Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Descend. Or.. Ascend?

One of the grudges I have against probably-hated-by-me Elder Scroll IV: Oblivion is that it tricks you to believe that you can make meaningful choices which you absolutely cannot. I believe Bethesda studio could have built an entirely seperate path for the player to follow: the true evil path where player joins the cult that tries to bring apocalypse upon the world, and work with them.

This may sound like the old trick in today's RPGs where they have multiple endings for players to see, but I beg you to think differently. What I'm talking about is to keep the same story, but introduce a different perspective to it. The player can become the antagonist who ultimately loses to the protaganist at the very end, resulting in the world that survives to make another Elder Scroll game.

Anyways, while these two paragraphs may seem like the point of this post, I meant them as a lead to something I thought of after reading the preview of upcoming Dante's Inferno by EA Redwood.

The setting they chose to work with in the said title is, in fact, very interesting and even stimulating. Intellectually, I mean. Think about diving deep into Hell as described in the first part of the epic poem Divine Comedy, trying to save your dear love. To do that--and this is me musing--you have to defeat numerous devilish creatures, and descend into yet another, deeper and more gruesome circle of Hell. Because it's a journey that has no helping hand or even a rest, your character grows tired, unkempt, bloody, agressive, and starts to lose the human-side. In short, he grows more evil. If he stays on that path, he'd have become the Devil himself at the end of the journey, although he would've saved the love from being damned.

Now, what if, from time to time, the game shows what's above--the glorifying view of the heaven that keeps growing farther as Dante descends down to Hell? What if the game has a hidden path where the player could, instead of marching towards Satan, turn around and find a way to reach Heaven? This may let Dante's love be damned for eternity, but the player would've saved themselves in the end.

Unlike Oblivion idea, this may seem like an alternate ending that creates two versions of a same lore. But I believe that is not the case; there's only one small difference--Dante in Heaven and Beatrice in Hell, or vice versa--but everything else is the same.

I believe the true power of interactive entertainment as videogame is to let players have a real effect in the way story is delivered (rather than having a impact on the story itself). I think ideas such as above, could be one correct way to exploit such uniqueness of the medium.

But well, that's me musing in the slow day at non-game-related work...

No comments: