In the mood for saving
The humble save point is an endangered species in this day and age. Modern games, not wanting to interrupt or burden players with a need to remember to slide a digital bookmark into their progress, either save your game automatically or let you save whenever you please. The little glowing ports in a storm, where no enemy will attack you, where you can catch a breath before a boss, or you can make some badly needed progress are eternally memorable if done right. These ten are the best and strangest in PlayStation history.
Dead Rising 2
Even in zombie infest Las Vegas, the bathroom is a safe space to collect your thoughts, to mark a moment in time to return to again and again, to consider: how many times have I duct-taped a baseball bat and a weed-whacker together now? Dead Rising 2’s lavatory save points are not only more convenient than the lonely security office couch Frank West had to use in original, they’re also apparently magical, hiding secret shortcuts within.
Beeping sounds are not comforting in the world of Alien. If you hear an insistent electronic tone, it’s usually coming from a motion tracker indicating precisely close you are to having your face eaten by a hulking two-mouthed bug monster. In Alien: Isolation, though, beeping can also indicate the presence of a blessed save point, a taupe colored electrical panel that represents a few more minutes of survival. Only problem: it seems to take a billion years for for Isolation’s save stations to register Ripley’s key card. Not that there’s any hurry because of face eating bug monsters.
Metal Gear Solid
Snake’s Codec is not a comforting piece of technology. Is it convenient to have a communication device that interacts directly with your ear’s delicate bones? Sure but what if it malfunctions! That’s stressful. It’s also not particularly convenient to have to use it to call a separate person just to save your game. Sure, Mei Ling is a personable and intelligent individual always willing to cough up some philosophical bonmot to ease the pain of extreme espionage, but isn’t there a better way to mark your time at Shadow Moses? Apparently not, because that’s how you have to save there.
The Umbrella corporation’s boundless capacity for horrifying technological advancement is matched only by its adoration of technological anachronism. If you can build massive, secret underground base’s for developing futuristic, biological military ordinance, why do you need typewriters to save everyone’s progress? They’re not even electric typewriters! You need old fashioned, messy ass ink ribbons to use them. There will be hell to pay if that ink gets all over the jewels and bizarre keys in this inventory full of stuff needed to get through Umbrellas various mansions. At least the music playing in every save room near the typewriters is beautiful.
God of War 3
Kratos is not the kind of guy you’d expect to regularly genuflect. Indeed Kratos’ whole thing is hating gods, killing gods, and yelling about how he’s going to kill all those gods he hates so much. And yet every time he wants to save his progress during some gluttonous revenge rampage, he steps into an altar, gifts from Zeus’ daughter Athena in God Of War III. Zeus himself is the one who granted the Spartan his progress-stashing ability in the first game. I’m not calling you a sellout or anything Kratos, but if you were for real you wouldn’t need to save your game at all! Just kidding. Your new Viking beard frightens me.
GTA: Vice City
Over the past decade, saving your game in Grand Theft Auto has always been a homey experience. Returning to your base of operations is part of it, but it’s all about where you rest your head permanently. Niko Bellic’s apartments, Michael de Santa’s house of Hollywood strife, etc. Back in Grand Theft Auto Vice City, though, Tommy Vercetti saved his progress in a seedier, more transient locale. The Ocean View Hotel, with its gaudily decorated bed and a floating cassette icon, is where he needed to save his game. It is simultaneously the least comfortable and the most in GTA history. No one likes to live in a hotel, but at least you can trash the place and someone else will clean it up.
No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise
Old Chuck Greene saves his game in the bathroom, but we don’t know that he’s actively relieving himself in there. Guy could just be washing his hands. Tucking his shirt back in. Wiping off a bloodstain or something. Travis Touchdown in No More Heroes? There are no illusions about what this assassin nerd is doing when he saves his game. He walks right into his WC, drops trou, and goes to town to mark down precisely where he is on his journey to becoming the number one hired killer with a lightsaber. It’s ridiculous but I have to admit that I admire his comfort level. You do you, Travis.
When you’ve been trundling through the darkened halls of a crumbling space station infested by monsters made up of the ripped up limbs of the terrible warped crew that used to live there, a little light goes a long way. The welcoming glow of a USG Ishimura save terminal goes the longest in Dead Space. Warm, reassuring and a temporary salvation from all that getting your brains sucked out through your eye socket by some gasping monstrosity. That said it doesn’t quite make sense that there are terminals everywhere for the crew to just randomly record their thoughts on. Is the Ishimura like a giant sci-fi episode of the Real World with confessionals everywhere? Weird, Dead Space. Weird.
So this creepy, vaguely medieval society is terrified of boys born with horns, right? So they lock them up in a rotting castle ruled over by some inky witch with blue electric magic powers and a legion of living shadows at her command. If everyone doesn’t want the boy to escape with the ghostly magical young girl he just met in the castle, why are there inexplicably comfortable couches all over the place for the two of them to take naps on, thus saving their game? One second, you’re in a crumbling hallway of death. The next, you’re on a windswept terrace with a couch ready for popcorn and binge watching John Hughes movies. This castle and its save points make no sense, Ico.
Tomb Raider (1996)
We’re not saying Lara Croft doesn’t run a high probability of finding precious jewels during her grave robbing adventures in the original Tomb Raider. In fact, it’s all but guaranteed that at some point after she’s shot a T-rex in the face and solved the instant death puzzles of an evil statue with the midas touch, Lara’s going to find some shiny, valuable rocks. But why do all the jewels in Tomb Raider let her save her game? And why are there only a few of them inexplicably scattered around the tombs all over the world? MAGIC JEWELS DON’T SAVE GAMES IN REAL LIFE, TOMB RAIDER!