Camera problems

I started to play Beyond Good & Evil a couple of days ago so I could follow and participate in the discussion hosted at the Vintage Game Club. It’s been a very interesting experience so far and I have to say that the game has brought to my attention something I should have realized some time ago:

Third person games still have a lot of room for improvement. I’ve yet to find a game where I can actually forget about camera handling, because no matter what I do, it always needs babysitting. In most cases it’s even frustrating to control, so most of the time I end up looking at the wall/floor/ceiling.

Oh god, there's a huge monster behind me isn't it? If... I... could just turn the damm camera ...
Oh god, there's a huge monster behind me, isn't it? If ... I ... could just ... turn the damn camera ... There we go! Ha! I was right. Okay, now, where was I? Oh... right, RUN! ... *sigh* Run _away_ from the huge face-eating monstrosity... please?

(Alright, alright, that was a little over the top, but you get the idea)

I have to wonder, wouldn’t it be a lot more simple if the camera could clip through the environment? The scenery would just go semi-transparent so the player always has a clear view of everything at all times. I guess this could bring some other problems to the table but I have yet to find any. Maybe a survival horror would not have the same claustrophobic atmosphere if it implemented the camera system this way but that’s a very specific case.

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3 thoughts on “Camera problems

  1. Diego Doumecq

    I’m not quite sure it’s the greatest camera in a 3D game ever, since I haven’t played every 3D game out there, but yes, it is pretty good.

    That’s not to say that it didn’t have any problems. I remember a few times where I couldn’t look at something and no matter what I did (jump around, mostly) I just couldn’t nodge the camera in the direction *I* wanted. Other times I couldn’t see what I was doing or was disoriented due to a sudden change in perspective.

    It’s the best camera I’ve ever seen, and still, it has lot’s of room for improvement =/

  2. I’ll agree that God of War probably has the best camera angle system ever. Resident Evil 4 was also very good. I never had any problems with Beyond Good and Evil, but it’s also probably my favorite game of all time, so maybe I’m prejudiced.

    You want a great game with real camera angle issues? Play Shadow of the Colossus.

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