Submitted by Pixelgate 172d ago | opinion piece

Morality Systems Need to be Less Black & White

Sean Halliday of Pixel Gate writes:

''This generation has seen decision-making and morality systems play major parts in a lot of games. The likes of Mass Effect and Fallout 3 have all featured them in some shape or form. While both games are ‘good’ examples of morality systems, they all tend to suffer from the same issue–and it’s an issue that affects almost every single game with a system of this nature.'' (BioShock, Fable 2, Fable 3, Industry, Mass Effect 3)

-Gespenst-  +   172d ago
Morality systems in games are usually binarisms. If there were like 4 different choices, that could mean a LOT more work. Not that I disagree with this article's proposition - on the contrary I wholeheartedly agree - but there's probably a practical reason for the simplcity of morality systems in games. That's not to say that the views of the creators themselves couldn't influence such a feature either; sometimes it could even be both. Nonetheless, people shouldn't let their games mislead them into thinking the complexity morality is even nearly approximated by such games. Heck, I could say the same about most games, morality system or no.
Pixelgate  +   172d ago
Hwy Gespenst, thanks for the comment!

While i do agree it would take a ton more work to create a truly in depth morality system but with morality systems becoming even more of a common mechanic in games surely someone will step up to the plate?

That being said The Witcher 2 does a decent job of having a less 'in your face' morality system that goes beyond being a toss up between pure evil choices and some kind of paragon of justice and truth!
wheresmymonkey  +   172d ago
Its already been done, Look at the likes of The Witcher seires and Deus Ex, and to a lesser extent Skyrim and Fallout.

All of these games contain a morality system as in their are options which are good and options that are morally questionale.

But at the end of the day they don't make any great difference except to who will accosiate with yuo and who wont.

Making a decent morality system is simple, it just has to present choice with no actual consequence other than minor societal ones as at the end of the day morality is merely a social construct and should be treated as such in games.
DeadManV  +   172d ago
It would probably easier for games without voice acting
Pintheshadows  +   172d ago
The Witcher 3 should fix this. The morality system seems to affect people and regions, not a bar that slides back and forth.
#2 (Edited 172d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
MightyNoX  +   172d ago
Witcher series does it well.
Roccetarius  +   172d ago
Well, i wouldn't expect devs like Bioware to pick up on this. CDPR is doing pretty well in that area, and Witcher 3 will most likely raise that bar.
AceBlazer13  +   172d ago
the walking dead pulls it off imo. evey decision i make has me questioning choice. would be cool the day we get to respond through mics ourselves , within another decade probably
Summons75  +   172d ago
I agree, that's why I loved Catherine. The morality system was anything but black or white. You could get all the perfectly good answers but end up with the worst ending. The relationship questions were also very grey too, having no correct answer but how you actually felt.
Nabbic  +   172d ago
It's less about black and white and more about actual consequences to your actions.
Most games with morality systems, you can slaughter everything then turn into a paragon of justice rather quickly, making everyone love you. I want to be able to completely lose trust of characters, if I fail something, I want to see the effects it has on other characters and settlements, not just that one person or settlement.

Take nuking megaton in Fallout 3, for example. If I destroy it, trading routes would be affected, refugees would be thrown out to the wastes, increasing productivity on raids... More raiders may take up to occupy the area, and nearby towns may be hit hard and force people to leave. If I'm caught, people may not even want me in their settlements.
If I hand over the agent to the sheriff, perhaps Tenpenny would flat out ban me from his tower. Or even send a few more.

But all Fallout does on the matter with consequence is unlock a few lines of dialogue.

Add comment

You need to be registered to add comments. Register here or login
New stories

Setting Off the Kessler Effect in Habitat's Space Junkyard | Hardcore Gamer

10m ago - It’s the end of the world again, but this time we’ve got a bit of warning. Nanobots are eating th... | PC

Play the Nontendo 4DS in Rusty's Real Deal Baseball for Free in the Nintendo 3DS eShop

25m ago - In Rusty's Real Deal Baseball, players get to know Rusty Slugger, the sad sack salesman who runs... | 3DS

Fails of the Weak 187

30m ago - Jack and Geoff bring you this week's Fails of the Weak in Halo 4 and Halo Reach! | Xbox 360

Game Fails Recap for the Week of April 7th, 2014

30m ago - Michael, Ray, and the best of the worst for the week of April 7th! | PC

Start Making Games for the PS4

Now - Want to design the next generation of video games? Start learning game design today. Click for more info on how to get started. | Promoted post

Let's Play Minecraft - Episode 99 - Golden Hoe

30m ago - The AH crew is back with the 99th episode of Minecraft! This week they play "Golden Hoe." | PC
Related content from friends