Thursday, July 8, 2010

Grotesque fantasy

The story of Splinter Cell Conviction has come to an end, Sam killed just about everyone, and I still have not had be fill of hiding in shadows and shooting people from behind. I also have no interest in delving into the co-op mode, as relying on strangers to behave in a civilized manner is never a good idea. There was one unexplained area in the menu called Deniable Ops that I opened up just before deleting my save. It is a very good thing I did, because it is filled with around six more areas, completely separate from the main game, all nicely furnished with enemies but free of political intrigue. There are all more of exactly what I am looking for, and are a little more difficult than what I have already done. Each area has ten thugs. If you can kill them without being seen, boffo for you, but if they catch you the number doubles and they are all on alert. Enemy placement is also varied, so dying on the last guy is not a free pass the next time. This is plotless fun, and it will not engage me for more than one night, but that is all I am looking for.

As much I like to puff my chest out and say that a good story trumps all in a game the simple joy of killing people cannot be denied. This is going to sound awful, and it probably is, but this little bit of grotesque fantasy is present in even the most innocuous of titles. Apart from most puzzle games and a handful of racing games, everything is about ending something elses existence. Video games have never gotten past that awkward middle school stage of playing guns in the backyard, they have just gotten less shy about showing its atrocities in great detail. Someday we may see the game equivalent of a romantic comedy, all dripping with useless social commentary and gratuitous kissing, but I really hope not. The last thing I want is to have another thing reminding me that I am goddamn old and that there are many more things that I can't or should not do than I can. So bring on the guns, violence, and social ineptness, I welcome the relief from the daily real life grind.

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