It’s a shame that modern day developers often choose to sink into the comforts of polishing up an already overworked franchise, resulting in the release of a subpar and often awful game. However, once in a while if the right amount of effort is put into its heart and soul, gems can crop up…
You have the Brotherhood of the Assassin’s Creed family.
The 9 in Final Fantasy’s long reign.
The World of Warcraft following on from just plain Warcraft.
Not only is there proof that sequels can work, there’s also a heavier pile of evidence to suggest that perhaps enough should have been enough. And thankfully, Far Cry 3 did not fall into this category. Luckily for Ubisoft and their previous Far Cry-ing backdrops, setting up entirely new games with each release created a new experience that doesn’t rely on safe groundings, thus resulting in new and exhilarating games, almost not being able to fit under the title of ‘sequel’.
This refreshing approach, whilst not possible to apply to all gaming franchises, can be a lesson to all developers seeking the next biggest hit – put down the tired old repeated storyboards, and challenge yourself and your audience with innovation and discovery.
So, heed these words of advice from not only a lifelong fan of gaming, but also a fan who seeks a little bit more thrill during her long dregs through countless grey first-person shooters.
IT HURTS TO BE THIS PAINFULLY OBVIOUS, BUT SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
7. Believable Protagonist
Protagonists are not just lifeless shells. Gamers do not just require a body to allow them to play a game. Along the line, we’re going to need to see some blood, sweat and tears if we’re going to continue subjecting ourselves to this narrative.
Take the Half Life series, whilst undoubtly one of the most critically acclaimed games of our generation so far, the protagonist is SILENT. What’s more than this, is we also never see him, or even get acknowledgments into his thoughts. I mean, the guy has gone to work as your regular average stiff, when all of a sudden he’s beating the crap out of aliens and wanted dead by some incredibly trigger happy Marines.
Nothing. Not a peep. Is he not scared? Is there not someone he is thinking about during this chaos, a loved one perhaps? Is he not mentally scarred through all this torment? Again, the game cannot be knocked for the story, but the emotional development of its main, central character is severely lacking.
It can, and has, been argued that he becomes a projection of ourselves, but that takes most of the hard work out of Valve when it came to making the guy. Minus the theories, fans could tell you little to nothing about the man that is Gordon Freeman.
In contrast, Jason Brody is a scared and frightened young man, caught between the rescue of his nearest and dearest and the over-whelming power and lust of becoming Rook Island’s head honcho. He’s a human, not faceless cannon fodder. He has a personality, he jokes at things, and he reacts to skinning animals – appreciatively in a less annoying fashion than John Marston did.
He’s a living and breathing representation of how a protagonist should be written. Not only is he vital to the progression and formation of the plot, but he adapts emotionally to what he has to achieve in order to win his friends freedom. He’s not some hardened Gears of War veteran, lusting after shooting waves of enemies, he’s a reflection of a normal persons reactions under those extreme circumstances.
Here’s the most important factor everyone – he’s believable.
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This article was first posted on March 25, 2013