Gaming: It’s All About the Story

I’m excited; the sun is out, spring is here and March brings a slew of video games to various different consoles including Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider, both of which I’m dying to play.

TombRaider2013Tomb Raider … ah Lara’s adventures have always held a special place in my heart, mainly because it was one of the first games I played on PC, back in the day. Similarly, I had a deep love for the Bioshock games because of the strength of the story lines and the power of the emotive choices you have to make.

When I was a wee little thing stories in gaming were basic and simple: Sonic has to get the Chaos Emeralds to stop Doctor Whatshisname; Mario has to save the princess; the Princess will get married in an hour unless the Prince can get to her in time. Over the years and the decades, however, story has slowly become as important as the graphics and now, in the twenty first century, gaming is slowing becoming something where you don’t just play, you choose and thus shape the journey of the protagonist.

This was, of course, particularly noticeable in games like Bioshock where you had to choose whether to save or harvest little girls. Children, even ones transformed into little monsters, are always a slippery point in gaming … what kind of person would harm them? I admit on the first play through of games like Bioshock, Dishonored, Fable or Skyrim, I will try to do the right thing, I will save innocents and walk the righteous path. The next play through? Well it’s no holes barred I’m afraid.

Tomb Raider is one game which interests me because it sees the forging of a young British teen into a strong, capable woman. It’s a powerful story of transformation and a fitting reboot for one of the gaming industries most beloved heroines. I admit, I’ve not played it yet but I want to. I love the idea of sandbox island with tombs and adventure, with frankly creepy death scenes (including one where Lara is skewered through the throat … /shudder) but also a strong story. One of the parts reviews have focused on is Lara’s choice to take a life for the first time; she has to make a choice which we make through her: live or die, fall or rise and become stronger for it.

bioshockSimilarly Bioshock Infinite, which takes place on the floating island of Colombia rather than the sunken city of Rapture, has been a long time coming and, through protagonist Booker DeWitt, we gain access to a strange city where religion and steampunk is alive and well. He has to rescue a spunky young woman named Elizabeth who has a set of mysterious powers which enable her to break down the barriers of time and space. From previews, Booker’s reasons for rescuing her are anything but selfless, there’s talk of ‘old debts’ and by bringing Elizabeth down from Columbia, those scores will be wiped out. You just know that his reasons are going to become a central theme in what looks to be an awesome game.

My only question is: how the heck am I going to get any sleep this month with all these games coming out?

Cheers!

Related articles

Nintendo 3DS XL | nintendo.com

Nintendo’s 3DS XL

We geeks love our gadgets. Can’t live without ’em. Granted, I have a dumbphone and a laptop—neither a tablet nor smartphone to boast of. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t rather own a Galaxy S-III or MacBook Air or Microsoft Surface. But unfortunately, money is sometimes a concern. As someone who is both a young, introverted […]

4 Comments

  1. Additionally, if you're interested in more backstory of the Bioshock cast and set, check out John Shirley's "Bioshock: Rapture" novel that discusses the creation of Rapture and the past of many main characters that appear in the two games. It's clever and well-rooted in the lovingly crafted alternate history we've come to except from Irrational's flagship IP.

  2. I happily found that one of the most compelling narratives in a recent release is the PS3 exclusive Journey. It's a wholly experiential game that tells what ends up being a very personal tale. If you have a PS3 (or have a friend with one), definitely give it a shot. Be sure to be playing on with a PSN account enabled, it makes the game whole.

  3. It's definitely all about the story for me!

    Good example for me is the Mass Effect trilogy. It's a much better game if you import your game saves from the previous games rather than start fresh. The time spent with all these characters in the story makes you, or it did with me at least, emotionally involved. With all the positive reviews coming in for Tomb Raider, I can't wait to get stuck into that game!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.