We’ve talked about video game endings multiple times on this site, but I just had to bring the issue back up after reading an excellent article about today by Christian Higley over at Digital Hippo about How Video Games Fail to End.
In it, Higley explores the idea that many games fail at a very basic level of storytelling: narrative structure. While stories typically have a first, second and final act, most games end the game right after the second act, before the real conclusion can actually set in. Red Dead Redemption is one of the few games I can think of that actually gives gamers a third act (and does it to great effect), in that Marston is allowed to return home, and the player spends time winding the story down before its sad but powerful conclusion.
While that’s not a new argument, the writer goes a step further by pointing out that most games are even missing the first act, choosing instead to thrust players right into the second act. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how true it is: games typically begin at the “inciting incident”. It’s the equivalent of starting A New Hope at the very moment Luke’s aunt and uncle are killed. Or in many cases, even after that. Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: Do Games Fail at Endings?
You guys keep asking for it, and because I’m a softy and I like you, we keep bringing it. It’s time for another Would You Rather. What we’ve been doing on the last few outings is focusing in on a specific genre, keying in on features to see what your gaming preferences are. I’ve said it before, but I love the responses that these things get, so I wanted to get a feel for how you guys lean when it comes to stories and plot in the world of video games.
For the uninitiated, in Would You Rather, I simply ask a series of questions, and you follow up with your answers. Give as much or as little explanation as you want for your choices, but we all know that we like to see the reasoning behind the madness.
But beware, lest your answers be blessed with the curse of suck. If they do, large men dressed as either sushi or video games (I haven’t decided yet), will come to your house. And you will not like what they do when they arrive. I haven’t decided on what it is yet, but involves the fireball flower from the Mario games.
For video game plots, would you rather… Continue reading Would You Rather: Plot Edition
Woah. So Uncharted 2 is one incredible game. If you have been on the fence about getting a Playstation 3 (or a PS triple, as some would say), you no longer have any excuses. Go out and get this game right now. I’m being serious. There will be punches if you ignore me on this.
Now that that’s out of the way, on to what I was really trying to say. This morning I finally finished this fantastic game, and I found myself sad to see it over. Most of the time when I beat a game, I usually find myself excited about my accomplishment, being able to move on to something else. It’s only with movies and books that I get sad during an ending. Which really says a lot to me about the quality of Uncharted 2’s storytelling. In fact, I was so engrossed throughout the whole game that it was often hard to put the controller down. On nights that I needed to go to bed earlier, I would purposely avoid the game because I knew once it was one, it was go time.
Honestly, I can’t really remember the last time that a game struck me with that same sense of “holy crap I can’t put this down”. For a single player game, it’s certainly been awhile. What about you guys? When was the last time you suffered from “can’t put the controller down” syndrome?