Sunday, June 5, 2011

Single Player Kill Ten Rats

Seems like once a year or so that I clear out some time to work on console games.  In the last month, I've played through Portal 2 and now I'm working on Infamous (one of the free selections I took for the PSN hacking debacle.)  Like I the games I played last year, these both come from the school of cinematic game storytelling - attempt an objective until you succeed, see the next scene in the story, rinse and repeat.

Infamous has side quests, and I'm already finding types of "quests" that I'm not thrilled to be repeating.  The non-story missions come in a variety of flavors - rescue the hostages, destroy the truck, follow the courier on the rooftops, run a timed course across the roofs, and - my least favorite because the camera is your enemy - searching the walls of buildings for listening devices to destroy.  I'm enjoying the story and the game, but ironically I'm getting tired of the side quests faster than I get tired of the generally less varied "kill 10 rats, loot 10 foozles" model in MMO's.

Perhaps the problem is that this content feels like filler in between the more interesting story missions.  Alternately, perhaps the "persistent" social world of MMO's makes me more tolerant of this type of repetition.  Perhaps I was more tolerant of the same type of repetition in Assassin's Creed because the comparable missions that come up repeatedly (pickpocket, interrogate, eavesdrop, assassinate) are actually part of the main story (gathering information on your main target) and not just something that you do on the side because you're a nice (or evil) guy. 

Either way, variety apparently isn't everything. 

1 comment:

Azuriel said...

Killing ten rats feels worth it to me (or tolerable) in MMOs because it is building up a character that I will be playing months and months from now. This is contrasted to single-player games where killing ten rats serves as filler for the 10-hour plot. The "kill 10" is almost a concession to the MMO format in my eyes, whereas there is no excuse for it in single-player games where they could invent whatever activities they wanted.