We’ve all observed stories that use the ‘x days later’ device. A linear narrative can avoid weeks, months and years of bunkum by jumping to the next interesting bit. It’s a trick which allows the storyteller to stick to the good bits, providing it is used effectively. It’s a trick we can all accept and appreciate.
Now imagine you were reading a book or watching a film where the inverse happened. Instead of moving time forward ‘x weeks’ into the future, the story instead took a detour which lasted for days or weeks, only to return to the main story as if no time had passed. In most cases, we would find that very odd and a little jarring (unless it’s a dream-sequence or a peculiar plot twist). Yet open world games let this happen all the time.
Videogames can be rigidly linear in gameplay and story, or completely non-linear in either area. In many games story can be absent entirely, but sometimes I feel that the combination of linear story-telling and non-linear gameplay feels unwieldy. We as gamers are meant to follow a pattern of close-knit events whilst simultaneously spending hours on exploration and random side missions.
Continue reading “Should open world games rethink how they tell stories?”
Games are fun, but I sometimes get the impression they don’t like us all that much. It doesn’t matter how many times you have levelled up or how many weapons you have strapped across your chest; the game is in charge and won’t hesitate to prove it.
The majority of video games entertain us by making us feel awesome. They might transform us into the ultimate warrior or the most resilient survivalist or the greatest sportsmen there has ever been. Games lift us up and allow us to feel superior. However, before that feeling of awesomeness can turn into arrogant smugness, games can always find a way to keep you level-headed.
Continue reading “How do Games remind us that we are Weak and Feeble?”
In my never-ending journey to the summit of Backlog Game Mountain, I finally reached The Last of Us. It took a long time to get there, but it was worth it. I’d heard great things, and was expecting to find an amazing game. It really is all sorts of amazing. I wasn’t however expecting to feel sympathy for the Clickers.
What is intended to be the creepiest creature in The Last of Us ended up earning my pity. They are monsters, but in my mind they are misunderstood monsters. Below, I will explain why I feel this way, and also share my thoughts on other creatures that I believe should not be punished for being bad.
[Minor spoilers to follow]
The Clickers in The Last of Us are just lonely.
Let me be clear: I have no sympathy for the people that were turned into the Infected, this games fungus-infused version of Zombies. They probably weren’t very nice anyhow. If there’s one thing you learn about people in The Last of Us, it’s that they are all bad people. No, my sympathy is certainly for the Clickers. For those who haven’t yet played, the Clickers are an advanced form of the regular Infected. Their mushroom coated brains are now so ravaged that they are completely blind and navigate the world using a serious of verbal clicks. They are thus referred to as Clickers in that very literal way zombies are labelled.
Continue reading “In Need of a Good Home: Which Video Game Creatures Deserve a Second Chance?”