The Buried Story: The Art of Supplemental Storytelling

Ever since the days of Resident Evil on the original PlayStation, I’ve been a sucker for a video game’s ability to tell stories beyond the narrative right in front of you. Many mediums, such as movies, comics or even traditional literature, have the theoretical ability to sneak in tales about people or locations that aren’t relevant to the main narrative, but video games have a decisive advantage in the extent to which this can be done. Continue reading

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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

The Forgotten Game of the Year: Pillars of Eternity

As the end of the year draws nigh, the discussion about the best game of 2015 is becoming more relevant by the minute. The gaming community now has a pretty good feel on what the year has to offer, ranging from spectacles such as Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain to apparent disappointments like The Order: 1886. It’s curious, though, that the favor of the general audience appears to lean a bit towards games released late in the year – as if their memory can’t quite reach as far back as last spring. Continue reading

Center of the Universe: The “Chosen One” Concept

I consider myself an enthusiast of role-playing games, particularly classic, dense, story-heavy western ones. I regard Baldur’s Gate one of the most defining games of the western RPG genre, and The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is one of my favorite games of all time. Being exposed to the genre quite strongly, I would say I have a pretty decent understanding of the composition of a typical game of this kind. But even with lesser experience, one can probably distinguish some of the common elements in role-playing games with ease. Continue reading

Double-A: The Death of Audience-Specific Games

I’ve often heard Greg Miller of Kinda Funny mention the fact that in the video game industry of today, the mid-sized game developers have ceased to exist, as both Triple-A releases and indie developers consume practically all of the space there is in the market. For the traditional, old-school and possibly somewhat sentimental gamer such as myself, this is upsetting to say the least, since nowadays the only options are either the big titles that are smoothed and, if you’ll excuse my impolite expression, “dumbed down”, so that they will be appealing to as many people as possible, whether or not they’re seasoned gamers; or independent games that more often than not lack the resources to provide a satisfying, robust experience. Continue reading

In with the Old: Sequels, Reboots & Spiritual Successors

Naughty Dog‘s The Last of Us was arguably the most notable game of the last generation of gaming consoles, and it will definitely be a game to be remembered for a long time. With such success, it’s fairly safe to assume there will be a sequel – rarely in entertainment, whether it’s film or games, has there been a case where a title is an amazing success and those who made it don’t give in to the temptation to create more. It’s not all just about sales – the fanbase often demands sequels, as they can’t get enough of the product. Continue reading