Glitches and cheats can ruin games. If a game has a flaw that gives one player an unfair advantage over another, that is wrong, but what if there are no other players to be disadvantaged? What if the only person you are cheating is yourself? I’m not normally the type of person who cheats in games. I love hunting achievements for both the prestige of having a large gamerscore and the sense of accomplishment. Most games disable the ability to unlock achievements when you activate a cheat, so they’re not normally something I go for. However, there are occasions when I have been tempted to use a glitch or a cheat and there have also been times where they have improved the game for me.
I have recently been playing Prey; the new game from Arcane Studios. While my fellow enthusiast, Andrew Gonzalez, has loved the game, I’m not quite so smitten with it. I can appreciate what the game is trying to do and I like the ambiguity in the storylines, however, I find the combat very frustrating and I’m not a huge fan of oppressive atmospheres in games. When I found out that there was a glitch in the game that grants you infinite crafting resources, I thought I would try it out just to see what it was like. To my surprise, I suddenly found myself enjoying the game. The fact that I found the combat a bit clunky and awkward didn’t matter so much when I had an easily replenishable source of ammo and the oppressive atmosphere didn’t feel so daunting with a load of health packs in my inventory.
I don’t feel guilty for using this glitch as it’s not like I’m gaining an online advantage, have an absurdly overpowered weapon, or am bypassing huge sections of the game. All I have done is get more of a resource that any player could get if they take the time to pick up every possible item and recycle it into crafting materials. If anything, the only person I’m cheating of the full experience of the game is myself and I’m happy with that. Even that’s not the case here though as I was honestly ready to just give up on the game, but using this glitch kept me interested all the way to the conclusion of the story. Using this exploit has helped me to get my money’s worth out of my purchase.
One series I regularly use cheats on are the LEGO games. My general way of playing these games are to run through every level in story mode, then free play, and then activate cheats like the red brick detector, minikit detector, and stud multipliers to gain access to everything in the game. Some of these “cheats” are unlocked through playing the game, but sometimes I will enter a code to unlock them. Now before some of you get on your high horse and criticise me for taking the easy way out, allow me to make a counter argument. How different is it using a cheat to show where the extra red bricks are then checking online and using a guide? If anything, all the red brick detector does is show the area that it’s in, you still have to solve any puzzles related to unlocking the item.
I’m also at the point where I’m introducing my 5-year-old to gaming and the LEGO games are great for him. His main interests at the moment are LEGO, Star Wars, and Jurassic Park, so letting him play the LEGO Star Wars games and the LEGO Jurassic World have immediately grabbed his interest and that helps him push on when he’s struggling with the controller or trying to understand how the game works. Is this ‘cheating’? Yes, it probably is, however helping a small boy to have fun with the game and introducing him to a lifetime of enjoying games is more important in my opinion.
In the words of Ben Parker (in 2002’s Spider-Man), “with great power comes great responsibility” and I do think that it is not only up to developers but also in gamers hands to use glitches, exploits, and cheats responsibly. I firmly believe that you should never use such advantages in multiplayer games. Most of us have come across people using glitches and exploits to gain the upper hand and even been told that everyone is doing it so why shouldn’t they. Well, I have never come across a game where every player is using an exploit. For multiplayer to thrive it really needs everyone to be on a level playing field and that doesn’t happen if some people are cheating.
If a cheat, or a glitch, or an exploit doesn’t affect anyone but the person actually playing I don’t see a problem in using them. Like I have said, they should never be used in multiplayer and I would prefer them not to affect achievements however I do think there can be a place for them. What do you think? Have you any examples of where cheats or exploits have improved a game? Let us know in the comments section below.