If you’ve played either of Fumito Ueda’s games, Ico or Shadow of the Colossus, and come away feeling nothing then you need to double check your pulse and then make sure you’re still human. It’s pretty much uneiversally understood that his games are perfect examples of how game mechanics and storytelling can fit hand in hand. Hell, the heavily underrated Reign Over Me used Shadow of the Colossus as a metaphor for a man’s loneliness and solidarity after losing his family on 9/11. This isn’t normal game story telling here, it’s something more, that I would argue has no equal in gaming. So who does the master respect when it comes to such things?
At the Tokyo Game Show Ueda was asked what games give him an emotional reaction, and he responded with Half-Life 2. “There was variation in terms locations,” said Ueda to G4 via a evidently tired translator, “and also the way of storytelling in the game. Usually, you have to incorporate storytelling with constraints, but the way they [Half-Life 2 developer Valve] implemented constraints was something different that I enjoyed, compared to other games.”
“Usually, when it comes to the cut-scenes, you can’t really play — [that] operation isn’t really allowed,” he said. “That kind of game is something that I don’t want to see. If you’re constrained already even before cut-scene, then you’re in cut-scene, then that’s fine. But you’re in the middle of play, in the middle of the game, then all of a sudden you’re in a cut-scene [and] you’re not supposed to operate at all — that’s not the kind of game I want to do. If there is some other techniques that will not give them that kind of feeling, that’s something I want to implement.”
High praise from the man who makes the games most people point to first as proof that games are art. So if he loves the game so much and its storytelling style, why not make an FPS himself? Why not indeed. When asked this very question Ueda said, “I have an interest in making first-person games.” Now, I cringe at the thought of more FPSs flooding the market, but with Ueda behind it I’d think it’d be something completely different.