HA2 – Unit 6 – Critical Approaches toCreative Media ProductsTask 4 - Analysis of a GameI’ve reviewed two RPG Games over here. The basic purpose of reviewing an RPG was thatand RPG makes it a lot easier and provides a huge detail to analyse. In this article, I’vewritten my reviews about two major RPG’s : Assassin’s Creed Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.These Games provided me with almost everything I wanted analyse i.e Story, Combat,Environment, literally everything that I’ve been asked to do in this particular assignment.
Developer(s): Ubisoft, GameloftPublisher: UbisoftCreators: Patrice DeciletsComposer: Lorne Balfe, Jesper KydPlatform: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iOSRelease Date(First): November 14, 2007Genre: Action/Adventure/Open-World/RPRating: Mature
Assassins Creed puts the player in the shoes of Desmond Miles, a modern-day man who uses amachine called the Animus to relive the memories of his ancestors, AltaïrIbn-LaAhad andEzioAuditore, both of whom were assassins. In essence, this story exists to justify the "gamey"aspects and creates a framing device: you are playing Desmond, who is in turn playing the gamesprotagonist. This means that there are two major aspects of the game to review: the "in-universe"historical periods, and the "meta-contextual" modern conspiracy stuff. Lets start with the former.Location/SettingPersonally, Assassins Creeds representation of historical locations and cities is one of its majorredeeming factors for me, not because theyre "accurate" or "detailed" or anything, but for sheerpresentation value. Its one of the few games where cities feel "real"; the streets are bustling, thelandscape is sprawling, and despite the eventual repetitiveness of the environments, it generallyfeels like stuff is going on. Theres a lot of what could be called "detail" in the sense of little touchesand design choices that make the world feel more natural.Guards and CombatThe guards were another thing that I really liked about Assassins Creed, specifically in AC1. I likedthe natural progression from "low-level" to "high-level", going from light armor to heavy armorwithout being unrealistically flashy. I also liked the relatively simple costume design, using things likesurcoats to identify allegiance without being overly flashy or colorful. The general "improvement"trend continued in Assassins Creed 2, but the colors are much more obvious and the armor is moredecorated. While this reflects changes in the environment, from the Middle East to Italy, it also feelsa bit less subtle. Still, I thought the guards did a pretty good job of establishing sensible uniformconcepts while still distinguishing allegiance and class.As far as their reactions and behaviors go,though, its a bit of a mixed bag. Assassins Creed is neat in that enemies will panic or flee from fightsif things are going downhill for them. Theyll chase after the protagonist if he runs away, theyllthrow rocks at him if he tries to climb to safety, and a running escape will usually end with a lot moreguards after them. This is balanced by the fact that theyre really comically easy to kill, all the time,for the entire game. Enemies attack one at a time and telegraph their attacks in a really obviousfashion, and a patient player can just counter-kill them easily without ever really being in danger.GameplayAssassins Creed is a prime example of story/gameplay division. The "game" is about being a stealthyassassin who blends in with crowds to take out targets without being seen. The "story" is about aguy who tends to walk right up to his targets, kills them extravagantly, and then comforts them asthey die (even in a case where you specifically have to use a ranged weapon because hes too faraway to stab!). The decisions the player makes when controlling Ezio has nothing to do with what heends up doing. This is hardly unique when it comes to games, but its still frustrating when beingsneaky is the entire point of the game.
So, To Sum Up:1) AC does a pretty good job at conveying a world that feels populated, even if it gets a bit repetitive.2) While the combat and free-running are stylish, the dual nature of "fight" and "flight" areundermined by how weak the enemies are in both fighting and chasing.3) Theres ways to interact with the larger world and attempt to affect the environment, but theyreso simplistic that it becomes unimmersive - theyre just a game mechanic.4) The fact that Assassins Creed cant make up its mind on whether its "cool" or "real" does moredamage to its plausibility than anything else about it.
Developer: Bethesda Game StudiosPublisher: Bethesda SoftworksDistributors: Bethesda Softworks (retail), Steam (online)Director: Todd HowardComposer: Jeremy SouleEngine: Creation EnginePlatform: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360Release Date: November 11, 2011Genre: Action role-playing, Open worldMode: Single-playerRating: Mature
OverviewThe Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim approaches greatness in its full scope rather than its individualdetails. Unlike any game ever made, Skyrim truly instils a feeling of unpredictability thatencourages players to explore as much, and as often as they can.The player begins, as Elder Scrolls protagonists often do, as a prisoner without a past, butsoon learns that they are the last in a long line of dragon-slayers, destined to save the worldfrom Armageddon. Such forms the basis for the main quest, but to drive directly from A to Z,skipping raising your skill category or engaging in the game’s many side quests (showdownswith the lord of the underworld, is to miss much of what Skyrim has to offer.A cleaner, more elegant game than its predecessor Oblivion, Elder Scrolls V is more austerein its design, presenting users upon the opening with a minimalistic title screen that seemsto have carved its signature dragon from obsidian. Taking place, as previous Elder Scrollsinstallments have, in the continent of Tamriel, the game locates its hero in the northernrealm of snowy, Nordic-influenced Skyrim.EnviromentThe environment here is dominated by the cold – always gusting flurries of snow, its bodiesof water littered with sheets of brittle ice, and nighttime vistas of blue and green ribbonsthat let players know they are far from home. The architecture of Skyrim is a combination ofNordic and Gaelic influence, which is just one of the many things separating Skyrim fromOblivion and previous Elder Scrolls titles. Many of the skills and attributes (such asIntelligence and Endurance) have been thrown out to create more of a streamlinedinterface.CharactersThe presence of dragons plays a major role in Skyrim, and when they attack it’s amonumental event – circling, swooping in and slamming into the ground for exhilaratingencounters. The creatures are animated beautifully, with an astounding amount of detailrendered into each colossal beast. In addition to the constant threat of dragons, civil warhas divided the land in two, giving the player a choice of which side to fight for in the battlefor humanity. The narrative in Skyrim is rich and dense.Combat StructureThough the combat system still has a ways to go to make the game fully engaging on avisceral level, and some minor glitches sometimes puncture the overall sense of immersion,Skyrim offers so much more by providing the dedicated gamer with an immense world withnumerous and diverse tasks to perform, all of which flesh the story out to something epicand substantial. The dragon combat is always a joy to behold, the atmospheric art design isan instant grabber, and the battles contain endless variations. As one of the finest RPG’s todate, Skyrim is a must-play.