[It's time for another Monthly Musing -- the monthly community blog theme that provides readers with a chance to get their articles and discussions printed on the frontpage. -- CTZ]
These games ask you to make the morality choice and REWARD you for either decision you make; regardless of the decisions you make over the course of the game, you still “win” the game. Your choices often do little more than affect the ending you see upon the title sequence. Your choices rarely punish you, since designers are “obligated” to sell you a game you can actually complete and win. Ambiguity, thus, is seen as a dodge for game designers, a decision that keeps players from feeling like they are in control of the experience. And, by all notions, how can a player actually interact with a game if they become convinced that every action and decision they make is actually doing something the player doesn’t want to do? How could you make a game where the player does terrible things if it wasn’t their intention?
Shadow of the Colossus puts the player in a very different role: the aggressor. Many of the battles in the game force the player to begin the fight by attacking neutral Colossi. Sometimes they’re circling Wander overhead, sometimes they’re minding they’re own business, and sometimes they’re sleeping. In each of the situations, Wander will begin the battle with a wild charge or a flying arrow. The player is the attacker.
Wander isn’t the only one who is corrupted by his actions; You are corrupted as well.
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