No matter what planet you’re on, how much magic is at your fingertips, how chosen you are or which part of what needs shootings, relationships are a fact of any real or virtual life. So why are they usually so unfulfilling? Let’s look at a potential mechanical solution to an organic conundrum.
All posts by Andy Astruc
Try and fail, try and fail, the catch cry of every sapient creature in the Final Fantasy VIII universe. A world full of people making the same mistakes over and over again, struggling against themselves and hoping to be the hero. What the heck does it all mean?
You like Castlevania, don’t you? Open your mind to the possibility that realism can actually get in the way of true immersion, and explore the open relationship that Metal Gear Solid has with the player. [This post originally appeared on Electric Phantasms.]
Deep within the tangled web of kitchen sink design that is Assassin’s Creed, a creature without form lurks. It wears its victims as a digital suit, puppeting their mainstream facade while it slips innovative ideas in our heads. It’s feeding you vegetables by making them look like candy.
Video games are about doing things, but increasingly also about not doing things. Explore the many and varied meanings that can be derived from those games which allow–or encourage–players to stop, sit down and just wait for a moment.
Death is no real escape from Metal Gear’s wheel of regret. Take a closer look at Sniper Wolf, the beautiful, deadly and misunderstood crack shot from Metal Gear Solid, for the first in this series of deep dive character studies. She dies, but she lives on in the past, present and future of Saladin.
Pressing pause doesn’t mean you stop playing. There’s always some level of disconnect between the player and story when mechanics get involved, but it’s all about perspective and presentation. Explore the diegetic menu system in Shadow of Mordor and take a look at what it tells us about immersion. [This post originally appeared on Electric Phantasms.]
They’re called sandboxes, but we never play with them more than once. Video game open worlds are magical, intricate places where anything and everything can happen, were even the most unassuming alley can be the start of an adventure. It’s about time we gave them the respect they deserve.
In space, no-one can hear you plot. FTL’s bare-bones narrative style does the job amid the ship explosions and deadly pirate battles, but isn’t ideal for immersion. Take a look at how text boxes and lasers don’t mix, how they do, and how they could with just a little tweaking. [This post originally appeared on AWESOMEoutof10.]