So…why does the end of ME3 suck?

12 04 2012

Watch this. (Don’t worry, it’s not a Rick Roll.)

This is Jonathan Blow – creator of Braid – talking about conflict in game design. Some food for thought:

“Video games are not a traditional storytelling medium per se. The player is an agent of chaos, making the medium ill-equipped to convey a pre-authored narrative with anywhere near the effectiveness of books or film. Rather, a video game is a box of possibilities, and the best stories told are those that arise from the player expressing his own agency within a functional, believable gameworld.” – Steve Gaynor (Bioshock 2)

The game play throughout the Mass Effect series teaches us that we have control; Shepard has control. Real influence. The player decides the direction of the game. The entire gameplay mechanic is choice.

At the end of ME3, you take choice away from us. You transform it from a game into a story.

I think Mr. Blow is right. Game designers – especially in AAA studios – are losing sight of what a game is.

Bioware, the game you presented us with was choice. And you took that choice away from us.

If you don’t get it or don’t agree, listen to the dialog. I’d love to talk about it.

I’ll just assume you played through Braid, because no self-respecting gamer would leave that title off his or her shelf.

 

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