Sunday, June 3, 2012

The separation of game and story

Binary Domain had all of fifteen minutes left last night. I was convinced that what appeared to be the final boss was not the final boss so I stopped early the night before. Sega fooled me by not fooling me, which is rather fitting for the game. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that the way the game plays is significantly better than not terrible; it's actually a pretty good little cover based shooter with a speech mechanic that no one will ever use and two competing RPG bits that fight each other for your experience points. It certainly looks the part, culminating in a battle again three refugees from Front Mission and there over grown general. It still does not get a pass on its unlikable characters, poor writing, and terrible handling of what could have been interesting plot points.

For example: the entire reason that NATO has sent in this Rust Crew is the discovery of hollow children: robots that are indistinguishable from humans. The current batch is not even aware that they are robots, but turn inexplicably violent when the truth is discovered. Just this by itself could have created a lot of tension between the player character and the other soldiers in the party. Think of 'The Thing' (the re-make, not the re-re-make) but with robots. Unfortunately this never happens and the story instead makes another leap. The female hollow children are so advanced that they can reproduce with human males, creating hybrid humans who are totally organic but stronger, faster and smarter than normal people.

This little bomb shell forced my brain to pack in for the night and go to sleep, especially when one of the party turns out to be a hybrid and everyone turns on her all at once. Dan, being the good guy that he is, decides not to kill her, and she forgives everyone else for trying to murder her just because her Mom had more in common with a toaster than her father did. It was a twist worthy of M. Night Shyamalan later movies, and garnered a similar reaction.


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I am once more convinced that GameFly is run by spies whose job it is to make sure that games are shipped to you in the worst order, at the worst time. Binary Domain was a good three day shooter, and I am in the mood for another snack sized game or two. So what shipped? The Witcher 2, a game that I had wanted to not come until I actually finished the first (which will never happen) and the Game of Thrones RPG.

My new bull shit detecting dog is going to get a work out from one, if not both.

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