Aug 21, 2017 Last Updated 11:22 AM, Aug 21, 2017

I’m Tired of In-Game Decisions

Published in Editorial
Read 2182 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Tagged under

Remember those old arcade games?

Eat the dots. Shoot the centipede. Whatever the difficulty, they were straight forward. You had a goal and, when you achieved it, you celebrated. How many frat boys once crowded around their Ataris chugging beer after defeating “the other solid line” at Pong? But with the recent trend of in-game decisions, video games take the player’s experience to a whole new level. It’s not about beating the game anymore, it’s about how you do it. At least, that’s what people say. Frankly, I’m tired of it.

Take The Witcher 2. The player is repeatedly faced with hard choices. Do you side with the zealous and horrible-hat-wearing Commander Roche? Or do you join forces with the murderous but misunderstood terrorist, Iorveth? As my fellow OPNoobs writer, Matthew White, mentioned in his article on morality systems, it’s the shades of gray that can make such games so compelling. Whatever you choose, you can’t make every character happy. And that’s both exciting and fascinating.

Except that, it’s not. Or at least, it barely is. Why am I playing a Witcher game? Is it for the intriguing choices that alter the story? Or is it because I feel like a badass when I’m killing monsters with a sword? It’s the sword. It feels good.

Personally, I don’t have a six-pack. I don’t kill monsters. I work at a car dealership.

It’s fun to play a game where the main character carries five feet of steel and sends leviathans to the abyss. Studies even show that playing video games boosts confidence. So when I’m running around feeling like a champ, the last thing I want is a bunch of characters sidling onscreen to tell me what a jerk I am for rescuing the princess, just because it’s not what they wanted. What is this? Get over yourself. I just saved a princess, and I work at a car dealership. What have you ever done?

Maybe that’s the worst part: I’m not allowed to make my character say what I want in response. Sometimes you feel impotent to change NPCs’ minds not because the characters’ stubbornness is so well written, but because the dialogue choices are extremely limiting, or else downright unpredictable. When I thought I was giving a Walking Dead character respect by saying “She’s the leader,” the playable character followed it up with “but she’s losing control of her people!” I might as well say nothing. An option Telltale games often provide. Thanks?

I play video games for fun.

They cease to become fun when the games themselves start nagging me for doing one thing instead of another. Let me save the princess in peace. I'm don't with in- game decisions.

Lucas Moore

Lucas is a writer living in Los Angeles. He started playing video games in elementary school and grew to love them, particularly as a unique storytelling medium. He is currently working on his first science fiction novel.

Latest from Lucas Moore

Related items

  • The Town of Light: Sales to Benefit Mental Health Awareness

    To kick off the start of their year-long campaign to help raise awareness and bring attention to the importance of mental health, 25% of the net receipts from every copy of The Town of Light sold between August 16 and September 6 will help to fund vital services offered by Take This, Inc.  To help maximize the impact of the campaign, multiple digital retailers will offer a 20% discount on the game during the same period.

  • Devolver's CODumentary Releases September 9

    Devolver Digital Films announces CODumentary, a documentary following a story centered about Call of Duty, releasing worldwide on VOD on Tuesday, September 19th at 10 AM PST.

  • Who's the hero in an MMORPG?

    Who's the hero in an MMORPG? How do you know when you accomplish a great feat? Can “winning” ever feel singular? When I raided with at least one crazy Canadian (you know who you are), a Discipline Priest who kept me alive over all the other DPSers (because dwarves gotta stick together), and a guildmaster who trolled us all by crafting arrows in the middle of boss fights, with this motley crew — like so many others — I “enjoyed” [1] experiences at once common to the player base, and unique to my team.

  • Capcom Vancouver Gets New CEO and Studio Director

    Capcom announced that Tim Bennison has joined Capcom Game Studio Vancouver as Chief Operating Officer and Studio Director. Bennison will head up Vancouver operations, reporting to Kiichiro Urata, CEO of Capcom U.S.A., Inc. and Capcom Game Studio Vancouver.

  • The Mind Behind Play NYC: Dan Butchko

    Despite a flourishing indie game development scene, New York does not have host a games convention. Many claim that the need is covered by PAX East, in Boston, or GDC, far away on the West Coast. Furthermore, the supposedly little interest that is suspected to exist locally would be covered by branches of New York ComicCon or the Tribeca Film Festival. The success of the video game components of the two events, however, shows that the interest is growing and might not be satisfied as it is.

  • An Interludo on Game Development, with Ludovic Servat

    For a young man barely eighteen, it’s often considered foolhardy to quit traditional school in order to study by one’s self. Though it’s not unheard of today, dropping out seemed to carry a greater risk at the turn of the 21st century. However, in the summer of 2001, in Toulouse, France, a young Ludovic Servat decided to forge his own path outside of the school system. Rather than continuing his studies in university, Ludo instead began doing odd jobs, saving his earnings for his own computer.

  • BadLand Games Publishing Announced

    Spanish video game distributor and publisher BadLand Games, announces today the foundation of BadLand Games Publishing. With the opening of the new BadLand Games Research Poland office in Warsaw and a modern corporate identity, the company's publishing operations can officially expand on working in collaboration with more highly talented and innovative developer studios.

  • BIG Festival 2017 Reveals International Competition Winners

    The award ceremony of the 5th edition of BIG Festival, Latin America’s largest independent games event, took place on the night of June 29th, in the Adoniran Barbosa auditorium, in São Paulo Capital city, Brazil. General public, special guests and game developers crowded the audience, anticipating the final results that would announce the winners of the 13 categories in the competition, including Best Game, Best Brazilian Game and People’s Choice. And the cooperative cooking game Overcooked, by Phil Duncan’s Ghost Town Games, took home the most coveted trophy of the night: the Best Game of BIG Festival 2017.

Latest Shows

MyWorld Early Ac…

MyWorld – THE Action RPG Maker! Unleash your imagination with MyWorld and create, share and play amazing 3D adventures with our growing community. Claim glory and treasure as you c...

OPN DevLounge Mo…

Episode Six, Season One! OPN's DevLounge Monthly is a lively conversation between game developers on Twitch, on the hottest PC games to be released this upcoming month. Watch it on...

Pyre Review

Gamers will talk about Pyre for a good while. Vivid visuals pair well with energizing audio, and both complement the subtle, mechanical gameplay; Pyre, a stunning package,provides ...

The Long Dark Re…

The Long Dark is imperfect, but it could be one of the best experiences in the survival genre. For the impatient, single-player gamer, The Long Dark holds little promise. However, ...

Total War: WARHA…

Yet another in an already long line of excellent pieces of DLC for what has shaped up to be a living classic in the realm of PC games. If you like the game, you'll almost definitel...

Strategy & T…

Strategy and Tactics: Dark Ages by Herosoft is the latest iteration of a risk-style board game that is enhanced by persistent upgrades to generals and leaders and a large variety o...