Day One: Garry's Incident ReviewClayMeow - October 17, 2013
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Day One: Garry's Incident
One thing that certainly helps with immersion is the lack of a map for the jungle. While this means you'll likely get lost a couple times, it's much more realistic – remember that you crashed here, so why would you have a map to a place you had no plans on being in? That being said, in the game's second major area (an underground labyrinth), you are presented with a map etched in the wall at various locations – without which I would have probably been ripping my hair out in frustration, as there's a reason it's called a labyrinth.
While traversing the jungles, along with the infected tribesmen and monkeys, you'll undoubtedly encounter a few black panthers. I bring this up specifically because the panthers represent both the good and the bad with the game. The good is that they created great tension and fear. On several occasions, I'd be walking through the jungle and suddenly hear purring. When that happened, I'd frantically search all around me for its source, knowing that I could be pounced upon at any second. That is exactly how one should feel in a survival game! Unfortunately, the bad is what happens next – when the panther finds you, cue a quick-time event (QTE). Not once was I ever able to kill a panther before it jumped me and engaged the QTE – they quickly went from the best part of the game to an absolute chore.
QTEs are unfortunately a huge part of Day One. In fact, the very first time you gain control of Garry, it's via a QTE. As any of my friends could tell you, I loathe QTEs, so that certainly wasn't a good first impression. QTEs are later used in all forms of crafting and bandaging. But surprisingly, I actually quite liked it for those instances – it was only that initial scene and the panthers that bothered me. The reason for that is because it made crafting and bandaging feel more interactive instead of just clicking a button and waiting for the results. I found the bandaging in particular quite a nice compromise between regenerating health and one-click health packs – you could actually be attacked while bandaging if you weren't careful, which meant you couldn't simply heal in the middle of combat. The crafting is also very generous in that, if you happen to fail a QTE, you do not lose any supplies.