Extra Punctuation: Why No Couples in Games?

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Wait a second. I believe Yahtzee once said that he doesn't believe in love. Now he's writing about romance in games like its' a big deal. I think he actually does believe in love. But his interpretation of the semantic form of love; (the word 'love'), was fucked up by real life examples, naturalist art and influence from other people. Which is perfectly understandable.

Even if true, undying love doesn't exist it damn well ought to. And art is nothing if not a projection of things as they ought to be.

Dorkmaster Flek:

Truly-A-Lie:
I've also found Nathan Drake and Elena's romantic build up over the two Uncharted games really effective.

I was thinking about that too, but that's just another example of the "female tagging along until she becomes the protagonist's girlfriend" scenario. It is well done and I love Elana as a character, don't get me wrong, but it's been done a thousand times in games already. Hopefully the fact that Catherine actually did extremely well for Atlus in sales indicates that there is indeed an audience for this sort of story, even if you do have to go through an obnoxiously difficult puzzle game to get to it.

There's a difference between "tagging on" and "going with him". Elena has never been a burden in any of the Uncharted games, and she's always been there with a pistol. Closest she came to being a burden was when you had to save her cameraman.

If she continues to keep kicking ass alongside him, and acts as his voice of morality (or even voice of noble behaviour), then they're just growing together as they spend time together. Except for the fact that its done while killing Russian mercenaries, how is that any different to any other relationship?

I'm pretty sure that Catherine is only a "Couple in the beginning and couple at the end" in two of the eight possible endings. A stable relationship is a bit less dramatic, because there's no change to the status quo at the end.

Unfortunately, that plays into the cliches of the romance subplot and the doomed romance. It's sad, and I think a lot of games without a romance subplot would benefit from adding a stable relationship through the story.

If you had a relationship with a character in Mass Effect 1, is it possible to stay in that relationship through the end of Mass Effect 2? That would qualify.

It's odd. The death of the Girlfriend in Infamous didn't do much to me because it was a cliche, but I thought the scene of Cole waking the next day near her grave was quite moving. It was just a nice touch.

snowman6251:
What about those incestuous dickheads from Assassin's Creed Brotherhood as villains with a relationship? It's even used to good effect in the game's plot.

That would be Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia, of course. Probably better to find a non-incestuous relationship to hold up as an example of...relationships in gaming, mind :p. Though from the same game, I quite liked the Ezio and Christina subplot, though it is of course debatable whether that ever actually became a relationship...

hawk533:
I agree that this lack of true relationships in video games is silly and it stops video games from being taken seriously as a medium.

It's just something that irks me but I always hate it when someone says something along the lines of 'this is why we aren't taken seriously as a medium'. We should come to grips with the fact that we aren't exactly what you would call a 'serious medium' yet, don't get me wrong, there is a lot of artistic and intellectual potential in games both in our future and in things we have already done but this doesn't mean we're a 'serious medium' (whatever the hell that's supposed to mean).

We're still a young medium (they haven't even been around for a human lifetime yet), it's fine if you see a bright future for video games (I do too, I am very passionate about games) but understand that this isn't gonna be a universal view for quite a while.

Your examples remind me of Aeris and Tifa in Final Fantasy 7. I could never tell which of them was supposed to actually be Cloud's girlfriend/love interest so I didn't really care at all when Aeris died.

I have a simmilar sentiment but for a different reason, I found it hard to care when Aeris died because it just seemed like something that was pulled out to try and make me weepy (my exact words when I first went through it were 'why the hell don't my Pheonix downs work?').

I think I've yet to see a believable married couple depicted throughout a game.

To be fair I think there are a few reasons why depeicting a realistic relationship isn't exactly a high priority in the games industry, a brief checklist of them are as follows:

1- For the most part it doesn't really detract from the game: When you complain about the relationships that are there just as a motivation/prize for the protaganist (of both the 'love interest in peril' and 'revenge for dead wife' flavours) that's all they really need to be for the most part.

The example of 'would Kratos' wife in God of War want him to have gone on a roaring rampage of revenge?' provided by Yahtzee seems to have especially missed the point completely, Kratos is heavily implied (if not outright stated) to be insane, delusional, self-rightious and otherwise a mentally unstable person and probably an abusive and uncaring person (in other words, do you honestly think he put even a moment of thought into 'what she would have wanted?', if he had would he have even murdered his family in the first place?).

Another example that also seems to have missed the point behind the context is the Gears of War 2 example, 'she wouldn't want him to go off and be just as violent and brutish as those who did this to her', somehow I doubt that going off to war against a race of aliens on a genocidal jihad against humanity with subspecies the size of buildings and a penchant for capturing people and torturing them to the point of disfigurement and insanity is exactly what one would call 'sinking down to their level'.

2- Us as gamers: I rarely use blanket statements to refer to groups but the whole thing about gamers being single losers who can't get a girlfriend is probably not too far from the truth for a lot of us. When the presumed majority of gamers out there are probably single it's a little bit pretentious of those of us who are happy in a relationship to assume tha they are distraught by how they don't realistically show the quirky dynamics of a happy couple interacting and displaying affection for each other, in other words, no, I was not disheartened because I couldn't draw parralells between how me and my dearest beloved talk to each other and how Shepard and [insert your personal choice of love interest here] interacted in Mass Effect (at no point was I ever outraged because they didn't watch movies and play old Sega games together).

3- Relationships as a plot device: The two most common appearances of stable relationships between people that appear in games (the formation and tragic violent ending of them/abduction of partner) both serve a distinct purpose in most games, giving the protaganist a clear, understandable motivation for taking action as well as a tangiable reason to not just call it quits when things get tough. It's an immediate and clear reason as to why someone would go to great lengthes and risk their life to ensure the safety of another person (or in the case of a dead spouse, it doesn't need to be explained as to why this would enrage or push them over their breaking point, it's fairly obvious for anyone who has even the slightest bit of human empathy). For this purpose the love interest doesn't have to be particularly well defined or characterised (after all, they're more of a goal to be obtained in this situation than an active character) and some of the most blisteringly awful love interests I've seen have actually been the result of too much of an attempt to characterise them rather than the absence of a character (sometimes a blank slate is a better character).

SgtFoley:

hawk533:
I agree that this lack of true relationships in video games is silly and it stops video games from being taken seriously as a medium. Your examples remind me of Aeris and Tifa in Final Fantasy 7. I could never tell which of them was supposed to actually be Cloud's girlfriend/love interest so I didn't really care at all when Aeris died.

I think it as supposed to be Tifa since Cloud met Aeris for the first time during the game and she died about two hours of gameplay later.

FFVII came at a time when romantic subplots weren't important in JRPG's, but following it's popularity started a shift towards having one as almost a necessity for a Square RPG.

For the game in question though I've never been a FFVII fanboy, but if I recall correctly there's a point early on in the game where you have a bouquet of flowers and you can give them to Aeris or the little girl which makes Tifa go awwwww. I believe this event determines who approaches for a 'date' later on in the game at the Saucer city, so you could basically say that's your girlfriend for the game. But like I said at the time of development romantic plots weren't important in RPG's so it was really turned down. After they found out people actually really liked it they cranked it way up for FFXIII.

I loved my relationship with Anders until

If we were so close why couldn't I have talked him out of it...

The primary problem is gameplay.

One of the reasons it doesn't work in Gears of War is because of the violent shift between swearing and shooting to Dom's love sideplot. Marcus just seems awkward throughout and his solution as to how to solve a problem like Maria is surprise, surprise, offering a gun to shoot her. I'm just surprised Dom didn't tearfully add "Eat lead, arsehole" when he shot her. She get's no dialogue, we mostly only see her as a photograph. That said the inclusion of the scene where Dom finds Maria and sees her as she was and not as she is, is still effective.

Unless it's a co-op game, it's hard to see how to have the other character in the relationship around, except in the inferior role of escorted npc. Your best hope is probably RPGs that have a large numbers of playable characters and are dialogue heavy.

The other problem is narrative. Family and friends are there to die as plot devices to give the main character motive or emotion. Films are also particularly fond of breaking up relationship in sequels, just to bring them back together again, which filters through to some games.
E.g. Prince of persia: sands of time, where the prince grows as a person after meeting Farah and they start a relationship...then he erases all their time together...only to hook-up again in two Thrones.

The only other couple I can think of is Guybrush Threepwood and Elaine Marley with their weird co-dependence and long time spent apart...

Mario and Peach's relationship, at least in my opinion, is largely incidental. Whether or not they are romantically linked doesn't matter, because even in games where rescuing Peach isn't the main plot, Mario will still go and be a hero, because that's what he does. He's a nice guy who does the right thing. Come on, if you saw someone being attacked, you wouldn't have to be in a relationship with them to do something about it. Mario just takes that to the logical extreme of flying though space on a dinosaur to save her.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I also like how the relationships between the various Link's and Zelda's have been playing out in recent games; in Spirit Tracks they spend most of the game together as opposed to only seeing her at the end (even though I suppose the story is still 'rescuing her'), and in Twilight Princess I got a much stronger vibe from Link and Ilia, while Zelda felt more like an ally.

Wene it comes to couples in games, (that is ones i find compeling) my mind allways gos to FF8.
I was never much for the game, it was okay, but not much more then that, but Cid and Edea Kramer has allways the best couple for me.
Cid/Edea from FF8 has been the one couple i code see my self in. even going so far as to cosplay as the par ones with girlfrend of the time.
Cant find the pic at the mommet, but will edit it in later, it was funny ;-)

I love the Gears of War series, but I don't get that "arr-gwar" macho man vibe from Marcus and his crew (except Cole, but he's clearly a caricature of his respective voice actor). It makes sense to me; who's else would you send to fight herculean, nightmarish, subterranean monsters?

But on to my point. As canon goes (and this is mostly gathered from the books and comics, not much in the game), Dom and Mrs. Dom (aka Maria) were married. They were deeply in love and had two kids (that eventually died). I feel that Doms' search for Maria was to give him a little face time compared to Marcus. Without that, Doms character wouldn't have much to amount to besides being a sidekick to Marcus. When Maria dies, Dom loses all hope. The grief from loss of his entire family consumes him, and all he can think about is eradicating the Locust. Is this what Maria would've wanted? Of course not, but she's dead, and that ultimately doesn't wash away a man's heavy sorrow; the only people he has left to fight for are his friends (cheesy, I know, but what else is there). It is also a bit cheesy that he'd pretty much go on a killing spree, but I don't think there would be anything else for him to, apart from stop fighting, but as the events for Gears 3 roll around, nobody can stop fighting.

Romance in games is a fickle thing, but I think the Extra Credits episode "Sex in Games" covered the topic well.

I'm pretty sure Dom's wife would want him to, y'know, save the human race. It's not the same as Kratos. It's a war.

That's not to say that it wouldn't have been interesting if Dom had just said fuck it, I'm going home. They would have a nice set up for Gears 3.

grimner:
I'd say the reason why it's usually so hard is because effectively games ARE action movies, and interactive ones at that. we want the thrill of the chase, whether it's going after space orcs or that juicy pixelated skimpy dressed piece of polygon ass.

One good example on how to write a character with a relationship, though, is in the Witcher 2. Geralt starts the game with Triss, and she can, depending a bit on your choices, remain as such throughout the game. Sure, there is still booty aplenty for you to deviate with, but the game makes it entirely your choice. There is hints of another love interest who is kept offscreen throughout, but most importantly, while Triss is central to the plot, the relationship is treated very matter of factly, as an established trait of the characters, only there enough for we to know it exists and make us care a bit more about the eventual choices that come our way. Too bad the game's relative obtusiveness kept Yahtzee from it, because a great many deal of the things he champions are implemented in the game.

I was gonna suggest the Witcher games too, since you start a relationship from the first game, and then they're a full-on couple in the 2nd game. Although I didn't love Triss in the first game, I was more of a Shauni guy, and nothing came to fruition of that relationship :(

Ico and Yorda. Sigh... Cutest video game couple ever.

Bostur:
Happy couples don't risk their lives to save the world, they stay home to make risotto and erh.. watch the cartoon network. It's not interesting as a plot device, there is no McGuffin. The perfect story relationship is one of deep love obstructed by outside forces. Thats why Mario needs to rescue the princess all the time, and...

^pretty much this^
only... I would go on to say that among the kind of people who risk their lives to save the world, ones who can commit to a relationship of that sort are pretty rare. Nomadic and free-spirited or brooding and angry tend to be the character archetype for those with the necessary skillsets and experience to survive long enough in the extreme situations that video games throw at their protagonists. Neither archetype is terribly good at settling down or committing to another person.
There's also the dilemma of being an old hand at violence while trying to settle down with someone who isn't (this, of course, wouldn't apply to two adventurers getting together in a game). Unless they remove themselves from that violence completely, they'll be on edge. I knew an old sergeant who left his wife because he woke up one night strangling her in his sleep shortly after coming home from a deployment. He said he knew he had to choose between her and the army, and he figured he didn't stand a chance of succeeding in the civilian world.
So one has to factor in psychological damage from all this "saving the world" business as well. To save the world, a protagonist usually has to become a killer... and killers rarely have healthy relationships.

One game which both does and does not use a romantic relationship as a goal and/or plot device is Xenogears. While the protagonist follows a typical drawn out romance with the female lead, I always liked how the character Citan had a wife and daughter. They don't have much impact on the game, and he never seems to angst over leaving them behind, and they never seem to concerned about him running away and participating in rebellions. At one point his wife compels him to take up his sword again, which makes him even more of a badass though.

Runaway series? The Next Best Thing? Those guys? No?

This issue has always nagged at me.

By the way,

but only because Vamp was implied to be banging absolutely fucking everyone, including you as you read this (try to hold still).

This *absolutely* made me laugh my ass off. Well, off a chair at least.

You could go and play Leisure Suit Larry *wink*

Zhukov:
Also, dare I mention the ME2 DLC Lair of the Shadow Broker? I found the ongoing Shepard-and-Liara relationship in that surprisingly endearing.

I tapped that in ME1 Giggity goo. I feel dirty for saying that

ARGH! SEX ON THE BRAIN!

Come on. We all know that the reason Mario was socking away all those coins was so that, once he finally got that daft bint back from the overgrown lizard, he could go out and enjoy the... uhm, "services" of one of the Mushroom Kingdoms "female escorts". You think they're cheap over there?

I for one don't see why we couldn't have an action game based around a family- a husband (retired Marine, two tours of duty in the Middle East) and a wife (decorated city cop) running off to find their daughter in some sort of widespread emergency. It'd make for pretty good co-op too.

"Wait! Wait! Honey, stop!"
"What?"
"I think I left the oven on. I... hm. No... no. I turned it off. Okay. Never mind."
"You do this every time we go out."

Gonna come in again with a DA2 comment the relationship was pretty good with Anders for me, as after a certain point there is less drama in the relationship and it's just going out to do things together and coming home and sleeping together at night, sex optional.

Got to mention LA Noire though Cole Phelps is married and has kids and I didn't realise until the end but it's a very weird snapshot of his life and you don't get much overall details.

There are no functional relationships because then the product would be aimed at a mature public, already grown up enough to sustain emotive and financial committment... not compatible with playing videogames full time in your spare time, or even working with them (see Yahtzee's own case of describing himself as a loner lunatic).

I know it's passe to like jRPGs nowadays (and most of them are as guilty of this as any other genre, often more so) but you know what game did romance AWESOME? Wild Arms 2.

Yup. The one NO ONE played.

WILD ARMS 2 SPOILERS.

First off, Marina (main character's girl)? Not a party member. Childhood friend, runs a bakery with her mom, Ashley (main character) rents the room upstairs and helps them man the store on his time off. So right off the bat, this isn't the usual "boy meets girl" story. They've known each other for a WHILE. This relatinship of theirs has been a long time coming...

Ashley is training to be some sort of soldier/mercenary/adventurer/special ops kinda guy. He goes off on dangerous missions, and training routs and whatnot. Early in the game he's off to some ceremony and she tells him she doesn't care if he's the best special ops or the worst, or if he passes or fails, or rich or poor or whatever. She just wants him to come home in one piece. That's all. And he promises her that no matter what, he'll come home.

And that promise becomes the lynchpin of the game. To the point that me (and many other players) had a tendency to go back home to visit her after EVERY mission... Cuz that's what we promised. When the ceremony goes awry, and Ashley tries to draw the holy sword, the spirit of the sword asks him if he wants the power to destroy his enemies, or to save his life. Ashley says he wants the power so he can KEEP HIS PROMISE. Their love saves his life, their love is what keeps him moving through all the shit he goes through in the game.

And the heart of the game is a search to what it means to be a hero. Every other character (seriously, like a dozen of them) is a foil for Ashley, each with their own view of what it means to be a hero (to give up your freedom and reputation for the cause, or your morals for the cause, or your life for the cause) while Ashley blunders to find his answer. And he does. To him a hero is a guy who's going to get the job done... And remember to duck long enough to survive it. It's the guy who saves the world and then COMES HOME TO HIS FAMILY.

The romance is dealt with class and respect throughout the game. She is NOT a party member. The plot isn't to save her from kidnappers. She stays home, bakes bread and worries about him. And the scene when the two finally admit their feelings and consumate their love is also dealt with subtlety and taste.

Overall, it was a good, well thought out romance that added to the story rather than distract from it.

SgtFoley:
I think it as supposed to be Tifa since Cloud met Aeris for the first time during the game and she died about two hours of gameplay later.

OMG SPOILERS! ^_^

Now for real content: A stable relationship is BORING to anyone who isn't in it. Yay, you're happy, you had a wonderful vacation, and your kids are brilliant, please shut up. Story-driven games (and movies) depend on drama to move them; if your relationship is so bloody wonderful, then why would you want to change it? Stable relationships tend to change (and thus produce drama) only due to external stressors -- kidnapped child, cheating spouse, zombie uprising...

The things that typically motivate humans are; Lust, Greed (for wealth or power), Wrath/Vengeance, Duty, Idealism/Dream. (I think there were a couple more that were mentioned in my college writing classes, but that's been a loooong time back.) Yes, the roaring-rampage-of-revenge is hackneyed and cliche, especially when we-the-gamers have only known the spouse/victim for 45 seconds, and they were so paper-thin that they were apparently born via origami. Simply put, it's MUCH easier to write a character who's motivated by negative emotion than positive. "Rrraugh they killed my dog and must PAY!" is easier (and probably more believable) than "I don't wish to kill them, but my liege/the state/Mom said they have to die, and I am honor-bound to obey!"

BioWare has done a lot in making in-game relationships deeper and more believable, but in the end, the relationship plots in ME and DA are still of the "forced together by the Plot" variety; if it weren't for the Big Bad, you'd likely have never MET those characters. And anyway... SOME of us are still annoyed that we didn't get to boink the dwarf.

- He really does need to get laid... (Solomon Moto)
- Big time! (Tristan Taylor)

I don't have anything against fleshed out romantic relationships in games as long as they bring something to the story, thus are more than just an afterthought.

As much as I hate "Shadow of the Colossus" the bond its protagonist was chained by to his lover was a powerful driving force behind all of his actions. I even got his character, as his motivations were as clear as a good vodka: no matter the cost he would resurrect that girl. I felt respect for him, one of the few game characters I felt respect for.

trollpwner:
"I need to get laid". Nice.

WAIT WAIT!! I need something so I don't get whacked for low content. Er....Great post?
I liked the couple in sands of time?

Yeah, that'll do. (No, I really did like it. The dialouge there was superb. Why did they fire whoever wrote that before making sequels?!?!)

EDIT: Ouch, Vamp! Not so rough!

One of my favorite game couples as well. I also liked the pair-interaction in Enslaved: Odyssey to the west. The start of the game sets a very interesting scene as the girl eventually holds power over the guy, and he MUST help her.

I wish they'd explored their relationship a bit more than they did though, it could have been a 10.

Khalid and Jaheira has also been mentioned. Their relationship was awesome, and Khalids following death was equally devastating. It was also extremely interesting to woo Jaheira afterwards and see her struggling with the guilt and thoughts of Khalid.

Fuck I need to replay Baldurs Gate :o

Personally, Meng Huo and Zhu Rong have always been my favourite video game couple...

...because although they love each other they also constantly fight. And isn't that what real couples do all the time?

Well, fallout series had a few NPC-to-NPC relationships.

Jackie Estacado and Jenny Ramano in The Darkness perhaps?

SgtFoley:

hawk533:
I agree that this lack of true relationships in video games is silly and it stops video games from being taken seriously as a medium. Your examples remind me of Aeris and Tifa in Final Fantasy 7. I could never tell which of them was supposed to actually be Cloud's girlfriend/love interest so I didn't really care at all when Aeris died.

I think it as supposed to be Tifa since Cloud met Aeris for the first time during the game and she died about two hours of gameplay later.

Twas a love triangle. Tifa has always liked Cloud since they were kids, but I think that when Cloud met Aeris, he fell for her a bit. In one of the special features of the Advent Children Blu Ray, there's a small video where you see Cloud finally ask Tifa out on a date.

Also, Yahtzee, just a thought. For a video game, what's more fun. Kratos murdering basically everything, or seeing a bereavement counselor twice a week? "Press X to talk about that time in the park."

Add me to your list of boys who don't 'possess it'. Largely, I cannot get aroused by people on my screen making out or having sex without character development; without weight to the event.

But enough of that, here's what I really wanted to say today:
Yahtzee, I am loving this journal more and more every week. Not just that it's covering topics even more interesting, but that it is getting to be ridiculously and unfathomably well-written. Not a single sentence is boring or predicted; it's the kind of razor-sharp, fully-alert writing I strive to produce myself. In this very paragraph, you can see how embarrassingly hard I am trying.

Yahtzee, you care to be excellent in everything that you do. I have a lot of respect for that.

PlasticTree:

KDR_11k:

Speaking of which, didn't Red Dead Redemption feature a married guy whose family is still alive? That's a rarity right there. Meanwhile Relic takes it a bit further with a gruff dude who killed his wife (as well as everybody else on the planet) for heresy and believes he did the right thing.

Yeah, but for the main part of the game they only serve as a 'Princess Peach'. Although (spoiler alert) the last hour of the game obviously makes up for that to a certain extent. Then again, an ending like that pretty much makes up for every fault a game could possibly have, if you ask me.

I was thinking Red Dead too as I read the article. John Marsden (haven't played it for ages but I think the name is right) has to do the bidding of federal agents who are basically holding his wife and son hostage until Marsden takes out his former gang. It's pretty epic. I'm married and I found the scene *SPOILER ALERT* where Marsden rides back to his ranch to be reunited with them quite poignant. I also spent much of the game before that wondering if he'd end up with the ranch owner's daughter he hangs out with and helps a lot. It seemed like she had a real soft spot for him. Great game, brutal ending and you bet I had the son hunt down the old SOB fed who double-crossed Marsden.

FaceFaceFace:

The problem with Persona 4's relationships was how they weren't part of the main game. I enjoyed them and they were done well in-and-of-themselves, but nothing in the main plot changed based on them. Tell Chie she looks sexy while dating Yukiko? No problem. Try to pair up with the girl you're dating in any situation that seems like you'll be pairing up with someone? Sorry, they'd rather go with Teddie. Get the girl you're dating to sit in your lap during King's Game? She's just as embarrassed as if she hadn't been dating you for 5 months. They don't even give you special goodbye if you were dating them!

I can understand that they wouldn't want to record that much dialogue, but even in the text only parts they don't add anything. Your final goodbye to everyone you maxed out is the worst. Your girlfriend(s) don't change their goodbye at all. They don't even tack an "I love you" onto the end of the text. Ugh.

(If you couldn't tell, this bothered me periodically throughout my 80 hours of Persona 4)

Yeah that did annoy me too, I think the worst one for me was during the beauty contest and Teddie asks if they're seeing or liked anyone. I was in a relationship with Chie at the time, and she just got embarrassed and said nothing. I got angry, but I managed to stay in character. In my mind, she was ashamed to even publicly say we were going out and I took to thinking that it was over because she wouldn't even stop that bear's crazy advances.

I do really like the options that are there, and the build up to a relationship, but it does need to come together a bit tighter for Persona 5. Starting with consequences for dating 5 people at once. Besides that, other characters reacting to your status as "taken" would be nice and new dialogue options for when you are. Yukiko asked me out while I was going out with who was meant to be her best friend, and I couldn't even say "sorry but I'm taken."

ShenCS:
And yet this problem exists in all other media as well. And they have no excuse seeing how they've been around for so much longer. The answer to this problem is really, really simple. Happy couples have no real conflict and that's not interesting. Also, believable romance is incredibly difficult to write and the games industry, at least, still has the excuse of not always being written by professional writers.

Agreed. Yet oddly enough, half the sitcoms out there are about the small conflicts within a married life or long-time relationships. I'm thinking of modern family, everybody loves raymond, king of queens, HIMYM, Arrested Development, etc. Videogame narratives can easily stretch out to 40 hours (at least old RPGs used to) so they have plenty of time to pander around 2-3 seasons of existing relationships. I'm wondering if its because the conflicts does not revolve around a grander scale or combat that videogames tend to stay away from existing relationships.

Even if it doesn't revolve around main gameplay mechanics (although it would be interesting if it could), a mini-game where you can banter/tease/argue with your long-time gf during a break from all the fighting can speak volumes.

But yes ultimately it is because of bad writers in the industry. Also game designers that can't design with/around complex relationship narratives.

the baldurs gate series had a couple of thought out relationships one was already mentioned in an earlier quote and i do remember the love triangle and eventual YOU MUST CHOOSE part between my PC and aerie and jeheara. the interesting thing is what happened after that in eventually you ended up with a little baby inventory item in your backpack which i admit was the first time ive really seen such a consequence in game although it did raise some interesting things to ponder..

honey could you put the baby behind that pillar over there while we slay this dragon and army of giants. not exactly the best environment for a baby to live in and you never get the option to just well leave now you have a family

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