Sunday, June 16, 2013

Game time attack - or how we're losing more story

Since the classic days of gaming, we have never had to worry about a built in timer telling us how long we have played. Till a few titles started branching out in that direction to gain new ground in pushing boundaries. As of late its become more of a ruse in order to deliver faster access to content, and later progression can be obtained through other means. I find myself tied in knots reading or writing about the subject. But it becomes a bit of a nag when the in-game campaign just ends.

Tomb Raider Underworld - Finally settling the old score, nope wait there's two more bonus chapters. But why aren't they playable? DLC only.. fudge. To be honest this still nags me, I really did want to take on those new challenges, but having to obtain more chapters by buying it outside of game sells it short. I am a bit thankful that the new TR actually keeps things fresh, so you are captivated with the in-game world already unfolding around you. If and there will be extra content, at least it will be for the right reason. (Underworld can be finished in less than 10 hours) New TR - still have yet to finish.

Resident Evil 5, 6, and Revelations - I don't quite understand how RE has lately become so short. 4 kept me crawling to find a save state (remember a thing called a typewriter?) As of recent entries, the main story campaign has been broken up into segments, and a lot shorter than usual. Not one to complain, but it does demand a bit more than 10+ from a first play through.

Onto positive notes, Metroid was one of the few forerunners that took on the "Time Attack" moniker design. Testing players agility and skill with how far they could push their skills and memorization with the in-game environment. It was there for two reasons: it was optional, and anyone could try it once they completed the game (or obtained hidden codes to use the functionality). Rarely do games host such options anymore, come to think of it, some want it to be a pay-to-play option pretty soon.

When it comes to enjoying a story, time shouldn't need to be a limit. It is up to the storytellers how long they can find a way to entertain their audience.

I hope to write another column like this soon. Not just covering recent titles with the issue, but even a few oldies that also dealt with the obstacle.

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