Controls are the key to any game. It’s the portal between worlds where a gamer can make contact with the other world behind the television screen. If the game has a lousy layout and clunky controls, the gamer will quickly put the game aside for something that flows better.

I hate to read the control section of the little booklet that comes with games, I’d much rather be able to pop it in the console, pick up a controller and feel my way through. For me, there is nothing worse than having to read how to shoot someone; all movements should be easy to work out. Of course, you cannot expect to know all button moves automatically, but within a few minutes of being introduced to the format, a player should know the basics of how to interact with an object.

For example, a friend of mine introduced me to Call of Duty recently. He placed the controller in my hand, told me basic moves and let me loose on the map. This I found hard; there were so many different button combinations- how to crouch and sprint- I found it all a bit overwhelming. But after a good 15minutes, I could at least live more than a few minutes. The added difficulty was due to the fact it was a PS3 version and the buttons were very different to my Xbox, but even an obstacle like that shouldn’t be much of a challenge.

All in all, if you are not comfortable with the controls in less than an hour; then that’s a serious fault of the game developers.