Shamus wrote about Crysis 2 a while back, and I meant to talk about it. Somehow that slipped by, and now it's no longer topical, but fuck you I'm talking about it anyway.
He describes at length how the entire game features characters barking orders into your headset. And not just the big stuff, either, like "You have to capture the base from the alien nazi werewolves"(that's what Crysis is about right? I don't have a PC that can run it, I wouldn't know). No, apparently they have to hold the player's hand through every single step, chattering incessantly about every single simple task so that the player is awarded absolutely no freedom to explore different options for himself. This is a problem in more than just Crysis.
And I thought about the type of person who would want this in their games. Someone who is opposed to thinking for themselves. Someone who likes the military angle, but has no will to take command of a situation and prefers being told how to think and act. Someone willing, nay DEMANDING they be a pawn to some grander scheme planned out by people higher up in a hierarchy. Someone who thinks morality and free thought and a conscience and a story get in the way of performing mechanical routines because that's what they've been trained to do.
Like a soldier. And not the kind of person who genuinely wants to protect the things and people he cares about. I'm talking about the people who want to be in the armed forces, not as a dashing hero but as a mindless automaton. As something expendable and worthless. The type of person who would if given the order, without question, die with his fellow soldiers until their bodies formed a bridge.
These are the people with the expendable income. These are the people AAA video games are marketed toward today. These are the people who will run the world in the decades to come. It is this audience that decides which games are made, and it is these people who decide that Transformers 2 should make a bazillion dollars. A group of soulless, empty shells of human ammunition.
In this sense, Crysis 2 sounds like the scariest game ever made.
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