Wednesday, February 10, 2016
The Illusion of Choice
It's been a hoot, only, well, now I'm reaching the end of the central story, and I've encountered one of the tantalizing limitations of this kind of game. The main storyline branches out in a number of different ways, with different endings. How you act and the choices you make determines how the story ends...up to a point.
And as I reach that point, the illusion of choice becomes harder and harder to miss. Not choice, but the illusion thereof.
As the story progresses, the pre-established decisionmaking trees grow further and further away from what I'd actually select. I'll look at the options presented to me, and think: I wouldn't do any of these things.
No, I don't want to kill that character. No, I don't want to destroy that thing. I want to use suasion and patience to change the story for the better. I can see how that would work. But I'm not given that option.
I've had this challenge with other "open" games, like in a painfully unnecessary conflict at the end of the Fallout: New Vegas expansion. Dang it, that didn't have to happen! I could have made it not happen!
But this being a game, and not reality, it's not actually open.
Funny, how that reminds me of American politics.