Choose Your Own Adventure: Player-Influenced Narratives

With the exponential evolution of narration and story development in video games since the turn of the millennium, the gaming community has grown more sophisticated and demanding in terms of storytelling. Arguably, the most severe criticism hits games where there’s more than one possible way the game can play out – in other words, games that feature some sort of choice available to the player. Continue reading

Agoraphobia: The Decline of Open World Games

Over the past decade or so, the Open World format has steadily increased its penetration of the video game scene; starting with role-playing games whose nature included such vastness and openness in the game world like The Elder Scrolls series, eventually the number of new games with Open World sensibilities increased noticeably, and existing series began to adopt those features as well.

More linear games like Metal GearFar Cry and the Arkham series of Batman games developed from being fairly straightforward, guided experiences into what we saw in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PainFar Cry 3 and 4, and Batman: Arkham City and Arkham Knight. The reason should hardly surprise anyone – it’s the supply to the audience’s demand. My argument, however, is that the tide is well on its way to turning around, changing the landscape of Triple-A games in the next few years. Continue reading

The Philosophers’ Legacy: The Future of Metal Gear

NOTE: This post contains spoilers about Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, as well as a number of other Metal Gear titles.

After Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain being released a month back, everyone’s probably getting to the point where they’re sick and tired of hearing about it, especially anyone who’s not playing it themselves. I’m still playing the game, but I’m rather tired of discussing it myself. Instead, after beating the game and picking up the story twists it has to offer to the saga, I’ve moved on to contemplating what the future holds for the franchise. Continue reading

Les Enfants Obsolètes: Why Solid Snake is irrelevant

Since the late 90’s, anyone paying even the least bit of attention to the video game space must have been somewhat familiar with the title “Metal Gear Solid“, even if they hadn’t played it themselves. In the 17 years since that game’s release, those three words have become increasingly high profile, up to the point that today this series can be considered one of the biggest franchises in the video game industry. Gamers know Metal Gear, whether they want to or not. They also tend to know the classic main character, Solid Snake, by name if nothing else. I’m arguing, however, that as the series has progressed, Snake himself has become less and less important, and at the current state of the franchise, he is entirely expendable and not key at all. Continue reading