Tag Archives: meaningful choice

10 single sentence game reviews (part 2)

I don’t like reading reviews. Too many words. That’s why I started writing super short reviews myself. I had fun doing that last time. Did you like it too? Good news! I gamed enough again so here’s 10 more single sentence game reviews!

Walking Dead
Unreadable facial expressions and awkward pauses aside every choice sticks and there are some tough one’s to be made in this tale of people you hate or like or care about.

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Hitman Absolution
I won’t notice that it’s less open than the others because that instant thrill of handling the unexpectedness with brutal decision making is still there.

Dead Rising 2
I felt both laid back by the daylight setting and stressed out by the ticking clock and oh there are zombies too.

DMC
Constantly kicking ass and constantly being challenged doing so and still making you feel like a badass is an accomplishment.

Spelunky
It looks cute and plays delicious but dying a thousand deaths feels like something from an age I left behind on purpose.

Bioshock Infinite
It has pointless looting, unfitting combat and a heroine that looks like a pedophile’s dream but it’s staged in a world I will remember for years.

Tomb Raider
It would only be acceptable if this too gunfight heavy spectacle was not a game about Lara, the undisputed queen of climbing.

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The Last of Us
High polish and pacing trick you into believing that sneaking and choking from cut scene to cut scene is something extraordinary.

Gome Home
In its mechanics I see no innovation at all but damn this love story makes me want to hug and never let go these people.

Dark Souls
Even its insanely cool dark style and setting and glorious world can’t pull me through dying over and over and over again.

That’s it. I have a few more games stacked on my couch. I’m just buying to to release a whopping ten more reviews in a third part. In the meantime feel free to discuss games and gaming with me on Twitter. 

 

 

 

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Meaningful choice for talking about games

We used to talk a lot about the games we played when i was still in school. We shared how we experienced the games. Kinda like reviewing but not criticizing.  It was fun. The games we most talked about in the past four years were probably Mass Effect and Fallout.  Games that were way less discussed were Burnout, Call of Duty and Uncharted. We all played and liked all of them. So why are some games more talked about than others?

 

I suspect that this holds relation to the amount and weight of the decisions players can make in the game, and how much these can diversify the experience. Mass Effect offers choices to follow mulitiple lines of play resulting in different endings. giving different cut-scenes and powers.

This is not as true for a shooter like Call of Duty where you follow a linear path. Race games are the same for this matter. This way, each player’s experience is more likely to be similar whereas those of Mass Effect is widely divergent.This causes conversations about Mass Effect to be an exchange of experiences where with Call of Duty there is not much to exchange since every participant would have the same information.

I’d like to separate single players from multi-player here. Exchanging tactics can be a huge source for conversing! But there is more going on here. Games that were most talked about also allow players to express themselves through actions. “Did you torch the innocent villagers in level 3?” “no, i kept them alive and saved all their children from the monsters”. This is a meaningful choice. An opportunity for players to be either the good guy or the bad guy, Or the neutral lone ranger, Or the badass that sometimes kills just for fun.

 

I think Skyrim puts it on another level by tying all kinds of political issues to its game choices. This as well gives gamers something to talk about.

To finish the game you have to side with either the imperials or the Stormcloak rebels. Do you support the independence and uniqueness of a beautiful country and accept the by coming racist supremacist (but also feminist) ethics of the stormcloaks? Or will you team up with the Imperials, Strengthen humanity’s defense against the douchebag Elves’ upcoming invasion, and turn Skyrim into just another imperial state, giving globalisation a free way?

If you made choices in Skyrim and talk about it with others, you are one step away from a political debate.

The act of talking about a game you play part of a number of activities called “metagaming”, a concept coined by dr Richard Garfield. The creator of Magic the Gathering, which was designed to cater for metagaming as much as possible. He explains its workings and benefits here.

As a bit of a conclusion; one way to get people talking about after playing your game is to give them choices for diverse experiences as well as opportunities for self-expression through action.

Grundysoft is currently working on two games. None of these display political questions but both of them should be well worth talking about!

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