Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Friday, January 5, 2007

bad things happen to good video games

in writing a dense, fantasy urban environment i research various other venues to "see" how different art forms deal with the surreality of human space.

one of those venues is the video game franchise "Knights of the Old Republic".

firstly, i agree with many who claim that the video games are better stories and more human than episodes I, II, and III.

also -- and this is vital -- the second game of the property had the potential to be the greatest video game story since planescape:torment. alas, it was not meant to be. the force was not with us. for deadlines emerged that truncated development. up until the reunification of the Jedi council when the Jedi Exile confronts the lost masters in the ruins of Dantooine this game is unforgettable "Art" with a capital "A".

in the beginning, awakening in a kolto tank in an empty mining facility, and attempting to discover what happened to all the miners before the assassins get there and the subsequent events as the Exile escapes from the facility alive... this is haunting like a horror film.

the recurring themes of exile and betrayal across all the characters and events unifies the otherwise divergent plots and situations.

then, when kreia leads the exile to the ruins of Dantooine, and leans into the dead tree with the perfect cinematography and music i got chills. beautiful. just beautiful. this point in time is like the end of the game, sadly.

after that moment, a series of major plot holes and confusions result.

how dare they place some christmas deadline ahead of what could have been such greatness.

making the christmas deadline moved a few more units, perhaps. crafting a lasting work of art would have maintained the movement of units long after the technology made the mechanics obsolete.

planescape:torment had a very long tail.

heed my words, video game makers: your art form is on the brink of greatness, awaiting only the rise of a bach or a shakespeare or a hitchcock.

you are so close. don't do something like this again, lest someone else come along and bear the mantle of greatness in your steed.

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