on Jul 7, 2016
So the hunt to find Kellog is broken. But it’s broken in a REALLY ANNOYING WAY, which is that it has various contradictory excuses sprinkled around the world, and taken in isolation they seem to address one fault or another. So you point out plot hole A, but then an apologist claims this is explained by excuse B. But then you point out that excuse B doesn’t make sense because of contradiction C, and then someone ELSE points out that C is maybe justified by theory D. This seems to solve the problem, until you realize that D doesn’t work with B, and thus you end up arguing in circles forever. Most importantly, there never comes a time where you can map out what happened and why. You’re forever concocting and dismissing theories.
This is annoying if – like me – one of your coping mechanisms for plot holes is to simply document them. But the complexity of the brokenness makes such a task impossible. Every excuse is supported by broken excuses which are supported by broken excuses, leading out into this endless fractal of stupidity and frustration. It’s like the Mandelbrot set, but for bad ideas instead of numbers.
So to get anywhere in this analysis, we need to spoil the big twist of the game. That’s not bad, since the twist is both obvious and nonsensical. Here goes:
Shaun is now 80 years old.
This is OBVIOUS, because the game showed you being re-frozen after the kidnapping. Most players realize RIGHT AWAY that some probably-significant interval of time has passed. But then your character is stupidly railroaded into looking for a “baby”, despite the fact that they really ought to know better. And even if they don’t, the PLAYER knows better and thus we get frustrated waiting for our character to catch up to what we already know. This can work if the writer has a strong pre-built protagonist like Geralt or Adam Jensen, but even then it requires a fine touch to avoid annoying the player. But in a game with a quasi-blank-slate protagonist like this one, having our avatar spend most of the game oblivious to something we figured out in the first five minutes is pretty much the kiss of death for tension, immersion, and roleplaying. Instead of working to unravel a mystery, we spend the entire running time waiting for our character to pull their head out of their ass so we can get on with things.
This is also NONSENSE, because everything else in the gameworld contradicts this. And here is where we get caught arguing in circles: