Is it true that every game needs tactics?

posted by on 23rd July 2008, at 12:37pm

Is it true that every game needs tactics? Some of you may say yes, some might say no. The truth is everything you do is part of your tactics, even if you don’t think so. Lets revise what tactics are:

Tac-tics – [tak-tiks]
(Used with a singular verb ) any mode of procedure for gaining advantage or success.

In any console game, your objective is to succeed in your mission. Whether it is a sports game, shooter game or puzzle game, you are trying to succeed. I shall take 3 games as examples for this: FIFA 08, Halo 3 and the classic, well-known Pac-Man.

FIFA 08 is a soccer game which was released across a vast range of countries in late 2007. Of course, in a soccer game the aim is to score goals and stop the other team on doing so to win the game. The way you are going to do this is tactics. People may think “Ah, this is just a plain soccer game, anyone can be good at it. It’s just controlling a player to shoot”. In fact, it is so much more than that. You have to plan your offence, decide which route to take along the pitch and make decisions on which way to pass, or to shoot. Defence is the same, but with clearing rather than shooting. Even before that, you have to use tactics; which formation to use, which players to sub in and out and which tactical offence to use.

I’m pretty sure you know what Halo 3 is, but if you don’t, Halo 3 is an extremely popular first person shooter for the Xbox 360 which was released in October 2007. In the campaign, tactics prove a very useful weapon. Although they don’t need to be detailed, as your route is very specific, they are important. Your team mates don’t play by the rules, so it is up to you on what type of attack you will plant on your enemies.
As well as single player, tactics are needed in multiplayer mode too. There are various game modes in this, so objectives are different for each one, but tactics should be exactly the same. In most game modes your aim is to kill the enemy team off while staying alive yourself. However in game modes like King of the Hill, your objective is to stay alive *in the hill* and stop the enemies from entering it to gain points. You use tactics to complete these aims, either by co-operating with your team-mates, or just gaining a vantage point over the others and planning your approach/defence.

Pac-man is a game we all know and love, and was first released in 1980. Your objective is to eat all of the Pac-Dots, without being eaten by the ghosts, to advance to the next level. There are blatant tactics in this; you’re trying to reach all the dots by taking routes where the ghosts aren’t. But there’s more to it. You earn more points by doing things such as eating the ghosts after obtaining pellets from parts of the maze, whilst still on the objective of getting away from them before they return to their original state. This takes strategic thinking, a good knowledge of directions and the ability to assume where the ghosts will go depending on your location.

This is the basis of tactics for the 3 games listed. Maybe when you have your next play through, think of this before just playing in a laid-back “I can do this with my eyes closed” poise!

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