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Choose Your Own Adventure Video Games

Many complain that "choose your own adventure games" like "Heavy Rain", "Mass Effect", and TellTale’s "The Walking Dead" are superficial and give the player little to no control over the game’s unfolding events. The player is given the illusion of choice, but the web of decisions will eventually lead all gamers to the same point.

Does the gamer really have free will in these games or is it all a ploy? Or perhaps more interestingly, does it even matter? If these games are about uncovering our deepest fears, and eliciting our innermost psyche, then should it really matter that all these decisions lead to one unified place for all players? Are these games more about the players, rather than the story?

  • Does the gamer have all that choice in other games where everything leads to a single ending with no variation in te story? Compare Arkham Asylum to Heavy Rain for example; yes the player has to complete missions in each, but AA has no variation to the storyline or side missions, if you play the game again, it'll be exactly the same. But with Heavy Rain there are about 20 different combinations of endings depending on the PLAYERS CHOICE. this is less so in Telltales games where everything comes to a head in pretty much the same fashion, but there are still choices the player is given on important narrative matters (eg killing/not killing a character) and if the player waits too long then they have no choice and the game chooses an option for them. – Jamie 5 years ago
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  • If you haven't checked it out yet I highly recommend giving "Life is Strange" a look. I've found that most TellTale games are really just window dressing and what you choose to do in them doesn't really matter. It was pretty obvious in "The Wolf Among Us" and while I actually enjoyed that game immensely I did feel a little bit cheated. "Life is Strange" is not finished yet but I'm already very invested and I'm hoping that the choices have a very large impact on the story itself. – Insinto 5 years ago
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