Point Four: If you will have vehicles, use them.
Why put speeder-bikes, tanks, jeeps and helicopters in the game if you can only use certain ones at certain times, and even then you’re pretty much stuck on rails? Why bother with a speeder-bikes chase scene so tedious, fiddly and anti-climactic that it takes a will of iron just to carry on playing? Why? Why?
Point Five: Good AI doesn’t mean hard AI.
There’s a good reason why people talk about the AI in Halo or Half Life 2 – it’s because you can see some governing intelligence at work, and because your enemies seem driven by self-preservation and a desire to kill you. That doesn’t mean that they always take the best tactical approach or have the shooting skills of an Olympic marksman – it just means they pose a reasonable challenge in numbers and force you to think about your approach. Getting shot repeatedly from long-distance by an enemy you can hardly see isn’t nearly as much fun, and nor is spending minutes at a time cowering behind a barrel trading shots with a goon doing likewise. We play these things to feel heroic, not to get penalised for rushing the enemy!
Point Six: Weapons need to pack a punch.
We can excuse a fairly generic set of weapons, with several variations on the assault rifle, pistol and submachine gun, plus sniper rifle, grenade launcher and rocket launcher. It’s OK. It’s expected. However, if I hit someone with a rifle-shot, I want to see them thrown back a little, not just look mildly perturbed. If I fire a rocket at someone, I want to see them thrown in the air by the explosion. It doesn’t need to be complex, rag-doll physics stuff – though in this day and age it really ought to be – but it would be good to feel that your weapons were actually doing some damage before the death animation kicked in. Even the sounds here are a little wimpy. Sorry, but it’s just not good enough.