It's a sad state we find ourselves in, when Developers have to struggle against publishers JUST to have a female protagonist in their game.
What the hell happened?
I know games have always been more or less male focused, but it feels like something did change in this generation when the COD's came in and brought with them the "age of the sausage fest" .Testosterone fuled shooting galleries. The "white male protagonist" became the standard and anything that deviated from that was not acceptable...to publishers at least, because that's what they think everyone wants, and that is what gets made.
Can you name a game this generation that had a female protagonist AND hit that sweet spot of financial and critical success? because I can only think of one. Tomb Raider, and lets be honest that game only got made because of its title...."Tomb Raider". Without that name and brand recognition it would have had no chance.
Sure Mirrors Edge has some really cool stuff going for it, but that games was flawed, other games like Beyonetta or Heavenly sword might be considered good but they weren't huge successes, for things to really change it has to do both, that's how trends are set, and the current trends are in desperate need of change. Because I don't know how many Nathan Drake lookalikes I can handle before I burn my computer, swear off games and find a new hobby...like knitting
But I'm getting off topic here, what I was referring too at the start was the upcoming game "Remember Me" which *gasp* stars a non-white female character, a complete oddity in this day and age, apparently the developers were outright told that "no...you can't have a female protagonist. it will upset the dudebros"
am I the only one that finds that seriously sad and pathetic?
why is this? who do we blame? the Publishers or the Audience? aside from it being a chicken/egg scenario I personally think its a symptom of the same problem, a serious lack of risk taking. Its the reason Mass Effect became less RPG focused and gained multiplayer, its the reason Dead Space 3 got the treatment it did.....everyone's riding the COD train, or to be fair everyone's going for what's perceived as "popular" hell I just remembered now the new Tomb Raider has multiplayer...I never played it but its there. Why do you think they put multiplayer to a game like tomb raider? I think you already know the answer.
Aside from all this, what really gets me are the excuses people make for this kind of thing. "Gamers" start getting uncomfortable, they try and push the Idea that this ISN'T a problem, acting like there is some scary force with an "agenda" that will come in and force developers to make female characters to fill some kind of quota...yeah
are you fucking kidding me?
aside from the possibility of that happening (which is about as likely as someone reading this and giving me a million dollars to write another one) the fact that your basing this on the Idea of "artistic integrity" (that the developers should be free to create what they wish to create) is good and all...but absolutely ridiculous
the AAA industry HAS no artistic integrity, not when the makers of Bioshock infinite had to put Elizabeth on the back of the box and "whats his name" striking some badass pose on the front .Not when we still can't have women running around having "Agency" and shit, that just confuses some poor guy and puts him at risk of catching "teh gay"
"I" and many others are not condemning all gamers or the developers as evil, and we don't want to have females in every game just for the sake of it (maybe I would if I had the power but then...I'm still waiting for my million dollars) I simply believe creators should be able to (within reason) create the kinds of games and characters they want, and that the is something SERIOUSLY wrong with the industry when you are outright told you can't have a female protagonist
and for the other argument "maybe they are just giving players what they want" again, chicken and egg. Good games with female protagonists don't get made, so they don't get bought. You can't tell me playing as a female makes gamers brains explode when Tomb Raider did so well, also perhaps "pandering to what's perceived as popular" ISN'T the best strategy for making games? are you honestly OK with games becoming a bland mix of stupid? are you OK with the industry itself treating you like some socially stunted man-child that gets seizures in the presence of a women? doesn't the general public and sensationalist media already do that?
Originally I wanted nothing to do with Borderlands 2, after my experience with Borderlands 1. I talked about that breifly a few posts ago, Borderlands 1 was not a bad game (or bad expereince) it was a game that I should have liked due to many reasons (the wacky colurful world mostly) but unfortunatly it turned out to be rather tedious under all that cel shading and humour, I admit I didn't get all that far, mabye it would have gotten better...I don't know.
So I decided that Borderlands 2 was probably not my thing, much like Skyrim was not after I played oblivion.
But thankfully I was wrong....sooooo wrong. I'm not sure what it was, mabye a few reveiws and such but for whatever reason I gave into hype and tried out Borderlands 2. And yes, this game is AWSOME, it has everything I liked about B1 and takes out everything I "didn't" like, such as the way "MMO" style charachter interaction...and grind quests.
Now NPC's actually speak to me and not through imaginairy task lists, now the story is actualy "good" or at least engaging....I've been surprised (and shocked) at least a couple of times, and now (another pleasant surprise) the events feel more personal..I've learned of my chosen charachters backstory which is great (Maya the Siren).
My only nitpick is the game does burn you out a bit witht the constant never ending waves of enemies you have to kill inbetween whatever it is your doing...but thats to be expected with a game of this nature.
Essentially borderlands 2 is a game that is as fun to play on your own as it is with others, which makes me wonder....is it too much to ask to have that in all games? why does it have to be one or the other?
take B1...most people would say its really fun if played with freinds...which is kind of true, but then [b/]anything[/b] is more fun with freinds, hanging out in some parkinglot at night drinking is more fun with freinds.....watching terrible movies is more fun with freinds....
taking freinds out of the equasion, if your left with somthing thats kind of "eh" then did that somthing deserve a free pass in the first place? its the kind of thing where people say Mods make Oblivion good.....I mean if you need mods to make Oblivion playable then it doesnt seem like such a great game to me, much like if you need other people to make Borderlands 1 playable...it seems like somthing failed....somwhere
I have a confession...I never actually finished Darksiders. I got to the part with the "portals" and the angel telling me to do something with "beams" repeatedly (the beams, the beams, the beams, the beams, the beams, the beams SHUT UP!) but perhaps I just couldn't work out what I was meant to be doing or I got distracted by something else , but at some point I removed it from my steam list and havenít looked back.
but the thing is I actually liked Darksiders, I think it was an absolutely gorgeous game in terms of visuals, and lots "hackey-slashey" fun to be had, who cares if it was a GOW clone that "borrowed" from alot of games.... not me!
so whatís the problem exactly? is it the story?...well that might be part of it but I'm not entirly sure..from the get go I really had no clue what was going on or why I was doing anything...but from what I can remember basiclaly the apocolypse happens and war jumps in but he made a faux pas because apparently it wasn't supposed to happen and the angels are being dubious and wars in huge trouble with the boss or something so he has to wear this embarrassingly oversized gauntlet and get followed around by Mark Hamil doing his Joker voice and he runs around talks to some other godly beings an breaks shit up and kills stuff and um...yeah
I think that didn't help the main problem
aside from his adorable little pigtails hanging out of his hood its clear the impression wer'e supposed to get here is of the "brooding badass" variety....as far as character design....well I'll give them points for the fact he isn't a Nathan Drake
but its his personality that counts!....
if he had one
all he ever seems to do his trudge about being all scowly...like a teeger who's mum took his xbox away. again the question of "why" is always there....why is war such a miserable bastard? is it because he got into trouble? .I mean christ...the guy is WAR why isn't he a little more enthusiastic about the fact he is a god like being with the ability to fight like a boss?
actually mabye thats part of the problem...the Idea is to be powerful....but by virtue of him being WAR THE HORASEMAN OF THE APOCOLYPSE he's already overpowered...even when he was "de-powered" he was over powered..to he point of me not caring
see the thing is its kind of hard to really get behind the hijinx of other worldly god-like beings....its just kind of beyond me, why should I care? all the humans are already undead
and its just thease assholes left to fight it out "just because".....why do we even need the apocalypse? in Darksiders it certainly didn't seem to have anything to do with us Meat-bags as in "judgment" and then when I think about it "souls" are currency for new weapons and powerups...so does that mean the 2500 souls I used to buy something used to be 2500 people? 2500 individuals screaming out in dispiar?....I just gave those souls to a deamon!..what the fuck is a daemon going to do with those souls! my god! WAR is an asshole!
and we were doing fine with our Iphones and computers and Xbox's untill a bunch of angels and daemons showed up to wreck our shit and revert everything to the middle aegis ..Canít they find another planet to play war games on?
much like the whole "heaven vs hell apocalypse" story....I just don't get it, perhaps because its overall scope is just too "big" for me to get
and what exactly do super -god-like beings do? the apocalypse happens once...do they fight wars? negotiate politics? do the horsemen of the apocalypse have any hobbies or interests in the meantime? can such beings mate and have children?
ok, perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself here...there seems to be some kind of "other realm" thing at play so obviously they have their own little world
but as I was saying, maybe I'm supposed to care when war gets "depowered" and gets in trouble with the boss and all the stuff but its hard when I honestly don't care....and maybe if he could emote beyond scowling it would be easier but sadly no
even if I were to compare him to his (most likley) closest counterpart Kratos from god of war
Kratos is an in-human dick, thereís no denying that. However at least in God Of War 1 this was kind of the Idea, its a Greek tragedy which involves a man losing his humanity. With war its like theyíve made a Kratos but without anything remotely interesting
its not that I need humans in these things to empathize...just a human element. Like Hellboy, he is in no way human, but he was raised by humans, he acts human and when supernatural forces come along and start getting on his case about "destiny" and "destruction" and "the apocalypse" he says "fuck that", snaps his horns off and does what he wants
its just a shame because the world of Darksiders is so gorgeous and fun, yet I have to explore it with WAR, like going to a carnival with some miserable sad-sack who doesn't want to be there and you have to bug to go on the rides with you...
it makes me think...like what if instead of playing WAR you instead play as one of a rag-tag group of survivors who "somehow" went into stasis for the 100 or so years the game skips over..and wake up to find that world they are in makes Mad Max look like a family picnic....somewhat annoyed that the angels/daemons having wrecked shit up you gain powers (do a deal with some deamons..it canít be the hard) and go fighting in an effort to tell both heavan and hell to "get the fuck off our planet" and freeing trapped souls of people ....
ok..mabye I'm thinking too hard...maybe I'm missing the point, and I guess its just supposed to be a big hackey-slashey game thatís not meant to make you think
and hell..I didn't finish it, maybe thereís alot I'm missing here, like maybe the plot had a point and WAR learned the meaning of friendship or got together with Urial the Angel
I'm just thinking if thatís what WAR is like then I can only Imagine what a joy Death is going to be like....
well Red looks more badass..But the blue matches my eyes....
Chances are youíve probably played a game where you are presented with "moral choices". Choices you have to make based on what (the game) decided its right and wrong. Often such scenarios fall flat when put under scrutiny. I think some games handle the use of "choices" and "morality" better than others
First off, I'm going to talk about the absolute worst offender, Fallout 3. To me this game is an example of how not to do morality and choices.
Fallout 3 is set in post-apocalyptic America. More specifically DC. The funny thing is the post apocalyptic genre is one that challenges our concept of morality...like...a lot. When society crumbles so does "right and wrong", to what lengths will we go to for survival? At what point do you lose your humanity? Is a world without humanity worth living in? (And all that other deep stuff)
Fallout 3 takes such a setting and paints it black and white....like Disney black and white....do you want to be Scar or Simba? The light side or the dark side? Run a home for orphaned puppies or bathe in the blood and tears of children? Take your pick!
Ok, I may be exaggerating....
within the story of Fallout 3 you are more or less shoe horned into the same role, you are the kid from Vault101 and your out looking for your dad (assuming you see it through and don't just say "fuck it" ignore the quests and play the rest of the game as a slaver....in a way that could be equally valid)
One of the main problems with moral choices is that "it makes no sense to be evil" unless you're being evil for the sake of being evil.
Like I said, in FO3 the main story will generally follow the same route, you will look for your father, and you will work with the "Brotherhood" no matter how much of an evil prick you are
So why are you an evil prick in FO3? Stealing and killing certain people is one thing. But a lot of the time the "evil" decisions don't really seem to come from any kind of struggle or need to survive. Or any real "reason" other than some petty gain and "the lulz"
Ok, so maybe Kid Vault101 is an asshole...a lot of people are assholes. It does seem a little odd considering your upbringing...so he/she was just born an asshole..or has some serious daddy issues which translate into killing and stealing...I guess thereís nothing wrong with allowing for the fact that the player is going to do bad things (since not everyone is a straight as an arrow moral crusader like me)
The main problem is (as I said) when the choices are so bland and predictable, itís been said before the most evil people don't believe they are evil...they are just utterly convinced that their way is "right"
Back to FO3. Bethesda made the world very black and white, like "The Brotherhood of Steel", some fans say they "ruined the brotherhood of steel", they did and they didn't
They didn't "change" the Brotherhood of steel, what they did was wrote in a scenario where the BOS were "lawful good" instead of "lawful neutral". They wrote that there was a rift in the faction over "mission priorities" and that the "BOS" were now fighting super mutants (more or less helping people) rather than looking for technology The "outcasts" are what the "actual" brotherhood of steel are like
So while what they did may be on "bad fan-fic" levels, its still perfectly valid lore wise. Just wanted to make the distinction
Anyway, as I said no matter what you do in FO3 the main story is going to follow along the same path, youíre going to fight against the enclave with the Brotherhood. You can't join the Enclave. You can fetch quest for the outcasts but you can't join them or re-unite them with the BOS or help them "take back leadership and therefore see the consequences of the BOS pulling out of the region.
perhaps the game would have benefited in getting rid of the annoying Karma meter altogether, in a post apocalyptic situation having an annoying little sound cue constantly berating you for every little thing like stealing stimpaks from slavers when your injured doesnít really fit with the setting...morality can shift and change depending on the situation
The morality fairy
As in so what if I killed Moriaty?... had it coming because he was a prick!
Pictured: a Prick man with a Prick beard
another thing about FO3 is that you donít have to think at all, thatís the major problem, choices are boring when you don't have to put any thought into them, granted its not all bad since the game still is allowing for the fact your an asshole-uh....I mean for the fact you will play as an asshole
But if the game acts like its choices have actual weight beyond "hmmm..I'm felling a little evil today.." Then you'd want that to show
So. Mass Effect
Mass Effect takes a different approach to the "morality thing", again your role in the story is essentially the same , your Commander Shepard fighting the reapers (the difference between this and FO3 is FO3 presents itself as the kind of game that should give you more flexibility)
Itís essentially what attitude you take, are you a ruthless renegade? Who will go to any length to get the job done? Or an upstanding Paragon? Who will fight for fairness and justice while keeping ones hands clean? Thatís the concept..
But the problem is it falls completely flat.....the thing is Renegade Shepard is not only a major prick. But a majorly incompetent Prick
Major Prick reporting for duty!
lets just ignore for a second that in ME3 our choices feel kind of meaningless....I have not yet played the extended cut so please no spoilers for that..REGARDLES of how awful/good it is
Can you name one relatively important choice where being a "renegade" worked out for the better? The Idea behind renegade seems to be that he/she will get the job done "at any cost" and that in some cases this is a necessary thing....
But the fact is it isn't. There is no Paragon option that turns out worse than the Renegade alternative, (the only one I can think of was the "re-write" incident with the geth)
at least in ME1 such choices were not so clearly "marked" so it seems reasonable not to release the rachni queen or even save the council (on my first playthroguh I didnít because everything was at stake)
But in ME2 its either Paragon or Renegade, the choices are color coded for your convenience and no thought what so ever is required. Itís essentially a "good/evil" karma system repackaged as something else, I know that handing the collector base over to Cerberus is a bad long term move. Not because I had to think (though I did...because fuck Cerberus) but because itís in blue, and blue is better, regardless of what I actually think
Now regardless you could say that the renegade/paragon is merely a role playing thing. a form of "flavor text" which is true, and no doubt being a renegade makes sense sometimes and is probably fun (I wouldnít know, I hate renegade shep) but the fact is it presents itself as something "different"...a choice system that requires thought when it really doesn't
The only choice I was ever truly stumped at was the very last one....and we all know how that went...
It still haunts me......
And this seems to come from the same thing. when you think about it may actually be better to do away with marking choices as "good" or "bad" and just presenting them "as is"
because things like "good and evil" or "paragon and renegade" in a way train you to play a certain way...and at the end when they throw an actual "real" hard choice in your face (like Infamous 2 or ME3) it throws you out
maybe its good because its like "ohh! deconstruction!" and all that....or maybe its bad because (as I said) it takes away any thought and if you do make a choice that goes against your usual pattern then you feel like your doing something wrong..
Dragon Age: Origins had a similar approach to Mass Effect, again you are the Grey Warden, you are there to fight the dark spawn threat, you can be a hero or an absolute prick about it
the difference is there is no set "measure" of your morality aside from what your companions think of you, each has their own moral alignment and will approve or disapprove depending on your actions. or leave if they hate you that much (and whatever you do Morrgain will disapprove)
and I think this is a great approach...I'm free to make whatever decisions I deem necessary, and only answer to my companions and not some invisible Karma Fairy who gets annoyed when I steal from someone who was trying to kill me
and even for a "straight edge" moral crusader like myself it still presents me with interesting situations
like when I think I called upon the aid of a blood mage to help save a possed Mage child....only to have Alistair (the one you could call "good") chew me out on the evils of blood magic, to which I defended my position and shut him down, he wasnít happy with me,
I feel like the game gave me some genuinely grey situations and not just the illusion of them
but then again I think Infamous (that has Binary good or evil choices) works more or less because it isnt an RPG, nor does it claim to give you "tough choices" its a sandbox game that allows for the fact that gamers + sandbox =lots of dead civilians, but also allows for that fact that some of us arenít interested in mindless chaos
its like being able to play god of war or Prototype without being a massive dickbag, something I really like. and I guess (judging from the cover) they are trying to paint Cole as somewhat neutral and possibly "inclined" both ways, both work more or less within the story. Of coarse thats just my interpretation.
aside from Dragon age: Origins a game a I feel does moral choices well is Fallout: New Vegas
however the reason I think F:NV does moral choices well is because much like Dragon age your relationship with the different factions matters, you can be on pretty bad terms with the Karma fairy but best buddies with the NCR
alot of the plot revolves around deciding which faction holds the best hope for the future of New Vegas, and at first glance "NCR vs Legion" seems pretty black and white...unless you seriously think the Legion are the best option. in which case I'd point out Caesar is a lying hypocritical little prick
who has a very punchable face
but aside from the legion the real decisions lie with Mr house and the NCR, that was where I had to make tough choices
because you could go through executing every whim of the NCR because you believe yourself to be paragon...only to stop and realise how many people youíve actually screwed over in the process....is it right to kill the great Khans or Mr House because the NCR demands it? what about following Mr House? or going solo? which is the right decision? or maybe you don't care. maybe its all about the power
I remember when I killed Mr House he asked "why?" and whatever answer I gave felt very hollow and unjustified.....because mabye it wasnt right, but the fact was I had to do this bad thing in order to achieve what I thought was right, and there was no "good karma" feeling to back it up
There was something very satisfying about playing the NCR and then at the last minute showing them the door (in a more or less polite way) not because I was evil or didnít believe in the NCRÖbut because I just didnít they were right for New Vegas right now...a hell of a lot more interesting than being a wasteland Jesus
or if you want to be "evil" you could play a character who was a legion fan boy or NCR fascist...again unlike FO3 you have actual motivations to you being a bastard
anther issue with Moral Choices is being "locked out" I can't think of many straight examples except some Pirates of the Caribbean RPG I played a long time ago on PC...
but essentially being "locked out" shouldn't feel frustrating, like a characher comes to you with a morally dubious task but you decline. and then you never find out what happiness next. Its like you've got the Karma fairy on one shoulder berating you for even thinking of accepting. and Danny the devil on the other telling you how uncool you are
Hence why I like the Dragon Age aporach..you never feel like your closing doors, but theres still other things to try for another playthrough
F:NV does have a form of "locking you out" as in if you piss off a faction you can't get by without getting shot (or wearing a disguise) but then it still integrates your alignment with the story, I can team up with whomever I please and I suppose it makes sense for the NCR to outlaw me if I'm buddies with Caesar
so essentially I think the main problem with moral choices is they are too ridged, its ok to have a sense of "right and wrong" since we all like good guys and bad guys but putting a numerical value on something as "subjective" as morality usually waters down our "choices" and makes them boring.
On the surface it seems to be everything I'd want in a game, a crazy colorful yet gritty sci fi world, unique visual style, quirky characters, lots of guns and shooty action...[i]and/[i] the ability to play as a woman. Whatís not to love?
And yes...it certainly has its apeal, but theres one problem...
Itís dull as fuck.
after a while the novelty of Pandora wears off...after Iíve switched my gun around for the 100th time and killed a boss (who has respawned) itís getting old....some old quests..Same old monsters and psychos to kill. NPC's don't talk to me thereís just a big menu that pops up in my face with some text (not bad by any means...but certainly not all that engaging)
If youíre familiar with Borderlands then you already know what I did wrong, I was on my own...solo...a lone wolf....
I was playing it as a single player game
In reality itís more like an MMO, respawning bosses and enemies, a "grind" feel to it, and characters that give you a quest with some text and send you on your way. I have a kind of loathing for the MMO genre (but I'll get to that later)
Now I'm sure borderlands is an absolute blast to play with others and I'm sure thatís certainly what was in mind when they made it. Is it really fair of me to criticize Borderlands for this? Is it fair of me to expect a decent single player? I mentioned the voice acting thing, maybe that amount of dialogue just wasnít in the budget, I don't know.
But how hard would it have been to make things a little more single player friendly? itís not like they were far off....the opening is great, the world of Pandora interesting, there's certainly something going on story wise (even if they do say it was an anti-climax...I never got that far) one thing I remember was collecting audio logs of some scientist lady who was going insane over her obsession with "the vault", and later told me to go "apply blunt trauma to my head with a rock until I forget"..That was great
Perhaps it would have been more immersive if charactersí spoke to me in person rather than (literally) through a wall of text. Perhaps it would have felt less monotonous had Boss's actually stayed dead after I killed them, and maybe a little less lonely if I didn't get dropped off by the bus and never see my buddies again (because their spots were meant to me taken by others players)
But then maybe such changed are kind of "breaking" it ...perhaps this is all nitpicking...and perhaps I'm just a bad "Gamer" for not being satisfyed with shooty action alone
I don't think Borderlands is a bad game for what it is, and after reading up on Borderlands 2 Iím even temped to give it another chance. But I mention borderlands because while itís a good game...its "a game that you can play on your own but is really meant to be played with others'
And this is my main point...in this day and age its hard not to feel like the "single player experience" we know and love is under threat
LEAVE ME ALLOOOOOONE!!
Some time ago if someone mentioned Multiplayer in Mass Effect 3 to me I would have scoffed at the Idea "multiplayer? In ME3?! Such a notion is preposterous good sir! Now off with you! I have no time for such folly!"
Fast forward a year or two and oh look....ME3 multiplayer. What about dead space? That game that thought it was scary? And was trying so hard people were like "ohh! dead space you scared me so much!" but it was an act because no one wanted to hurt Dead Spaces feelings....well Dead Space 2 comes along and it has competitive multiplayer....at least Dead space 1 was making an effort, and now thereís Co-op in Dead space 3 because no doubt someone over at EA decided it was a must...along with "cover" based shooting..Probably the same with ME3
Or even non-EA games...Assassins Creed, Uncharted games you wouldnít think need multiplayer...but its there
Multiplayer has now become "standard" like a tutorial or having the system requirements on the back of the box (you know...box's...PC games still exist in those)
I'm not anti multiplayer...though my relationship with online gaming is love/hate (much like Anime).As much as I was (and still kind of am) against multiplayer in ME3 I still played it...quite a bit actually. I find multiplayer is really fun for a while but gets old quickly, I also have an internet cap I have to think about, which I admit has seriously limited my dive into multiplayer. Thatís just me of course.
And the examples of Assassins creed and Uncharted may be somewhat unfair since in those cases single player takes centre stage first and foremost.
Itís no big revelation that tacked on multiplayer sucks...just being there for the sake of being there, Why should I be bothered? I'm bothered because the very presence of multiplayer potentially takes away what they could have put into single player. Sure that sounds kind of paranoid, and you could argue thatís not the case in ME3 or even Dead space 2...aprently being as short as DS2 is acceptable for that genre of game.ME3's..."problems" may be due to other factors (rhymes with "bee" and "way"...together...in that order)
I have a kind of logic in regards to this thing. If a game (like Deus Ex:HR or Infamous 2) comes out without any multiplayer then that game is essentially saying "this single player is what you are paying for, therefore in theory it should be up to standard and worth your money"
Now I know in the real world is not exactly like that, BUT at least I know what I am getting for my money. The thing is multiplayer as a feature is completely useless to me, so I have to be sure I'm not getting a game and it turns out its only 6 hours long, Or even if you like multiplayer, the fact is if or when it eventually dies (this of course varies a lot)...what are you left with? Either way youíre left with half a game
But then maybe complaining that games like Battlefield and COD are not worth it in terms of single player is like going into a strip club and complaining that the women are being objectified...no oneís cares, thatís what everyone is there for.
So what about stuff like co-op? Thatís the best solution right? No, wrong, thatís even worse, as far as I'm concerned itís a bigger problem than tacked on multiplayer. Not saying Co-op is bad, it can be great...and games like Saints row have impletmented it without affecting the single player
however going back to my Borderlands example, I fear that we may get more games that "can pass themselves off as single player" but in reality are meant to be played with someone else...like Diablo 3..well ok Diablo 3 wasn't even trying... Because "online is popular therefore we must have online"
for someone like me a game like that is already dead on arrival....
Next point, going back to my mention of COD and Battlefield and "getting value for money" leads into the issue of the current pricing system and all kinds of complicated stuff as to whether or not games are worth their $60 (well in my case $80-$100) release price
And itís no secret that there are "issues" in the industry with money...to put it lighly, even somone like me can see that (though I do not claim to know what I'm talking about in regards to that)
So with the $60 pricing model (and games as a single standalone product) in question they are looking at different ways to get our money...somtimes for better...and somtimes for worse. Stuff like Microtransations, subscriptions and ďFree to Play"
All of which lend themselves better to multiplayer
I get the impression in these tough times publishers see a heavily online focused game as a cash cow, and itís not hard what with WOW being....WOW. Everyone wants a slice of the sweet sweet MMO pie.
Is that the reason they made The Old Republic an MMO instead of making KOTOR 3? Ok maybe itís a bit cynical to think so, since they were at least trying to give us some kind of story (but then I wouldn't put it past EA to really really want a WOW killer)
[This is going to get ranty]
the thing is...I hate MMO's, so much it irritates me when people used to point to WOW's success (or the MMO being a mainly PC thing) as evidence of PC gaming "not" dying (if that was the case it would already be dead to me)
A while ago I tried "The Secret world" because it seemed interesting and I figured I might try the online/MMO thing...a certain itch I felt like scratching
And after playing a bit and making two charactersí (one for Dragon and one for Templar...because screw the illuminati) I thought it was really cool, I liked the world, the mystery and story, the setting...there was only one problem
It was an MMO
With the same MMO bullshit
Running around...questing, grinding with people running around dressed as wankers
It could have been a really cool single player RPG but instead it had to be an MMO...and ok, I admit its clear I'm just not an MMO person, I'm not saying MMO's are inherintly bad, obviously lots of people enjoy them
like these guys
MMO's just arenít for me, and I guess the reason I even bring them up is maybe I feel like they keep getting made because (as I said) everyone wants a cash cow...
The point to my rant is I feel like the single player RPG will turn into the "MMO". Does a Mass Effect MMO seem out of the question? (or a movie staring Sam Worthington directed by Micheal bay)
(I apologise to any MMO players)
.Then theres the "F2P" issue, even hardcore multiplayer (and MMO) types roll their eyes at the Idea, since F2P kind of has a stigma of "low" quality..But is also considered "pay to win". Games like Team fortress 2 and The Old republic have gone free to ploy (in TOR's case it seems rather embarrassing given how many times they said they wouldn't) and of coarse everyoneís expecting The Secret world to eventually go F2P...It does make you wonder when the people behind Crysis are talking about focusing on F2P
Not to mention subscription ďservices" in regards to "the big two" online first person shooters, COD and battlefield
It seems according to them online is where the money is
My final point is, when you add online to a game you have to make allowances for that...thatís why MMO's and games like borderlands have all that crap, respawning enemies/bosses, "post it note" quest givers with the usual fetch quests...they have to allow for the fact that there are other players..[i/]and thatís fine[i]
BUT you can't give the player the option to play on their own and call it a day (or still make them be online 24/7), that does not make for a good single player experience.
and at this point I admit I have not mentioned games like Journey or Dark Souls, where the online aspect is implemented in a creative way that enhances the experience...while I still don't like the Idea of having to be online when I'm essentially playing by myself I can't deny that maybe these games are a sign I don't have to fear the "scary" future of games and online..But that said forever journey thereís a game with tacked on multiplayer.
While I canít get angry at trends or blame everyone for following trends I do wish the industry would stop acting as if Multiplayer is somehow essential...or interchangable with (or better than) single player..They are completely different experiences. I wish they had more faith in the fact that some of us prefer single player and really don't need an arbitrary multiplayer mode to buy a game.
when I think about it top tens lists are kind of lazy...especially for something as obvious as "favorite protagonists" they are easy to write and easy to digest, and not exactly exciting unless its something a little more interesting, or your somehow interested in the tastes of the person writing thing
and I don't think anyone is dying to know what protagonists like......
but right now due to lack of available energy drink and sleep my brain isnít functioning at 100% so I'm going to be lazy
in the first game he's a mute with a bucket on his head
in the second game he's a guy with the bucket on his head
but I kind of like his bucket head you know? Maybe itís only because of all the crap he goes through, but you can't help but feel sorry for the poor bucket headed engineer. I'll be honest it was kind of a nice little surprise finally seeing his face at the end of Dead Space 1 (even though its entirely possible at the start...just not obvious) it was the kind of face your dad might have
not when he's staring at you like that though........
"what? she doesnít count! sheís a non-character" correct, a silent avatar for the player. We don't know her......she never says a word
but what about Gordon Freeman? people like him and he's as silent as ever. I think the difference there is Gordon has people all around him telling him he's awesome, believing in him (also the fact he wears glasses and is a physicist. in videogame land anything remotely different increases the "interesting factor by 50%)
Chell only has an AI trying to kill her while taunting her for being adopted and having no friends......except for an inanimate cube
why does everybody hate me?
but the fact is portal just wouldn't be the same if it were a robot or some gruff solder....maybe I'm being biased because she's female and I'm so often starved of non optional female protagonists....hell in any media....for some reason I just like her
and although we don't ever hear here speak or see her emotions, going by actions alone we know thatís she's smart....she doesn't take crap from GlaDOS (hence the no speaking) and we do know for sure that she's tenacious.....really really tenacious
8. Ezio- Assasins creed series
At first I wasn't too keen on Ezio...."whos this asshole? where is Altiair?" this was some kid in a white hood, not the Assassin I had become attached to in AC1, where was the castle? the order? where did it all go? (had I paid attention to the time skips and the codex it all would have made more sense)
At first he was just the kind of character I really don't like, womanizing, smart alec..an Italian renaissance Nathan Drake...but then I soon leanred the point of AC2 was him becoming an assassin, taking over the order...when he grew the beard. I got it (again actually paying attention would have made it easier)
he kind of grew on me, especially by AC: Revelations where we play as an older Ezio...
I mean I'm not sure I needed 3 games with the guy but by the end I kinda liked him. like an old familiar face
now I just hope Connor isn't a complete dick in AC:3
7.John Martson- Red Dead Redemption
Say what you want about Red Dead, it's certainly a very well written and even brutal game (emotionally brutal that is...I abused the "auto-aim" like a 5 cent whore)
John Marsten is an ex outlaw out a quest to track down his old outlaw buddies in hopes of redemption in the eyes of "the man"...for the sake of his wife and child..and the fact that "the man" is kinda making him do it
some might say the events behind the game are somewhat unbelievable (how hard is it to disappear off the grid in the early 1900's?) ..and Johns kind of an idiot blindly going along with whatever he's told
John Marsten is rough around the edges. But not unlikeable at all..in fact he seems to have a heart under all that,,,,"bounty hunter"-ness...and he's sympathetic . Here's a man who is desperately trying to "believe" that "the system works" and it will grant him Redemption if he does thing right thing, that its possible to be a good person if you try hard enough.
Its tragic really...
6.Adam Jensen- Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Because he's cool
Also because he can talk or sneak his way out of "most" situations (with the exception of the stupid boss ones)....he doesnít need to kill. Heís too cool for that
5.Cole Mcgrath- infamous 1 and 2
Cole. what is it I like about Cole? he wears a really cool jacket.....he's into free running and urban exploration...and he has a kind of "rough around the edges but has a heart of gold" appeal
He does get a little "smoothed out" in his Infamous 2 makeover, but thankfully itís still the Cole we know and love
a guy who's far from perfect, who gets alot of crap dumped on him..but keeps doing the right thing because deep down he's a good person (or because you know the game is about moral choices and they have to allow for both but whatever)
4.The Boss-Saints row series
Yes, I know thats actually Shaundi but I don't have a pic on hand....and for the sake of a visual representation its close enough
How do you make an insane GTA style sandbox game even better? you replace Nico Belic with a custom Psychopath of your own!
you could argue The Boss doesn't count since he/she is customizable...however since whatever you come up with is a fully voiced character and theres no real "role playing" involved I'd say she (in my case) definitely counts
morally questionable and an appetite for destruction "The Boss" is all about the pursuit of happiness....and that happiness usually means violence..power..and more violence .of coarse doing awful things in a game is usually big turn off ..but in this case its hard not to root for The Boss....and its not like your opponents are saints (harr harr)
I will admit that I havent finished saints row 3 and am a little disapointed it seems gutted for DLC...and also that its silly (yeah I just criticized saints row for being silly)... SR2 was silly but it had an interesting story and a shocking moment or two
the least you can say is that as much of a monster the Boss is she still cares about her "homies" and will crush anyone that threatens them
also for the ladies....if you want to be fat..then you can be fat, how many games do they let you be fat?
3.Altiair -Assasins Creed
Altair gets the label of "bland" now and again, but I believe it is seriously undeserved
The thing with Altair is..in alot of other games featuring your usual everyman I think "yeah he's ok..but it would have been better if it were a women/robot/alien/anything at all"
but in Altiars case...I would not change him at all, he fits, he works, he's awesome. What some see as blandness I see as cool professionalism, even when he is being arrogant, I like him because he seems to have a brain...he questions the creed and the authority of his superiors, and he learns not to be a dick
which I can't say for other's......
I just feel a bit sad we only saw his story finish in a spin off game, text in AC2 and flashbacks in AC:Revelations
Yeah, he's looking a little out of place on this list which I was keeping mainly this gen (which was actually pretty hard)..but I feel he needs a mention
the thing is Yoshi is better than Mario...he's cooler, he's more likeable...he has better abilites..and according to the mushroom kingdom history (if there is one) there would be no Mario without yoshi If Yoshi hadn't taken it upon himself to drag little baby Mario across the land in "Yoshis Island"...while tackling bosses, koopas, shyguys, ice, snow, water, lava and all of the crazy shit that is the mushroom kingdom...... then Mario would probably be dead and Luigi one of Bowsers minions
so what happens to Yoshi?.....he gets to be Mario's bitch
and the winner is....
1.Comander Shepard- Mass Effect
Commander Shepard is almost anything I could want in a videogame protagonist he/she is customizable in gender and appearance so he/she feels kind of personal...they are "your" shepardÖgranted I could never get her looking decent...but I actually like the "default" they came up with for ME3 and I used that...I think it suits her perfectly (my shepard anyhow)
Shepard kind of dances between being blank slate RPG charachter and a "pre defined" charachter...I guess that is open for interpretation, Some people aren't a fan this aproach to role playing (and Mass Effects status as an RPG is shakey at best) personally though I love to see my protagonist speak, it makes her really feel like part of the world (and Mass Effect is a very awsome world)
Shepard is probably one of the best female protagonists there is....like Samum Aran but better.....sure..she's optional, but I think she's enough of an entity herself to count. She's the hero ...she kicks ass...plain and simple.....and I've never been as attached to a player character as I was to shepard.. especially in Mass Effect 3 where alot of things go wrong.....(both in game and out)
so in conclusion
you can fight like a Krogan
run like a leopard
but you'll never be better than comander Shepard