This week’s poll question is about cheat codes and was suggested by Goddess Alyria.
Does using Cheat Codes spoil a game?
Many years ago, when games were simply levels, after levels, after levels somebody decided that it would be cool if you could save your progress instead of having to start from the complete beginning again. The first implementation I can remember was having to type in a predefined set of letters. Later you were able to choose the letters yourself.
Some games allowed you to enter special codes that either jumped you to a much higher level and or gave you powerups (Stronger weapons and or other abilities).
These codes, or should I say the discovery and publication of the codes became a big part of any gamers life. I fondly remember being seen as a hero because I knew the codes regarding some now forgotten features in Sonic the Hedgehog on Sega’s Megadrive.
Jump forward to 2007 and you will see that we haven’t really changed much. The difference is we enter these “cheats” through a fancy console!
The reasons for using codes in maps and mods are many but I believe they fall into a number of categories.
- Because I Get Stuck
Sometimes no matter how hard you search you simply cannot find the end of a level. Occasionally this is due to poor level design, more often (In my case anyway!) it’s due to player stupidity. There’s a fine line between making a puzzle too hard and making it challenging. I also believe that how much you have played these types of games is important. I don’t believe anything is really intuitive, just easier to understand if you have experienced something similar.
- Because I Get Bored
May be the level design is not to your liking or perhaps you started on too high a difficulty level. There could be many reasons, the point is that you no longer have the motivation to continue. I certainly felt like this when I was playing the underwater levels in Chaser, which I consider high on my list of Hall of Shame Levels. However, whilst you may lack the motivation to finish the level, you are curious to know what comes next.
- To Look for Hidden Areas
Level designers are a crafty group of people and they are always looking for ways to hide areas etc. I recently played a Half-Life map where a wall was visible but not solid. Behind this wall were a few more enemies and a powerful weapon. I can’t remember how I happened to find out about it but I am sure it was luck not skill.
Only you can truly decide if a use is valid or not but below are uses that I feel are much clearer.
- Jumping Buggy Areas
Occasionally a level has a big enough bug that it stops you from playing. You have two choices here: to either stop playing the map/mod completely or to jump to the next level (Or maybe move around the problem). This has happened to me a few times regarding different versions of the GoldSource (Half-Life) engine. There seems to be little else you can do except cheat.
- Development Issues
Mappers and beta testers need to access certain areas again and again. Sometimes the best way is to simply jump to the required area. If you need to test a particular event or scene then clearly you can’t be expected to play through the game each time. OF course you could use save points but it depends on what you are trying to achieve.
I use cheat codes to take screenshots because I may wish to use a view that is not normally visible from the players perspective or perhaps because playing and taking good screenshots can be difficult.
I have only mentioned maps and mods in this post because I believe players are more likely to use them here than in full games. Perhaps you disagree but I feel that full games have generally been more rigorously tested and therefore should not require the codes.
Personally I hate using cheat codes because I feel as though I have failed in some way. Perhaps it’s a lack of playing skill or perhaps it’s a failing of my puzzle-solving intelligence, either way I dislike using them.
- Yes: 66%
- No: 34%
- Total votes: 61