Hey Everyone, Prodaj here again. This part 3 and the last part of my series “What happened to Cheat codes?”
What happened to Cheat codes? Pt. 3
Enter the Internet
Some say that cheat codes were a trend. Also like most trends, they eventually fade away in the light of another bigger trend. I am of the opinion that the Cheat Culture was NOT a trend but a way of life; lived by those who doubled down on the excitement of video games by finding and then using the cheat code. Its detractors did have some room for argument: cheat codes like a “God Mode” or Invincibility were among a few of over-powered cheats used simply to cheat and not to discover a new experience in gaming.
The advent of the internet put an end to all of that. Slowly but surely the phasing out of cheat codes and game trainers, gave way to online play, achievements and trophies. Some titles like GTA3 still offered players to use cheat codes but the achievements would be disabled, making it a trade-off of preference. Eventually the cheat culture died out to buffer your gamerscore. In all honesty I could care less what my gamerscore is when I can’t beat this level or that boss that I have spent way too much time dying over and over again. With the exception of fighting games, my tolerance for an extra hard game is low. I don’t feel a rush of excitement when I unlock a trophy for some random reason. I used to draw that excitement from hearing the chime or the sound effect for properly inputting a cheat code that will help me beat the game I was struggling to complete on my own.
Now the only way you can unlock that character or (not-so) secret level, is by buying it. As if paying for the game wasn’t enough. I understand that this is a great business move by developers and game designers, but to the average gamer like me, it just seems like a cash grab. Why can’t I use Darkseid in Injustice 2 or Triborg in Mortal Kombat XL? It’s because I refuse to spend that extra money when I have already paid $50 bucks for the game itself. Purposefully withholding valuable items form a player that just dropped some cash to purchase a unit to increase your pockets seems kind of dirty to me. At the very least, why can’t we unlock them in some draconian fashion (I’m looking at you, Mortal Kombat). I’m sure it could be done, even keeping in with the business of downloads, and you can make it exclusively for download for a period of time, then these unlockables are available to unlock just by playing on a certain level or something to that effect. In this brave new world of online gaming, the cheat code now lies in your wallet.
What happened to the game developers that put it all out there for you to either use up front by playing through or at least giving us the opportunity to discover it? One may argue that it’s an even trade- i’m here to tell you dear reader, it’s not. Think about what you’re trading: a culture that delighted in finding cheat codes to enhance gameplay that was mutually beneficial to the player and the developer; not to mention the publishers, to a system that only benefits the game designers/developers and their bottom line. It’s not my intention to cast any shade to them because God bless them for being able to do something I could only dream of doing myself, but the paradigm shift seemed to only to benefit one side of the spectrum instead of all participants equally.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention MODs. MODs are used primarily on PC, and it requires some tinkering and time. Sites like Steam make it easier to just click and download MODs and the process is fairly automated. But for the hardcore coder/developer, MODs can be a labor of love. It is definitely a high risk high reward venture but worth it in the long run if you are technically inclined. Let me be clear: I do not think that Modding is a replacement for cheat codes but they’re close enough to be siblings. One is mild-mannered and can made simple gameplay more fun and the other sibling is a colossal yet rewarding undertaking for those not initiated in the ways of coding would probably pass over. I naturally gravitate to the former, but I have seen some incredible things done with MODs, but my simple mind just wants to plug in a cheat and play with impunity. Although some consoles are trying to adapt built-in MOD capabilities, the chance of MODs being as big as the cheat culture are slim. All in all I don’t see MODs being a replacement for traditional cheat codes, as they were a special period of time that I sadly don’t think will be repeated.
Tell me what you think do you think cheat codes will ever be as popular and widespread as they were? Will MODs replace the cheat culture? Let me know what you think and leave a like below. See you next time and don’t forget to stay Critikal!