Blackened Skull

There is no gene for the human spirit

Archive for the ‘Videogames’ Category

In the moment

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Had a brief few thoughts on one of the topics that I hadn’t yet attempted to write about. That topic being, ‘How do games approach the issue of ‘ageing’?’

Most linear gaming models aren’t equipped to pay real attention to the effects of ageing of playable characters within that gaming world. The player is usually contained within the moment even if the narrative describes a passing of time. We don’t normally see time take its toll on the ‘heroes’ we play even if many years have passed between cut-scenes.

Assassin’s Creed III spans 30 years of Connor’s life from the period of 1753 to 1783. I’m hoping that other than the superficial look of the character, I’ll get to see some meaningful maturing and depth of the Connor character.

Scars that don’t heal. Now that’s something I’d like to see worked into a game narrative much, much more. I know by their nature videogames tolerate violent actions to the point of banality. But I’m far more interested in the mental scars that characters could carry. Where previous actions should bear down on perception of present events and age is depth of character and not just adding some facial hair and a drinking habit.

Written by David Osbon

November 5, 2012 at 12:04 am

At the Beggar’s Opera

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I’ll try not to post spoilers in this or future posts about AC3.

The first hours into Assassin’s Creed III are all about setting the scene before getting to sequence 4 and the first look at Connor. It feels a very long intro to the meat of the game and there’s hand-holding aplenty so that the new control layout sinks in.

It doesn’t bother me that I have to sit through this slower pace and I thought the game had a bright opening at the Beggar’s Opera. Then it seemed some of the writing strength went from out of the games sails. Now looking back it’s easy to think that this was a deliberate plan to get you to the closing of sequence 3. You’ll be believing one thing only for it to be turned on its head completely.

Written by David Osbon

November 2, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Low chaos thoughts on Dishonored

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For a game that I nearly passed on, Dishonored has given me a good innings. It runs a close second to the game I consider the best of this year so far. If I had felt a little more attachment to the game-world and Corvo – I hate mute lead characters – then it would have been on par.

Saying that 2012 has been a patchy gaming year for me. Dishonored is the first full game I’ve completed since Mass Effect 2 back in March. So that says something for how well the game was developed. Other than the ‘Blink’ ability that has Corvo manoeuvre the world like a cat after catnip, the other standout feature was the way NPCs would be dynamic to how you approached them. I found the dialogue of those one-sided conversations excellent but would have been far more enriching if Corvo had a speaking role.

Low Chaos then. It did seem the obvious choice really. That’s not to say I ran away or hid from every situation. I found Low Chaos more in keeping with the way I like to play but when things did go wrong I rolled with it. If you employ that type of play-through yourself just make sure you remember to save your game and save it often!

Next up is AC3…

Written by David Osbon

October 30, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Posted in Videogames

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Quote of the day #1

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Many multiplayer games can be paradoxically isolating, so ideally the goal would be to play more games in the same room as the people I’m playing against. LAN parties, console co-op games, whatever it takes, make multiplayer personal.

(Ben Milton – the Gaming Diet)

Written by David Osbon

October 23, 2012 at 8:57 pm

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Losing multiplayer

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A little trend seems to be developing with next years videogame title releases. With Bioshock Infinite looking likely now not to have a multiplayer option, 4A Games have confirmed that Metro: Last Light will now not have multiplayer.

The link above to a Q&A with 4A Games reveals something which I’m beginning to believe is very centric to the videogame development process;

Q: How much better would the single player campaign have been if you’d just focused on that right from the start?

A: Fortunately, we never dedicated too many resources to the MP component beyond prototyping – it never entered full production. By making the decision when we did, we think the single player campaign will benefit as a result.

By allowing a multiplayer option, game developers are likely allowing the single-player experience to suffer. Videogames are at their best when the worlds they create don’t fall apart under the duress that multiplayer can put upon them. I believe that dev teams need to be clear from the outset what they want to create. Either a single-player experience with a fully realised world or look to create something new that isn’t a pastiche something that I believe the current state of multiplayer is now.

Written by David Osbon

October 22, 2012 at 10:01 pm

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