That One Time is a series of articles, each of which analyze a specific moment from a different video game. SPOILERS FOR THE SWAPPER
The automated voice echoes, "Hull breach in Sector 1. All personnel to Waste Management."
I rushed through the door. What had gone wrong? Was there someone else on this ship besides me?
In the next room a deep pit lay before me. I jumped off because that's what you do in video games.
When there's a pit, or a cliff, or any high point, you jump off.
Flashbacks to Mirrors Edge filled me as my character's body hit the ground, going limp on impact.
"Jesus that is disgusting." ...is really all I had to say.
Checkpoint, re-spawn. Progression had been tied to my newly acquired "Swapper", a device which allowed me to create and swap consciousness with clones of myself. Having decided that no sound game designer would name their game after, and give the player said device unless they were expected to use it to transcend otherwise impossible problems, I jumped off into the pit. This time I activated my Swapper, placing a clone close to the ground level below and safely swapping into their body. The body behind me fell just as before, showing no signs of life. Happy that I had now beaten the formidable pit I trudged onward, but then hesitated.
The game had so carefully used the word "swap" to describe the changing of bodies. If I had indeed swapped, what, or whom had I swapped with? My heart swelled with a deep horrifying sadness. Had I killed someone right there? Then the sentimentalities quickly wore off as I thought of my most recent rampage in GTAV, in which I had killed many people while savoring it. As Homer Simpson might say "Mmmmmm... Murder-doughnuts." Without the emotion, the thought stayed with me as I continued to play. Each time I sacrificed a body to jump a large distance or push a block, had I killed someone? Or did I kill myself?
Ultimately, the game has two endings, one of which involves the player jumping into a much larger pit than the one I first encountered. In this ending text floats over the screen "THERE IS ANOTHER MIND HERE. IT IS DYING." followed by "WHAT IS DYING?"
I feel the quote "WHAT IS DYING?" while jumping into a giant pit is The Swapper in a nutshell. Some may say "That doesn't make sense", but this is a game about murderous rocks angrily yelling at you about ethics through telepathy, so some can fuck off. The question implied by "WHAT IS DYING?" is "What is alive?" Was my clone ever alive? Were the rock people ever alive? If so, do I have to feel guilty about killing them? And finally, is this pit really the end of it all? Thankfully I hit the ground and died before the game could wise up and answer my questions. At least, all of them but one.
Re-posted from my blog: http://adventparadise.blogspot.com/2013/11/that-one-time-swapper.html
Approximately halfway through Bioshock: Infinite, Booker and Elizabeth must travel from their current reality, in which a group of rebels called the Vox Populi is futilely attempting to defeat the Fink Company, to another, in which the rebellion is occuring with full force.
Prior to traveling to the second reality, I had been frequenting the vigor, Murder of Crows, which I had upgraded to turn its victims into traps, which detonate into more crows when stepped up. So, nearly every enemy, all of which were Fink soldiers, left behind a nice little nest of death. Upon traveling to the alternate reality, it immediately stood out to me that all of my crow traps were still present. While this was a minor aesthetic issue, I didn't find it to be too bothersome... that was until it ass-fucked me.
In this new reality, Booker and Elizabeth are allied with the Vox Populi, but upon attacking any one rebel, the rest will retalliate with you as their primary enemy.
The Vox Populi stepped on the traps in every area I was forced to backtrack through. And each time I was forced to have to fight both Fink and Vox Populi soldiers, often without any reason for why this was happening.
Given that this sequence lasted upwards of an hour, and serves as a pivotal moment in the narrative, highlighting the player leading the rebellion which will soon spread to the rest of the city, I don't feel this can go unnoticed. At this point the player is supposed to believe that they are leading a rebellion, and regardless of the intentional or unintentional attacks the player may use against the Vox Populi, I find it unacceptable to allow the player to break the immersion with the ease the game allows. By allowing the player to shoot and kill allying NPC, Booker's character is being broken, and as a result the narrative should not be able to progress. Infinite will not allow the player to shoot Elizabeth, as it would disregard the relationship Booker and Elizabeth have, but will allow the deaths of other allies? Why is this so?
(Interestingly enough, the game prompts the player with messages saying "don't shoot your allies", but continues to allow you to.)
Given the sequence during the game's ending, in which Elizabeth tells Booker that in this timeline "You will do it eventually" (when speaking about giving Anna to Comstock), could this excuse not also be used for the assualt on the game's enemies? In other words, in order to progess you must not kill these enemies, as it would interfere with the current timeline? When Booker dies, he respawns in a differnent reality, in which he did not die. So the lack of thought with NPC interaction is irritating, and seems to show a lack of thought put into the design in relation to the narrative.
Perhaps I am reading far too into the gameplay, but it is dissapointing to see the gameplay so far removed from the narrative's boundries. Especially so, considering an entire sequnce can be ruined unitentionally.
Man, I don't know what to say. I mean... displaying edible human in public is just awesome.
Sharon Baker, has been hired by Capcom to alter the look of London's Smithfeld Meat Market to that of a human flesh trade market. It has been filled with meat made to look like edible human limbs. You can really buy the meat too!
Money from the meat is being donated to the UK-based "Limbless Association" which helps those wth real limb loss.
This definitely makes me feel better about RE6. Too bad it has nothing to do with the game's contents...
In a Gamescom interview with Dead or Alive 5 director Yosuke Hayashi VG247 discovered the most horrifying fact I've heard in a while:
The possibility of Metroid: Other M 2 being born into this world exists.
Upon being asked about a sequel to Other M, Hayashi replied:
“Unfortunately Metroid is kind of out of our league as it’s Nintendo’s game, but we’re still in close touch with co-creator Sakamoto-san, so we want to do something with him moving forward definitely. It really depends on what he wants to do with the game first.”
Don't do it Nintendo. Don't.
Whether or not the original game was serviceable from a gameplay standpoint or poorly executed on a narrative level really is irrelevent to why this would be a bad idea. Metroid: Other M 2 is a bad idea because it restricts the franchise from evolving; Metroid: Other M lacks the innovation in gameplay that it needs in order to warrant a sequel. Almost every change it has made to the series, in gameplay and narrative the ability, do not have the ability to be expanded upon in a significant way. The plot doesn't have anywhere to go (unless they made a completely new plot or skipped past fusion) and the added the 3rd person/1st person, charging missiles, etc. were tied so tightly to the newfound linearity, that it would be impossible to place them in an explorable overworld, or non abandoned, many hallway filled research station. I really should provide evidence as to why... but I'm too tired right now. Maybe in the comments or a future blog.
Anyways, it probably won't happen considerinf Other M sold lower than most Metroid titles. But just maybe...
Also, I better not hear about anyone wanting a retread of Super Metroid's gameplay in 2.5D. We've already had 2 retreads. Just go play Super Metroid if you want the same gameplay.
You know you're pumped. You know what this means. I find it incredibly hard to believe that Valve would not create/release Half-Life 3 for Source 2 considering that GoldSource was released with Half-Life and Source was released with Half-Life 2. Maybe we'll see some non-valve Source 2 games around its release too. Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2 anyone?