As game designers become more like film directors, the paths they lay out for players becomes increasingly scripted and, frankly, downright restricted. Still the illusion of freedom persists in this genre.
The notion of fake gameplay freedom reminds me of BioWare's games a bit. Obviously they give you a lot of dialogue choices throughout but many of them ultimately funnel you to the same point in the conversation (e.g. the enemy you're conserving with says, "Enough of this! It's time for you to die!"). It's not a bad thing - it keeps the game on track - but it's interesting to see how they create the illusion of greater freedom for the player.
I died a few times after the "It's time for you to die!" Choice and took different paths. It didn't feel unique. Fallout, now that is open ended. SPOILER!!!!!! When the kid is the abomination, I can't stealth my way up and slit his throat taking care of the possession. That is my solution, but it isn't an option.
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