I’m nearly finished play Star Trek Elite Force 2 and at the end of each level, the image to the right appears just before you exit. It sounds good in principle but the designers didn’t really think it through.
One than once I have noticed that I missed secrets, so being the diligent player I am I decided to go back and find them. OH NO, not possible. With exploding bridges etc your way back is often blocked. “Tough Titties!” I hear you cry. Yes, maybe but I think there is a flaw in the thinking behind the display. What’s the point of displaying it, if I can’t go back and get something? All that happens is that I get more and more angry with the game.
Of course it has made me much more careful about leaving an area but the problem still remains about not being able to go back. What they should have done is made the first level full of secrets, so that when I come to the end and realize that I have missed stuff then I can be more careful right at the beginning. The image shown was about one third the way through.
The next problem is that sometimes by the time the secret stats appear you can’t stop, in a lift for example. That’s another design flaw that should have been noticed during Beta Testing.
Onto the secrets themselves. Well, in this game, there are two types. Weapons and ammo and Starships. The weapons and ammo are good but the Starships are out-of-place. They would be better in MP games. Gold floating mini-starships spoil the atmosphere! There allow access to extra levels, which from the one or two I have played are hardly worth it.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein used the same technique perfectly. The things you collected were in-keeping with the game and also occasionally useful to you.
One thing I would like to see is a way for the information to be supplied that doesn’t spoil the atmosphere or story. Of course the exact technique would depend on the game itself. For example Rock 24‘s excellent use of voice acting to help and instruct the player could be perfect. Something like “Hey Freeman, I heard that there was a stash of ammo near the elevator. Did you find it?”
Another idea could be an intercepted radio transmission, plans on the wall in an office. There are probably lots of methods that are so jarring to the scene. I�m going to put something like that in my mod.