Gamer-at-Arms – Out Of Their Hands

“JASON” of the Month!

About a month ago, I started having a conversation with my Dad that I never thought I’d ever have: a serious conversation about videogames. As I recall, it started with him asking about whether older games were usually turned into films, probably as a means to acquire reassurance about my future employment prospects. I began by telling him that he’d got it the wrong way round.

First off I pointed out that “it doesn’t really work like that”. I explained that the games industry is a great deal more profitable than the film industry and, if anything, old films should be getting remade into games. I put across how games offer much more scope in terms of story than films do and Mass Effect 3 made for a great example, especially since I had only recently finished it at the time.

As you may well know, throughout the Mass Effect trilogy you’re presented with situations whereby you must choose the outcome and thus shape the rest of the story to come. Even a 99% non-gamer like my Dad (he only dabbles in Solitaire) could agree that being able to craft your own story like that is by far better than the linear, non-interactivity of film. Add to that the fact you can build relationships in ways that film can barely begin to comprehend – something I explained to my Dad by referring to my endearment towards the Krogan, their struggle against the genophage and how that all played out for me.

More clues and Qs and less pew-pews.

Anyway, after all that talking about the stories in games, it made me think back to when I played L.A. Noire and Heavy Rain – two games with fantastic stories to tell. To this day, I consider these to be games that I think my parents might enjoy, but at the same time I think they’re both too unapproachable for ether of them to be able to play.

What I mean is, there’s a certain level of skill required in each of those games in order to progress; a level of skill my parents do not possess and as a result their experiences with both L.A. Noire and Heavy Rain would no doubt suffer greatly. For every crime scene needing investigated in L.A. Noire, there’s an all-out gun battle or a chase through the streets; for every cry of “Jason!” in Heavy Rain, there’s a quick time event sequence that involves bloody motion controls.

It’s to this end that I now believe Jennifer Hepler is onto something with the idea that games should come with an option to skip the combat, or perhaps even skip the skill-based sections in general. Of course, skipping them altogether would start to undermine the point of them being video games, so what about the inclusion of a ‘supereasy mode’ where there’s no risk of failure instead? That way, total newbs like my Mum and Dad get some more involving gameplay to dip their toes into and a great story to drive them onwards. Who knows? Before long they might even start to try harder difficulties and then before you know it, they’ll be fighting side-by-side with you in something like Borderlands 2 and with “Newb Parent Mode” turned off.







5 responses to “Gamer-at-Arms – Out Of Their Hands”

  1. Johnny avatar

    Or you could buy them games like Professor Layton, The Walking Dead, and Monkey Island.

  2. Mark P avatar

    While those are good shouts, they don’t really help if I specifically want them to play LA Noire or Heavy Rain.

  3. Tony avatar

    LA Noire allows you to skip all the action scenes, if I remember rightly? Agree on Heavy Rain, though, as great as it is you need to know your way around a PS3 controller.

  4. Another Tony avatar
    Another Tony

    Drop em straight into a CoD, Battlefield or Crysis game I say! 🙂

  5. Mark P avatar

    I tried that once with Star Wars: Battlefront on the Xbox with my Dad. Didn’t work. 🙁

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