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One thing I like about certain parts of certain games (GTA4's bank robbery comes to mind) is that they create the impression that the actions of the protagonist are spilling over into other peoples' lives. This is not solely a function of adding civilians into a level or contrived "this random person's life is destroyed" moments in cutscenes, more a willingness of the game to engage with it's own world (ironically, these moments are rather sparse in GTA4 despite its detailed game world). It seems like there is a general tendancy among developers to confine the action to top secret installations, or deserted construction sites. There is some kind of impact the protagonist has in the world, but always in a very focused and controlled (dare I say artificial?) manner.

 

I realize cause and consequence is a major point of AP, but will we truly experience broad C&C while playing? Or will it be things we hear/read about in the paper or focused on the specific characters with which Thornton has frequent interactions?

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That is an interesting thought, but I doubt its implementation in the game. Maybe if Mike has an assignment in which he infiltrates a terrorist group that intend to blow up some big US government building, taking hundreds of lives in the effort, and he has to thwart the attempt at the very last minute. Hostage situation, on sight executions etc. that would definitely have an impact in most people's daily life.

 

On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that the only such interaction with the public story-wise will be Mike passing through an electronics store window and a TV would go "Terrorist group Jamah Al Halebin (it's a real terrorist group in Convincingly-real-sounding-land) was taken down thanks to coordinated attempts by the US military and the C.I.A."

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It's funny but as things go GTA or any other big city game get off easy. For example i live in a big city and despite all the things that happen everyday my existence is strangely unaffected, hell i haven't even felt the economical crisis, or anyone i know.

 

On the other hand the small isolated communities developers love so much look painfully artificial because C&C is vital there.

Usually we get something like "Thank you sir for freeing us of slavery, curing us of ebola and helping us stage the easter play. BTW now you can buy more military grade gear from our shop."

 

We never see psychological implications, reevaluations of ones goals, love, hate, not to even mention the more subtle ones unless they affect the PC.

 

Take Dead Space for example, great mechanics, level design, mood, sound etc. Then look at the big trio arriving on Ishimura.

Sure we've all seen enough bad movies to just go with it but seriously, wtf, who doesn't break down in a space graveyard full of thousands of little spawns from hell... and a few of it's lieutenants. Well a marine ofc, because he is bad and efficient, a comm officer because her double life gives her focus and an engineer because he needs to save the woman that picked her job over him.

 

Now sure i can shut the brain down and "tactically dismember" everything, i can even enjoy it but realism, immersion, C&C, nah.

 

The reason i mentioned dead space is because it was highly acclaimed and had a very small number of characters, if they can't even get that right and yet everyone turns a blind eye and hypes it i wouldn't hold my breath for the future.

 

Loved dead space btw.

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I don't know why, but I imagine Alpha Protocol to be something like Hitman: Blood Money. That is, a central hub with lots of relatively small independent worlds that you get access to on a mission basis.

 

I would definitely prefer if they were able to build a coherent world but I'm perfectly satisfied if they can pull off a Hitman: Blood Money system as well. By the way, that level in Hitman: Blood Money where you're trying to assassinate someone in a town where there's a festival going on and you're forced to move through massive crowds of people: pure genius.

Swedes, go to: Spel2, for the latest game reviews in swedish!

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