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View Full Version : Assassins Creed Liberation makes the New York Times front page ( On the Web )



MasterAssasin84
01-28-2014, 12:33 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/?action=click&contentCollection=Business%20Day&region=TopBar&module=HomePage-Button&pgtype=article



Assassins Creed Liberations has made it to the Front page of the NY Times Check it out !

Fatal-Feit
01-28-2014, 12:37 AM
Nice!

In response to the article, I thought the game was bad too. I'm trying very hard to force myself into beating it and collecting everything.

MasterAssasin84
01-28-2014, 12:44 AM
Nice!

In response to the article, I thought the game was bad too. I'm trying very hard to force myself into beating it and collecting everything.

Ya Know what i have to be honest i have not downloaded it yet so i can't say !! but the majority i have spoke have given mixed opinions so i need to experience it myself

LoyalACFan
01-28-2014, 12:52 AM
You know, when I see an article like this, I realize just how far removed gamer culture is from the over-40 mainstream. The article is basically "look, readers, a video game with a serious theme! Who knew?" Any gamer would take everything in this article for granted... though I do agree with their analysis of Liberation's mediocrity.

SpiritOfNevaeh
01-28-2014, 01:04 AM
I heard the game was just OK and only wanted to play it because Connor was in there, but for only one mission or two so I backed out, but after this, I think I just might play it now…

BoBwUzHeRe1138
01-28-2014, 01:11 AM
People in the Liberation forum seem to enjoy it...It was almost entirely positive if you take into account that there's no way it was going to be bigger than a console game but for the price it's good. I haven't played it myself but I love the idea of playing as a female assassin. The thing that was keeping me from getting it is that I hated the cities in AC3. Apparently New Orleans is a heck of a lot better than NY or Boston.

I highly doubt its worse than AC3 for example.

I-Like-Pie45
01-28-2014, 01:11 AM
The NAACP will still find a way to call it racist, regardless of quality

Fatal-Feit
01-28-2014, 01:31 AM
People in the Liberation forum seem to enjoy it...It was almost entirely positive if you take into account that there's no way it was going to be bigger than a console game but for the price it's good. I haven't played it myself but I love the idea of playing as a female assassin. The thing that was keeping me from getting it is that I hated the cities in AC3. Apparently New Orleans is a heck of a lot better than NY or Boston.

I highly doubt its worse than AC3 for example.

The settings are a mix of AC:3 and AC:IV, with its own unique style-- Like a 40/40/20 project. I personally LOVE the settings in AC:L.

If you're a fan of AC:IV's settings, then I implore you to get the game.

ze_topazio
01-28-2014, 01:59 AM
Game is okay, nothing to write home about but it does have its moments and interesting ideas and Aveline is an nice character, the slavery theme was way more intense in Freedom Cry.

MasterAssasin84
01-28-2014, 02:43 AM
Game is okay, nothing to write home about but it does have its moments and interesting ideas and Aveline is an nice character, the slavery theme was way more intense in Freedom Cry.

Yea it over shadowed the Title threw down after i played through it and i will never go back to it again lol !!

Gibbo2g_83
01-28-2014, 02:55 AM
I am really enjoying it Aveline is a great character she has a lot more personality than Connor and its really close between her and Connor for the best combat, Aveline seems to have more animations than any other Assassin. I agree with the post above about the slavery theme being a lot more intense in Freedom Cry.

BoBwUzHeRe1138
01-28-2014, 08:38 AM
The settings are a mix of AC:3 and AC:IV, with its own unique style-- Like a 40/40/20 project. I personally LOVE the settings in AC:L.

If you're a fan of AC:IV's settings, then I implore you to get the game.

I'm a fan of AC2's settings which is why Havana is going to be the place I spend most of my time in AC4. Kingston looks like a better version of Boston or NY, the trees are better utilized, it looks more lush and prettier, etc. Not sure how big it is but it looks like I'll be able to run from roof to roof easier than in AC3.
'
Liberation, the demo at least, featured buildings that were VERY close together and I felt I was moving from roof to roof much like in older AC's. Something missing in AC3. The buildings were fairly low but apparently they're larger and have balconies and the like and have plants in the rich area. Plus, like I said... I love the idea of a female lead AND she's half black so that's even cooler. Plus she looks so awesome with a hood and Assassin White. I haven't gotten AC4 because I'm waiting for next gen -- once I have a next gen system... I want to get AC4 as well as Freedom Cry. The reason for Freedom Cry is because I created an idea of a Nigerian Assassins battling British Colonials in Nigeria, learning the language of the enemy but acting as if he didn't know so he'd look inconspicuous. He's eventually approached by an Assassin who realizes what he's doing. He's informed of the whole conflict and soon fashions an outfit based on assassin robes but using more traditional tribal pieces. He was called Aren Amazu and Adewale will be the closest thing for me to play as my invented character which will be cool.

Anyway...as for Liberation HD -- I'm getting it probably next month. My hopes are not unrealistically high either:
-AC3 was bad so I'm not expecting this to be too much better
-I know it's a handheld technically so I'm not expecting a particularly long game
-I'm also not going to start comparing the graphics to AC4 like every website seemed to do *facepalm*
-I realize it's colonial america still so New Orleans won't be as fun as Venice or Florence but it's supposedly better than NY or Boston... we'll see haha
-I heard that Aveline as a female is handled well but that as a character she's a bit lacking, but some others said they absolutely adore her so idk where I'll fall.

Fatal-Feit
01-28-2014, 03:17 PM
I'm a fan of AC2's settings which is why Havana is going to be the place I spend most of my time in AC4. Kingston looks like a better version of Boston or NY, the trees are better utilized, it looks more lush and prettier, etc. Not sure how big it is but it looks like I'll be able to run from roof to roof easier than in AC3.

Believe me, AC:IV's setting is nothing like AC:3. Once you start exploring the major cities like Havana, you won't feel too oblige to mention NY or Boston. They have an almost completely different feeling all together. I usually compare them as AC:2 - Havana. AC:B - Kingston AC:R - Nassau , but those are only a small portion of the game's world. There's a lot of beautiful Mayan ruins and Fishermen Villages that I think are worth mentioning. There's a reason why fans who aren't big on AC:3's settings are all over AC:IV. Haha!

Ureh
01-29-2014, 08:02 PM
But that a game as mediocre as Liberation feels like a revelation should serve as a rebuke for an industry that styles itself as the art form of the 21st century, even as its labor force and its characters too often look like a parody of the 20th, or the 19th.

This needs a dissertation, not sure why it was slapped at the end of the page.

D.I.D.
01-29-2014, 11:25 PM
You know, when I see an article like this, I realize just how far removed gamer culture is from the over-40 mainstream. The article is basically "look, readers, a video game with a serious theme! Who knew?" Any gamer would take everything in this article for granted... though I do agree with their analysis of Liberation's mediocrity.

I think that's very unfair. This is a pretty well informed piece, and the writer is correct. Games with female protagonists are rare, games with black protagonists are rarer still, and games with black female protagonists are almost nonexistent (with only ACL, Urban Chaos, Beyond Good & Evil and Broken Age in the entire history of gaming).

Even if you suppose the claim is that games with a serious theme are rare, that would also be true. There are tons of games that think they're gritty, but a vanishingly small number that cover serious social themes and connect them directly to actual events in the real world, and when they do it tends to be clumsy in the extreme. Games have a lot of ground yet to cover, and you'd have to be pretty shortsighted to think they'd climbed the mountain already.

SixKeys
01-29-2014, 11:49 PM
I think that's very unfair. This is a pretty well informed piece, and the writer is correct. Games with female protagonists are rare, games with black protagonists are rarer still, and games with black female protagonists are almost nonexistent (with only ACL, Urban Chaos, Beyond Good & Evil and Broken Age in the entire history of gaming).

Even if you suppose the claim is that games with a serious theme are rare, that would also be true. There are tons of games that think they're gritty, but a vanishingly small number that cover serious social themes and connect them directly to actual events in the real world, and when they do it tends to be clumsy in the extreme. Games have a lot of ground yet to cover, and you'd have to be pretty shortsighted to think they'd climbed the mountain already.

^ All of this.

LoyalACFan
01-29-2014, 11:54 PM
I think that's very unfair. This is a pretty well informed piece, and the writer is correct. Games with female protagonists are rare, games with black protagonists are rarer still, and games with black female protagonists are almost nonexistent (with only ACL, Urban Chaos, Beyond Good & Evil and Broken Age in the entire history of gaming).

Even if you suppose the claim is that games with a serious theme are rare, that would also be true. There are tons of games that think they're gritty, but a vanishingly small number that cover serious social themes and connect them directly to actual events in the real world, and when they do it tends to be clumsy in the extreme. Games have a lot of ground yet to cover, and you'd have to be pretty shortsighted to think they'd climbed the mountain already.

Oh, I don't disagree that games have a long way to go, but it's not like there haven't been a heap of games already made (all of them better than Liberation) with serious themes and Oscar-worthy performances. TLOU, RDR, MGS4, and the new Tomb Raider come to mind immediately, and that's only within the realm of AAA blockbusters, not even counting indie games, some of which are utterly fantastic. I just take offense at the writer using Liberation as a vehicle to basically say that video games as an art form are in their infancy, when Liberation isn't even praised as a good game within the gamer community.


There are tons of games that think they're gritty, but a vanishingly small number that cover serious social themes and connect them directly to actual events in the real world

I wanted to respond to this directly, because I don't think it's true. The number of artistic and socially conscious games is, if anything, on the rise. All of those games I listed above were released in the last five years. Compare that to the gaming scene fifteen years ago; the first MGS was pretty much the only game on the market that had any kind of story at all other than "that's the bad guy, shoot him." You're always going to have those stupid games that pretend to be gritty and hardcore, but that goes for movies too, and nobody disputes cinema as an art form. The difference in quality between Machete Kills and the Shawshank Redemption is roughly equivalent to the difference between COD and TLOU, but non-gamers don't seem to differentiate.

STDlyMcStudpants
01-30-2014, 12:10 AM
It's only $13 on PSN right now (vita version)

SixKeys
01-30-2014, 12:22 AM
Oh, I don't disagree that games have a long way to go, but it's not like there haven't been a heap of games already made (all of them better than Liberation) with serious themes and Oscar-worthy performances. TLOU, RDR, MGS4, and the new Tomb Raider come to mind immediately, and that's only within the realm of AAA blockbusters, not even counting indie games, some of which are utterly fantastic. I just take offense at the writer using Liberation as a vehicle to basically say that video games as an art form are in their infancy, when Liberation isn't even praised as a good game within the gamer community.

Of the four you mentioned I agree with TLoU and RDR, both of which are praised as exceptionally mature even among gamers. Tomb Raider was a fun gameplay experience, but the story and characters were clichés of the worst kind. It doesn't belong anywhere near the same category of storytelling.

The reason indie games weren't brought up is probably because when people talk about gaming culture as a whole, they tend to think of the mainstream. Just like you won't see many indie movies at the Oscars.

And I wouldn't use gamer reception as a yardstick for measuring the innate quality of a game, precisely because of how immature the gaming community is at this point in time. We can't even have a simple discussion about whether there should be more female protagonists without causing an internet-wide ****storm, FFS. Can you imagine movie critics arguing with each other over there being too many movies with female protags? Liberation is the first or one of the first games specifically tackling slavery, not from a fantasy point of view (like orcs enslaving elves or whatnot) but from an actual historical standpoint, and from a black female protagonist's viewpoint no less. That's an accomplishment in and of itself, no matter how the quality of the writing may be judged. I feel like too many gamers are focused on questions like "but is it FUN?" or "will it keep me entertained?". Not every game's main purpose is to be fun, as weird as it sounds, just like not every movie is supposed to make you feel good. The purpose may be to educate, or simply to subvert your expectations to make you question the things you take for granted. I actually view ACL and Freedom Cry as educational games first and entertainment as second. There's a lot of stuff in them that is not fun, because historically it hasn't been fun to be black or female.


I wanted to respond to this directly, because I don't think it's true. The number of artistic and socially conscious games is, if anything, on the rise. All of those games I listed above were released in the last five years. Compare that to the gaming scene fifteen years ago; the first MGS was pretty much the only game on the market that had any kind of story at all other than "that's the bad guy, shoot him." You're always going to have those stupid games that pretend to be gritty and hardcore, but that goes for movies too, and nobody disputes cinema as an art form. The difference in quality between Machete Kills and the Shawshank Redemption is roughly equivalent to the difference between COD and TLOU, but non-gamers don't seem to differentiate.

Your example of MGS just proves my point about mainstream drawing all the attention. There have always been plenty of games with very different kinds of stories. It's just that the gaming culture itself has only recently begun to expand its horizons beyond shooters. A game like Journey or The Walking Dead could easily have been made 20 years ago, but nobody would have paid attention because they weren't gritty enough and therefore not considered "real" games. You see the same thing happening right now with debates about games like Heavy Rain, The Stanley Parable or Beyond 2 Souls. Are they games or are they not? The fact that we're even debating what "passes" for a real game means the industry is changing. You don't see critics having similar fights over whether Game of Thrones is a movie. There are clear limits for what makes a movie and what is something else. Gamers talk about games being "experiences" rather than passive entertainment like movies, but can't seem to agree on what one is allowed to label a proper gaming experience. The fact that we're just now starting to have those kinds of debates - debates that the movie industry may have had over a hundred years ago when film was beginning to finally form its own identity after all kinds of radical experimentations - is proof that gaming as an art form IS still in its infancy. If we can't even agree yet on the definition of a game, it's going to take a lot longer before games will be taken seriously as social commentary.

SixKeys
01-30-2014, 12:26 AM
Oh, I don't disagree that games have a long way to go, but it's not like there haven't been a heap of games already made (all of them better than Liberation) with serious themes and Oscar-worthy performances. TLOU, RDR, MGS4, and the new Tomb Raider come to mind immediately, and that's only within the realm of AAA blockbusters, not even counting indie games, some of which are utterly fantastic. I just take offense at the writer using Liberation as a vehicle to basically say that video games as an art form are in their infancy, when Liberation isn't even praised as a good game within the gamer community.

Of the four you mentioned I agree with TLoU and RDR, both of which are praised as exceptionally mature even among gamers. Tomb Raider was a fun gameplay experience, but the story and characters were clichés of the worst kind. It doesn't belong anywhere near the same category of storytelling.

The reason indie games weren't brought up is probably because when people talk about gaming culture as a whole, they tend to think of the mainstream. Just like you won't see many indie movies at the Oscars.

And I wouldn't use gamer reception as a yardstick for measuring the innate quality of a game, precisely because of how immature the gaming community is at this point in time. We can't even have a simple discussion about whether there should be more female protagonists without causing an internet-wide ****storm, FFS. Can you imagine movie critics arguing with each other over there being too many movies with female protags? Liberation is the first or one of the first games specifically tackling slavery, not from a fantasy point of view (like orcs enslaving elves or whatnot) but from an actual historical standpoint, and from a black female protagonist's viewpoint no less. That's an accomplishment in and of itself, no matter how the quality of the writing may be judged. I feel like too many gamers are focused on questions like "but is it FUN?" or "will it keep me entertained?". Not every game's main purpose is to be fun, as weird as it sounds, just like not every movie is supposed to make you feel good. The purpose may be to educate, or simply to subvert your expectations to make you question the things you take for granted. I actually view ACL and Freedom Cry as educational games first and entertainment as second. There's a lot of stuff in them that is not fun, because historically it hasn't been fun to be black or female.


I wanted to respond to this directly, because I don't think it's true. The number of artistic and socially conscious games is, if anything, on the rise. All of those games I listed above were released in the last five years. Compare that to the gaming scene fifteen years ago; the first MGS was pretty much the only game on the market that had any kind of story at all other than "that's the bad guy, shoot him." You're always going to have those stupid games that pretend to be gritty and hardcore, but that goes for movies too, and nobody disputes cinema as an art form. The difference in quality between Machete Kills and the Shawshank Redemption is roughly equivalent to the difference between COD and TLOU, but non-gamers don't seem to differentiate.

Your example of MGS just proves my point about mainstream drawing all the attention. There have always been plenty of games with very different kinds of stories. It's just that the gaming culture itself has only recently begun to expand its horizons beyond shooters. A game like Journey or The Walking Dead could easily have been made 20 years ago, but nobody would have paid attention because they weren't gritty enough and therefore not considered "real" games. You see the same thing happening right now with debates about games like Heavy Rain, The Stanley Parable or Beyond 2 Souls. Are they games or are they not? The fact that we're even debating what "passes" for a real game means the industry is changing. You don't see critics having similar fights over whether Game of Thrones is a movie. There are clear limits for what makes a movie and what is something else. Gamers talk about games being "experiences" rather than passive entertainment like movies, but can't seem to agree on what one is allowed to label a proper gaming experience. The fact that we're just now starting to have those kinds of debates - debates that the movie industry may have had over a hundred years ago, when film was beginning to finally form its own identity after all kinds of radical experimentations - is proof that gaming as an art form IS still in its infancy. If we can't even agree yet on the definition of a game, it's going to take a lot longer before games will be taken seriously as social commentary.

LoyalACFan
01-30-2014, 01:28 AM
Of the four you mentioned I agree with TLoU and RDR, both of which are praised as exceptionally mature even among gamers. Tomb Raider was a fun gameplay experience, but the story and characters were clichés of the worst kind. It doesn't belong anywhere near the same category of storytelling.

I brought up TR primarily because it featured a woman in an action role not who's not defined as a walking pair of tits, but I get you. The writing itself wasn't of the same caliber as the others, or even close, really. As for MGS4, while we can debate the cheesiness of certain aspects all day, certain themes therein (dehumanization, slavery, surveillance, even suicide) were some of the darkest and most culturally relevant I've ever seen in a game.


The reason indie games weren't brought up is probably because when people talk about gaming culture as a whole, they tend to think of the mainstream. Just like you won't see many indie movies at the Oscars.

Fair enough, but there are plenty of games within the mainstream that are just as mature as your average Hollywood film. Hell, some of the most mainstream movies out there are the crappiest ones in the world, but that doesn't hamper the reputation of film as art. It sucks that mainstream games like COD are holding back gaming's reputation, while Hollywood can churn out a hundred BS action flicks a year without tarnishing the reputation of cinema.


And I wouldn't use gamer reception as a yardstick for measuring the innate quality of a game, precisely because of how immature the gaming community is at this point in time. We can't even have a simple discussion about whether there should be more female protagonists without causing an internet-wide ****storm, FFS. Can you imagine movie critics arguing with each other over there being too many movies with female protags? Liberation is the first or one of the first games specifically tackling slavery, not from a fantasy point of view (like orcs enslaving elves or whatnot) but from an actual historical standpoint, and from a black female protagonist's viewpoint no less. That's an accomplishment in and of itself, no matter how the quality of the writing may be judged. I feel like too many gamers are focused on questions like "but is it FUN?" or "will it keep me entertained?". Not every game's main purpose is to be fun, as weird as it sounds, just like not every movie is supposed to make you feel good. The purpose may be to educate, or simply to subvert your expectations to make you question the things you take for granted. I actually view ACL and Freedom Cry as educational games first and entertainment as second. There's a lot of stuff in them that is not fun, because historically it hasn't been fun to be black or female.

I disagree, all art should be entertaining. However, entertainment doesn't have to leave you feeling happy or satisfied, and a game doesn't have to be fun to be entertaining. Again, TLOU is an example. I can't say it was really "fun" strangling survivors and watching them struggle as they die, and the ending definitely didn't leave me with a warm fuzzy feeling, but it certainly was entertaining and kept me glued to my seat for the whole ride. If all I wanted to get from ACL was a lesson on the 18th-century slave trade, I'd just pick up a history book. I want to see the slavery plot, but I also want emotion, good performances, and relevant consequences of the protagonist's actions... and ACL didn't have much of any of that.


Your example of MGS just proves my point about mainstream drawing all the attention. There have always been plenty of games with very different kinds of stories. It's just that the gaming culture itself has only recently begun to expand its horizons beyond shooters. A game like Journey or The Walking Dead could easily have been made 20 years ago, but nobody would have paid attention because they weren't gritty enough and therefore not considered "real" games.

I was a toddler cutting my teeth on Donkey Kong fifteen years ago. What other "mature" games were there besides MGS? I'm not being facetious, I really don't know.


You see the same thing happening right now with debates about games like Heavy Rain, The Stanley Parable or Beyond 2 Souls. Are they games or are they not? The fact that we're even debating what "passes" for a real game means the industry is changing. You don't see critics having similar fights over whether Game of Thrones is a movie. There are clear limits for what makes a movie and what is something else. Gamers talk about games being "experiences" rather than passive entertainment like movies, but can't seem to agree on what one is allowed to label a proper gaming experience. The fact that we're just now starting to have those kinds of debates - debates that the movie industry may have had over a hundred years ago, when film was beginning to finally form its own identity after all kinds of radical experimentations - is proof that gaming as an art form IS still in its infancy. If we can't even agree yet on the definition of a game, it's going to take a lot longer before games will be taken seriously as social commentary.

No art form has a consensus on what makes a work qualify as a legitimate part of that medium. Even talkies, when they came out, were sometimes dismissed as a stupid fad. Hell, look at painting, one of the oldest art forms on Earth. People like Jackson Pollock or Mark Rothko are still controversial long after they've died, some saying they were brilliant and others saying they were talentless hacks who just slapped paint on a canvas at random. Yet literally everyone on Earth agrees that painting is an art. Same with music, it's universally accepted as art, yet stuff like dubstep is still widely derided as "not music." Not having a universal consensus on what constitutes an art form means nothing. Game design IS, unquestionably, an art form. Has it reached the point where no further development or experimentation is necessary? Of course not, no art form ever has or ever will. But art it is, and will remain. Think of David Cage as the Jackson Pollock of gaming. Some say he's a legitimate game designer, others dismiss him as a filmmaker passing interactive movies off as games.

ze_topazio
01-30-2014, 02:05 AM
I was a toddler cutting my teeth on Donkey Kong fifteen years ago. What other "mature" games were there besides MGS? I'm not being facetious, I really don't know.

There were many games with good stories in the 32 bits era, especially on the RPG genre.

SixKeys
01-30-2014, 04:43 AM
I brought up TR primarily because it featured a woman in an action role not who's not defined as a walking pair of tits, but I get you. The writing itself wasn't of the same caliber as the others, or even close, really. As for MGS4, while we can debate the cheesiness of certain aspects all day, certain themes therein (dehumanization, slavery, surveillance, even suicide) were some of the darkest and most culturally relevant I've ever seen in a game.

I think themes alone don't necessarily make a game mature. It's what you do with them that counts. This counts for ACL as well, BTW - I simply applaud them for tackling a subject matter that hasn't yet been tackled by any other studio (as far as I know). Death is a pretty grim subject, but even COD has plenty of that. I'm not that familiar with the MGS series, so I won't get into the quality of writing.


Fair enough, but there are plenty of games within the mainstream that are just as mature as your average Hollywood film. Hell, some of the most mainstream movies out there are the crappiest ones in the world, but that doesn't hamper the reputation of film as art. It sucks that mainstream games like COD are holding back gaming's reputation, while Hollywood can churn out a hundred BS action flicks a year without tarnishing the reputation of cinema.

Of course I agree that games should be recognized as an art form and games often gets a lot less credit than they deserve. Keep in mind though that cinema has existed since the end of the 19th century whereas computer gaming has been around for about 50 years, and only for about 20 years in the mainstream.


I disagree, all art should be entertaining.

This may be a fundamental difference in opinion between us. I don't think art needs a purpose to justify itself, it just has to BE. There are plenty of movies that have left me shaken and disturbed due to the subject matter or the way it was presented. There are some movies that I refuse to ever watch again because I know they'll just make me feel crappy. Does that mean they aren't art? Of course not. Just because I wasn't "entertained" in the true sense of the word doesn't mean the experience wasn't educational or even a well-made. The same goes for games. Some games are simply depressing or otherwise stressful. The emotions they make me feel may be too much to handle, to the extent that I will turn the game off and never touch it again. That doesn't mean it can't be profound in its own way. Noah Watts said he had to stop playing for a while when he played through the destruction of Connor's village in AC3 for the first time because he identified so much with the history of what happened. Tristan De Lalla said the same thing about the sinking ship scene in Freedom Cry. Games can have painfully powerful moments that are not entertaining as much as they are disturbing, but that doesn't make them less artful.


However, entertainment doesn't have to leave you feeling happy or satisfied, and a game doesn't have to be fun to be entertaining. Again, TLOU is an example. I can't say it was really "fun" strangling survivors and watching them struggle as they die, and the ending definitely didn't leave me with a warm fuzzy feeling, but it certainly was entertaining and kept me glued to my seat for the whole ride.

That's different. You yourself describe TLoU as a "ride", like something from an amusement park. It's meant to take you up and down and it's presented in a way that keeps you wanting to play. TLoU had heavy moments, but it also had plenty of mindless zombie-killing action. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, games generally need that balance between action and thoughtful bits. What I'm talking about are games like Depression Quest (http://www.depressionquest.com/): a game that was created solely to spread awareness about depression. There is not a single entertaining moment in it, unless you like being told "You would like to get up today, but you're too depressed, so you go back to bed". Its purpose is to educate people by putting them in the shoes of someone suffering from a mental illness. Not exactly fun, but what other medium could offer the same opportunity to learn, in the same interactive way?


If all I wanted to get from ACL was a lesson on the 18th-century slave trade, I'd just pick up a history book. I want to see the slavery plot, but I also want emotion, good performances, and relevant consequences of the protagonist's actions... and ACL didn't have much of any of that.

This kind of criticism I can get behind. Like I said earlier, themes alone don't necessarily make a game good or more mature. It's how the theme is presented. Personally I liked the way ACL chose to weave gameplay and its themes together, especially in the case of Aveline's personas, but I agree that good performances and emotional connection are essential as well.


I was a toddler cutting my teeth on Donkey Kong fifteen years ago. What other "mature" games were there besides MGS? I'm not being facetious, I really don't know.

Mostly Japanese games that didn't all make it big in the West at the time, and some that did. EarthBound was a cutesy game on the surface, but the creator has admitted to putting some traumatizing imagery related to abortion in the game. Silent Hill 2 has some pretty dark themes like pedophilia, incest and euthanasia. I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream (1995) had rape, genocide, racism and torture, just to name a few themes.

We are in agreement about games needing to be recognized as an art form. What Im advocating is for gamer culture to start taking itself more seriously, by exploring the potential that games can achieve. Right now the whole industry is focused on T&A and mindless shooters, and while some gamers may complain about it, they're still buying the same stuff year after year. There's also a lot of classism (for lack of a better word) regarding so-called casuals and how gaming culture should stay closed to anyone who isn't already in it, and people who like games that aren't accepted by the so-called hardcore gamers, like mobile gaming or Nintendo fans. In the early days, Pacman, Pong, Mario and Sonic were for everyone, regardless of age or gender. Nowadays playing those earns you a derogatory label, like only the gritty action genre is considered true gaming. In the past few years, with Kickstarter and the like, we're finally starting to see some real diversity again.

LoyalACFan
01-30-2014, 06:51 PM
I think themes alone don't necessarily make a game mature. It's what you do with them that counts. This counts for ACL as well, BTW - I simply applaud them for tackling a subject matter that hasn't yet been tackled by any other studio (as far as I know). Death is a pretty grim subject, but even COD has plenty of that. I'm not that familiar with the MGS series, so I won't get into the quality of writing.

Totally agreed, and I think that ties into what you said about death as well. Sure it's grim in real life, but in media the theme of death can be interpreted in any number of ways. Hell, sometimes we're supposed to cheer when somebody dies. COD tries to make the campaign "emotional" by killing off characters you're supposed to like, but the story and character development are so weak it's hard to care. I guess we have our disagreements about how well Liberation handled the theme of slavery, but we agree that the way the theme is presented is the key. MGS4 is actually the best game I can think of to illustrate my point, but if you don't know it, I won't go there.


This may be a fundamental difference in opinion between us. I don't think art needs a purpose to justify itself, it just has to BE. There are plenty of movies that have left me shaken and disturbed due to the subject matter or the way it was presented. There are some movies that I refuse to ever watch again because I know they'll just make me feel crappy. Does that mean they aren't art? Of course not. Just because I wasn't "entertained" in the true sense of the word doesn't mean the experience wasn't educational or even a well-made. The same goes for games. Some games are simply depressing or otherwise stressful. The emotions they make me feel may be too much to handle, to the extent that I will turn the game off and never touch it again. That doesn't mean it can't be profound in its own way. Noah Watts said he had to stop playing for a while when he played through the destruction of Connor's village in AC3 for the first time because he identified so much with the history of what happened. Tristan De Lalla said the same thing about the sinking ship scene in Freedom Cry. Games can have painfully powerful moments that are not entertaining as much as they are disturbing, but that doesn't make them less artful.

I don't think we disagree as much as you think, we're just hung up on what we're calling entertainment. Basically, I'm defining "entertaining" as evoking anything other than boredom. Perhaps "engaging" or "gripping" would be better terms, but it's all semantics, really. Good art can evoke happiness, sadness, laughter, revulsion, bitterness, contempt... but not boredom.


That's different. You yourself describe TLoU as a "ride", like something from an amusement park. It's meant to take you up and down and it's presented in a way that keeps you wanting to play. TLoU had heavy moments, but it also had plenty of mindless zombie-killing action. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, games generally need that balance between action and thoughtful bits. What I'm talking about are games like Depression Quest (http://www.depressionquest.com/): a game that was created solely to spread awareness about depression. There is not a single entertaining moment in it, unless you like being told "You would like to get up today, but you're too depressed, so you go back to bed". Its purpose is to educate people by putting them in the shoes of someone suffering from a mental illness. Not exactly fun, but what other medium could offer the same opportunity to learn, in the same interactive way?

See above; entertainment as I define it doesn't have to be "fun" per se, it just has to engage you. Example, I recently watched Apocalypse Now, and by all means it is entertaining, but it left me pretty shaken and depressed. I wouldn't describe that experience as fun.


This kind of criticism I can get behind. Like I said earlier, themes alone don't necessarily make a game good or more mature. It's how the theme is presented. Personally I liked the way ACL chose to weave gameplay and its themes together, especially in the case of Aveline's personas, but I agree that good performances and emotional connection are essential as well.

I guess we'll agree to disagree on Liberation, but I'm glad we're in agreement on the basic point.