The early minutes of gameplay are sometimes the most excruciating for veteran gamers, especially in those gems that have been played and replayed a hundred times or more.
For me, that’s the 2013 “Tomb Raider” and it’s 2015 sequel. Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag” is also high on my replay list along with Bethesda’s open-world RPGs “Skyrim,” “Fallout: New Vegas” and the most recent installment, “Fallout 4.”
Each time I start up one of the aforementioned games, I have to resign myself to the fact that there are certain areas I can’t explore, certain collectibles I can’t yet obtain and certain combat moves or actions I can’t perform because of my current level. And that can be irritating, especially when you know what lies behind that level 50 locked door and are just itching to grab that loot, even when you’re only a level 20.
But tutorials are some of the most important part of video games and must be included in order for games to reach larger potential audiences and to give you a clue as to just what in the hell you’re supposed to be doing.
This isn’t a matter that’s up for debate or one that’s particularly controversial, I just think it’s something important to be aware of at a time when the video game market is being flooded with remastered and remixed versions of past games.
But regardless of whether the game you’re playing is brand-new or a remastered classic, it will include some type of tutorial feature to either introduce you to the world of the new game or welcome you back.
Not all tutorials are created equal, however.
One of my “replayable” favorites, “Fallout: New Vegas” has a long concentrated tutorial that begins from the moment you leave Doc Mitchell’s house until you decide you’ve had enough of Sunny Smiles and her teachings of helpful wasteland survival skills.
While irritating at times, Smiles was relatively helpful in introducing me to the features of “New Vegas” that were different from it’s predecessor, “Fallout 3.” ~ Source: PortForward.com.
Other games like “Tomb Raider” and various “Assassin’s Creed” titles have a brief tutorial period but with various weapons and skills that are unlocked after enough gameplay. In a way, this extends the tutorial throughout the game, although many gamers would say that it is no longer a gaming “tutorial.”
Both the hook blade and the rope arrow are examples of unlockable weapons that, while they aren’t included in the game tutorial, can count as tutorial content. ~ Source: TombRaiders.net and Bestandroidsolutions.com
Even with tutorials a lot of game mechanics can be difficult to understand like in the case of the 2013 Capcom release, “Remember Me.” Their Pressen and Combo Lab DLC feature was hard for me to grasp no matter how many times I played through and read over the tutorial section.
In the end, I had to resign myself to playing through the game wildly smashing buttons rather than creating and executing the various combos the game wanted me to. ~ Source: Nerdist.com.
So do I wish there was a way to skip through a game tutorial? Sometimes, yeah. But tutorials are part of what makes gaming so appealing to me. Because while some games allow differing dialogue options, quest goals and available paths, video games provide us with a clear start and stopping point, quest markers and even some bonus content along the way to make the journey to the goal arguably more enjoyable than the destination itself.
Now if only our regular lives could reflect the careful organization and coordination of our video games and their tutorials.
Until then, game on and let the power of Lara Croft be with you.