Videospielgeschichten und wieso sie einander so ähneln und uns trotzdem nur manchmal enttäuschen

Heutzutage gibt es schon so eine große Bandbreite an Spielprinzipien und auch schon so eine lange Geschichte an unterschiedlichsten Videospielen, so dass es schwierig ist, noch ein wirklich neues Spielkonzept zu schaffen.
Ich will nicht sagen, dass das nie vorkommt, aber es kommt selten vor und wird im Laufe der Zeit seltener vorkommen.

Neue Spiele verkaufen sich daher entweder über Werbung (dazu schreibe ich heute nichts) oder über - ich nenne das jetzt einmal - Polier, also in dem man bekannte Spielprinzipien verbessert, schöne(re) Grafik macht, gute Musik, fähige Sprecher/innen engagiert usw.

Was unterscheidet dann ein Spiel des selben Genres (zB 3rd Person Shooter mit RPG Elementen in SciFi Setting) vom anderen? Abgesehen vom "Grad der Poliertheit" (der vor allem davon abhängt, wieviel Geld bei der Produktion verwendet werden konnte) durch Charaktere, Setting und vor allem Story.

Früher hieß es ja über die Geschichten in Videospielen so wie bei der von #Pornos: Es soll schon eine Geschichte geben, aber wichtig ist sie nicht.
Dementsprechend gibt es in der (Achtung, Wortspiel:) Geschichte der Videospiele unzählige holde Maiden zu erretten ("damsel in distress") und Königreiche, Planeten etc gegen böse Invasoren zu verteidigen.

Jetzt aber leben sehr viele, große Titel sehr von der Story.
Wieso ist das so?

Große Titel kosten großes Geld. Da will man keine Risiken eingehen und bleibt daher bei einem Spielprinzip, welches schon x-fach funktioniert hat und poliert das ganze halt etwas auf. Werbung ist immer gut, aber für gute und vor allem viel Presse sind ein guter Storyanfang, gute Charaktere und gutes Setting auch sehr hilfreich.

Auch Videospielstorys haben wir schon sehr viele gesehen, und auch da gibt es zahlreiche Archetypen, die sich mit schöner Regelmäßigkeit wiederholen, und die wir zumeist schon 30 Jahre vorher im Fernsehen gesehen haben. (Und wenn wir gerne alte Bücher lesen, können wir diese Proto-Protagonisten noch viel länger zurückverfolgen).

Was macht man nun? Aus Risikoscheue bleibt man auch bei der Story bei den althergebrachten Konzepten und Archetypen. Da bleiben nur mehr die unerwartete Wendung in der Handlung ("plot Twist") um ihrer selbst willen, ungeachtet der Kollateralschäden an Schlüssigkeit, Nachvollziehbarkeit und Konsistenz ("plot hole") und die Interaktivität, also dass dem Spieler und der Spielerin vorgegaukelt wird, er/sie hätte tatsächlich Einfluss auf die Handlung, wo es in Wahrheit nur darum geht, aus 2 - 3 vorgegebenen Möglichkeiten eine auszuwählen.

Und sogar dabei kann man bei aller Panik vor dem Risiko und dem Schielen auf die Aktienkursentwicklung ordentlich auf die Fresse fallen, wie der noch lange nachschwelende Zorn über die Enden von (der ersten) Mass Effect (Trilogie) und semi-indie Titel Life is Strange beweisen.

Zum Abschluss kopiere ich einige längeren Ausführungen zu deren Enden hinein.
Es sollte eh jedem klar sein, aber nur zur Klarstellung: Darin werden große Teile der Handlung und der Großteil der jeweiligen Enden verraten.

Mass Effect 3

I finished ME 3 Ext Cut + Leviathan yesterday for the first time, and clearly, after the public outcry, I expected much more from the allegedly improved ending.

I really like the whole universe they created with the series, the various alien species, and how everybody tells you some of their story, if you want to listen.
Which brings me to my first point:

Delta123456789 posted...
we don't even know how James does on his N7 training or if Garrus retries becoming a Spectre (regardless of whether we care about these things).

Which is especially weird, as they did it for some characters, even in a very short form: eg Wrex is shown his baby.
What was the point in creating everybody's history, family background and whatnot, when they do not bother to end their stories.

Delta123456789 posted...
If you want to talk plot-holes, the moving of the Citadel to earth seems a much bigger one. The whole first game was spent gaining access to it and stressing it as the seat of galactic power, yet come the ending it is moved as it was nothing, with little comment. If the reapers could take it that easily they really should have done it earlier.

I do not want to argue, whether this makes sense.
It just ruined a good portion of the game for me: How many times through the series has Shepard defended and saved the council and the countless people on board, listened to their conversations, did uninspired fetchquests to improve their lives etc etc.
But when Shepard is away, finally getting rid of that annoying cyberninja, the reapers just slaughter everybody onboard offscreen without comment; the teenage refuge who has been talking to the turian guard, the batarian priest, the traumatized asari commando and of course the council, which Shepard has saved (or not) several times in the past.
Shepards wades through their faceless corpses for a short time, but does not seem to mind (while she was sad, that she could not save Earth and Thessia).

grand_commander posted...
in ME3 Starchild tells Shepard how it's gonna be and Shepard decides which of Starchild's ideas sounds the neatest.
I don't know if the Extended Cut makes it sound any more palatable, but Bioware made a point of showing how all of Shepard's work against the Reapers in ME2 and uniting the galaxy in ME3 means precisely squat without following Starchild's lead.
Another issue was that it wasn't clear star kid was just a rogue AI, so you got a god/lump of space magic coming along and saying synthetic war is inevitable even though you just averted it with the Geth, with no affirmation it was an insane AI talking out of somewhere unpleasant.

Starchild says, it cannot go on like this. Could he not realized that when Shepard beat Sovereign and Harbinger? When she united the whole galaxy against the reapers? Why did they even move the citadel, when they just let Shepard destroy/synthesize/dominate them? Why stop resisting so late? Or at all?

For me, the destroy ending was the logical conclusion:
The reapers have been committing genocides on a cosmic scale for practically ever. They make every "most evil in fiction" top ten list with ease.
I do not want to merge with that (and neither want I control it as a undead space dictator).
But - space magic is tricky - in doing so, I have to kill the Geth, which I just reunited with their logical partners, the Quarians. Sorry Legion, your selfless sacrifice was for naught, all Geth are dead anyway. And not to forget about EDI, who is a computer on a ship, but she also dies.

I wish ME had gotten the ending it deserved.

#lifeisstrange - have we been trolled? #heavyspoilers
Episode 5

This post sums it up very nicely:
http://steamcommunity.com/app/319630/di ... 8444979171
It's really frustrating how they orchestrated the whole story as a setup for that silly, pointless decision between bay or chloe. They abandoned everything, logic, common sense, most basic human behaviour like running away from a tornado, just so the player has to push left or right at the end.[...]
We got trolled, basically.

And it's such a glaring gap between this amazingly shallow set-up for a gut-punch and the rest of the story, the dialogs, the characters etc. I mean sure, it's a bit tropey all around but so good, too.

Or, as it was said here:
There is no way in hell that noone could see that gigantic f-6 hurricane incoming. So why the fricka-frack are there people down on the goshdarn shoreline eating lunch like YOLO. THERE IS NO WAY. There are ♥♥♥♥ing WHALES IN THE STREETS. NO ONE IS DOWN BY THE BEACH. Joyce should not have been there, Warren should not have been there. NOONE should have been there unless they were a cop making sure NOONE was still down there.

So I thought to myself, why are there people here. Then it dawned on me. Its a moral thing. Something is going to happen that ties in all these dumb♥♥♥♥♥ still hanging around town while the world is ending. Poor. Sloppy. Lazy. PLOT DEVICES. FFS.

Let's stay with this plot device thing - throughout the whole story our heroine Max can manipulate time, and does so primarly to help or save other people. We never learn why or how she got her power, but she had visions about the end of the world (or at least Arcadia Bay, the city where the game takes place) before.
But in the end she suddenly learns her power is the (only) reason for this tornado (from which nobody can flee, more on that in a moment). So, to stop it from happening, she has to - use her power one last time. We complain about the available endings in a moment, but this by itself does not make a lot of sense:
As said, she has visions of the tornado, before she got her powers. And other people (Nathan Prescott, his father, Kate, maybe even more I have missed) know about the coming tornado or at least have some impending sense of doom, but - so far as we know - do not have super powers.That Warren gets the whole "Superpowers cause superstorm" thing so fast, but still does not run either, raises questions too, to say the least.
Here (http://steamcommunity.com/app/319630/di ... 8444222200) is even more to this effect.

On user postulates the theory, that the Tornado is destined to happen, and the only thing that can prevent it, is Chloe dying at that point in time and space - Chaos theory (there is, after all, a butterfly present). http://steamcommunity.com/app/319630/di ... 8444488473
Could be. But it brings new problems: The Tornado is then no magic thingie, therefore it should have been predicted by weatherservice and everybody should get out in time. Even more, Max could (ab)use her superpowers, save Chloe nonetheless and then have the freaking city evacuated. The choice Chloe or City would not make any sense any more. Well, not that it makes that much sense to begin with.

So far, so bad. What about the endings? Don't worry, they are not any better.

Either sacrifice your bestest friend ever (or love interest, depending on what you chose and how you interpret it) or sacrifice half a city (which for whatever reason did not have the common sense to flee from an incoming hurricane! After an explicable eclipse, and dead whales in the street nobody runs from a damn hurricane!).

For your bff you have jumped literally through time - multiple times. The whole episode, nay, most of the game was about saving her, again and again and again. And again.
So, we chose her - and what do we get?
The two teenage bffs drive off into the sunset through the trashed city. Your bff does not even mind to check up if her mother is lying dead in the street (not to mention almost everybody else, who you have met during the game, because most likely they all were too dumb to flee) or was saved nevertheless.
The whole montage is rather short and, again let me quote that post from above:
NO. No game. No DonTNod. NO. I didnt want a ♥♥♥♥ing Disney ending but the one we got? You can go ♥♥♥♥ yourselves with it. It was lazy. Halfassed. Hamfisted. Boring.

The other ending, where you sacrifice your bff/love of your life, is better in regard to cinematic quality. It is, btw, what she seems to want - and let's face it, it was probably the first really selfless thing she ever did. Here you see the stuff happen, towards which you have been working for quite some time - the bad guys going to jail and such. Then cemetery, burial and music. Does not sound exciting? Right you are, it isn't, but still way better than the other ending (and better than ME3). (And it ignores all decisions we ever made during the whole game. As does the other ending, see below.)

Nevertheless, there is a huge plothole there:
So Super Max travels back to the point in time and space, where and when she got her superpowers. (Or, more likely, the first moment, where she realizes, she has them - if that makes any difference). Let's ignore, that she had visions of the future (!) before (!!).
When she returns, she still has her memories (there never was any explanation, how or if her memory works when she timejumps, just that she forgets everything after a while.)

So she knew exactly what was coming and could have saved Chloe without using (or "awakening") her superpower. As she also knew, the principal would not believe her.
She could have taken a picture of Nathan with the gun. Knocked him out, and told Chloe where the dark room was before she forgot etc.
Come on, Super Max, you could save your bestest friend/love of your life. Put a little oomph in it! At least try!
It was never convincing for me, that Chloe must die to stop the storm - Max not having/using superpowers - ok, I can take that. But that and Chloe dead? Sorry, Plot device. Bad Plot device. The kind of bad plot device which at the ending can easily ruin the whole story.

Here (http://steamcommunity.com/app/319630/di ... 431675940/) someone argues, that the sacrifice would end in an eternal time loop anyway. While their arguments are convincing, the solution is simple: time travel magic. We have seen that before, haven't we?

And let's not forget, we were promised, that our choices mattered
. Both endings erase almost all the choices we ever made - either by going back in time and having a fixed story or by killing off everybody we've met - the only choice that remains, is whether Max x Chloe is a romance or just friendship.

It is pretty easy to come up with better endings yourself.

Beide Spiele sind übrigens ein ausgezeichnetes Beispiel dafür, wieso man nie, nie, nie, niemals ein Spiel vorbestellen sollte. Niemals!

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