Blog: Frustratingly Unreliable Controls – 07/03/19

Some of my favorite kinds of games fall under the very specific category of, “wacky physics based activities.”  Some of the hits from that genre in recent history have been games like Human Fall Flat and Gang Beasts.  So imagine my surprise when I came across the open beta for a game on Steam called, Totally Reliable Delivery Service.


Honk honk, I’m the delivery boy

In Totally Reliable Delivery Service, you can either play solo or cooperatively as a team of four to complete wacky physics based delivery missions that are scattered around the open world the game is set in.  Using the combination of over the top physics and a fleet of vehicles, you’re literally trying to tack things from one place to another as fast and safely as possible.

The pitch itself is neat, but in practice, it doesn’t work too well.  This is going to sound ridiculous and I totally understand, but the controls in this game are terrible.  And that’s a damming thing to say about a game that’s supposed to control all crazy like. I hate to draw comparisons, but in both Gang Beasts and Human Fall Flat, the wacky controls worked while also allowing for ridiculous bullshit by streamlining the controls to make them just imprecise enough to be fun.  Whereas Totally Reliable Delivery Service is just unwieldy and random in places.


This is gonna go great

A fine example would be some of the early missions that task you with moving things that have some exploding capabilities.  I’d grab the object by holding the triggers down that correspond to each arm, but then to lift them you have to hold both bumpers down because they also correspond to each hand.  You get this weird claw maneuver going on which is uncomfortable and doesn’t actually work.

If you happen to manage to get a product into a car without blowing it and yourself up, then you need to drive a car to the destination to complete the delivery.  Unfortunately, somewhere along the line of development, somebody thought it would be a cool idea to take camera control away from you, should you dare to use your characters right hand.  You see, traditionally, the right analog stick is for camera stuff and not for steering a vehicle.  A common mistake, but an important one to rectify.


It didn’t go great

I know harping on the controls of Totally Reliable Delivery Service is kind of a cheap shot considering the type of game it is, but I can’t imagine I’m the only one who finds this game a little too unwieldy and unresponsive, right?  I want to like this game, and maybe I just need to put more time into it or play with friends, but as it is, I just can’t get behind it.  All Totally Reliable Delivery Service managed to do was make me play Human Fall Flat and appreciate it’s wonky control scheme.


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