to these doors. From this basic concept, the only obviously inherent fail state is the one where the player gets sick of looking for the blue skull key. Enemies are thus added to the process and they serve a number of functions. First, they serve as a drain on some player resource (health and ammunition) while also helping with world navigation (if there are enemies in the way it likely means you are exploring a new area) all while giving the player something to do in a game that, at it's heart, is about finding the right key for the right door. Because health does not regenerate in these games it simply becomes a resource to be managed over time. Thus a player is free to make some quantity of mistakes without trouble but if they make too many in a given period of time they inevitably reach a fail state.

Problems inherent to this concept are many. First, as was pointed out by plenty of others, it made it impossible to balance any given encounter in the game with any real certainty meaning the difficulty of any segment of the game is largely based upon how much health and ammunition are at the player's disposal. While not a damning problem, this system had the habit of punishing a player for mistakes made long before the events that directly led to a fail state. The entire concept is, all told, largely predicated upon the notion that the player is going to be exploring the environment anyway, but that is a point for later.

More modern games (Starting from roughly the Half-Life era onwards) have discarded the core gameplay notions of the older games by determining that the key governing factor of player progress is efficient murder of the enemy. Gradually, this line of thought lead to a more directed game experience culminating in the modern FPS trend of giving the player little more than a narrow corridor full of monsters to fight through. In an effort to better balance the increasingly linear experience, health and ammunition tended to be more liberally placed along the main path in order to ensure that the player had some minimum amount at their disposal. This of course begged the question, why bother making health a collectible in the first place if you constantly give it back to the player at the end of a fight.

Even after Halo popularized the notion of a regenerating health system games were released that still toyed with collectible health (Half-Life 2 and Fear as notable examples). Where some games simply opted to "top off" the player's health between encounters (FEAR is notable in this regard), other's made use of a theoretically more conservative system (Half-Life 2 tended to keep the big health drops just before large battles while only giving the player small caches of health and ammunition during normal progress. Until the end of course when they give the player the effective equivalent of regenerating health).

It seems pretty clear to me that the real problem that lies at the heart of regenerating health is the simple fact that over the last fifteen years or so the FPS genre has transitioned from a game about navigating a maze full of monsters into a game about fighting through a corridor full of monsters. The regenerating health system simply serves to resolve old problems of balance without resorting to the old way that involved adding lots of unnecessary space to pack with secret loot.

I remember reading in the Instruction Booklet for Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway your 'health' was your luck, when you exposed yourself to enemy fire the screen darkened to represent how close 'the bullet with your name on it' was to striking home. Taking cover broke enemy line of sight/fire thus allowing you to 'heal'.
For what it was worth, it was a rather good game IMO. FPS with slight RTS elements and the only enemy suppression mechanic that ever truly seemed to work.

Go back to playing Resident Evil 4 Yahtzee.

I'm not saying I disagree with you, but the system works for modern multi-player fps better then having people running around chasing collectibles mid fight.You don't want to be doing that in a game with three shot kills. Anyone knows that in C.O.D online you don't get the option to just stick your head behind a building and regen before finding the next player, and hardcore modes in C.O.D and Battlefield completely remove it all together, if you're hurt, you're stuffed unless you find a medic.

You obviously dislike first person shooters single-player unless they are your classic, doom style blast-em-up. That is fine, so do I, that doesn't mean that one of the most pioneering concepts in online competitive shooting is redundant.

For me, any single player FPS, C.O.D style FPS, no matter how cinematic and what celebrities they get involved, can't captivate me as the action is dull without any real feeling of progression. The only challenge in those games comes from learning what angle to shoot from and gritting teeth through cheap deaths on insane difficulty modes. Having my health not come back until I find a med pack wont suddenly turn C.O.D into Half Life.

"walk it off" is a token "something," about as meaningful as "praying for the tsunami victims."

The "luck" system, which is used to describe many versions of D&D's HP system, is basically a superficial way o saying "basically, what you're doing already." It's not so much an alternative as a palate swap.

I think any mechanic used indiscriminately (like health regen in most modern shooters) hurts the game. If there's a reason for it and the dev team treats it like a core mechanic and not just a feature, it can work really well. However, if it's used so the developers can just throw more nondescript russians/aliens/russian aliens at the player, it becomes a stupid "But everyone was doing it" type of thing.

It's more about the responsibility of the developers than the mechanic itself.

Health regenration is good for some games,but not for all.
Having to explore and search around was a nice thing IMO the old fps's had.
And except from exploring,passing through hordes of enemies and beating a level with something like 3% health was such a rewarding expirience!
I don't say that health regeneration is bad,I enjoyed Halo and I found it awesome,and health regeneration was something good back then because it was something different,a fresh gameplay mechanic.
But today it isn't fresh.
Actually it's being adopted by so many games,that a game with 20 year old mechanics like health packs would feel fresh.
I think that games needs to be more different one from another,and that not all have to play the same.
We need a variety of gameplay mechanics.
And basically I have a complain as an old fps gamer.
That there aren't any fps games with the old mechanic coming out today.
At least if 2 or 3 franchises like Wolf and Duke would keep their old style..
I don't dislike health regeneration itself,but the fact that every single franchise seems to use it.
Even classic franchises like Wolfenstein and Duke Nukem are adopting this mechanic and this is bad because fans of those franchises would expect something different.

Let's take for example the Wolfenstein game that came at 2009.
Most reviewers said good things about it and gave it good ratings.
But around forums you would see numerous of people bashing it and saying that it sucks.
The truth is that Wolfenstein could be an enjoyable game for someone who never played past games of the series,but it was so changed with adoption of Halo (health regeneration) and Call of Duty (iron sights)things,that it became un-Wolfenstein,which means altered gameplay and lack of the original Wolfenstein feeling.
It didn't had what fans of the series liked most.

So my point is that while Health Regeneration might be good for some games,it definately isn't for all of them.

health packs that you can carry with you


*Checks thread* Time for another Mailbag Showdown, perhaps? Or not since it seems like such a small factor blown up into a big deal, but I do see how it has diminished the nonlinearity of shooters etc. beyond a simple desire to save money.

Of all these options I endorse Regeneration by Murder the most. Sure it seems paradoxial, but risking death to get yourself back in the game is exactly the kind of crazy thrill you want to have when you're engaged in a violence-laden shootout scripted solely for your own entertainment. Go out and do something awesome, pick off three guards without taking any hits back and do it with style. Prove to the game you don't suck as much as your low meter might indicate and you can have it back. Since most of the time you have to kill most of the enemies anyway, you won't be arriving at a boss or critical encounter with low health. And of course there's the potential gloat factor towards the remaining enemies if you succeed, like a favorite sports team slowly coming back from a 3-0 blowout.

Metroid and Arkham Asylum did this. So did Prince of Persia to an extent since every slain enemy gave you some sand (which for some controversial portions of the third game was also your lifeline).

I like Farcry2's system best. Its a combination of everything. Regenerative health per bar of life. you have 5or6 bars. when it gets down to 1 bar, you bleed slowly which you have to stop what you are doing to stop the bleeding. You do die, you have an magical guardian angel ally that will swoop in to save you and fight along side you till you are in the clear. Then disappears and goes into a cool down.

You have to manage like 8671560975123 things, how many bars of health, how many syringes, where the nearest med station, is my Ally in on cooldown, sudden outburst of Malaria, o did i mention the existing condition of being sick with Malaria?

Yeah best health system ever for a game about shooting ppl in the face! XD

I agree with a lot of people here in saying that a hybrid system is actually quite fun for gameplay, especially a single player game. However, as was shown with Halo, it can work fairly well in a multiplayer setting.

For multiplayer games, I feel that the static health system with healthpacks on the map makes for a more dynamic game. Now there's a reason to risk running through the center of a map, because there's that coveted full-health pack there. Team Fortress 2 is probably the best modern example of this.

Static health in multiplayer also encourages teamwork. You have a reason to stick close to the medic who can heal you, and because you're sticking with a group, your team becomes much more powerful than everyone being out for themselves.

I like what Yahtzee had to say here. I don't play many games with regenerating health systems (I've only played Halo once or twice) but I like the way health works in the games I do play: good ol' health bar in God Of War with the ability to find healing orbs around the environment (or inside the body of a Minotaur, hehe), or Infamous were I drain anything in sight to keep ticking. As for RH itself, I think it would be less "dull" if you could run around it get your health back (i.e. Yahtzee's last suggestion). I've played shooters once or twice, and have always been the person holding up the game because once I get shot, I duck back under cover and wait for my health to come back. Wouldn't it be more exhilarating to get shot, but have to run to the next spot of cover, and get my health back that way? That way, I'm still involved in the game, and there's an adrenaline rush to stay alive as I run from cover to cover, and my bravery is rewarded with health.

Personally I think Y is Wrong.

Video games are about having FUN...sure, there are some games that are met to be a bit more 'hardcore' or whatever all the 'fly kids' say these days, but I play games TO-HAVE-FUN.

Not to raise my e-penis status via some game card, but to enjoy myself after a crappy day.

Sure, it's great saying I've beat every Contra game, but it's not because of how hard they were Rather, it's because I had fun and they're know for being difficult.

While some games do overkill in the health regeneration, I'd rather my health bar come back to me than walk to the other side of the map just to pick up some stupid box.

Half-Life 2...the suit was kinda like having its own health/shield essentially except non-recharging. games like Half-Life 2 (spawning from PC) lets you save anywhere anytime, so you don't get screwed by having one tiny bit of health left at the start of a check point (hateee thaaattt)

I also like Halo's health system
more so Halo 1 and Reach had recharging shields but also a health bar
2 and 3 had no visible health bar but it was somewhat present under the shield

but hm...I think it really depends on the game. some work best with self-recharging, others with med kits. if done properly for the right game, I say it works.

I like what Yahtzee had to say here. I don't play many games with regenerating health systems (I've only played Halo once or twice)

can't say Halo would be the best example for you to be saying, well okay Halo 2 and 3
the first game and Reach had a health bar with a recharging shield (altho they are weaker in these games)

if you haven't played Call of Duty, that's where it's completely all about recharging health. screen turns reddish/bloody...wait a bit and it goes away (oh and Gears of War) haha...at least it keeps the action going idk

I'm not really into the God of War genre, but I remember the X-Men Origins: Wolverine game :p that's the only game where super fast regeneration truly fit hahahaa

So yes, surviving having your flesh mangled by bullets is terribly unrealistic. Personally I've always thought, in a realistic game, health should be replaced by a "luck" system. When the game calculates that a bullet is about to hit you, it corrects the trajectory so it doesn't, and you lose a bit of your luck bar. Then when it runs out you finally get hit by a single bullet and go down crying like a big fat girl.

So, like Brothers in Arms: Hellīs Highway?
The british character even proclaims "Youīre a lucky yank, Baker!" Whenever you get shot at while out of cover. (along with other Characters with their phrases, like "BAKER, get behind something!" and the like).
You actually donīt get hit as your screen turns red and blurry, you get hit when you lose health or just fall over dead...because WW2 riflecalibers tended to be big enough to do that.
While it is cosmetically equal to, say Modern Warfare 2īs Strawberry jam, it is logically different.
"You donīt get hit...yet...but move your ass behind cover you twat, you are about to DIE!" instead of "You just got hit 5 times by a dude with a machinegun...get behind cover and wipe your intestines off your goggles, you are fine..."

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath had that exact "walk it off" system: There was a health bar, and if enemies shot you with their guns that shoot knives it'd go down, and would stay down until you shook those knives off. Shaking the knives off would decrease your stamina bar, which would regenerate quickly if you stood still, hardly if you were moving and not at all if you were sprinting.

It made for a few hiding moments in intense gunfights but it also made you pick your battles since part of the fun in that game was to put a sneak attack on your enemies one by one instead of charging in guns blazing.

I like that game...

Yeah, Stranger's Wrath did a great job making regenerating health feel more like "patching myself up" than "waiting for my legs of grow back".

Metal gear solid 3's system has always stuck out to me as the best. it's a semi-permanent/permanent bar that you regenerate by eating animals you have to hunt. It adds a huge depth to an otherwise necessary feature, different animals have different effects and the side quest of hunting becomes something comfortably methodical. I liked how when I was in a down time during the game I'd suddenly go "Right! Let's go get some tasty frogs for later!" and spend some time hunting delicious snacks. Then, after an intense boss fight I'd have a little picnic over his body while pulling out bullets with a knife.

God I loved MGS3...

That's what I was going to say. Although, if I remember right, you don't actually heal yourself with food, you restore stamina. You have a very slight, but constant health regen that stops when your stamina is low. And I liked how you could heal yourself a bit by treating your wounds. Great game.

EDIT: Halo: Combat Evolved also had a great health system.


I like what Yahtzee had to say here. I don't play many games with regenerating health systems (I've only played Halo once or twice)

can't say Halo would be the best example for you to be saying, well okay Halo 2 and 3
the first game and Reach had a health bar with a recharging shield (altho they are weaker in these games)

if you haven't played Call of Duty, that's where it's completely all about recharging health. screen turns reddish/bloody...wait a bit and it goes away (oh and Gears of War) haha...at least it keeps the action going idk

I'm not really into the God of War genre, but I remember the X-Men Origins: Wolverine game :p that's the only game where super fast regeneration truly fit hahahaa

I've played a bit of CoD as well, so I know about the "reddish/bloody" screen you're talking about. To be honest, I don't think there's anything wrong with the idea of regenerating health, I just think that more often that not, people wait around (in hiding) for their health to come back, as opposed to moving forward, and that could slow up the action. At least, that's my first response whenever I play those kinds of games.

Then again, since I don't play many FPS games often, I guess the RH issue doesn't really affect me. I could just understand where Yahtzee was coming from in his article =P

How's this for an idea?

Let's say you're one of these Space Marines that are so common today in gaming. What if the health bar was replaced by the remaining condition of the power armor that you're wearing/piloting? Once the levels of the armor reach critical levels, you have to leave the power armor suit to make some frantic repairs to it. During this time, one shot from an enemy is enough to splatter you like the soft little organic human you really are without your armor.

This provides a health bar in a sense, but retains the realism that is essentially if you get shot you become incapacitated :)

Funny he should mention it, when playing CoD I sometimes imagine it's luck, not health. And strawberry jam is a curse.

But seriously, while I think regen is overused, I think it's as valid as anything else. Sure, it means you only have to worry about the short term, but it also means you can't ever overextend yourself to far. There's no bailout like there is with healthkits.

Regenerating health done well: tf2's medic (affected by equiped weapons)

Good thread. <3

I'm particularly fond of L4D's system [incapacitation, 3 strikes, temporary health, 1-use medkits, etc.], but that its situational setting may not lend itself well to other areas. temporary health, as a polar opposite of regenerating health, is something that i would like to see more more of, albeit done and implimented sensibly.

Borderlands is another game who's health [and shield] system i approve of:
Instant-heal Healthkits, heal-over-time healthkits, Health by station, Health by murder(all kinds), regenerating health, health by friendly fire, AND incapacitation. Most of these are abilities or special items, but each of these have their own situations in which they are the most useful.

AVP (not fiasco avp3) did this too, where marines had fixed health with healthkits, aliens had health-by-murder, and predators had health-by-conversion-from-energy.

insta-heal kits are dropped by enemies or used when bought from stations.
heal-over-tim kits are manually used from inventory and wern't as useful as they lacked a hotkey.
Health by station were the medical vending machines where you could buy both instaheal and heal-over-time kits.
various class mods allowed for continuous personal and/or team health regeneration.
Various class skills allowed for health regeneration on murder [i.e. mordecai's bird]
And when your health reached zero, then you didn't die/respawn, but stayed in the hot zone as an incapacitated target with the chance to get out of this state by killing an enemy, or by being revived.

By far the most comprehensive health system i've seen, and i like it. Of course, you could never "die", you were always just respawned at the last proximity-activated checkpoint.

It barely had a corridor in sight, free-roam levelling fps, and some incentive to explore, not for health, but for guns 'n mods.

In a way it returns to the earlier games of exploring an area, and then having to find the key for the appropriate door, except instead of looking for armour/health, you search for weapon boxes/ammo/money.

The only thing that Borderlands actually doesn't have is overhealing, and overshield/armour, something which i fondly remember with a hint of nostalgia from the quake2->ut2k4 era. Except when you encountered a guy with health/armour well into in the tripple digit range.

I liked the halo reach health system. You had regenerating shields so that you don't have to stay behind a rock and take pot shots at the enemy but you also had health so getting hurt badly didn't lose meaning so you can still have those near death experiences.

Regenerating health was done well in the first Mercenaries game on PS2 and XB. If you played as Chris Jacobs, your health would slowly regenerate up to 1/5th of your maximum health bar. You'd remain injured and vulnerable, but it wasn't completely unthinkable you could finish off a few more of those dastardly North Koreans if you approached the combat carefully. Jacobs was the only character with this ability, as the other two mercenaries possessed different abilities (one was a fast runner and the other was "stealthy", or at least tried to be), and this talent was explained by his hardened military training and field medicine expertise, rather than by the sheer force of will most characters seem to regenerate by these days. The health meter still had functional numbers, which made it all the more tense as you tried to calculate whether 6 hit points would be enough to dive from one collapsing bit of cover to the next, or if a stray bullet would take you down in the ensuing crossfire. It was certainly easier for me to estimate my chances than by examining the splotches of blood on my face in games like Call of Duty or Gears of War. The sequel, Mercenaries 2, gave every character regenerating health that climbed back up to 100, eliminating the unique feel of the characters from the first game. At least it took longer than ten seconds to shrug off seemingly fatal wounds...

I completely disagree with this. Regenerating health is the best option. Having to find health packs, and go through extended periods with reduced health, is just a pain in the ass, and it slows things down. Faster paced(within reason) is more entertaining because you spend less time going "oh shit, I can't do that with this much health" and more time playing.

There's nothing wrong with Regenerating Health except it's over used. I have no doubt that if the trend reversed and we were back to chasing down medpacks we'd get another one of these nostalgic "Game X did it better" circle-jerks about how health bars are unrealistic, ruin immersion, break flow, insert bad thing here, etc, etc.

Ah, so it looks like there was something Yahtzee liked abut Sonic after all.

I don't know about that luck system, though. First off, Yahtzee already said that he doesn't like luck in combat in his "No More Heroes" Review. I agreed with his point and I don't see the big difference here. Also, if the system is essentially chopping off a bit of health based on projected trajectories of whatever, I don't see how it could be that much different than just a regular health bar. Not that health bars are a bad thing, but they've already been done. Wouldn't it just not be an original idea anymore?

Health stations though...seriously, I think those are great. Although, if we want to get picky about realism, why wouldn't the enemy either use the stations or destroy them?

i agree yahtzee. i am currently in a game art college and i am making a game level where you have a set amout of life and the enemies are soo merciless. you kill one and twice as much spawn from its remains. sort of a sadistic style but theres your wits for ya

i agree yahtzee. i am currently in a game art college and i am making a game level where you have a set amout of life and the enemies are soo merciless. you kill one and twice as much spawn from its remains. sort of a sadistic style but theres your wits for ya

I haven't played many games with regenerating health, but in those I have it always bothered me.

Leaving aside the realism aspect, they break immersion for me. I'm all excited, shooting, running for my life, sneaking around, then get hit. I get worried for a second until I'm out of the line of fire, and then I have to wait for the health to come back.

It makes no sense to go back out immediately because for the investment of a few seconds, I can avoid having to replay perhaps ten minutes of the game I already beat. But at the same time, even a few seconds are enough to break the flow of the game. Because I need to duck for cover right when the game is most exciting, and purposefully stay away from the action.

If we're going to sacrifice realism for fun and gameplay, I think 'kill to heal' is a much more attractive option. Instead of ducking out of the action to recover, you have to play more carefully and more aggressively as you try to snipe a few more points of health from the enemies. The system forces you to keep going, rather than hide away.

But really, any system that demands that you become more involved in what is going on the greater the danger is would be preferable to one that asks you to hide away until you're all better and the excitement is past.

It's obvious why they implemented the health regeneration: online multiplayer. If you're in a one-on-one battle and barely win with low health, the only thing you'll do to survive in games with old healt systems is camping somewhere with your little sniper rifle. Health regeneration makes sure your ready for a next one.

..But of course, Yahtzee doesn't care about multiplayer.

It's obvious why they implemented the health regeneration: online multiplayer. If you're in a one-on-one battle and barely win with low health, the only thing you'll do to survive in games with old healt systems is camping somewhere with your little sniper rifle. Health regeneration makes sure your ready for a next one.

..But of course, Yahtzee doesn't care about multiplayer.

They add health pickups in levels for a reason, plus without health regen it also helps the newbies to get an edge.

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