NPCs who won't shut up are Saturday Night Live's latest lampooning victim, and all the little details will make it connect for anybody who's played a big-budget game in the last decade. The sketch titled "New Video Game" stars guest host Kit Harington (Game of Thrones' Jon Snow) as a mission-giver in a world that's blatantly modeled after The Division 2, with virtual reality and zombies sprinkled in just to hit all the modern video game buzzwords.
It starts with the usual exposition and tutorials, the usual stuff between you and the action. Then it goes off the rails as the frustrated player's experience starts to revolve around one central question: "What's up with Ethan and Damien?" The best parts are all the touches that prove the folks who wrote the sketch play plenty of games themselves (probably in the writers' room too, because The Division 2 can be quite a time commitment).
There's the old "slow turn around and minimize eye contact so you can't tell our facial animations are a bit weak" routine.
Then there's the classic "exaggerated breathing animation while I wait for you to respond."
And finally, the essential "we'll let you attack friendly NPCs but it won't do anything."
The way SNL captures all the cliches and little animation-blending quirks makes this the most holistically faithful live-action video game adaptation I've ever seen. I know Earthwar 3 is supposed to look frustrating and dull, but now I think I actually want to play this dialogue-heavy game about two dudes who need to sit down and have a long chat about whether or not they're co-running the safehouse.
Find some more stuff you can listen to NPCs talk in with our list of new games 2019. Or see what's coming up in the week ahead for games and entertainment with our latest Release Radar video.