The GameOn Magazine Issue 58 - Page 17

Articles Choice in Games Another game is Mass Effect , in which the entire story of the game can change based upon your choice, such as who lives and who dies is up to you. In saying that the ending of Mass Effect 3 is not good, and that shows that when choices aren’t done well and in the case of Mass Effect 3 the only choice was what is your favourite colour (if you have played the end you will know what I mean). I can’t speak about the specific choices too much as that will enter spoiler territory, but there is one aspect I can talk about: the moral aspect. A lot of choices in games have a moral aspect attached, such as a bar or a point system, and this removes some of the tension. Something giving you paragon points shows you did what is going to be considered morally right, so it isn’t grey--it is totally black and white. So instead of it being thoughtful you can tell what is right and wrong as the choices are black and white. Also when the paragon or renegade points give you access to more choices you have to go full paragon or full renegade. There is no choice to go down the middle; you have to go high road or low road. Whereas The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is less morally clear cut as the entire game is in that grey area, there is no choice that is super good or super evil. For example, would you rather take the side of a racist murderer or a different racist murderer? Witcher 2 is much closer to Game of Thrones which makes all characters sort Issue 58 • August 2014 of greyish, although sometimes there are just objectively evil and objectively good. It is this grey area where both debate and immersion come from. All real moral choices have multiple sides and multiple arguments for both and that is reflected in the game. There is also more than just the story choice; there is also the choice in every game which is how you play. When you shoot, when you jump or when you walk and many other actions are choices that you make. These choices are integral to the entire gaming experience. Choices are what create a game, they are like walkers in The Walking Dead TV shownecessary for anything to happen. While choices can be over simplified into separate bars or meters, in general I like them in games, especially when they are integral to the gameplay or story like in The Last Federation or the Mass Effect series. Games and choices go together like stabbings and Glasgow. I see choices as what makes gameplay gameplay and it can be what makes a good story better and more immersive. 17 • GameOn Magazine