Aug 092011

Strike me down and... oh wait, I'm a companion, you can't, lol.

On Bioware’s added companion customization and removed companion killing

by Mark Pajor (follow @mpajor on Twitter)


If you haven’t heard yet, a few big changes to the Companion system were announced at Comic-Con: you can customize their physical appearance, do some new things with their AI, and you can no longer kill them permanently through your story. All three of these things were responses to player feedback in testing, but it’s interesting to note that while the first two give the player a larger degree of freedom and flexibility, the last removes an option that several people were excited for. Why did these changes occur, and what does it mean for player freedom and choice?

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Jul 062011

By Adam Jarvis

[Editor’s note: Welcome to Adam Jarvis, one of our new Staff Writers.  His debut column takes a look at the progression of choice in video games.]

In the early stages of the gaming industry, meaningful decisions affecting narrative were nonexistent. Most games, start to finish, were a straight line with little deviation. There would be the occasional choice between two paths that led to the same spot or a nail biting decision on what sequence to press some buttons, but nothing that ever affected the story you were living.

As the industry and technology has grown, so too has the scope of games. Chrono Trigger, released on the SNES in 1995, offered a myriad of different endings. This is the first game that I can remember having my choices alter the outcome of the story. It was a beautiful thing and one of the many reasons that game is held in such high regard.

More “Evolution of Choice” and Comments after the jump: Continue reading »

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