Gun Gale Online’s inconsistencies in the form of weird mechanics and player behavior make its world and meta hard to take seriously.
The worst offender is LLENN’s ridiculous speed. She can dodge bullets mid-flight while the next closest power is Pito’s just above average strength.At least Pito’s 20-man killstreak is the result of gunplay and gymnastics, while LLENN is literally NEO IN THE FUCKING MATRIX, unless it’s convenient for the plot, of course. Morpheus, screw the red and blue pill, have any cyanide ones? Anyone encountering LLENN would either report her for hacking or would have already been playing that build themselves; it’s entirely unbelievable that someone who just lost to what is essentially teleportation wouldn’t reconsider their own build.
Another immersion shatterer is that character appearance and stats are entirely randomized. This goes against the escapism that Karen’s character embodies. She has to roll 37 times in 37 different games before she gets lucky enough to become the loli she is at heart.People play games to escape the hand they were dealt, not get another random one. Even if this is just a leftover plot contrivance from SAO to make Kirito look like a girl, it doesn’t make sense that nobody is flaming the developers to fix this problem. I mean, have you seen gaming communities?
Even if someone did decide to play GGO, its tournaments are a joke. There are seemingly no prerequisites to join, so PVP is one-sided. It would be more exciting to see the best of the best facing off against each other, and that would also explain why the entire playerbase watches these tournaments. Yet, the actual “tactics” used in them are so laughable that might not even make a difference. Twice, LLENN comes across a full squad sitting in the open, in a circle, at low ground, and in both instances they’re obliterated for it. In all my time playing shooters, I’ve noticed that even most new players figure out that cover, high ground, and not stacking up on top of each other good things. But I think these guys have deeper issues understanding basic strategy. Someone needs to get these guys some Sun Tzu! This is supposed to be a neural-linked, VR, shooter experience, where reflexes, tactics and positioning should all play a role in victory, so seeing speedygonloli run circles around 5 guys sitting in the open mulitple times kind of breaks that illusion.
It’s not just bad players that behave strangely either – Because real online games are solved so quickly, the lack of consensus understanding of the game in even GGO’s high-level players is astounding.
Early on, LLENN changes her outfit color and accidentally uses it as camouflage in a pink desert, causing her to get the jump on a squad of three. Nobody else uses this to their advantage. It’s such an uncommon tactic that LLENN even earns the nickname “the pink devil” for using it! Real MMO players scrape and claw for every advantage they can get in PVP, but somehow not enough people noticed they were practically invisible with a simple color change?
Here’s another weird mechanic that’s hardly taken advantage of. Dead bodies are invincible, for some reason, so they’re used as extremely effective shields. LLENN does it when she kills the aforementioned noobs and one of the Russian girls uses her comrade as a shield while she snipes. I’ll hand it to the show that this is kind of an interesting idea, but in all of these instances, the tactics are come up with on the spot rather than thought out ahead of time; there’s no established meta, and that’s not believable for such a big online game.
Take League of Legends for example. Even the worst bronze and unranked players often frequent statistics websites and guides to copy what the good players have figured out, even if they have the skill of a potato. Even in single player deckbuilders like Slay the Spire people have spent hours collecting data on which cards produce the best outcomes across thousands of games. In GGO, people seem to be discovering parts of the game as they play, even though LLENN has herself said she reads many guides online. So, we know this kind of culture exists at the high level, but for some unexplained reason, nobody really knows quite what’s going on. This just isn’t how the meta of games work.
At the end of the day, these issues were distracting enough to really hurt GGO for me. I know that to some, like Pedantic Romantic, it was the girls that made it good, and others, like Jeff and Joey, care more about how it relates to SAO 1 & 2, but as someone that’s played a lot of games I wanted to share my perspective on why GGO just feels wrong, because after reading internet comment sections I know I’m not the only one.