Good: They dropped the price of The Last of Us for PS4 for some reason.
Hooray cheaper prices.
Bad: Some dweeb hacked into CDPR and has posted all sorts of spoilery shit for The Witcher 3. Click on links with care and avoid comments. All I got was that the game is huge. Like HUUUUUUGE.
And I have a feeling it’ll be packed with more than Find my Cheese.
Quick! Preorder! Lock in the lower price! Ha. (Although we didn’t talk about how that might be a factor in the preorder frenzy…the fear that something will cost more later.)
I have mixed feelings about huge. I mean…yes, it’s awesome, but if you don’t have all the time in the world, it means you’re going to miss a LOT of stuff. And in smaller choice-influenced games like Mass Effect 2 you can play twice if you want to get more of the available experiences, but with something this big it’s like…yeah, that’s not going to happen–there ARE other games out there I’d like to play someday.
I suppose we have to just allow the missed opportunities and unchosen choices to be part of the final experience of the game: knowing that when I did this, this, and this, it inevitably meant I did not do that, that, and that, and I must live with the awareness.
That’s realism for you. And, arguably, a way that playing a game can mimic life better than experiencing a story in another media can. It’s not as if you often come away from a novel or movie thinking “I wonder what would have happened if I’d read/watched that differently?”
Yup. I mean, TW2 had a choice in it, and based on said choice you missed pretty much a third of what was on the disc. Maybe more. But that was just a bifurcation in the story, not a million little blips on the map that might be cool.
I have no problem putting down a map filled with wheels of cheese, but I have this mix of hope and dread that TW3 will be filled with a million things I’m gonna WANT to do.
And it is hope and dread. Hope because I desperately wanted more Witcher, dread because time.
I agree…it’s one thing to have a few basic choices/stories and know that you’re missing X amount of the story. When the game gets so huge that no matter what you do you’re going to miss X (large) percent of the story, and also so huge that just going back to replay it isn’t a workable option, you really feel the sorrow of missing out.
What if I made the wrong choices?
So if you missed 1/3 of TW2…what percentage of TW3 is acceptable to miss? I mean, if we knew that in any given playthrough you were only going to see 10% of the game…would that be too little? Or would it just make the 10% you did see seem more special, like, “of everything in that game, this was MY 10% of the story”?
Maybe there’s a tipping point, where it goes from “too huge” to “huge enough to make your playthrough special”–that is, huge enough that a relatively small proportion of other players is likely to get exactly your story, making YOUR game seem special.
I mean, there’s a large but finite number of facial combinations for Shepard, and an even more limited number that look human enough that people are actually going to want to pick them for their playthrough, meaning that in practice a lot of peoples’ faces are going to look similar to a lot of other peoples’ faces…but still, being able to design YOUR own face is meaningful to people. It may be a lot like a lot of other faces out there, but it’s MINE…I have this specific eyebrow curve, or whatever.
Maybe you could eventually make a game big enough that people can feel that their version of the story (or stories, since by this point we’re definitely talking about enormous numbers of sub-narratives as well as branching main narratives) could be something specific to them. That even if in its larger arcs it looks a lot like a lot of other peoples’ versions, it’s still MINE…it has this particular conversation response to that wood nymph that made me realize what a bad idea it was to chop down that tree, or whatever.
So maybe it’s the middle ground, where you miss a lot, but not a LOT, that’s the problem. Like in Fallout New Vegas–I feel more as if I missed out on stuff in an annoying, limiting way there, than that I missed out as a logical result of choices I made to explore other stuff. It’s more like “damn it, I didn’t even realize that was there,” than “yeah, I could have explored that, but I was more interested in that other thing.”
Of course in real life hundreds of potentially important decisions must similarly be made by default because we don’t realize there’s a decision there at all, so maybe FONV was just trying to make a point about how people should pay closer attention to things and people around us, or something.
And here, again, a game that was too big to want to try to play through again in hopes of getting to some of the stories I missed the first time.
In TW2, it was like 40 percent. Totally different. I have a feeling that I’m going to do a lot of exploring. I mean, I like every nook and cranny. Esp. in TW.
I kinda hope The Order sucks. Clears up my calendar.
Different, though, cuz it wasn’t open world. Each path was linear, just different. In an open world game, its “I just missed it.” There’s a CHANCE of seeing it all. It’s missing it in a different way.
There’s also the narrative problem. In TW2, each branch told a complete story. In an open world game, do you get the complete story? A complete story? ANY complete story? Cuz I want one.
Again, though, ME is pretty darn linear. (And no, I’m not going to go into the ending) This is going to be odd. Imagine if, after MEs 1 and 2, 3 had been totally open world. How to deal with that?
Yes, yes, I know, DA is doing the same, but not really. It’s not really the SAME story in the same sense that ME was Shep’s story and TW is Geralt’s. So there’s some flexibility in DA. Less so in TW. We shall see.
FONV made the mistake of making the character subplots the most interesting bits in the game, and making them the easiest ones to miss. So not only was is Dammit, I didn’t realize it was there, it was dammit I didn’t realize the BEST PART was there.
In TW, Geralt’s story is the real draw. That’s NEVER true in Bethesda games. There’s NO connection to those characters. In ME or TW, the character you care about most is always on the screen. That’s a big difference.
Again, in life, you’re always with the person you’re the most connected to (yourself). Not so in FONV.
They made [the character subplots] too inaccessible. I have a feeling you could play that game 27 times and not find all of them. At least in TW2, you know the exact moment you make the choice that defines the second half of the game. You know what save to load. All set. Not so much in FONV. And that’s a weakness of design.