I've been playing games since the age of eight. I originally had a PlayStation 2. Now I have a PlayStation 3. I also kept an Xbox 360 for a two years and then sold it. I love third person RPGs and Shooters. I write I a lot. My favorite series include Grand Theft Auto, inFamous, Uncharted and Assassin's Creed.
David Cage, the mind behind Heavy Rain and Beyond : Two Souls often argues that today's games lack emotion. That they fail to have an emotional impact on the player and also that games need to change if this industry is ever to evolve. Heavy Rain is one of his games and most people who have played it compliment it for it's narrative and also express that the game had an emotional impact on them. It's a shame then that the Heavy Rain's gameplay is nowhere near as good as it's story. The controls are muddled and the entire game is just a series of QTEs. At a purely gameplay level, Heavy Rain is no fun to play. Beyond : Two Souls is another one of David Cage's works. It releases in October. I don't mean to judge the game before I even play it but it's clear from the previews that this game also suffers from Heavy Rain's problems. The previewers have expressed that it's controls are broken and it's also riddled with QTEs. Some, like Colin Moriarty of IGN, have warned that it might turn out to be an ambitious mess. However, I'm sure that this game will have a very moving narrative.
I have been playing games for seven years now and I have not been brought to tears by any game I've ever played. Red Dead Redemption brought me close to crying but the tears never left my eyes. I loved the characters of the Mass Effect Trilogy and when one of them died, it did make me feel sad but that was it. I'm not saying that these games had no emotional impact on me as love and joy are also emotions and I loved Mass Effect's characters and enjoyed Red Dead Redemption's shooting but we can all agree that the hardest emotion for a game to convey is sadness because of the fact that games become sport as soon as the controller is placed in our hands.
This remained the case until I played a little game called The Last Of Us. Tears rolled down my cheeks by the time I was twenty minutes into the game. I was amazed by the fact that a game's story had actually made me cry. This also made me feel proud of video games as a medium. There were several moments in the game which actually made me feel sad. I finished the Last Of Us yesterday and it has become my favorite game of all time.
The last of us has an excellent narrative and very lovable characters but the great thing is that its gameplay doesn't suffer for it. In fact, I love last of us' gameplay and so will everyone who plays it. It's refined and polished. The controls are also very accessible. See what I'm getting at here? The Last Of Us feels great to play and simultaneously delivers a moving narrative. David Cage continues to sacrifice gameplay to deliver a moving story and also believes that its the right way. Let's not forget video games are basically meant to be played. A good story is necessary if the game want's to be remembered but the gameplay is equally important. Look at Mario, for example, it's story is very basic. It's gameplay is what makes it legendary and unforgettable. Mario is a poster boy for video games and the reason lies in how Mario games play. So please somebody tell David to come to his senses and try to realize the reason behind the invention of games.
OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Wikipedia defines this disorder in these words "an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts that produce uneasiness or fear; by repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing the anxiety.......". Most of you will be familiar with this disorder as it is quite notorious even in the gaming world. I have a very severe OCD and, in this blog, I'm going to listing several popular games and how they're played by someone who has an OCD like mine.
Grand Theft Auto 4
GTA 4 is an awesome game. You can hijack cars, punish pedestrians and make a huge dent in the police population of Liberty City. But my mind didn't allow me to do any of these things. I started feeling dirty and uneasy whenever I hijacked a car or killed a pedestrian because my mind wanted me to act like Niko Bellic would. In the cutscenes, Niko expresses how he wants to stop killing and live a normal life. So I was forced to behave normally. By the end of the main story, my stats dictated that I had only hijacked 11 cars. I remember that, whenever I jacked one of these cars, I had to explain to myself the reason Niko Bellic jacked the car because of. I also ensured that I did all the main missions exactly how they were supposed to be done. For example, in a mission with involving a car chase, I restarted whenever my car bumped into something. Whenever I felt like just having fun, I turned the auto save off and did all of the things which make GTA fun like killing random people. This allowed me to have fun without "ruining" my save file.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Skyrim is my favorite game of this console generation. I still play it and love it as much as I did on November 11th 2011. It is one of the few games which my OCD didn't ruin for me. The effect my OCD did have on it was that I refrained from killing any civilian. And this actually enhances the enjoyment of Skyrim as killing civilians deletes the interesting quests they might have given you. My mind also forces me to complete a quest as soon as it's given to me as it wouldn't be "realistic" in the game world to do it later.
Batman Arkham City
Arkham City is an awesome game. I'm a huge Batman fan. I don't read the comics but Nolan's Batman Trilogy has developed in me, strong love for Bruce Wayne. I really enjoyed Arkham City. BUT, I had to finish the entire game without taking a single punch. It wasn't "realistic" that Batman takes a clean punch in a fight and so my evil, evil mind forced me to complete the game without getting Batman hit once. It does not, however, mean that I was skilled at the game. I had to restart hundreds of times and often had to escape from combat encounters.
That's how my OCD reduced my enjoyment of several of the best games today. I hope you enjoyed the blog. If you also have an OCD, share the impact it has on your gameplay in the comments section.