Monday, August 24, 2009

WAAAAHHHH Call the WAMbulance.

Recently, Fable 2 creative director Peter Molyneux discussed his game's ending. Like many I had high hopes of Fable 2, believing it to be the Illiad of video games: A grand masterpiece just waiting to be experienced even if it was hated at the time. Of course this isn't true and it comes off neither great nor terrible. Ostensibly Molyneux received an overwhelming amount of hate mail concerning the games ending.

For those of you that don't know the ending, SPOILER ALERT, your dog dies at the end of Fable 2. So you are posed with the ultimate question concerning your ethics and moral standing. Do you choose to be the hero and save the innocents who died at the hands of the villain, revive your dead sister and your dog, or do you forsake them all for infinite wealth and power?
These letters were complaining that the choice was too hard. That they were too emotionally vested in both the dog and being a hero. Seriously? Wow, if you can't make such a simple altruistic choice then maybe games nowadays are perfect for you.

That choice isn't difficult in the slightest. Yes that is subjective opinion as everyone is different. However the choice directly filters into a simple A, B, C methodology. There is no emotional connect between your dog that makes you feel emotionally tied to him. He really is just bits of data that renders as a dog on a virtual plane.

What is more annoying is that Molyneux caved to the fan mail and resurrected the player's inscrutable mutt in the DLC. Quit your whining seriously. The concept of moral ambiguity is a serious one and needs to protected in these games. We aren't devolved to a baby status that we cannot make the difficult choices in life.

I almost felt insulted at how easy the choices that were asked of you throughout the game. It almost baby coddles you into believing that you are the piece of the world that affects its moral standing. As a developer you have the responsbility to defend every aspect of your game no matter the critical reception. That is what makes you a great developer. Obviously years of broken promises have fallen short. Thanks again, Peter Molyneux

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