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The Escapist: Zero Punctuation


Jarik
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That spoiler is the most far-out plot twist i've ever heard. :)

I won't get the game just for that, but i've got to track down some videos of the story now to just to see how the doubtless messed-up story leads to that.

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Wow, he was surprisingly positive in that InFamous review!

But I have to disagree with him about the whole moral choices aspect of games being messed up. Surely the point is you come across a situation and deal with it as you see fit? There is a middle ground because some missions you might decide to be "good" and others may tug at your heart strings in the different way and you take the "bad" route. At least that's what I did in Fallout 3!

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Wow, he was surprisingly positive in that InFamous review!

But I have to disagree with him about the whole moral choices aspect of games being messed up. Surely the point is you come across a situation and deal with it as you see fit? There is a middle ground because some missions you might decide to be "good" and others may tug at your heart strings in the different way and you take the "bad" route. At least that's what I did in Fallout 3!

.::: The problem is that inFamous goodies are not only locked away with XP values, they are also locked away on good/evil rank. So unless you go all-the-way evil or all-the-way good you can't access the bigger toys, rendering any shade of grey pointless.

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Wow, he was surprisingly positive in that InFamous review!

But I have to disagree with him about the whole moral choices aspect of games being messed up. Surely the point is you come across a situation and deal with it as you see fit? There is a middle ground because some missions you might decide to be "good" and others may tug at your heart strings in the different way and you take the "bad" route. At least that's what I did in Fallout 3!

wut?

He meant for the individual choice, not in total. There's only ever a binary decision to make.

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I was hoping he'd do inFamous this week.

Although I like the game, IMO he he sums up the moral choice aspect of it best in his Bioshock review.

''You're either a virtuous flower child with love & a smile for all the shiny coated creatures of God's kingdom, or you're some kind of hybrid of Hitler & Skeletor whose very piss is pure liquid malevolence.''

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Mass Effect is the only game so far that's done moral choices properly, and even then it still didn't manage to move beyond a glorified Good/Evil meter.

Some of the earlier BioWare rpgs had nice moral dilemmas with no obvious right answer. They just affected what your party members thought about your character.

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Mass Effect's moral choices were about the same level as Kotor's, both are good but both retain the good/evil meter. What I do like about the choices in both those games is there's more to evil than baby killing, when I look at the Sith side of Star Wars I don't view them as evil, I see them as selfish and cruel, both Kotor & ME have choices that reflect that. Like on the first planet in kotor you can save the old man being robbed, then take his stuff as payment for helping him. Sure I'll help you but what's in it for me, where do I benefit. I think more games with moral choices need to explore that.

With Black & White 2 (like Black & White) the intention was that the world would change to reflect your actions, but because we had an explicit morality meter in there people decided to play as good or as evil which isn't the point, the point was always to make the decisions you would naturally take and the game would 'judge' you and things would change for it. But no, gamers tended to pick a side and go with it, same with Fable 2, same with the Bioware games. With F2 the focus was more on the consequences rather than the choice.

I think games need to get rid of an explicit morality meter, show how your actions are affecting things through the story, through NPC's reactions to you, through relationships.

Some of the earlier BioWare rpgs had nice moral dilemmas with no obvious right answer. They just affected what your party members thought about your character.

Kotor 2 did this a bit too, with your actions influencing your relationships with your party members. Maybe such things are just too complex for modern gamers...

Two of the best I've played when it comes to this sort of this are Gothic 3 and the Witcher. Neither have morality meters, but both have lots of choice. Gothic 3 places you in a world where the Orcs have conquered the land, humans are either slaves or are a resistance, some human mercs have chosen to work for the orcs they're still second class citizens but they're above the other humans. You can do quests for the Orc, the resistance or for the human merc, eventually your actions will lead to the orcs being expelled or the resistance being crushed. There are choices to be made, but there are no good or evil points on offer. Similarly the Witcher requires you to take sides in a struggle at the end of act 2 so you've been playing for some time and built up relationships on both sides. Both these games require you to make choices, but neither are good or evil, it's all shades of grey, they don't tell you if what you're doing is right or wrong but your actions impacts NPC relationships, standings with groups, the world around you - these are a much better reflection than a number on a scale.

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Some of the earlier BioWare rpgs had nice moral dilemmas with no obvious right answer. They just affected what your party members thought about your character.

You're right. I'm ashamed of myself for not looking far back enough.

"Ye best change yer tune, for me axe be itchin' fer a swing or two, AN' I BE NAY LIKELY TO STOP IT!"

Korgan was the best game character. Ever.

Thinking back to Kotor 2 aswell. I really liked Kreia. A proper down-the-center neutral character, and could actually back it up. She disagreed with your moral decisions a lot, but gave proper reasons for doing so, not just "I'M EVIL SO I DON'T LIKE THAT YOU DID SOMETHING GOOD" or vice versa. She always made me feel really stupid and short-sighted for going exclusively down one moral path, which was the whole point.

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lol, you guys are posting Penny Arcade comics in here now? I'd say this thread is pretty close to becoming the Internet's Official Nexus of Failed Humor.

Oh... oh dear. Oh deary fucking me. Your fate - it is sealed.

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Best moral dilemma for me recently was playing the Pitt in Fallout 3 - the whole 'go and retrieve the cure' mission had a nice twist to it when you got there which made it a little bit harder to work out what was in fact 'good' or 'bad' in the context of the game or the mission.

What's also never explored is who you are being good or bad too, I do find it strange in Fallout 3 that I can lose karma for pickpocketing a character that is essentially a bad guy or breaking into their computer or something. In fact, getting negative karma again if you go back into a terminal you've hacked already is also completely silly....

Anyway, I wonder if he'll do prototype as well?

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