Tag Archives: narrative

‘The first “open narrative” game’

Ken Levine, creator of Bioshock, writing for Matter’s New York Review of Video Games feature:

There are two games that really kicked off what we think of as the modern “open world” game: Super Mario 64 and Grand Theft Auto III. These games unshackled the player from linear progression through a game’s levels. I think Shadow of Mordor is the first “open narrative” game. You’re not just checking off missions in a variable sequence. You’re changing the dramatis personae. Whenever you succeed or fail, the characters in the story respond to your actions, and not in the manner of a branching “choose your own adventure.” It is an excessively simple, yet impressively flexible, crime story.

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Official Elder Scrolls Books Coming March 2015

Official Bethesda Blog:

Not since Encyclopedia Britannica’s heyday have volumes of books looked this cool and demanded to be on your bookshelf. With The Elder Scrolls Online, two volumes covering “The Land” and “The Lore” feature never-before-seen art and extensive lore surrounding the game. Meanwhile, by popular demand, the Skyrim series offers the first opportunity to get all of the game’s in-game text across three volumes.

I always thought it would be great to read written versions of heavy-narrative games. Even with multiple “choose-your-own-adventure” storylines, the writers could choose a plot line to get the point across.

There are plenty of game universes I want to explore (Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect, and World of Warcraft to name a few), but don’t have 60+ hours to spare on side-quests, menu navigation, and controller mechanics. Don’t even get me started on the time dolled out to obsessive character creation.

While these Elder Scrolls “lore” books may not be my ideal solution, they are certainly a better intro to the universes than spin-off, expanded, and/or non-canon storylines.

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Polygon: ‘Among the Sleep Review’

Philip Kollar, Polygon:

I have a nine-month-old child myself, and when he wakes up in the middle of the night sobbing and shaken, I cannot help but wonder what it is that could be torturing the dreams of someone so young. Among the Sleep posits an answer by letting players journey through its two-year-old protagonist’s darkest nightmares.

Between Gone Home and Among the Sleep, the first-person narrative is crawling into innovative territory.

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