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147 comments

  • jubabowling - June 21, 2013 12:16 a.m.

    By the way, the idea that you can't form emotional ties with something that isn't strictly human is just flat out false. Written word is enough to spark an emotional response, spoken word can also be effective. Humans have emotional reactions involuntarily to these things as well as facial expressions. (Even in crudely animated films.) There are characters in all forms of art that people feel an emotional attachment to. (Relatable is the word.) Even sounds provoke an immediate emotional response in humans. (That's why music is a thing.) The only reason why games aren't always effective at this is because usually every character but the one you play as are underwritten. And the main character is usually hard to relate to because developers present them as superhuman because they want to empower the player. I don't have a problem with that, I just think there's a way to have it both ways that isn't being explored.
  • jubabowling - June 21, 2013 2:23 p.m.

    I never said anything about making the player feel like their actually taking another person's life. Even I think that would be ridiculous. But games could at least try to make you think critically about it. Looks like you were the one missing the point.
  • jubabowling - June 24, 2013 2:42 a.m.

    I was replying to the part where you were referencing something I brought up earlier so yeah, it was your point to miss.
  • taokaka - June 20, 2013 9:49 p.m.

    I'm really surprised by your kill count in the last of us, I had just under 450 even though it really didn't feel like it. If I compare the ratio of kills/time in django and my playthrough of the last of us then I get 23.3 kills/hour and 26.4 kills/hour respectively which isn't all that different. In regards to the last of us I think the story wasn't necessarily about killing but was more about death and avoiding it. Joel tells Ellie something along the lines of you must always look for a reason to live, if we add Joel's other saying of survival at all costs we can deduce that you must also find a reason to take a life if that is the only way and the relationships Joel had definitely gave me a reason to kill. Regarding the issue as a whole, my stance is somewhat similar to BladedFalcon's. I agree with video games being different to other forms of entertainment so they should be handled differently but that doesn't mean every game should feature copious amounts of killing if the developers can think of an innovative alternative for conveying a mature story. For me I've never gotten kill fatigue despite having killed countless times in video games and that's because there have been so many ways games have tackled killing, just this year I've killed in the last of us, bioshock infinite, fire emblem, god of war, etc and killing in all of them has been a completely different experience. If you don't like killing then vote with your wallet and play one of the countless games which don't force you to kill. If you want an emotional story, compelling gameplay, amazing art direction and a gorgeous soundtrack but don't want to murder hundreds of people in the last of us then play ni no kuni instead it's as simple as that.
  • J-Fid - June 20, 2013 9:43 p.m.

    We're in the era of the FPS. This will continue until the top genre moves to something else.
  • Hobogonigal - June 20, 2013 9:17 p.m.

    One of the reason I really enjoyed Mirror's Edge and am so excited for the reboot. That game was an FPS that tried to make you avoid shooting as much as possible. I got a greater thrill running away from the police with bullets whizzing past than I have in most action shooters like CoD, Gears and others. Or a game which hasn't been mentioned is Deus Ex: HR. I played that game without augmenting, killing or being detected once and it was so much more satisfying than blasting my way through with that uber-powerful pistol (although that was great as well). More games, and I'm not saying all, should give the player the choice to tackle an objective in ways other than killing. Dishonored is another great example of this- you don't even have to kill your assassination targets if you don't want to and it just made the game a more rounded experience. And then you have games like Hotline Miami which are the exception to the argument and get by just because they are so amazingly fun and challenging. So basically what I'm trying to say is, keep up the variety please!
  • Lurkero - June 20, 2013 7:26 p.m.

    There should be more games where killing isn't the main objective. I was hoping the new Tomb Raider did that but it did not. Maybe at some point a big budget game that doesn't focus on killing others will be made, but I don't see that anytime soon.
  • Sinosaur - June 21, 2013 1:12 a.m.

    Portal series?
  • Lurkero - June 21, 2013 4:15 a.m.

    Portal counts, but 1 does not make a good trend. As someone who hasn't purchased a shooter in years...I want more!
  • Sinosaur - June 21, 2013 8:22 a.m.

    Well, then the only other franchises are things like Racing games, sports games, and music games, but those aren't quite the same thing.
  • Lurkero - June 21, 2013 10:27 a.m.

    There are decent adventure games that do not focus on killing enemies, but I thinking specifically of games like Last of Us and Tomb Raider that have high production values and lengthy campaigns. When budgets get high adventure games tend to focus more on action than adventure. I would even be accepting of a game where the player only encounters a few others that need to be killed instead of hundreds of others.
  • n00b - June 20, 2013 7:20 p.m.

    To this i say No More Heroes tells a more mature and cohesive story about violence than any of the games that have come out this year.
  • Eyebrows - June 20, 2013 5:51 p.m.

    Dishonored does a great job of giving you a choice between murdering your way through the game and completing it without killing a single soul and it suitably punishes or rewards you in the ending. Not every game can be designed to do so but if it can, giving the choice to peacefully complete a game to players where a lethal option is also available, and showing the direct consequences of the players actions on the game-world, on the story and on the characters depending on the path taken, is a useful narrative tool.
  • WrathLord03 - June 20, 2013 5:40 p.m.

    I don't think you were meant to identify with Joel by the game's end. Without going into spoiler territory, all I'll say is that I certainly didn't find him particularly relatable, and the Winter section of the game played its part here too. So the fact that he'd killed over 700 people (I'm not sure how many of those were Infected, but it'd have to be about under half) didn't really worry me. On that note, not even all of the kills are Joel's. One of the more interesting theories I've heard on the matter was in relation to Max Payne, and that's that he's an unreliable narrator. Because he's literally narrating his own story, he might just be embellishing the amount of mooks he's killed, and probably even the damage he's taken and the ability to slow down time and shoot-dodge. Of course, its just a theory, and there aren't actually any clues within the game that support it, but its interesting. I really don't have any thoughts on the issue at hand, though. Give me a good enough time doing it and I'll kill as many virtual people as you want.
  • Rhymenocerous - June 21, 2013 1:45 a.m.

    SPOILERS(kinda)! Yeah, Joel does some pretty nasty shit later in the game. I remember seeing it and just thinking "I wouldn't have done that", or "Did he really need to do that?" And hence a slight disconnect between player and character. Although it reminded me a bit of Liam Neeson in Taken, as though they put in the extreme violence to satisfy the audience, rather than incite an emotional response from the player / viwer.
  • Rhymenocerous - June 21, 2013 1:47 a.m.

    *Viewer* Damn.
  • Sinosaur - June 20, 2013 4:53 p.m.

    The disconnect between actions and words is one of the serious problems with having tons of faceless mooks. I was playing The Old Republic and in one mission we had to kill over 40 guys (I know because it was a bonus objective, but I don't think we could have missed it) and then we get to the boss and beat him, and because the story exists, we don't kill him... in fact one character commented on how we don't just kill people, we arrest them. ...we killed at least 60 people before we got to this guy. We also had three Jedi, and I know we get Force Persuade to get out of fights non-violently... but only when the game doesn't want to force us to kill people.

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