acatcalledfrank

Cynicism and blind optimism in equal measures.

Story-telling

May 26, 2014

Deconstructing XCOM

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is a bad game. Not all, entirely, 100% bad, but distinctly sub-par. I wouldn’t recommend playing it, but if you are going to then be warned there will be spoilers here. So, XCOM, in broad strokes: the voice-acting is ok, but the script is dreadful. The story has potential, but is told […]

August 17, 2013

Far Cry 3: the gap between player and character

OK, so firstly: Far Cry 3 spoilers ahead. Like, game-ruining spoilers. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

You’ve changed, man

Character development is a weird thing. Watching a character change and grow over the course of a story can be a fundamental to a satisfying narrative arc; the immature rich kid becomes a principled man, the girl from the streets flowers into a strong, confident woman who doesn’t need to smoke, and so on.

There are plenty of books and films that gift/curse their characters with interesting (and sometimes even profound) changes, but far fewer games that do it with any success. I think that this is partly due to a lower standard of writing in games in general, but I think it’s also much harder to write believable character development into a story when the character is controlled by a player, ie you. Unless the story and characters are written well enough for the player to relate to them, the player herself experiences nothing of the change portrayed on screen.

– Read More –