I’m going to be blunt, I hate tutorials. They seem to be in every game no matter how old the franchise is or how similar it is to it’s predecessors. And I know I’m not alone. Are you not tired of being told how to look around in a shooter? Or how about learning how move in a platformer? We’re in a market where new IPs are rare the tried and true formulas for popular genres almost always remain the same, and yet we are forced to learn all the basics every time.
Let’s look at one of the most popular franchises in gaming, Call Of Duty. Since Call Of Duty 2 was released back in 2006 there has been an installment each year. With the franchise reaching massive commercial success in 2007 with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare millions of people have flocked to each years new release. Although each title tries to bring something new to the FPS formula each game still plays the same. Yet despite this, each game forces the player to go through a tutorial. You know exactly what I’m talking about. “I know you’re a veteran, but let’s just make sure you know how to use your bang-bang”.
To some extent I understand why most games have these frustrating tutorials. It’s to teach newcomers the basics of the game. But what about the sequels? Another popular franchise in gaming with countless sequels is Pokémon. Since the first games were released in 1996 there has been a steady stream of Pokémon games never seeming to die down in popularity. Still, we are forced to go through the tutorial of battling, learning to catch and use items and such. As someone who has been playing since the beginning I really get miffed at this part. Seeing as the majority of people buying the new Pokémon games are people who have played it before, why is there not a option to skip the tutorial? I digress, it all comes down to why developers feel the need to hold the players hand throughout the game.
The very first Super Mario Bros. for the NES didn’t have a tutorial, it simply dropped you in the level and let you go. Did a lot of us get killed by that first Goomba? Of course we did! But we didn’t need twenty minutes of hand-holding to teach us how to get our revenge. The argument that tutorials are for the younger children doesn’t hold water for me. I started playing games such as Mario and Megaman and neither had anything remotely similar to a tutorial, yet I still managed to finish the game. I recognise for new IPs it is necessary to learn new controls and mechanics, but I think it’s about time we drop the coddling for established franchises.