Thursday, February 20, 2014

Burned Alive

The action genre in general, and super heroes in particular, tend to gloss over the fate of minions.  When you're shooting ray guns it's easy to handwave that this is non-lethal because Star Trek thought of setting phasers to stun decades ago.  If your character is a martial artist then you can imagine that they aren't hitting people hard enough to kill them.  If you are using guns and high explosives then people are probably dying, but that's sort of a genre thing.  And then there's the Human Torch.

Burning bodies everywhere - and strangely that doesn't stop the remaining muggers from continuing the attack
Fire as an attack type is pretty common in MMO's.  It's a staple of mages of all types, but then I suppose you're free to handwave and say that it's magical fire or whatnot.  Or perhaps there is a convenient stream of aliens, robots, and other foes who are at least able to fight back. 

Whatever the other excuses, something about having a game in a modern setting and facing thugs, mafia, and ninjas and setting them all on fire feels a bit off.  These mobs would be dying, horribly, and Johnny Storm is cracking jokes about it, presumably because his dialog is the same when roasting Doombots, demons, and dinosaurs.  He's a well implemented character, someone I did not expect to like and have enjoyed playing.  I don't think of myself as overly sensitive to violence etc.  Still, the images on the screen just seem a bit unfortunate.

3 comments:

Bhagpuss said...

I stopped buying comics in the early 90s, by which time there were already plenty of super "heroes" who would happily snap out a one-liner while eviscerating a by-stander. If you go back further, to the previous three decades when I was immersed n the form, however, the writers and artists would take enormous care to ensure that a hero like The Human Torch didn't harm anyone who didn't appear to be able to give as good as he got.

If Johnny Storm had set an innocent bystander on fire in the Lee-Kirby years, or the Thomas-Buscema years for that matter, it would have been worth six issues of soul-tearing angst at least.

Bhagpuss said...

I stopped buying comics in the early 90s, by which time there were already plenty of super "heroes" who would happily snap out a one-liner while eviscerating a by-stander. If you go back further, to the previous three decades when I was immersed n the form, however, the writers and artists would take enormous care to ensure that a hero like The Human Torch didn't harm anyone who didn't appear to be able to give as good as he got.

If Johnny Storm had set an innocent bystander on fire in the Lee-Kirby years, or the Thomas-Buscema years for that matter, it would have been worth six issues of soul-tearing angst at least.

mindofyngwe said...

Never looked at it from that perspective, but I suppose as Wolverine using a power called Eviscerate, I have probably murdered a million random thugs in this game.

I also love the "thugs stealing the car" scenario in Midtown. Two thugs trying to steal a car, Cyclops walks up to them, their backs to him, and totally obliterates both them and the car.

Finally, ran a terminal on Wolverine the other night, and fought a huge group of ninjas (100+ spawning over a minute or so). I defeat them all, then one lone survivor comes running from off-screen yelling "Now, you die!" He was quickly proven wrong.