I have just finished Fallout New Vegas, and I have come to the conclusion that being the hero is boring.I really liked New Vegas because, even if you are being a good guy, which I was, it is still full of backstabbing, double crossing seedy character. And thats why I liked it. Hell I prefer Mass Effect 2 to 3, as in 3 you are the hero everyone is pinning your hopes on, whereas in 2 nobody trusts you, and you are essentially working for the bad guys. Looking back this is true of most of my favourite games.
Perhaps this is why I never took to Fallout 3, the game starts you off with pure intentions, the search for your father. Whereas New Vegas starts (minor spoiler) with you getting shot in the head. Of course there have been games I have loved were the story hasn’t been, humm murky, but I enjoy them for the game play not the story, Halo being a good example. Even something like Half-Life 2 has you fighting with the downtrodden against a totalitarian alien influenced government in a crumbling world. Compare these tales to Mass Effect 3’s alien invasion, and ME3 comes off for the worse.
I can even see it in the games I am excited about that are coming out in the future, like Dishonored and Watch Dogs, both of which feature, humm corruption of society I guess. I find it interesting that there are more games like this than I can think of films, especially as these are, for want of a better term, blockbuster games. Maybe that is the point though. It is difficult to film seedy and murky world in film (though they undoubtedly exist), so games are a perfect outlet for the idea of broken worlds. Thinking about it the best film example I can think of is Blade Runner and that was out years ago.
Perhaps that is why I have liked the mmo's I have, post WoW. Age of Conan is the very definition of seedy, full of dark magic, cannibals and women of dubious character. In TOR I played a Sith is what was essentially a fascistic state. Hell there is even scope in something like Guild Wars 2, play as a charr in an aggressive, klingon like society. Being the hero is something all medium have been letting us experience for centuries, personally I will always be looking forward to the chance to play the bastard. Something tells me that I am not the only one. Heh, and the media are scared about kids playing Call of Duty, I think it is the ones playing Fallout that they need to worry about.