Choice Systems in Video Games…

It’s no secret that choice systems in video games, in their current state, are lame (insightful)…Basically, at some point in the story, you’re given a choice to do something the right way or the evil way…

inFAMOUS is my go to example for the typical system…At crucial points in the story, you’re given a choice, that has virtually no impact, gameplay wise, but grants you bonus experience points for the karmic system, either positive or negative, depending on which simple choice you make…For example, the very first instance in the first inFAMOUS game gives you the choice between keeping the food you managed to steal back from the first set of villains in the game for yourself, or sharing it with the other unfortunate people…

It’s a good game, if you get the chance, I’d recommend it…It’s a PS3 game…

But that’s the typical system…You get bonus positive or negative karma points, which give you powers…But all parts of the story are written in a way that allows them to ignore the earlier choice moments…I get it…it’s a complex system, and honestly, I don’t know how the PS4 inFAMOUS games are…But the first two inFAMOUS games used this system…And I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect more from video games that have moral systems as their main selling point…

Those are the freshest in my mind, aside from a set of games, I’ll get to later…If you have an immediate assumption at what games I’m talking about, you’re probably right…But I wanted to talk about one more game, first…One that I felt actually did do the best job they could with the system…

Spec Ops:  The Line is one of the few War-based games I thoroughly enjoyed…It passed as both a game and a story on all objective levels…This game also has moral choices…But in my opinion, it’s more effective…The moral choices are often based more on difficulty than anything else…One that comes to mind (with minimal spoilers) is an instance of choosing to save a character at the cost of having to go through a long and torturous battle with enemies, or letting the character get executed, in exchange for skipping the battle…I feel like the reward making sense to the story as it does here, is more important than actually being rewarded in a story-driven game…

Moving on…

Tell Tale games…I played four of them, thus far, but only two of the critically acclaimed ones…Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, Game of Thrones Season 1, and Walking Dead Season 1…

I do not think this choice system is any better than the standard…In fact, the choice system in the game is about as innovative as a WWE Smackdown game’s Season mode…Basically, with Game of Thrones and Walking Dead, you walk around from point A to point B, solving “mysteries” (usually really simple things, the one exception in Walking Dead being figuring out how to work the train…Oh and another one where you have to reset your PS3, because the game bugged out and completely removed your ability to hop to an integral spot)…

I’m going to attempt to be minimal, once again, with spoilers…

For dialogue, you’re given 2-4 options, often four different ways of saying the same thing, just in ways that effect your relationship with a character or two, in different ways…These small choices amount to nothing, really…I don’t even believe there is a meter for the points of dialogue where you’re forced to choose favorites or choose no one…I believe it just overwrites your last choice, each time you’re given a chance to play favorites (If I were doing a formal review, I would find out for sure, but as this is how I perceived it, I think it’s fair to describe it this way in a blog)…

But my biggest peeve about the games is the death system, and this is where I draw the comparison to WWE’s early Smackdown titles…When there is a crucial death in the story, it’s because you gave up one character for another…In the story, there’s no way to save both characters…Which is understandable…But the thing is, no matter which character you save, they play the same role…They are effectively just fighting for the same part in the storyline…Hell, there are certain instances where your choice was meaningless, and a character was either going to live or die, anyway, and it’s just another instance of you being judged briefly and inconsiquently on your actions…

That’s all I’ve got for now…My next one’s not gonna be on the moral system, again…I just wanted to talk about this, a bit…Next time, it’ll be about something I find fun…

Btw, if you need or want a Vulpix (Snow Warning plus Timid w/ Egg Moves:  Encore, Freeze Dry, and Moonblast, lemme know ;))…

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Author: Plastic Dinosaur

I am literally a plastic dinosaur..."Literally" is not an exaggeration...My friends call me Dino (pronounced Dee-no)...

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