Probably not. Players need some aspect of heroism
in their hero
. Arguably, some games like this do exist to an extent. Most JRPGS, Final Fantasy
being a huge example, toss random encounters your way and give you the option of abandoning them completely. But thatís not to say it doesnít have its fair share of mandatory boss fights. Pokemon
lets you sometimes
run from random creatures that pop out of high grass, but this is only for convenience. In case youíre not looking for that one creature in particular. No one needs seventeen Rattatas. But players arenít abandoning these fights out of fear. Very few people are trembling at the sight of a random Bidoof.
As it stands now, we need visual cues to tell us to run. We have to rely on objectives spelled out before us that say loudly that escape is part of the narrative. Things like collapsing buildings and timers ticking down on bombs drive us to make our hasty getaway. As it stands, all problems are solvable problems to gamers. Nothing should be run from and no fight should be abandoned. Does this make us simply clever folk intent on finding a solution to every problem or trapped in a world thatís too linear to let us do anything else?
Itís probably a little of both. But, retreating from fights isnít an aversion to puzzles. Itís not the antithesis of problem solving. Instead itís a scenario where the player relinquishes the title of strongest character in the game
, just for a moment, without having to perish and respawn over and over until a controller shatters against a wall. If you want, itís the quickest method to scaring the ever-living shit out of your player too. To steal control from them for a moment and send them into a spiraling panic. If game designers want their players to be mortal, to be vulnerable and afraid, then thereís nothing wrong with making them turn tail and run like a sissy.
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