Archive for March, 2012
Potential Spoilers for The Witcher 2
Geralt of Rivia is being questioned down in the dungeons. His interrogator believes that Geralt may be, as he claims, innocent of a serious murder, and offers him an opportunity to catch the real culprit. Normally, our Witcher protagonist would jump at the chance to clear his name – but not this time. This time, whenever a dialog choice appears, I choose the most belligerent, uncooperative option. You know, just to see what happens. What could be the harm?
Before long, the game gives me this choice:
Attack? Hell yes! Geralt charges back, fists flying, beating down his interrogator…and gets shot in the back by a soldier’s crossbow. He falls to the ground, bloody and still. The screen fades to black. Game Over.
Potential spoilers for Mass Effect and Witcher series
For gamers like me, there’s a certain appeal in games with an import feature; to carry a character you’ve come to feel some kinship with into a new adventure, to see the results of your actions from the previous one. Developers certainly see the appeal, as more and more titles are allowing us to carry over characters from one game into its anticipated sequel(s). And while import functionality is not exactly new (the Ultima series was doing this back in the late ‘80s), it has a lot more potential in an era where digital storage space is no longer an issue.
And yet, I just haven’t been satisfied with the way it’s been handled. Maybe I expect too much, but so far, there’s always been something in the imported save that doesn’t sit right. The results are either big, gaping inconsistencies or a lack of consequences that reduces the saved data into a file of trivialities.
Take Mass Effect 2, a game with the unhappy burden of dozens and dozens of binary choices to account for. The solution to this wide array of possibilities is to reduce the number of factors that actually have some tangible effect – and while it makes sense that not every action you take will have significant consequences, at some point I began to wonder if all these people I helped from the first game had anything better to do than send me email messages. Read the rest of this entry »
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