Key mapping. Known to every PC gamer out there. A nifty feature in games that makes your game more personal and easier to play. There used to be a standard with first the arrow keys and later the WASD keys to control the game but with current games and hardware key mapping is becoming more and more personal. Your mouse is getting more buttons, your keyboard is getting more buttons and if you have a gamepad than basically everything is an extra, or at least custom setting.
Although the WASD is usually still the default key setup within games when first launched, many of us quickly re-map the keys to our own liking right after we’ve done the video settings. With the current gaming industry cutting corners everywhere they can, i’ve noticed more and more games do not take key mapping into account anymore. Not seriously at least. Most games are created for consoles these days and im completely cool with that. What makes me a bit angry though is that when they do release a game for PC as well, they have a real crappy key mapping system attached to it, or none at all.
Why is it so hard to create a system where i can attach whatever key i want to whatever action i want it to do? It used to be like that. Basicly, the consoles have messed things up for the PC gamers. I do not say this as a fanboy comment, there is a truth behind it. Developers create for the XBOX and/or the PS3 and redoing the controls for PC costs extra time, effort and money. So many of them just don’t do it at all or do it because they really have to. Almost with a gun against their heads. How many times do you start up a PC game these days and does it say “For the best experience play this game with a controller”. Excuse me? Did i just see..? I did, i did saw a putty’cat!
I did not buy a PC to play games with a controller. That’s why PC’s have a keyboard and a mouse, so we don’t need to use a controller. I get it, i really do. Some games do play better with a controller. Games like Renegade Ops and Bastion play well with a controller. But why don’t they just keep those games on the consoles then? Oh right, i almost forgot, they need to make money. So they put it out wherever they can, even if it means it is not optimized for that platform.
Alright, I’m an old skool gamer. I played games that used the arrow keys and ever since i first started gaming i have kept using the arrow keys. I use shift for jump, ctrl for duck and enter for reload on all the FPS games i have. This worked fine, until Battlefield came out with Bad Company 2. I bought the game, re-mapped the keys and to my surprise.. i can not use enter. Why not? It is used in-game as the menu button. Nothing wrong with that really, but why can’t i re-map the menu button to something else so i can use enter as reload? Is it that hard to make that available? And why can’t i use any of the side buttons on my mouse? My melee and fast weapon switch are now stuck on another key somewhere.
This isn’t about what is the best way to play. It is about being able to set things up in such a way that it works for you, the gamer, and to have control over your own play style. Why do they want to take that away from us? The worst thing is that even games made for PC are suffering from such shenanigans nowadays. And i just don’t get it, it’s so unneeded. Let us gamers decide what keys work best for us playing your game. We all have different play styles, we all have different equipment. I think we are quite capable of making that decision ourselves.
Free a key, save a mouse!