Just started playing Shadow Warrior, a remake of a a popular FPS title from the 90’s, basically Duke Nukem set in the Orient. Its fun, but not particularly memorable, but I was surprised and overjoyed to see the return of something I had thought dead and buried, the good old reliable quicksave. Yes, long since killed off by the ubiquitous checkpoint, it has risen from the dead, at least in this one game, I suspect because the makers were keen to recreate the original as closely as possible, and in the 90’s the quicksave was king and the checkpoint was only a glint in the eye of lazy programmers. I have aired my thoughts on checkpoints before, they are too frequently a tool for game creators to artificially up the difficulty of games, much easier to space the checkpoints as far apart as possible instead of actually boosting the quality of the AI. In their twisted minds frustration, generationed by ridiculously spaced checkpoints, equals challenge. There’s also the little fact that checkpoints, particularly ones spaced as insanely far apart as in some recent games (Crysis, I’m looking in your direction), take control away from the user, the guy or gal who’s forked out his heard-earned to buy and play the game, and therefore surely deserves the right to determine when and where they save their progress. However, I realise I’m flogging a dead horse here, the checkpoint is here to stay, but at least every so often when a little gem from the past like Shadow Warrior slips through without much fanfare, I can at least relive the past for a brief moment, when I had some control over the games I chose to play.


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