Recently I watched a good video by Mark Brown about the Last Guardian. He analyzes how the game communicates story through gameplay and he looks at one specific moment in the game. If you don’t mind mild spoilers on the Last Guardian then go check out the video, it’s pretty good.
This got me to thinking about other moments in games when story is being told through narrative.
Of relevance is an older post I made about Riven and how it manages to merge narrative and gameplay so that they are one and the same. The image at the top of the post is also for Riven, but there’s no storytelling going on there. I just like that view.
I recently was thinking about the original Diablo, which is still my favorite of the Diablos next to Diablo Cody and El Diablo, the Mexican Satan. But in terms of the video game series begun by Blizzard North (and later watered down by Blizzard Blizzard), D1 was a weirder, more interesting, and grittier game. It was definitely more Rogue-like than its successors, and while it had some rough edges, those rough edges gave it more character.
One thing in particular sums up what I like about the original Diablo and how Blizzard’s design principles changed over time.
Unique items were absolutely bonkers.
Sinbad is a game on the iPhone. Maybe it is on other phones as well; I don’t know.
The game is free.
The game starts with an unskippable cutscene.
In the game, you play Sinbad. Sinbad looks a lot like Disney’s Aladdin. He also sails a ship without a name, and he is always barefoot for some reason. Your goal is to sail to different places and gather pieces of ancient relics for a mysterious stranger. Presumably this will save the world and stop evil.
One of the things you do in the game is upgrade and maintain your ship. The other thing you do is run around levels fighting bad guys.
People seem to be pretty disappointed with the recent Aliens: Colonial Marines game. That reminds me, I’ve been pretty disappointed with every Aliens vs. Predator game that’s come out. In my opinion they aren’t really AvP games at all and a true AvP game does not exist… yet!
Hey! Remember enemy thieves in old computer games? Maybe not? They’d steal your equipment or your weapons and you’d have to chase them down to get your things back. I remember that. I remember how frustrating and painful those moments were. And yet, I look back at them with a certain fondness.
This was directly inspired while playing the map Cold Storage in Halo 3: The Reckoning.
The idea is meant for a first person shooter multiplayer game. The only requirements would be teams and that each team has a base. Ideally it would exist in a wild and surreal game such as Constantly Shifting Zones of Craziness which was more or less sketched out in the “Guns That Don’t Exist” posts.
So this option could be activated or deactivated for gametypes such as capture the flag, or territories, or infiltration or whatever.
So, the wordpress stats tracker is telling me a lot of people are linking to this article looking for info on a sequel to a certain game about zombies. This article has nothing to do with that game about zombies; but I did recently play a preview of a different Valve game and wrote I about my experience: Check it out. Onto to the original article:
In my first post I mentioned two situations where I felt it took too long for a couple things to officially appear in games. I didn’t elaborate on what I meant citing that you the reader were not sufficiently prepared to read the story. Now I have deemed you are ready. If you are reading this post before having read aforementioned first post then I applaud you on becoming ready before schedule.