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Heady truths, to be sure, but what's striking is not that these topics of conversation are included in a videogame, but how they are included. It's possible to play the game in its entirety and remain blessedly unaware of some of the larger implications of its message. Instead of being painted in glaring colors, the lessons are artfully infused throughout the fabric of the game experience itself, woven in and around the activities you'd be doing anyway, even if you didn't give a squat about global socio-economics.
Instead of being painted in glaring colors, the lessons are artfully infused throughout the fabric of the game experience itself.
You can't ignore that the resort, with its spacious grounds and posh accommodations, is a much nicer place than the claustrophobic squalor of the city, but the game never comes right out and proclaims that this is due to the inherent inequality of global trade or the indiscriminate geographical dispersion of early man. The game isn't waving a little red book in your face each time you lay waste to a motherfucking zombie in a motherfucking jungle, but if you feel like look looking deeper as you slay, the game's intriguing social message is there, waiting.
Take, for example, the game's four main characters. While distinctive and somewhat larger-than-life, they are not presented as the types of caricatures you'd expect to see in a videogame. They are real, fleshed-out people with all the layers of emotion and hidden motivations of any normal human being. Instead of super-human space marines, they are (in no particular order) a rap singer, an office worker, a security consultant and a former athlete. Each has a detailed and informative personal story, but none are in any way remarkable as characters in the way of traditional videogame clichés. Rather they are more like the tragic heroes of literature, each having wrestled with personal (if mundane) demons before finding themselves thrust into the role of savior and protector. And yet none of this is telegraphed. You don't even have to know your character's name or former occupation. You can just play "the big guy" or "the gun woman" and ignore the rest, unbothered by the psychological weight of your characters' motivations.