Does Dark souls, The walking dead and other consequence based games ruin what Spec ops the line has to offer? spoilers?
By super2j 12 Comments
I just finished spec ops. And I gotta say that the game didn't resonate with me. After reading some of the what the guys behind the game had to say about it, I think I know why. Spec ops is meant to make you feel like you made these horrible decisions because you had to, the point being "you could walk away, you had a choice". The scene to demonstrate this was the gate. You see, when I got to that part, I looked around for any options to allow me to do it the "hard way", to avoid using the mortar. But, there was no choice like this, so I did what the game asked of me. When you are trying to rescue Lugo and the civilians are nearby and Adams is prompting you to attack, the first thing I tried is to walk passed them. When that failed, I melee-ed the closest dude and they ran away. Every chance I had, I tried to make a choice that the game didn't want me to make and so I did what it wanted me to do to advance the plot.
Perhaps, this is the fault of games like Dark souls and walking dead.
Walking dead is a game that gives me choices or at minimum the illusion of choice. Do I shoot that guy who might become a zombie? do I take/steal such and such item. There are choices in the game, their consequences sometimes unclear. But, I have choices and when the game later rubs them in my face, I feel the appropriate emotions. I feel like a monster and feel the regret.
The Dark souls series on the other hand does it differently. Any character (as far as I am aware) can be killed. People who are essential for you success can be gone from the game (note: using their ghosts is an option but a costly one in my mind). So here, the player is fully to blame for all his choices. You walk into a new area and you see a big scary guy over in the distance. You decide; is he friendly? is he an enemy? do you approach and try attacking? do you try to snipe him? The moment you realized you killed a potential seller, or a blacksmith or missed out on some lore, I feel is exactly what Spec ops wants to do to you. You, the player, decided to act in violence where none was warranted and now you must face the consequences for you ignorance.
Both Walking dead and dark souls pull emotion from me. Other games like Mass effect and fallout: new vegas also had similar success. Somehow Spec ops failed spectacularly and I think its because the lack of choice was way too jarring. I have become aware of what choice is due to the above mentioned games and now I cannot go back. Every time characters talked about choice in spec ops where there was none, I felt detached from Walker and that was its failure.
What do you guys think? Am I crazy? did you feel the thing that I am talking about to?
P.S Remember Mgs3 when you face the Sorrow? THAT was when I felt the most shame. THAT is how you shame the player for the choices they made. When those headless guys came at me, signifying that part of the game where I decided to knife every guy in an area to "make it more of a challenge". I felt terrible for devaluing the lives of those soldiers. I remember thinking about how I "could" have just avoided them....MGS3 for best videogame ever (i am serious).