Whilst an old game, it does have a tutorial worth looking at.
After an introduction to the game, characters and plot your first port of call is a training area. There are four different courses available to comple; basic field tactics, advanced field tactics, weapons and gadgets. Each cover different areas, which is self-explanatory from the name. They are all optional and a reasonably experienced player can no doubt get by without them but you’ll be ineffective, not knowing the various nuances and tactics in the game.
In my Borderlands tutorial article I argued that having the learning experience integrated with core gameplay, however No One Lives Forver is a strong argument for the reverse. Where it differs from many of the weak and dull tutorials out there (for example Assassin’s Creed) is that the location and setting genuinely fits within the context of the game. The addition of little injections of humour and the colourful graphics provide a more enjoyable experience. It may not match the level of enjoyment that you would get from diving straight in, but it isn’t too dull. However at times the pace can be a little slow, especially if performing the more simplistic training exercises.
The teaching itself is done through voice over instructions on the various actions and stealth tactics in the game. You then complete a little exercise and progress when done. Naturally this isn’t mind blowingly new and innovative, but it is easy to follow and therefore learn. However one weakness is that instructions are only given via voice commands with no supporting HUD messages (not counting subtitles). This means that you need to actually pay attention and perhaps more importantly, need to know the keys. Whilst playing through the tutorial I had to pause the game a few times to dig them out from the Options as I don’t keep manuals on hand (if I have one at all). This is a major let down and disruptive force on the initial user experience. No one likes reading the manuals or hunting down controls on a newly purchased game, especially for kew commands required to complete an action in the tutorial.
Once you leave the training, that isn’t the end of your learning in NOLF as new training becomes available as you gain access to different gadgets and alike. This ensures that you are kept fresh and more importantly, at least as far as I’m concerned, you aren’t
To sum up, NOLF shows exactly how a seperate tutorial entity can work, although it does still have its flaws. Providing constant learning is much more welcome than trying to teach every gadget in one go and remaining optional ensures that the player isn’t forced into completing exercises that they feel are beneath them, or that have been previously completed.
I’ve a run through of the tutorial below if you fancy seeing it first hand.