Thursday, September 2, 2010

Alan Wake, pt.3: Voiceover Smarts

(No spoilers) Alan Wake is constantly narrating, and I found it interesting to note when narration would pull me out of the experience. It struck me that whenever Alan was making a comment about his emotional reaction, it never bothered me, but when he made a factual statement that related to game progression, it invariably got under my skin in a way that a simple fly-through never would.

I have to wonder if this disruption is tied to my pride, and wonder whether others have the same problem. If Wake says something I already knew about level design or my progress within it, I feel like time is being wasted, and that I'm being insulted. If he says something I didn't know, I feel a disconnect between Alan and me -- the emotional mirror cracks -- and I grumble about level design not providing the in-game cues to avoid it. He can say anything he wants about his emotions and story-related thoughts, otherwise. Mastering gameplay is my job, and presenting a masterful story is the designers'.

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