Bethesda Game Studios is known for the popular Elder Scrolls series, and in more recent years, the Fallout franchise. Their open-world RPGs have consistently topped the charts on sales and replay value. But ultimately what makes these games so popular is the ease-of-access for modifying the games files, and the helpful communities that have evolved around this key feature. So the question is, who really makes the content players keep returning to? The developers, or the fanbase?
The original Falllout games were published by Black Isle Studios, and where spiritual successors to the Wasteland series by Interplay Productions from the 1980’s.… Read the rest
You’ve built your character very carefully, designing them into a realistic, if perhaps over-skilled person, one with individual characteristics, and perhaps even a somewhat planned storyline. Then, you accidentally steal something. You meant to select the shopkeeper or house-owner before you, but instead, you select their valuable health potion, and without hesitation, they attack you. Your immediate reaction? You don’t return the stolen item, or explain your mistake. Nor even do you admit what you’ve done and accept a night in jail. Often times, you don’t have the chance to do these things, and, when you do, well, it costs you less coin to just take out your enchanted mace and kill that poor shopkeeper. … Read the rest
Virtual reality has long been the stuff of fantasy in the world of games and gamers; a matter of dreams and science fiction. In some respects, true, stepping-into-another-world virtual reality represents the pinnacle of video games and an overall technological goal in the industry. Small steps have been made towards this goal, perhaps, if the definition of virtual reality is broadened. Second Life offers up some of the ambition and goals of virtual reality, but is a stilted overall experience that is now quite dated. Recent video games with enhanced high definition graphics and increasingly sophisticated immersion techniques, while not attempting true virtual reality, have created worlds for gamers that come alive in their own respect.… Read the rest
Having asked whether games lie within the realm of art, it can be said that a game is capable of “doing art” particularly if it inspires or affects the one evaluating it. But can we say that a survival horror game engenders this emotional catharsis in the same manner as other game genres? I ask this because the genre is comparably different from RPG or strategy games in that it is defined less by its set up and more by the specific effect it is meant to have on the players, i.e. its ability to make them scream.
That being said, we need to recognize what elements of a game must be “scary enough” to make it a survival horror.… Read the rest
Rhythm games notwithstanding, music is one of the most important (but underrated) aspects of almost every game. Each unique soundtrack to a game (or even usage of a licensed song) brings with it a bevy of moments to engage the player. For example, as enjoyable as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is, one of the most important parts of that game is the first time it is ever played. While the main theme is present throughout the game proper, sitting on the main menu for three to four minutes to hear that song is both massively enjoyable and perfect for getting the player in the right mood to play that game.… Read the rest
The problem with me and Bethesda games is that they are too awesome. Awesome, not in the sense of being really good, although they often are, but rather in the older definition of the word: denoting magnitude. There’s so much to do in the games that they are no longer simple Role Playing Games (RPGs: those games in which one chooses one’s character and uses it as a guide to react to the environment given to them) but rather sandbox games. This is evidenced by the loose main quest of their last major game Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, as they instead chose to spend energy fleshing out side quests and other aspects of the game.… Read the rest