I have been hit by a dry-spell when it comes to games recently. No matter what I do, I start playing a game, than lose interest in it a second later. Its starting to really bother me, even Bulletstorm, which was one of the funniest things I have played in a long time, could hold my interest for more than a few hours.
So to try to mend this, I have decided to look into what I like about a game, and maybe even get some opinions from others.
Writing is by far the biggest thing I like in a game. It is what sucks me in immediately, and while I can overlook say, a game’s plot not making too much sense, *cough* Mass Effect 2 *cough* its harder to ignore bad dialog writing. If a game has good dialog, everything else falls into place. In the game Saints Row 2, some of the funniest dialog is actually from random dialog shouted out at you in the street.
Actually I am not gonna let Mass Effect 2 off the hook,we need to reel it in, because there is something fishy about it… I’m sorry that was awful. Mass Effect 2 has, without a doubt, some of the best dialog and characters (among other things) going for it. The plot, meanwhile, hurts me. I would go into a rant about it, but frankly, I don’t have to. Someone else who is a better writer already did it for me here.
And you know what is interesting? Despite how much the plot hurts me, and can cause me to rant for hours, it’s still one of my favorite games of all time.
That is the power good dialog writing holds for me. You make your characters likable, and I will put up with just about anything else for their sake. That reminds me…
Quick, off the top of your head, who is this:
OK, that was easy. Who’s this?:
OK still pretty easy. Now who’s this?
For those who didn’t get the last one, that’s John Marston, of Red Dead Redemption. For everyone else: Good job, you have proven that game characters matter.
I could do this all day, there are countless characters: Big Daddies from Bio-shock, Black-Mage from final fantasy, Marcus from Gears of War. All of these are almost instantly recognizable. Hell, just look at this poster, how many can you name? A good character can absolutely make a game, and a lack of character…well…Fable 3. Actually…Fable in general.
Stay tuned, we will cover…uh. Everything else later, but this post is running rampant.