Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Choices... so many choices



One of my favorite aspects of any fictional world that I have partaken in is choice.  Games like Mass Effect, Fable 1-3 and The Elder Scrolls incorporate the ability of the player to make choices that effect the story, world, and gameplay. My favorite game to incorporate the ability for the player to make choices is Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR). KOTOR was one of the first games to incorporate the idea that a player’s choices and decisions can directly affect the overall story and the fictional worlds of the Star Wars Universe.
The story follows an unsuspecting soldier that survives an attack on a ship which is carrying a Jedi Knight, Bastila. The soldier’s name, appearance, and history are determined by the player. The goal of the game is for the player to either defeat the Sith armada or to take control of it, becoming the new Dark Lord of the Sith.  During the journey of the game the player meets many other characters, races, and is able to explore many planets. When traveling the player if faced with choices that well give them light side points or dark. These choices affect the progression of the story and which quest the player is able to do. The player’s alignment also affects the relationships with the other characters in the game.
 This game was developed by BioWare, and is the precursor to the ideas behind the gameplay of their immensely popular series Mass Effect. When KOTOR was made the ideas that the players own moral choices could affect a game were in their infancy. The ability for the player to affect the storyline of a game has become very popular. This also is a great example of how the story of a game and the mechanics of the rules of the game are dependent on each other.
I really enjoy the ability to shape the story of a game and not have just one out come every time. Having this ability adds to the replay ability of a game because the fiction of it is ever changing.

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