Early in the Episode Rutskarn points out that denying the player the ability to express disapproval for a character will then cause that pent up frustration to manifest as HATE. Then later in the episode we see that exact thing in action.
Mass Effect 2’s Miranda is the textbook example of this problem. She’s grating, stupid, smug, wrong about everything, and she’s the spokesperson for a railroaded course of action (working for Cerberus) that a lot of players rejected. And yet despite being her superior(?) officer, you can’t ever rebel against her. Instead you end every single conversation with, “Thanks Miranda.” (Or whatever.)
Lily is another example of this problem. I wanted nothing to do with her and Larry. I saw them as aggressive, dangerous, unstable, and irrational. Then when Larry was killed, it became clear that sticking with her was an astoundingly bad idea. Now on top of her rabid irrational hate she has a perfectly reasonable hate for both Lee and Kenny. By the time we pulled off to the side of the road, I wanted to shoot her for the same reason I wanted to shove Miranda out the airlock: This character is bad news and the game won’t let me get away from them.
This is such a dark episode, but it’s actually when I really started getting into the game in earnest. By this point in the game we’ve shed Larry, the Bandits, and Lily. Later on we’ll pick up several nice people. Or if not nice, then at least reasonable and sane. From here, the group is composed of all my friends. And Kenny.
Good to be the King?
Which would you rather be: A king in the middle ages, or a lower-income laborer in the 21st century?
Final Fantasy X
A game about the ghost of an underwater football player who travels through time to save the world from a tick that controls kaiju satan. Really.
In Defense of Crunch
Crunch-mode game development isn't good, but sometimes it happens for good reasons.
Batman: Arkham Origins
A breakdown of how this game faltered when the franchise was given to a different studio.
The Best of 2013
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2013.