I was having a discussion with a friend recently and I came to a weird conclusion. Sometimes, in video games, I'm a really big fan of backtracking. I know, crazy, right! I thought I'd explain myself, and then put it to you guys. Who hates backtracking, who doesn't really mind either way and who loves it?
First, my explanation. Take a horror game like the original Dead Space. Plenty prefer the sequel because there was 'less backtracking'. I prefer the first because the backtracking made me learn the environment. It allowed me to feel familiar with it. It allowed me to feel like it was my home in game.
The second game, therefore, which had no backtracking whatsoever, felt more like a shooting gallery. So I enjoyed it less.
That's the kind of thing I'm talking about: familiarity, loving the environment, growing accustomed to it. That can be a great function in a video game's design.
What are your thoughts on backtracking?