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mygif

Good stuff. It does assume, though, that the driving force between games and film are the same, which would be a fairly contentious claim in game studies, especially the horror branch. Perhaps the big difference, in terms of this discussion, is that player meshes with protagonist a little more in games, but then the knowledge that dismantles fear is even more an issue, since the player comes in with a better grasp of the “optimal” strategy–I guess that’s why Silent Hill and Resident Evil, as franchises, try to change things up every few iterations.

Incidentally, this theory also fits the action/thriller genre pretty nicely, a genre where, again, the protagonist’s knowledge plays a big role. It’s hard to keep adding things to the pot that Bourne or Langdon don’t know, after a few sequels.

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mygif

Even when Dead Space was on its first iteration there were a number of reviewers who criticized it for not really being a very [i]scary[/i] game, relying more on jump scares and grotesque body horror than any sort of genuine sense of helplessness, but I always felt that was kind of missing the point. Games like Dead Space and Resident Evil 4 aren’t really about the horror, they’re action games with a horror aesthetic.

I’m not suggesting they’re wrong to say “these games aren’t scary,” because they aren’t really super-scary…I mean jump-scares can still get your heartrate going when it’s late at night and you should have been in bed an hour ago but just one more chapter then WHAM, tentacle…but I think that sort of misses the point that rather than something like Silent Hill 2 or Amnesia it seems rather apparent, at least to me, that the Dead Space team was always aiming to make an atmospheric survival-horror action experience. You don’t cower in fear of the necromorphs, you want to see what fucked-up corpseblob the designers throw at you next. You know that as soon as you step into the decontamination chapter you’re going to be mobbed by horrible monsters, but you do it anyway because it’s fun to see Isaac have to deal with all the shit going on around this disintegrating, decrepit ship that’s been turned into a John Carpenter movie set.

So by the third game in Isaac’s saga (there have been other Dead Space games in between the main three) I’m not really sure what else people were expecting. There are only so many ways you can do “Oh hey, slashers coming out of the vents, remember?” At the risk of sounding pretentious, the player’s journey has mimicked Isaac’s by this point…been there, done that, blew up the Marker and got the t-shirt. Both the player and the character alike have already done this shit, so when Isaac and co. board the Roanoke and OH GOD NECROMORPHS, he’s the one suddenly giving the orders while everyone else is like “oh fuck oh fuck what do we do?” Frankly if they had tried to keep pitching it as “Hey, isn’t this SO SCARY you guys?” I think it would actually have come across as weaker overall because nobody out there would be buying that.

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mygif

Man, where was this a week ago. Had a friend who was gonna send Dead Space 3 back the day after release because he felt the game “was going Resident Evil and he wasn’t having that”. I convince him not to (though it is cause I want to borrow it later) by saying something similar to this, but this articulate it so much better.

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mygif

Having had my attention drawn to the point above about horror in gaming being difficult, I want to note there’s a key tension between horror experience and gameplay mechanics, related to the player’s knowledge of systems. Firstly gameplay mechanics will always be limited by development resources, e.g. the moving bits of the engine always take the most development time, scaling with interactivity. So there’s always going to be an upper limit on what you can do in the game because things have to be cut in order to ship on time. Secondly, there’s going to be a limit on gameplay options in order to be coherent to both the designer and the player. Example: Metroid games have a lot of gameplay options and combinations of these can be unexpected, so designers didn’t realize that their level design layouts could be short-cutted and meanwhile players had a chance of missing out on cool & useful techniques like wall jumping.

But a key thing to horror is not knowing what to expect. When you don’t expect a monster closet to open up behind you, you jump. When you know that’s going to happen again, you start walking backwards.

Anyway, I need to get back to work, so to stem & sum my incoherent stream of consciousness: It’s hard to keep surprising the player, because underneath it all, a game is a logical machine.

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mygif

I think this might actually be an issue with people having trouble articulating what it is they want.

When people say “Well, fuck this, Dead Space has just turned into another action game” what I hear isn’t “I hate action games, I’m going to go play Amnesia again” because anyone in that frame of mind wouldn’t have played Dead Space to begin with. Dead Space WAS an action game, and a damn good one.

What I hear is “I came to play Dead Space and what I got is Dead Space with a bunch of Gears of War shit clumsily frankensteined onto it. If I wanted that I’d just play Gears.”

And to a large extent they’re correct. I’m all for evolving mechanics and suchly (Isaac being able to do something as simple as mantle over obstacles would have been real fuckin’ helpful many times in the previous games) but they can change the experience in many ways, and not always for the better.

For me, the issue isn’t that Isaac has been there, done that, blown up the Marker. To an extent he had already largely adapted to that milieu by the second game, but with some hallucinations thrown in to keep things fresh.

It’s hard to describe precisely why Dead Space 3 feels wrong in ways the second game does not. It has something to do with the situation Issac is in, I think. He’s suddenly this crazy gunsmithing genius with a squad of battle-hardened buddies, fighting cultists and their monsters. That’s substantially different from the first two, where Isaac is in a deeply uncertain situation that never, ever seems quite stable. In Dead Space 3 when disasters happen, it’s sort of “well, you know, Necromorphs, it’s to be expected” rather than the “oh, Christ, I just FIXED THAT. What fresh hell is THIS?” from the first games.

It doesn’t help that the game feels rushed and somewhat unpolished. The first one was a nice little gem, and the second one, while it had some “walk through this complex, now walk through it the other way” padding also felt sufficiently developed. 3 feels a bit kludged together.

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mygif

After space, the only other place to go for a horror antagonist would most likely be the “Hood”, or some kind of microverse between atoms (wait, did Leprechaun in Space come before Leprechaun in the Hood?).

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mygif

I can kind of see what Murc’s saying in the sense that Dead Space 3 eschews some of the sense of isolation that the first two games had. In DS1 and 2 you were rarely in contact with other living characters for any real length of time…in the first one a bit moreso than the second where you had a greater degree of contact with Ellie and Stross as well as living antagonists…while DS3 has you frequently interacting with other characters more right from the start. Of course a lot of them die over the course of the game, but it’s a bit different than starting out cut off and isolated and then maybe finding another survivor or two halfway through the game.

That said the “crazy gunsmithing genius thing” actually feels like exactly the sort of thing you’d expect out of a trained engineer who’s steadily become the world’s foremost expert on killing eldritch abominations. Like, I dig how the weapons in Dead Space were largely extremely dangerous mining and engineering equipment that’s been repurposed instead of an arsenal of standard space marine weaponry, but the ability to put that sort of stuff together into crazy engines of destruction feels like a logical evolution of Isaac’s capabilities. I feel that in terms of actual mechanical implementation the weapon crafting is a bit more involved than it needed to be, and it probably could have been simplified into something that still let you make your own necromorph-remurdering devices, but I liked that they tried to do something more interesting than welding power nodes to things. Besides, I imagine that by the time Dead Space 3 rolls around Isaac is probably in the frame of mind where stapling a chainsaw to a flamethrower sounds like a fucking great idea.

I think the biggest weakness of DS3, honestly, is Tau Volantis itself, which I don’t personally find to be as interesting an environment as either the Ishimura or the Titan Sprawl. I mean, it’s fitting in a way that a game drawing inspiration from John Carpenter’s The Thing would wind up eventually heading to some arctic environment but, eh, I don’t really feel like it has as much character as the environments of the first two games. The earlier portion, in the ship graveyard, is pretty atmospheric, but I was kind of lukewarm on the idea of Tau Volantis when word first came out about it and the actual game itself didn’t do a lot to change my mind on that front.

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mygif

But if the game was going to stop being what it was, then it should have stopped at the second game. I can get a shooter where I sit behind a four-foot wall and aim for the heads of soldiers anywhere. These things are not uncommon. And given the game’s development, I think it’s a lot more likely that the genre changed because Gears shooters are a stronger financial investment, not because it was a natural progression.

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mygif

The other day I was thinking about whether the Aliens franchise would ever produce another good movie (since lord knows the studio will probably keep trying)and I found myself thinking about the same issue of diminishing returns, and I think I more or less came to the same conclusions.

There are still unknown factors about the aliens, of course (just how smart they really are, where they come from, etc) that you might be able to spin more material out of, but otherwise the only hope is to re-conceptualize the franchise. Bring in more outside elements, expand the universe, introduce the aliens into new scenarios.

There’s probably still a bit of life left in the franchise, both for action and for horror, is what I’m saying, so I’m not sure the third installment limit is an absolute.

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Nobody Jones said on February 19th, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Something that bothers me about arguments like this is that there’s an element to people’s reactions that isn’t addressed. I’ve never played a Dead Space game and I can’t comment on whether or not the first two where genuinly scary, so I’ll talk more generally. If you’re telling a horror story and you can’t actually deliver on the horror, the only artistically appropriate thing to do is stop telling that story. I completely understand that the people who make games/movies/whatever need to make money, so they’ll keep making something as long as it sells, but that doesn’t make the story any better. There’s an implication in these articles (probably not intentional, but still there) that because something was inevitable, people should have reacted to it differently, which I don’t think is true. The appropriate thing to do is just avoid Dead Space 3 (etc.), but most of the reviewers you where reading probably didn’t have that luxury.

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mygif

“If you’re telling a horror story and you can’t actually deliver on the horror, the only artistically appropriate thing to do is stop telling that story.”

By this logic the Dead Space franchise shouldn’t have been made at all because Dead Space 1 wasn’t really all that scary a game either. I’m not saying that to fish for internet tough guy points…oooh yeah, I didn’t get scared at a video game…but seriously, Dead Space has never really been all that strongly horrific. “Being scary” isn’t, in my opinion, where Dead Space’s strengths lie yet it has other strengths besides that, and so suggesting that the only “artistically appropriate” thing to do is to cease making Dead Space games seems pretty shortsighted.

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mygif

I think Kai nailed it on the head for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the first third of dead space 3. Tau Volantis was kinda boring; they should have played up the weather, the loss of visibility and the isolation; instead of having the monsters just pop out of the ground have them wandering out there in the blinding snow, blathering and moaning, with some flags and debris flapping around so you don’t know what to shoot at until they are RIGHT IN YOUR FUCKING FACE.

Also, one monster you barely see is scary, a wave of 30 monsters is not. They did a good job with the dog-like guys later on that use hit and run tactics and hide from sight. If they made the monsters smarter(have em trick you into wasting ammo, and then attacking while you reload, have some play dead and jump back up, ect) and didn’t have the give-away battle music, it would have been more atmospheric.

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mygif

The stalkers (the dog-like pack aliens) were in DS2 and they rather succinctly represented the Dead Space ethos in a nutshell. Once you’ve had your first throwdown with the stalkers, who up to that point are unlike any other necromorph you’ve encountered because they don’t just blindly gibber and charge at you but lurk around cover and set up ambushes, luring you close before suddenly charging at you, it’s pretty easy for you to figure out where you’re going to encounter them next. Oh, its a maze of narrow corridors and hallways with plenty of cover, I wonder what enemy I’m going to find here.

There’s absolutely no fear of the unknown going on. You know it’s stalkers, you know that as soon as you get in there it’s going to be fucking Jurassic Park with the raptors all over again, there’s no uncertainty at all. But it’s still tense because even though you know what it is that’s waiting for you it’s still a fucking heart-racer when one of the little bastards comes at you from an angle you weren’t expecting while shrieking that nails-on-chalkboard shriek.

Dead Space proudly wears that sort of thing on its sleeve. You know necromorphs are going to clamber out of the vents, you know stalkers are going to be lurking in the shipping crate maze, you know that walking into the cryostorage room full of corpses is going to mean something breaks out of the glass and tries to kill you…this is not a series known for subverting expectations and a nuanced, refined sense of horror, this is a series about fighting phantasmagorical corpse-monsters with awesomely dangerous mining equipment (“See, it’s the future which means that space miners have access to PORTABLE ENERGY CANNONS that can cut a grown man in half, that’s how space mining works.”) in atmospheric environments plus jump scares. I’m not saying that people aren’t entitled to think DS3 is a step down, but complaining about it being “less of a horror game” implies that the earlier entries were more horrific.

I think Murc’s explanation is more apt, that it’s not so much “it’s less of a horror game” and more “it controls/plays a bit less like earlier games and more like a different series,” plus Jacob’s critique of the Tau Volantis setting echoes my own.

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mygif

After Jason In Space (Christ, I was a movie theater usher for that train wreck…), the only logical direction is Jason In Time. Jason Vs. Genghis Khan. Jason at Thermophile. The Marques de Jason.

You think Jason was Jack the Ripper, but he wasn’t, he actually killed Jack the Ripper, you fight evil with evil, how’s that for a moral dilemma, punk?!

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mygif

I’d actually like to see a horror film franchise built like a Call Of Cthulhu RPG campaign, instead of keeping the bad guy and changing protagonists you do it the other way, a group of humans facing an ever shifting array of monsters. You’d have to set it up with a lower than normal death count and rotate in replacements as the series progresses, but done right it could be quite cool. Every movie could have different threats and scares, and the one or two characters who survive into the 3rd movie or so would be grizzled and nearly insane, almost greeting death with relief when it comes for them.

Too bad that’s not how franchises work, studios don’t want different, they want more of the same because they know that the last movie made money.

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mygif

So the gist of what you’re saying is that John McClane would make an interesting Green Lantern.

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mygif

In fairness, the “Jason in Space” movie was freaking hilarious. “Would you like to take some drugs? Or have some premarital sex? We love premarital sex!” So awesome.

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mygif

^best line of the movie right there^

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Nobody Jones said on February 19th, 2013 at 9:57 pm

I actually wasn’t talking about Dead Space specifically. I also wasn’t suggesting they stop making Dead Space games. I used the term “artistically appropriate” as opposed to “commercially a good idea.” I wasn’t trying to sound pretentious.

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mygif

Okay, but the idea that it’s “artistically appropriate” to stop making games/movies/books/etc. that ostensibly started out as “horror” media if you stop making them scary seems to come with the implication that stories can’t change over time. I mean, MGK brings up the classic example of Alien vs. Aliens…the first movie is pretty much a quintessential example of a horror movie, but the sequel is much more of an action movie with some scary notes blended in. I mean, Ripley goes from “oh god please get me the fuck out of here” in the first movie to duct taping a flamethrower to an assault rifle, then having a boss fight in a power loader in the second. People can and have argued that Aliens rather significantly undercut the horror of the first movie even though it’s full of people dying and monsters popping out of the ceiling. Was it artistically inappropriate of Cameron to make Aliens even though it’s (in my opinion) a significantly less “horrific” movie than its predecessor?

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mygif

The shift from anything even remotely approximating “survival horror” to “Hey, let’s ape every other GoW-style shooter!” made me give up on Resident Evil entirely.

Used to be that the R.E. series releases were my Madden days: I’d buy the game, take the day off, and play ’til I passed out. I played half of the demo of R.E. 6, promptly said “fuck this,” and haven’t looked back.

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mygif

I’d say the sea change for the Resident Evil franchise was RE4 which took it from a fixed-camera, “conserve your bullets” sort of thing to an over-the-shoulder arcade-style action shooter, and it was widely regarded as both a critical and commercial success as well as a revitalizing shot in the arm for a series that had gotten stuck in a rut. That Capcom then went and delivered the RE5 and 6 that we wound up with doesn’t mean that RE4 was a bad idea.

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mygif

@Kai – I thought that RE4 was GREAT. Definitely the high water mark of the series, IMO, as it did away with a piss-poor control system and kept the tension. The imagery was still there, as were the scares (though it definitely wasn’t as scare-centric of a game, particularly toward the end).

RE5 and 6, though…they’re (somehow) shittier Michael Bay movies. I remember replaying RE1 to the point that I could speed run it in 45 minutes. RE5 I didn’t even bother completing.

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mygif

Oh, no doubt. RE4 was a great game, psychotic castilian midget and all. It certainly wasn’t a scary game though, like, it pretty thoroughly eschewed the horror part of “survival horror” and a lot of the “survival” parts too come to think of it, trading those out for shooting ambiguously Spanish bug-zombies in the junk and spin-kicking them to death before they coughed up shotgun shells and hand grenades. Judged on the basis of “is this game scary?” RE4 is pretty much a resounding failure and yet it’s by far the most successful Resident Evil game ever made (that’s not hyperbole either…it’s the best-selling Resident Evil title, including the original).

But to sort of tie this back into MGK’s essay, even before RE4 when the series was still doing the fixed camera and limited ammo dance, by the third game or so pretty much all the scare potential in the series as it stood had been tapped, because even if they kept swapping protagonists around the fact is that you can only pitch the same sort of game with the same set of challenges to players so many times before they just aren’t going to be scared by them anymore. And I think a compelling argument can be made that the Resident Evil series falls in line with MGK’s breakdown of how these sorts of things progress.

1). Resident Evil 1: fear of the unknown. If you went into Resident Evil blind then you don’t know what’s going on or what will be going on. You start out not understanding why this abandoned mansion is full of zombies and weird puzzles/traps and while you slowly start to piece things together BAM, giant snake, OH SHIT, hairless claw-gorillas that can take your head clean off, why is there a giant underground lab with a MUTANT SHARK down here, etc. Resident Evil, if you happened to be lucky enough to approach it unspoiled and unused to that sort of game beforehand, was delightfully bizarre and gave you a sense of “what the fuck is going on here?”

2). Resident Evil 2: fear of the known. You know what causes the zombies, you know about Umbrella and their handwavey research into “bioweapons” or whatever, only now the scope of the disaster isn’t just a remote complex in the middle of a forest, now it’s an entire city that’s turning into something out of a Romero movie crossed with a Troma film and it seems poised to get even worse from there.

3). Resident Evil 3+: been there, done that. Yes, Nemesis keeps hounding you throughout RE3 but that’s not scary, it’s annoying. You, the player, and Jill Valentine, the character, have beat back giant stompy frankenmonsters and zombie hordes before. Even adding new biomutants to the mix doesn’t up the fear factor any because, eh, you can only get so much mileage out of twisted abominations before god and man. RE4 completely discarded any pretense of trying to be a horror game entirely, but in so doing it managed to retain story elements familiar to fans of the series while successfully making itself over into a different sort of gameplay experience. And RE5 and 6, well, are RE5 and 6 but they aren’t very scary either.

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mygif

Eh, I think that you can maintain a consistent vibe or tone if you build with it in mind first and foremost. I think the issue is that the scope of things can impede that.

Aside from RE1 and parts of RE2 (not counting RE0, though you could make a case for it), the rest of the RE series hasn’t taken place in an actual residence. The claustrophobia isn’t there. The sense of isolation isn’t there. The sense of unfamiliarity isn’t there.

I don’t know…I think it definitely is possible to maintain a consistent tone, but it is certainly difficult in the horror genre. I’d personally love for it to make a resurgence.

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mygif

(Fanboy butthurt commencing)

You know what, what is the hate on RE5. Seriously.

Yes, RE5 is so gone from the original vision it’s a whole ‘nother game, but it was fun and a decent game. The mechanics (for the most part) steps up for the much beloved RE4 and you get to co-op with a buddy for the fun. My major gripe with RE5 is…..well Sheeva. Not Sheeva as a character (I didn’t mind her too much), but that game was a Chris and Jill story through and through, but due to an over-reacting outrage from the community for something that is in the scheme of things is at best a “play it out and take note” situation, they end up making a palette swap to please them (which makes it seems like the public’s concerns were valid when it wasn’t truly), and hurt one of the few strong female characters of the franchise to being (pardon the vulgarity) Wesker’s bitch. Had they ignore and just ran as is, the PR hit would be minimal.

RE6, on the other hand, well….if the whole game was just Leon’s missions, I would have that game on my shelf.

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mygif

“Yes, RE5 is so gone from the original vision it’s a whole ‘nother game, but it was fun and a decent game. The mechanics (for the most part) steps up for the much beloved RE4 and you get to co-op with a buddy for the fun.”

The departure is the issue for me. It doesn’t matter to me that the game is a solid action game, it matters to me that it ISN’T what I wanted.

For example, say that the next WWE game is a straight-up, realistic, textured management game in which you ARE Vince McMahon running the show behind the scenes (NOTE: I know some games have featured something like this, but let’s pretend it is the entirety of the game). It is the best business management sim in history, and puts anything Will Wright has released to shame.

Problem is that I don’t WANT that game, I want my WWE game.

Problem with RE5 is that I could play a handful of other games and get the exact same experience (take or leave the co-op, which I never really dug). I started playing RE because I dug what it brought to the table.

Take that away entirely, and…well, there’s not much more of a reason to stick with it.

Definitely agreed on the PC thing, though. I certainly get the backlash, but I’d like to think that we’ve advanced as a society to the point that we can say “Hey, this is fictional, and not indicative of any animosity or racism on the part of the developers.”

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mygif

Without getting into the whole racism issue surrounding RE5, my problem with RE5 is that it was basically RE4 but not as good and with a dumber story that wasn’t as fun. I don’t feel the AI partner was implemented very well and co-op isn’t a selling point for me, and while RE4′s story wasn’t good in the sense that it was gripping, masterfully-crafted fiction it was at least entertainingly charming in its own way while RE5′s story was dull when it wasn’t actively so stupid it hurt. It has nothing to do with any change in direction, it simply was not as well-made a game as RE4.

Oh man, if we’re talking games with changes in direction I’ll go on record as saying that I feel that Mass Effect 2′s gameplay was vastly more entertaining than ME1′s. Yes yes, chest high walls, cover shooter, thermal clips are stupid, etc. etc. etc. No, ME1′s combat gameplay was a boring slog with no sense of dynamism or pacing and it was about as visceral as a bag of unsalted popcorn. ME1 absolutely had a better final level than ME2, you won’t hear any argument from me there, but in terms of which game I’d rather sit down and play for fun ME2 wins every time. Cover shooters may be overdone, but ME2 is one of the slickest cover shooters I’ve played…I found it vastly more responsive than Gears of War managed to be, firefights felt meatier…and Garrus is right, popping a thermal clip is way more satisfying than “oh I guess I have to stop firing my gun for a couple seconds.”

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@Kai

Amen on ME2′s improved combat, I agree with you there, but I have to disagree with ME1 having a better ending.

Was it a little too “choose your own adventure”-y? Sure. Was the final boss goofy and ripped straight from a Metal album cover? Absolutely, but it was goofy in an awesome sort of way! Despite all that I never felt more tension in a Mass Effect game then when I had to risk sending a character I liked into almost certain death. It motivated me to do the side missions (all of which were done very well!), and it actually motivated me to replay the final level to get everyone out alive.

ME1′s ending was great, but ME2′s finale left me feeling like I had accomplished the impossible.

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mygif

The suicide mission was an excellent idea for a big climactic final mission, but A). the boss was dumb and not in a cool way, like, I’m not even talking aesthetics but the actual gameplay part just wasn’t quite there for a showdown with an embryonic Reaper, that should have been a way bigger, badder fight than “stand around a platform, shoot out its glowing weakpoints,” and B). the actual suicide mission itself seemed rather…truncated? I feel like it should have been a lot more involved and challenging than it actually wound up being. Yeah, if you assigned the wrong person to tasks then they died, but I never found that too difficult to suss out even without looking up FAQs online. I dunno, personal opinions and all, but I was hoping for something that lived up to “everything from the Prothian ruins on, including spacewalking up the side of the Citadel while a small armada battles Sovereign” scope of things while also being more challenging to accomplish overall. Like I said, that’s just me, and it wasn’t enough to sour me on the game itself.

I mean, the threat of character death wasn’t necessary to motivate me to do the side missions, I wanted to do those anyway. “Would you like to skip a third of the gameplay in the game you’re playing, y/n?” Besides, it’s SOP in video games these days…whenever your character is given a mission of any sort, you do everything but that mission until you run out of other things to do, and only then do you advance the main plot any.

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mygif

Nice piece. Got to disagree with you about Aliens though. I always saw that film as reducing the xenomorph to the state of a mindless killing machine – they don’t so much evade the traps of the marines as throw wave after wave of drones at them – whereas the first film’s creature was a malicious and sadistic, intelligent being.

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Lister Sage said on February 22nd, 2013 at 9:32 pm

The Evil Dead trilogy actually hits your “Horror to Action series in three movies” structure beat for beat, but since it’s not sci-fi I can see why it wouldn’t be the go to example.

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Walter Kovacs said on February 23rd, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Aliens, Evil Dead, Terminator (although it sort of got there in 2) … all great examples of the trope. Basically if you have a hero protagonist, you end up as an action movie. If you cull the cast and start over, you can go down the slasher route. The successful slasher version is Friday and Nightmare, which turn the villains into protagonists anyway, and become less of a horror story, and more of an action movie in their own right, replacing the clever ways that Bond beats the bad guys and the quips that go with it with creative kills (and in the case of Freddy, the quips that go with it).

In terms of horror games, that seems to be the path that Resident Evil took. Silent Hill tries to avoid that, partially by going sort of a horror anthology route of having different stories (although they do alternate between going back to the ‘main’ story from the original and the story of other people brought to the town). Shattered Memories was interesting as it eliminated any means of the protagonist from defending himself, and thus taking out the straight action aspect. Arguably, Silent Hill has evolved into a mystery franchise, as the horror elements become routine.

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