You must be asking yourself, so James, after playing all these new games you must have some new opinions on storytelling in games right? Truly these are the enlightened tomes of the new ages?
Eh, not really.
I mean some of it’s not bad... Some bits are amazing.... But there’s always these moments when logic appears to take a back seat and everyone puts on their “durp” hats.
Assassins Creed 2
There is a perfect moment of this. Setting the scene right, you’re in Venice and you need to get into this palace... Now usually this wouldn’t be a problem because of your super climbing powers and the upper body strength of a gorilla, but as you reach up the wall with your claw like hands you notice... The next thing you can grab is well out of grabbing distance. Oh well you think, clearly there’s a different place your supposed to be climbing into this place (Immersion destruction count *Bing* 1) but as you follow the wall all the way round you notice to your horror that there is no place to climb up.... this place cannot be climbed... in a game mostly about climbing things. You do the natural thing and give up, clearly your only allowed in there on a certain mission (*Bing* 2).
Ok the mission appears and it’s time to go on.... where upon you have to follow your buddy around this building... you’ve already been around... until he comes to the conclusion that it cannot be climbed. You wish that the select button just made Ezio say “I told you so” (*Bing* 3). It seems the mission can’t be done... Until Ezio remembers something and comes up with the greatest plan ever! Returning to his friend the great inventor Leonardo Ezio asks him if his flying machine really works, and from there you go on exciting missions to first clear a path for fire pits in order to keep the machine afloat in the air.
Finally after what seemed like days your at the top of a tower, ready to make the jump and soar like an eagle! Ezio looks up to the sky with a boyish gleam in his eyes, and just can’t get over how great this plan is! With one final farewell Ezio leaps into the sky! (*Bing bing bing* Forever).
It is this point in the game you are strongly advised to push your joystick down, causing Ezio to plummet to a quick and brutal demise for being a retard. Oh sure the flying sequence is a nice change of pace, heck it was like a little tribute to the games of old, but it is the single most retarded moment in the whole game. I couldn’t help thinking to myself as Ezio began to brave himself for the jump ahead that there was a much easier way of doing this.... Like.... Oh I dunno.... get a ladder? Bribe the guards? Murder the guards (The combat is really easy)? Write an important looking letter to the man your trying to save? Dress up as a servant? At what point did flying over the majority of Venice seem like the best idea? I can only assume that Ezio has been using either lead or mercury in his morning pampering routines (He’s totally the kind of guy who would), at least that would explain why throughout the game he show’s signs of Dementia throughout the game.
In the first game right, your Altair an Assassin... Your given a list of seven dudes who need to die... You get told the reasons and justifications blah blah blah, but at the end of the day... you have a list with names on it... names that need to go away.
Ezio goes around Italy killing anyone that is only sort of related to the people who killed his family. Like most of the time he doesn’t even know if these guys are up to no good, all he knows is that they met the villain at one time or another so they must die! After you’ve gone through a list of names someone gives you another list and Ezio just kills them... He’s not an official assassin... He’s just... doing it... He’s a psychopath. It’s like Jesus Ezio! You already got vengeance for your family really early on, why do these guys have to die? They didn’t know your family!
Dragon Age Origins
When I first started writing about Dragon Age I went on this massive rant about Bioware not using the right kind of evil in their story options, but suffice it tosay the evil options are all wrong.... Maybe I’ll do another post later on.
Anyway, the first moment of complete ridiculousness was after I saved Redcliff from some kind of demon invasion. Well, I said to myself, now that I’ve cleared that up you can promise me your armies aid right? Errr, wrong. Before they’ll give you the army you f***ing came for you have to help them heal the Arl of Redcliff (The leader for all those wondering) by using the ash’s of a saint that may or may not exist. Personally I was of the opinion that the Arl was old anyway and could fall in a well and die for all I cared. I was looking for an army... not to go on a bloody quest for ancient artefacts. There’s even a dude there who can inherit the title, but he want to do it.... because... I don’t know, it wasn’t really explained very well, or maybe not in any way I would accept. Basically alot of time could have been saved if everyone just took off their stupid helmets for five mins.
Same thing happened with the dwarfs, two were fighting over the crown and it was up to you to break the stalemate. Now about halfway through this quest I was ready to kill both of those guy’s for making me their f***ing errand boy... and despite what they say its for the most ridiculous shit ever. Go fight in this tournament... go uncover these lies... go fight the local crimelord in her lair of f***ing traps... and finally go into the deep roads, where few return from and find some f***ing artefact that may or may not exist. It was at that point I was like “What if I just killed the other dude? I got an assassin with me, it’ll be clean.... and we can move on and no make me do stupid things”.
Oh and here’s a little kick in the teeth for anyone who’s finished the game... who was the villain? If you said Loghain you would be wrong. The answer is you. See in the eye’s of Fereldan you are the villain and Loghain the saviour... I’m sure your asking, but that guy was a dick! He killed the King! He sent assassins after me! He enslaved the elves! All true, but you have to understand.... you are a Grey Warden, sworn only to defeat the darkspawn... not to serve a nation. Now you might think that’s rather liberating, being able to call on Grey Wardens from other countries but the reality is very different.
See if you remember Fereldan was taken over not too long ago by their neighbours, the Orlesians, and it was the king’s intention to call for aid from either the empire itself or its Grey Wardens. Both options are politically unacceptable, by allowing them entry into Fereldan you would be creating a massive security risk to the whole nation. Now they may not have tried to take over Fereldan again, but nothing would have stopped them from leaving just short of the border and keeping that.
As a Grey Warden you have only one duty, after that everything else doesn’t matter... at the end of the day Fereldan can burn so long as the darkspawn are stopped. And it did burn. Oh I’m sorry, did you think everything ended happily ever after? Lies. There is no way Fereldan could have recovered from the darkspawn attacks before another nation decided to take a piece of it for themselves. Oh sure who ever you made King or Queen probably did fine during their rule, but this sort of braking of the land would be felt for generations.... And I honestly believe that in time Fereldan would disappear off the map, too much is working against it.
In Loghain’s attempts to stop this he may have tragically started it, after all he was hoping for complete unity as quickly as possible.... But things rarely work out the way we want them too.... under this terrible burden Loghain snapped, and became the power mad Tyrant you see him as... But only because you would undermine the whole nation just to see the Darkspawn defeated.