First off I’m colorblind, basically it’s not a big deal but it have it’s disadvantages in one major part of my life. That would be gaming. Some games are down right unplayable for me due to my colorblindness. Over the years I’ve played tons of games and as the graphics get better I have a hard time seeing some of the stuff in the games I play. When we were in the 8-bit era I had no problem making out what was on screen, I could see Mario and Link and find the secret areas in levels, make out the map without an issue but lately it’s been a different story.
One of the first times I remember having a problem seeing something in a game was the original Ghost Recon for the first Xbox. Now this version of the game did not have the clarity of the PC version which I played later and still had issues with but not to get sidetracked. Playing through the campaign was a nightmare because I couldn’t make out the guys in the trees and bushes and would always get sniped by someone really close. Now I know they’re suppose to be hidden with their camo gear but friends of mine had no problem getting through the game. Then it was time to take the fight online over the newly started Xbox Live and I constantly had my ass handed to me, the main reason being I couldn’t see the enemies and online especially this is a death sentence. Ghost Recon was the first military shooter I had ever played. Before it my FPS experience was with the more fictional games, like Quake and Unreal. These game really didn’t pose a problem for me because I could make out the vividly colored characters against the plain brown or grey backgrounds. Also before my Ghost Recon playing my online gaming was mainly RTS so it was my first major experience with FPS online except for a little Counter Strike which also had the problems for me listed above.
Now some would say why not just play a game like Halo online and move away from the military game? Well when I do play Halo I can’t make out the Red side when they’re far away from me. I can see blue with out any problem but if I’m stuck on the blue team I usually just quit because it’s going to be lots a grief and no fun. That’s one of the reasons I love Team Fortress 2 it let’s you pick your side and I always go red so I can see the blue team and I do alright with that. I do not like how the eternal online war is always red versus blue, I know it’s been like that even before online games with one player being blue while the other is red but it ruins some games for me and probably a lot of other color blind gamers.
I’ve played games with a color blind option that usually makes your cross hair yellow instead of red but that doesn’t help with the other people blending into the back ground. One series that has been extremely easy for me to play is surprisingly the Call of Duty games. They seem to use the same colors for characters and maps but very different hues so you can make out the person kneeling in the tall grass if you look hard enough.
But this has effected me in single player games as well. There has been many times when I’ve had to look at a walk through because I couldn’t make out the path way through some trees or see the way against a mountain or whatever. When I was playing Uncharted 2 I was stuck in a courtyard for almost two hours because I couldn’t see the way through. Not to mention the parts with the brink to climb being this crappy dark dark red which I couldn’t see no matter what I did and the only way I made it through was trial and error then looking at walk through for the aforementioned courtyard.
The last thing I want to mention are games that have color based puzzles. These are impossible for me to do. I always have to look for a walk through or something to succeed because there is no way in hell I can do them on my own. I really like to play Bejewled 1, 2 or whatever as well but I suck because I can’t make out some of the colors especially when they add in the purple because I can’t really see the difference between the blue and purple and it all comes down to trial and error.
Now I don’t expect the world of gaming to just change what it does for the people that have various levels of color blindness but some more options should be put into these games. The Bad Company games do something I like with making all the names on your team blue and the other team red so I know if I can’t read the name because it’s not blue to shot the guy but I would like to see a choice. Let me see the other team of blue it would help out a lot.