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The Trouble with Death

Kim S of VideoGameOlogists.com writes:

"In video games, your character will die. Sometimes on boss fights, sometimes to average grunts and it generally means nothing, other than possibly making you a bit frustrated at the game. There are no consequences. There is no pain.

But your character’s death almost never means anything. Even in Metal Gear Solid, your aide’s screams of “Snake, Snaaake, Snaaaaaake” upon your death quickly become irritating and comical. I can think of only three games that make death mean something: Demon’s Souls/Dark Souls, Journey, and Crusader Kings II. In Dark Souls, the consequences of death persist in your ‘new life:’ if you fail to reach the spot where you died, everything you collected in that life will be permanently lost. This is the simplest way of making death worth my attention: make it cost. Make death hurt the player, instead of respawning their avatar in the same untroubled state as always."

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joab7772253d ago

Interesting article. At first, u were talking about deaths within a game and then endings to a game, but I understood by the end example. I don't know if u can die during journey but I do know that dying within a game is much different than dying as an ending. Bioshock came up with unique idea to explain why u come back to life if u die and they punish u for dying. The irony is that I saved all the time and never used it because of the penalty. Further irony is that the save system made the game awesome because I used it as a way to perfect every situation for the camera or camcorder.

I was watching the new FF14 video yesterday and it did get me to thinking. It's a little off topic but it is concerning how to make games more realistic. 4 people r fighting a powerful creature. But, while it does hurt them, they always just heal and after a long fight they kill the creature, who never heals. Why would the creature stick around knowing it could never win. And it isn't so bad ass if it's simply a monster that can't heal and eventually dies. The playing field should b leveled to reflect some odds that the creature may win. Maybe, if it is able to build up enough energy, it kills a character jnstantly and they lose out on experience and rewards. Unfortunately only on nightmare difficulties do any of these enemies have any chance of winning. But they will laugh in ur face the whole time while u slowly kill them.

Hopefully games find unique ways to deal with death or unrealistic situations in the future. It will make games much better IMO.

josephps32253d ago

First to joab777, nobody is going to read what you wrote. Its a freakin essay.

Valkyria Chronicles handled death well-if a character dies, its gone from the game permanently. Xcom: Enemy Unknown will implement the same thing.

lahnaloo2253d ago

@joab777 Interesting. I agree, just like gameplay games could also think about different ways of approaching death.