In Army of Darkness, Ash sums up his role as an antihero with the phase, “Good, bad, I’m the guy with the gun.” In an alternate take, be blows off the head of a demonite and grows, “I ain’t that good.” Either way, he projects that attitude that while he may technically be on the light side, he’s only just… and he’s willing to toe the line if it amuses him or if the bad guys push him too far.
The antihero is fun to both watch and play because he or she isn’t as strictly constrained by rules as the pure goody two-shoes hero. In a game where the Jedi attitude sickens me with their dull pious arrogance, it’s decidedly fun to play good in a different — and dirtier — way.
So my bounty hunter has won the Great Hunt — what, did you expect that there would be a lose condition with this? Where the bounty hunter class would return home in disgrace and spend the rest of the hours in the game choosing snack options while watching the TV? — and been inducted into the super-sekret winners club. What does this mean? Well, more of the same, really: More contracts, more assassinations/kidnappings.
As a side note, I love how characters in SWTOR always make a big deal out of how much money they’re going to give you for various tasks, but it’s always a pittance based on the level. Talk big, pay little. That’d be a good summary of the reward system.
Man, SWTOR, what I wouldn’t give for more than one companion to be out at a time! I miss that from other BioWare games, where the companions would bicker and talk between each other. Here I have to make a tough choice who to bring and it always makes me feel like I’m missing out.
So a product endorsement on Quesh turns out to be a silly trap by the Republic SIS and a Jedi padawan that I spared in an earlier chapter. Seriously, girl? I saved your life and this is how you repay me? I do not feel bad clicking the button to insta-kill you.
I’ve been thinking a lot about choices in storytelling games as of late between SWTOR and Telltale’s Walking Dead Season 2. Both games really want to lend the player agency in making decisions but struggle with how to genuinely allow the player to alter the story. In most cases, it’s cosmetic flavor — the story is a raging river flowing to the same destination no matter what while players can nudge the waters here and there for a different kind of splash.
It’s got to be terribly hard to try to come up with choices that won’t result in a massive branching off of the story into two or more divergent segments. That sort of branching might be more possible in a Choose Your Own Adventure book, where the resources required are some typing and a flow chart, but out of the question in games where you have to pay voice actors and take the story to a set conclusion, more or less.
BioWare’s made some noise about putting more into its choices and consequences with the fall expansion, so we’ll see if the devs have managed to crack this code.