It seems as though point-scoring systems, once an indispensable part of videogames, have slowly been dying out. High score tables are far from extinct, but among the immersive single-player games that are considered the flagships of the medium – commercial colossi such as Half-Life, Uncharted, Fallout, Metroid Prime, Super Mario Galaxy and Grand Theft Auto, and critical high water marks such as Braid, Portal, World of Goo and BioShock – few use scoring in any significant way.
Why has the high score fallen out of favour? And are we overlooking an element of games that has not outlived its usefulness?
In Part 1 of Who killed the high score? I wrote about Halo 3‘s campaign scoring system, and how it greatly improved my experience of replaying that game. That got me thinking about another well-realised scoring system, in a game at the very opposite end of the developer budget scale: Spelunky. Continue reading →