Get ready to draw like you're holding the pencil in the wrong hand.But what do I mean by control resolution? In short, what and how much I control with what input. Much ado has been made about Batman: Arkham Asylum's largely one-button fighting system, yet generally people approve because it makes sense. Batman is Batman, fighting a group of thugs to him would be as easy as, well, pressing a button.
COJ:BIB is an FPS, which assumes that the majority of skills needed for gunhandling the character does automatically.
Breath control, muscle memory, there are a host of issues that come into play in reality which we may happily elide for sake of whatever kind of gameplay we want to achieve for most casual games, though ironsight-aiming has come into vogue.
(Simulation games are typically about the player directly controlling more actions. While hardly simulative, America's Army does place breath control into the hands of the player, whereas most FPS games reserve such a mechanic for long range shooting.)
It's a Western game, so absolutely Bound in Blood should feature a showdown mechanic. The trouble here is that the game experience is about me playing a character that is a gunfighter.
But then for a short minigame I play his arm, not the gunfighter.
During the showdown I'm suddenly given fine resolution control of Ray or Thomas' shooting arm in screen space, which is a completely foreign control concept to the game. Which means I glide through most of the game, feeling appropriately bad-ass as a gunfighter, and then I'm forced through a minigame repeatedly that shatters my sense of mastery.
I found myself wishing it were more gestural. A gunslinger stays alive with fast-twitch muscle response, split-second stuff, and in this game I'm a gunslinger. Pitching the resolution of the simulation down to gross motor function in that kind of set-up without accordingly narrowing the setting/gameplay (like fight night, which makes sense) is a serious misstep.
Trespasser rather infamously featured an arm that you controlled like an alien might control the body of an earthling, and the problem was the same. It's a neat idea, but unless the game were, in fact, written to be that the player takes over an unfamiliar corporeal form, it makes the experience about a very strange person trapped on an island, wrestling with controlling her own arm. The ghost of proprioception rides again.
Same basic issue with Alone in the Dark's disastrously misconceived inventory and control system, taken even further. I don't want to play as a character with some motor control problems, I want to play a guy who understands how his own hands work.
I press a button to swing a fist or swing a chair at someone's face because the guy understands that basic action, I shouldn't have to do it for him.
The game's control and inventory system conspire to produce the ludicrous experience found in the demo, where I'm tasked to dispense a supernatural villain who will keep coming back lest he be put down with fire. I understand with the gimmicky operation of the combine-o-tronic inventory system I'm probably going to need to fashion a lighter-and-hairspray flamethrower, but I'm left to figure out the laborious inventory system and combine these items, in real time, while my assailant beats me about the head, neck, and tender bits. No thank you.
Ultimately what I find interesting about this problem is that it can be discussed in a somewhat academic sense, as above, or it can be solved with a question of role playing. If you're building a game around a certain type of character--a professional athlete, a professional warrior--are you pitching your control resolution to a level that makes sense?