Sometimes you can’t inhale a thousand carrots and apple pies in a split second, or down tens of health potions in one go like some other heroes can. Sometimes, you have to take a break from the action to inject yourself with some green syringe or spray some kind of herbal extract on your face. Then there are those times where the action doesn’t give you a break to heal and remorselessly slaughters your character when they try to.
It’s a nice touch of realism, but if it’s only just for that then it’s rather pointless- you’re better off going with the whole inhale-six-roast-pigs route like in Skyrim. This isn’t just limited to healing alone, it could apply actions like using a lever or getting up. These little animations that leaves gaps in your defense encourage (or force in some cases) players to be aware of more than just the enemy, they’ve got to be aware of their health too. In addition, it could be a case of timing as well.
You wouldn’t try to heal in the middle of a crowd of zombies, right? That newly regenerated health would be taken away faster than the computer gives it to you.
There are of course, other ways to have your character take a break from going guns blazing. Take for example Warframe‘s method, if you don’t have healing abilities, you can always craft some healing items… that when used are placed on the ground and emit 5 pulses of healing energy to any player near it. It’s great for defense missions, since you’ll be stationary, but also makes your player take cover in a more mobile mission while still allowing them to fight back.
You could even just go with more mix-and-match ways for the player to recover health. Lost Planet 2‘s healing system required the player to hold down a button to heal, that also reduced movement speed and made them unable to fight back. Combined with it’s rather fragile characters (no super soldiers or legendary heroes here).
Whatever the game, if there’s a healing mechanic there’s always ways you can tweak it to fit the game to add in challenge. Of course you can also just opt to have your players hide behind a chest-high wall and wait out that pesky red filter on their screen.
Well, I guess that’s enough of that. Kevin out.