Re: Please Rate this Article: Examining Choice in Dragon Age: Origins
Thanks for the feedback.
Regarding Number 5, you're right, surprises are good, but players shouldn't feel like they're shooting in the dark. That's why I said they should be aware of either the immediate or the long-term responses. This goes back to the Orzammar quest. Maybe other people got more out of it than me, but when it came time to choose a king, I knew neither the immediate nor the long term consequences of my actions. In the grand scheme of things, the choice didn't really affect the story until the epilogue, which made it even more forgettable. I felt like I was being asked to choose between maroon and magenta.
I like the point you make about characters being neither totally good or totally evil. A lot of games are still clinging to this idea that you can be good and save the world or you can be evil and...still save the world. I don't think it makes sense for good and evil characters do basically play the same game, but in the last fifteen minutes have different cutscenes. If i must have an evil/good slider, I'd like to see an RPG in which the good and bad "endings" were playable sequences several hours in length and completely unrelated to one another.
That was kinda tangential. With regards to morally gray characters, I think players feel more connected to their characters if they are forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. This is because in reality, most gamers aren't evil. If actually confronted with the proverbial burning orphanage, I think 99% of people would try to help in some way. That's why games that force you to choose between saving the world this way or saving the world that way make for far more memorable experiences than games that offer you the choice of saving the world or saving the world while being an unlikeable jerk.