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Daily Dosage 06/09

Tuesday, 6 September, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Hey all, open wide for today’s Daily Dosage! (yes, that is meant to be a pill in the image!)

Releases Today

Face Racers: Photo Finish a gimmicky game for the 3DS.

Deals:

Online Digital DL

Steam: Hamilton’s Great Adventure

D2D: Loads of “Labour Day Bundles of Joy” done by publisher. I’d recommend checking some out, might snag yourself a few weeks worth of gaming goodness for a bargain!

News from around the Web:

MCV: Rather hillariously Origin, which is EA’s knock-off version of Steam is still selling Valve games, even though Valve aren’t selling theirs! Read it here

IGN have confirmation that the New HD Rereleases of some of the Old Metal Gear Solid Games will have 4 player co-op, specifically in Peace Walker.

CVG a Resistance 3 Review, Dead Island Review, and Bioshock Infinite Preview. Oh, and an upcoming Sonic CD on XBLA and PSN

Escapist: Have a great article on one of the slightly out of place moments in Deus Ex. Latisha.

To add some balance, here’s someone from the last DX title, Inivisible War.

As you can see, weird characters have always been a part of Deus Ex, but one like this feels a little bit… Backwards, especially in a game that otherwise treated everyone racially-neutral. I know it wouldn’t have been the devs intention to make her a racial stereotype, but why not make her white and talk that way, or even asian and have alcohol as a main defining characteristic? It was a poor character and a potentially iffy one at that!

Topic: Glossary

Canon

In pretty much any media, “Canon”is what’s considered “canonical”. No, it’s not the thing that fires like a very big gun!
Canon in its basic form is the story as the developers etc intended. Snape Kills Dumbledore Harry Potter’s parents are dead is a part of the Harry Potter Universes Canon, so it’s part of that worlds history and the events that shape characters.

Canon becomes especially tricky in games, as they’re interactive. Some linear path games are pretty easy to do, where subtle player actions can just be explain away. But when you’ve got multiple paths, multiple plot choices, deep involving story and worse of all (from a writers perspective) multiple endings… things can get tricky.

There’s several ways they can deal with this.

1) ignore the player actions: This doesn’t tend to get a lot of love because it means that any future games of the series essentially undo all the good (or evil) of your previous games experience. It gives the illusion of choice as whatever you do will be changed back by the sequel. Most notably the Fallout series tends to prescribe a certain path. Hell, DA2 could even resurrects a certain character from the dead if they died in the previous game.

2) Make allowances for EVERYTHING. Games like mass effect and Dragon age mostly try to do this, but largely fail, and I can totally appreciate why. So you have to have events for each and every major plot-point from previous games, as well as potentially some minor ones. That’s a lot of content, a lot of time and effort that some players may not see, and some of the more unpopular choices might simply be pooled in with a plausible explanation. Simply put, there’s no point having too much choice if you can’t also deliver on it content wise.

3) keep it in the dark: Some games try to happen as far away from the previous in order to ignored what may or may not have happened there. Fallout: New Vegas makes practically no reference to Fallout 3, despite happening afterwards, but this can be partly explained by happening in a different location so isn’t directly affected by it. This way both are technically canon until such a time as the writers feel the need to reuse similar locations. This can make games feel a little disjointed, but it does still preserve that element of choice.

This all leads into the “retcon” or the retro-active continuation, where they make changes to the previous plot at a certain point. This can happen in other media, especially comic books, where writers dislike the story to a point so tend to retcon it through flashbacks, revamps of the series or new origin stories etc. The Joker is a prime example of a heavily retconned character, where his lack of a stable background has in itself almost become part of the canon of the character.

Of course, too many retcons can keep people guessing as to what the story actually is any more, and it can get hard to follow eventually…

One of my favourite uses of canon is in Deus Ex. In DX1, you have the choice at the end of destroying all technology everywhere (by taking down the equivalent of the internet). Giving unlimited ability to spy on people to a controlling shadow government, or merging with a powerful entity in order to become a benevolent machine god.

In the second game it’s revealed all 3 occured. Merging with the entity brought down the internet at which point the shadow government took control. You could argue it’s lazy, but it’s still interesting, preserving choice but ultimately making that choice irrelevant while still part of the canon.

Make me interested what the canon will be for DX:HR…

  1. Stephen Harland
    Tuesday, 6 September, 2011 at 8:15 AM

    Also, this was our 100th article (on the site, not personally) so WOOHOO!

    • Xenia Coudrille
      Tuesday, 6 September, 2011 at 10:49 AM

      Haha sorry to disappoint you but the Hillingdon mum’s one was the 100th😛 Gaz pulled it so it could be released at more ‘sociable hours’

  2. Stephen Harland
    Tuesday, 6 September, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    awwww…😦. Well, i suppose I got to start a new century!

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