Throughout Beyond Good and Evil we are treated the cycling propaganda messages, news reports for either the Alpha Sections or the Iris Network. Each group purports the others to be the villains not working for the interest of the people of Hillys. Being that it must be one or the other the goal of the game is to search for the truth.
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During the game’s tenure as the Vintage Game Club’s focus and playthrough, a lot of the discussion focused on the story and the player’s confusion that came about from it. Indeed it is confusing if you aren’t playing close attention and search out many of the details from conversations. Even then you have to make a number of inferences to get the whole picture.
Beyond Good and Evil definitely falls under the Killer 7 argument. It has been called a Zelda clone and in fact has even been called a Zelda for grownups. I’m not sure either of those monikers due it justice. It has many of the elements of a Zelda game. Environmental puzzles, dungeons, upgradeable equipments, but there is so much more going on here.
Last weekend after a movie I sat my Dad down and started up Flower for him to try out. Now my Dad hasn’t tried a video game since the mid-90s and those were the PC adventure games. We’d play them together. But given Flower’s casual nature, simple controls and pleasing aesthetic, I figured he would get into it and I wanted a non-gamer’s take on it.
Why oh why do I do this to myself? I said that the last one would be the last one, but no. I go out to buy some chips late and I find myself thinking about concepts of the game design. My mind turns to something being debated now around …
I talked about how the story structure in Prince of Persia didn’t work for me and how the various villains fit in the game’s thematic consistency. Now I’m going to combine the two ideas. This may come off as a little dictating from on high, but oh well.
The servants of Ahriman are the thematic representation of their fall from grace and at the end of the game, a representation of the Prince. Each had a desire that could only be fulfilled giving something to Ahriman, in their case, their souls. However, like Faust, they find their wishes fulfilled, but empty.
The title pretty much sums up thesis for this essay. Prince of Persia has fallen to the trend of non-linear gameplay. It’s the new buzzword in the market. That’s all fine and dandy, and in the weeks up to its release even I praised the design as a merging of story and gameplay. However, now having played the game Prince of Persia has replaced Mirror’s Edge as my most disappointing game of 2008. It has nothing to do with the gameplay. It has to do with the story and more specifically with the story’s structure.