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Discussion about how much "freedom" and plot

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Alpha Protocol, on the other hand, let you have the opportunity to murder most of the cast at one point or another just because they knew some players would be like "Yeah don't like this guy, gonna kill 'em".  Steven Heck is like the one guy you can't ever kill I think.  I like Heck.

Yeah, you can't kill Stephen Heck.


Stephen Heck was the ******.

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Regarding main quest and side quest:


There was one thing I did not like:

In Grandia 1+2, there were optional areas and when you enter them there is a message on the screen : "This is an optional area that is not part of the main story." The game was great, those optional areas were good too, its just that this message itself was very irritating and immersion breaking.

To a lesser degree I also dislike the fact that the quest log of a game marks a quest as main or sidequest at all.


What I like:

You know a general goal as your main quest, but you have to find out yourself how to get there.


examples that I like:

- In DOS1, you arrive in the town at the start of the game and you have the task to investigate a murder. There are several ways to reach that goal and there are lots of thing you can do (talk to people, search their houses for evidence, dig up graves, . . .). Finally you find out what happened one way or another, but the game does not tell you what to do step by step. The only restriction is that all the things you need to know in order to continue can be found in the town, no need to search the whole map to find the second step of the main quest.

- In Planescape Torment you have to find Ravel. When you start to search for her, you have only a few clues where to go next and nobody can tell you where she is. You have to look around, talk to several people and find some things. I played the game some month ago and when I finally found Ravel, I was not sure which of the things I have done were absolutely neccessary to find her and which were not.

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I totally agree with you. Reading that made me thing of a distinction between freedom and choice. Sometimes in games it's great to limit freedom, but maintain a high degree of choice. Say you go down into a dungeon and you're streamlined through content. Maybe given a few opportunities to explore a level in whatever order. But then you encounter something, and within that encounter you are given choices. It's that ability to choose and see how a situation plays out that is so rewarding. Getting to have you're own voice in the world, and to come up against another voice that has it's own way of thinking.


Freedom can wax and wane, but player choice is a constant must that should be ever present.

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