I know that people need to know how to play, and I know it's a lot to expect for some people to read the instruction manual and I also know that it's extremely unlikely that everyone who's been gaming for more then three years will be put on priority for this one, but seriously, tutorial levels are a major drag. It sucked in Pandora Tomorrow, it sucked in R6 Vegas and it still sucks in Conviction.
Please hear me... anyone, I don't really care who, but just listen, tutorials should be tutorials. They should not intrude onto the main portion of the game and weaken the introduction for the sake of someone wanting to pick up blast their way though the first half hour with little/no understanding of what they're doing. And let's not forget what it does to replay value... gives me the shivers just think'n 'bout it.
Gears of War had a great idea. The 1st time you get control of Marcus, Dom asks you a very simple question. (paraphrasing) "Do you want to learn how to play, or do you know how to play?" To which the player can answer. "Yes," or "No." Depending on what you do changes whether you get bombarded with tips on how/what to do. Makes replaying the game a joy, because you can just dive right in and enjoy the game. And hell, the tutorial section of Gears2 was so funny it was worth picking the 2nd time anyway... 3rd time, ah, anyway.
Remember the good old days when the start of the game was actually the hardest part. You had nothing, no weapons/ammo armor--looking at you Doom3. These 'realistic' types obviously can't be made exactly like that, but rewind five years and you see many games with fantastic introductions which are not spoiled with. "Now press this to do that." segments. Actually, Uncharted and COD suffer from moments like this throughout the entire experience. Countless times in COD you're instructed to do something specific to either drive a car or climb a cliff but you never need it again. I believe SolidSage coined the notion, "It's like pressing the continue button," Unbelievably meh.
Splinter Cell SAR solved this issue by dedicating an entire irrelevant mission to teaching the player the ropes. Great idea because next time through you didn't need to do it. Chaos Theory had the superbly presented training videos with Sam Fisher instructing you on the dos/don'ts, which now that I think of it were absent from the PS3 re-release... I have never seen something as lame as the training vids from the PS3 Chaos Theory HD... nasty. And heck, even the Shanghaied Double Agent had dedicated training maps.
I'm not calling for a return of the days when you actually needed to discover how to play, even though that was cool, but I'd like part where you find out what the buttons do to be in a very separate area to where we learn what the 1st objective is.