Five Ways to Simplify Complex Controllers

Arriving yesterday in the mail, as if laughing at me, was Assassin's Creed, courtesy of my restarted Gamefly subscription. I had forgotten to change my game queue (I also got The Warriors on PSP. WTF?) So, really, if I were to seriously play Assassin's Creed within a week after getting GTA IV, we're talking about a length of time spent indoors that borders on being incarcerated.

Anyway, this is hardly news, but AC has a control system that will take me a week to get comfortable manipulating. The game is a perfect example of how increasingly complex controllers will give rise to increasingly complex-to-control games. GamePro has a list of 5 suggestions for paring down the buttons and options.

• Reduce the number of face and shoulder buttons
• Merge "Start" and "Select" into one button
• Lose the D-pad
• Use motion-sensing controls (Newton, anyone?)
• Add attachment peripheral (Newt-chuk, anyone?)

Sounds good to me, but I think this is more a question of developer discipline in keeping character control lean and uncomplicated. A lot of extra buttons on a controller will eventually be used of course, so a redesign that strips out some of the lesser-employed options can't hurt. But the controller is not the game.

Five Easy Ways to Fix Complicated Controllers [GamePro]


    Just something to think about. Isn't there already a controller that fits all of these suggestions? I believe it's called a Wii Remote? Why isn't this mentioned?

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