How To Eat Your Cake: Consortium And The Fourth Wall

We can’t keep saying video games are a young medium. We’ve been saying it since I was your age (or since you were mine, if that fits better), and besides, the last few years have finally shown that there’s plenty of room for games that do more than idly amuse us. Consortium is one such game.

Unlike any RPG I can name, Consortium throws you in with no map, no introductory cutscenes or tutorial. When you start, you don’t choose a character, you sign a disclaimer. It’s disorientating and strange, and immediately different, dedicated fully to its central conceit; you the player are accessing a satellite, provided by the developer, iDGi, that allows you to control a man known as Bishop 6, on board an aircraft, in the year 2042.

It nails role playing as a person in a specific situation, to an extent no other game has. Paradoxically, it achieves this by telling you nothing.

On hearing my blather, a housemate described it as “like Quantum Leap”, and with two caveats, that’s not a bad comparison. First, you only jump into one person, and second, there’s no Al or Ziggy to guide you or tell anecdotes about various wives, and no compulsion to do good, or indeed, to do anything, beyond what is normally expected of Bishop 6.

Other characters can’t be interrogated for exposition, as you’re supposed to know this stuff. This isn’t a world waiting for a generic adventurer to show up for a guided tour; it’s an important place of work, and you’re an integral part of it. Asking too many daft questions will make you look incompetent or stupid, which only makes crewmates worry and mistrust you. You can still do it though. You can be as stupid or unpleasant as you like. The game won’t judge you, although individual characters might.

Consortium casts aside some of the genre’s most common conventions, but it doesn’t tear down the medium or the hobby. Several characters are keen gamers, openly chatting about their world’s videogames, including some about your employers, the titular Consortium, like soldiers playing CoD, or HR staff playing that game where you’re a moron literally all the time. They do this conversationally, resisting the temptation to thrust a hand into the air and go “ooh, that’s like the videogame you’re playing right now!”

Neither does it fall into that awkward groove that (for example) Far Cry 3 and Spec Ops The Line fell into, clumsily critiquing their genre by forcing the player to act like a horrible fool, then calling the player out for being a horrible fool. As some big wally or other said, such games want to have their cake and eat it. “Are you not entertained?”, they cry, somehow ignoring the possibility that we’re grown people who are well aware that shooting thousands of people for fun would not be plausible or morally acceptable in the real world. It doesn’t work. Yes, we are entertained, and what’s more, I for one don’t feel the least bit bad for that. You’re not real, Maximus, and attacking us for taking part only draws more attention to that.

There’s no shortage of ambitious games content to explore storytelling techniques without insulting the player, either, but all too often the ludo- complement to the -narrative feels almost as flat and restrictive as… well, Ludo. We’ve surely all played a game with a story so intrusive, incongruent, or our options so restricted, that all impact or sense of agency was lost. While it’s easy and sometimes fair to blame bad writing, I’d say a more significant culprit is simply an inadequate grasp of the medium, and how we like to experience it.

Even the generally great Deus Ex Human Revolution fell flat there when it revealed the dramatic consequences of slacking before starting its opening mission. Uh, hell yeah I dawdled in the lobby. It’s Deus Ex! I was checking every inch of the level for secrets, and/or seeing what happened if I jumped off the third floor onto a receptionist’s head. Duh. By contrast, iDGi know how we play games, and rather than judge us for it, they embraced it, and integrated it into the core concept of their game.

In this world, they’re allowing you to do what you like. Most actions you carry out affect events in some way, and any result is as valid to them as any other. See, they’re interested in exploring possible futures, and each time you act, you create a new one. You’re confronted with several mysteries as you go, but provided you stay alive, there’s no right course of action. Every play through is as useful as any other, because they’re all possibilities.

This extra layer of plot between you as the dimension-jumping controller of Bishop 6, and you as the person sat at a PC, provides protection against that jarring moment where a developer tries to get clever with the fourth wall, but rather than impressing, succeeds only in clumsily reminding you that you’re a neurotic weirdo sat at a stupid whirring box of circuits, pawing at lumps of plastic like an idiot. It keeps you from reloading the game any time a conversation option didn’t get you the reward you wanted – these are people, not devices to feed you the next stage of a quest, and however you interact, they’ll give you something back. Even when you’ve finished, your game will be saved as a numbered universe, readily annotated with details of your actions.

Take one conversation with a young crewmate. He enthuses about just meeting a real live Bishop, and offers to make you a coffee, practically humping your leg. React with bemusement or disdain (saying nothing is always an option, as is simply walking away), and a nearby officer will make a wry remark about him having played too many video games. But it’s a good-natured, accurate comment. It’s neither a jab at gamers nor a clever pat on its own back for identifying that HEY GUYS THIS IS A VIDEOGAME HO HO. It’s just a story acknowledging that games exist, as it does with tv, films, and books, and yeah, there would totally be games about the Consortium if it were real.

Later, another NPC might take you aside conspiratorially and hint that they knew what’s really going on with you. And then you might tell them you’re from another dimension and they flip out, thinking you’re mocking them. There’s your relationship with them marred, and any opportunity to find out what they were really talking about gone. Oops. With very few exceptions, it knows exactly when and how far to nudge the fourth wall to explore a plot point or tease a mystery, and when to leave it alone to maintain the illusion.

What’s most remarkable is that this is all done in service of the game. Its encouragement of, and the wealth of alternative material provided by multiple playthroughs keep you invested – you can always make that decision differently next time, and it’ll likely offer a new experience. The notion that you’re secretly controlling this person drops you square into that situation with no information but what you can figure out through context. The practical setup brings added subtext to several events – when characters start dropping hints that they know a secret about you, you’re not pulled out of the game by an NPC having an existential crisis; instead, you’re hit with multiple reasons to be paranoid. Do they know you’re not who you claim to be? Is there something about Bishop 6 that I need to know? Is that creepy story in the news relevant or just flavour text? Why am I being allowed to do this, anyway?

None of this would work in another medium. Consortium offers a solid sample of what we’ve been saying games have the potential to do for a generation. That it’s also an entertaining game in its own right certainly doesn’t hurt, and with the questions it leaves unanswered and talk of a sequel, it might just be a stepping stone to something truly special.

100 Comments

  1. Drake Sigar says:

    Officer: “Hey Bishop 6… what’s your name?”

    -Everybody on the bridge looks at me expectedly-

    Oh no.

  2. frenz0rz says:

    A unique decision-driven RPG in the vein of Quantum Leap?

    Soundtrack by Jeremy Soule?

    Currently 65% off on Steam, reducing it to a mere fiver?

    Well damn, you just made a sale!

    • BrokenSymmetry says:

      Yes, finding out that Jeremy Soule has composed this game’s soundtrack makes it an automatic buy for me. Though it’s become fashionable to dismiss his now too-familiar orchestral sound, I still adore it. Morrowind’s theme still brings a little tear to my eye every time I hear it.

    • John Connor says:

      The game is utterly brilliant, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s my favorite game of this year (though I bought it long after they fixed the bugs.) Keep in mind, though, that depending on how you play it, it can be very short and ends somewhat abruptly and on a cliffhanger (the worst.)

      Consortium is a slice of what RPGs could be like if they really embraced choices and cause and effect instead of insisting on being stiflingly linear. It dares to let the player make mundane choices. It dares to “hide content” depending on the decisions you make, instead of insisting every player see everything. It lets you grow (or ruin) realistic relationships that don’t just involve filling a meter for a romance cutscene (I never even encountered anything approaching romance cutscenes in my playthroughs, but I can’t say for sure there aren’t any). Only the Witcher and Deus Ex even come remotely close.

      It’s what I’ve wanted out of games for a very long time. It’s a tragedy that they’ve barely managed to break even. I think if any game has ever been underrated, it’s Consortium. A gem like this should not fly under the radar.

      • Rizlar says:

        Indeed, it’s utterly brilliant. It’s interesting that they set the whole thing on one ship, since it’s so densely packed with interacting events and relationships. Not that this sort of game wouldn’t work in more sprawling locations, it probably says as much about Consortium’s budget as it does the game mechanics.

        It definitely deserves a lot of attention and respect (and sales). Unfortunately the visuals seem to do a really bad job of advertising the game. Earlier in development they were using a more subdued palette of dark blues – clearly the visuals they went for in the end are extremely functional, letting the player navigate the disorienting closed-in environment, but they also make the whole thing look like a dodgy kid’s toy.

    • snowgim says:

      I was casually interested in this game, but was thinking of skipping it, then I read your comment and 10 seconds later I own it.

  3. rustybroomhandle says:

    I really like this game – in theory. In practice I have never been able to play very far into it without hitting some kind of game-breaking bug. I’ll definitely dive back in at some point though.

    • Sonntam says:

      Back when the game was released for PCs the game was filled with hilariously many bugs. A month ago, though, I replayed it and it’s completely bug-free. I think I even miss the ten-minutes crashes, that forced me to replay every second conversation… It really added something to the experience.

      • Juke says:

        Fondness for a game’s frequent crashes… A Stockholmian result the devs should be proud of. :) My experience was similar, though. I Kickstarted the game after hearing about it on RPS, so was forced to play very buggy (and even less intuitive) builds, even after it’s release. I still love the game’s concept, and am glad to hear it runs smoothly now. I might just need to let the initial rockiness fade in my memory a bit more, then I can enjoy coming back to it with fresh enthusiasm. It’s something to look forward to, at least.

  4. Frosty840 says:

    I found that playing Consortium exposed a mild phobia I’ve developed when playing games. Games in general have taught me that there are a finite number of “secrets” in a game and that I can achieve all of them, or at least that I can achieve all of the “Paragon” or “Renegade” choices, depending on my particular playstyle.
    Consortium, while I’m relatively sure it follows a single overarching narrative path, allows your character’s specific narrative to splinter off into any number of minor deviations. Perhaps you’ll say something that offends a particular character and prevents them from mentioning something important later, or maybe you’ll select a conversation option that causes them to think well of you and they’ll open up about something. There’s very rarely something so obvious as a path you “should” be taking to play as one character archetype or another, and that stripping away of lazy, conventional, “game-style” thinking left me feeling quite exposed while playing Consortium.
    I’d almost recommend picking it up just for forcibly breaking me out of that kind of comfortable “gamethink” rut.

  5. Melody says:

    The game is excellent, too bad they handled their kickstarter so poorly.

    “Hey, we’re releasing the game now, but in fact it’s broken, so, don’t play it huh – if you do, don’t expect to be able to finish it”
    *a few months later – months sprinkled with talk of patches that were supposed to fix everything, and then the next day it turned out the game was still broken*
    “Ok, it’s fixed now, you can actually play it”
    Mere days later: Daily Deal on Steam (because we need to get back the money we lost while trying to fix the game we released too early!)

    Certainly not going to kickstart the next chapter of the trilogy – they mentioned it in passing in one of the backers update.

    • Juke says:

      As another Consortium backer, you have my sympathy. On the other hand, though, at least it reached the finish line. We have to remember, if not for KS and it’s contributions, this game might not have been completed at all.

    • greatbird says:

      CONSORTIUM developer here: We genuinely want really to know how we messed up the Kickstarter in your mind. We always tried to be 100% transparent and honest with our backers throughout the entire process. We continue to value each and every one of you, and would bend over backwards to continue making you happy to this day! The Kickstarter Special Edition is still on it’s way, and it’s going to be cool.

      But yeah, seriously, shipping this game was excruciatingly difficult. If we had not started selling the game when we did, some of us would have literally been *on the streets*. The pressure was immense. The Kickstarter funds were a god-send, and it’s highly likely that the project would have stalled in a significant way without the campaign.

      None of us, not even the game dev veterans among us, had ever worked on a game like this before. It was a crazy experimental creation. There are so many content threads and story variations that it was a true QA nightmare, and we seriously did not truly realize how much more testing and bug fixing was required until all the Steam players started hammering on it after launching, and by then it was too late and we were hit with some reviews that basically said “bugs!!”. So we fixed everything as fast as humanly possible, culminating in the launch of the “Master Edition” in April (the “Daily Deal” you refer to was our attempt at this re-launch).

      Our big mistake was not launching in Early Access to help us iron out all the bugs with more forgiving players, but to be brutally honest, one of the reasons we chose not to was because of our Kickstarter campaign. We delayed launching the game so many times, each time promising to you, the backers, that the finished game was almost done. So, we were frankly terrified that if we DID launch in Early Access it would really hurt our standing with you backers. Throughout the entire process, we have treated our backers, collectively, as our publisher. We ALWAYS took everything any backer said in public (or in our private forum) about our project seriously. So it truly sucks that despite all our our efforts, we still lost some of you, regardless. :-( All I would ask is that you please let us know why you wouldn’t back us again so that we can do better next time.

      We did screw up our scheduling and missed dates that we set in Kickstarter updates, but we certainly worked ourselves into oblivion TRYING to hit them. Our very lives were on the line. When we were telling you that the game was almost done, you were getting some wishful thinking on our parts, as it NEEDED to be almost done, or we were gonna be in trouble.

      We have learned a metric TON from both the Kickstarter experience and of course from making and finishing CONSORTIUM. We actually understand the beast we birthed now, so budgeting and scheduling the new one will be a far more accurate endeavor.

      Just think about how much smoother our second project and campaign will be based on all these hard lessons learned!

      Finally, for everyone interested in the sequel, check out: http://thetowerprophecy.com .

      • John Connor says:

        Thank you for making Consortium.

        I didn’t Kickstart the first game but I’ll be there for the sequel. I hope I’m not the minority.

      • Frosty840 says:

        Huh. Unfortunate decision about Early Access, there. Since your Kickstarter didn’t have an alpha/beta testing tier, these days you’d be pretty much expected to launch/test through Early Access.
        I’m sure that looked like an entirely different decision to you at the time you made it, though.
        Funny how times change.

        • greatbird says:

          Yes, indeed that is so very true. 2014 was the year of Early Access.

          It’s water under the bridge at this point though, and all we can do now is try our best to get the game recognized as a good game worthy of playing to the public at large. Fantastic write-ups this like one help a ton!! (RPS rocks!) :-)

      • Bikeman says:

        I loved Consortium, even with the bugs. It was a breath of fresh air. I’ll be there front and center to back the next one.

  6. twaitsfan says:

    Too bad the game barely worked. I’ve tried it recently on two different machines and it still crashes after clicking new game.

  7. Laurentius says:

    How about text based vidoe game about a guy playing text based video game about a guy playing text based video game and so on … is that meta enough ? Oh ffs…

  8. Rizlar says:

    Do yourself a favour, stick the combat on ‘easy’. Really enjoyed what I played of Consortium. Then got stuck quite far into it on a combat encounter where failure means death. I need to go back, either read up on the combat and persevere with it or just restart with the difficulty turned down.

    Best moment was shortly before I hit the wall in combat. Things were coming to a head on the ship and I decided to read up a little on someone’s background via the in-game net terminal, full of searchable archives of news sites and blogs. Despite it being available since the opening moments of the game I had never bothered looking at it before. But it sucked me in. Soon I was cross-referencing things, finding out stuff about the crew and the immediate situation that I had no idea about. Started wondering how long I had been reading at the terminal, whether I was missing events unfolding elsewhere on the ship. Eventually all the mysteries seemed to fall into place.

    Yeah, I should really finish Consortium.

    • sinister agent says:

      Yeah, I’d definitely agree about the combat. It’s possible to avoid all combat except the (much better) laser bit, and even that can be made much easier and shorter depending on your actions. But it’s very unlikely you’ll figure out how to avoid them all first time. And the combat is tedious.

      It’s odd really, as the combat in the training simulator gets really good once you get a feel for it (and completing it reveals a particularly strange conversation). I think they just balanced it poorly, as enemies with shields are absurdly hard to kill and no fun to fight. Could be easily fixed in a follow up.

    • All is Well says:

      I loved that terminal. I felt that is the proper way to include a encyclopedia or database into your game, as opposed to the way Bioware, for instance, just tend to add what is essentially a wiki into the game menus. It felt organic, part of the world, rather than a cheap way to avoid explaining stuff through dialogue or the like. I think I might just replay Consortium just to explore the terminal more.

  9. Eight Rooks says:

    Hmm. Some good writing here (and I mean that as a compliment), but to be honest it’s made me that less likely to try Consortium when the author’s so busy hammering home that This Game Hath Found The One True Way at every opportunity. And oh, look, another dig at The Line, Bioshock et al – maybe try not feeling so personally insulted when a game tells you you’ve done something “wrong”, eh? I’m none too convinced the constant meta-commentary isn’t blatant “lol videogamez”, too. Sorry, I just really, really don’t like the idea games should exist to cater to our every whim, never judging us, and while beautifully put together this strays much too close to that line of thinking for my taste.

    • Philomelle says:

      You seem to have completely missed the point, given that you mentioned Bioshock despite it not having being brought up by the author. The issue with those narratives isn’t that they judge you, it’s that their meta actions are those of a neglectful parent who spends your entire childhood leaving you locked up at home with a TV and internet access, then begins to act disappointed when you grow up spending most of your time on the computer. The game wants you to feel bad about taking the only available course of action, which is completely different from judging you for deliberately making the wrong but necessary choice.

      I feel guilty in games like Dishonored, where every choice of harming is deliberate and left entirely within my agency. Hell, I feel guilty in World of Warcraft when I play as a Hunter because it’s my deliberate choice to hunt and skin animals who wouldn’t attack me for personal benefit. But I cannot feel guilty in The Line because it’s essentially an interactive movie that I advance by participating in Walker’s actions, not a game where I actively make choices as Walker. I can sympathize with Walker from The Line and Kratos from God of War for being forced to do terrible things, but guilt isn’t mine to bear because I didn’t deliberately do anything.

      Honestly, the only game like that which I did find effective in conveying the feelings of guilt was Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea. And that one exists in a particular space where Elizabeth’s circumstances align with the player. Because most of the violence she feels guilty for was committed by others in her name, her personal narrative implores the player to share in the guilt for events that are completely outside her and the player’s control.

      • zarniwoop says:

        The point being made is that games shouldn’t try to make you feel bad for things that they have forced you to do in order to play the game. If the moral choice being offered is do X or switch off the game, then it’s dumb to criticise the player for doing X.

        I’m not sure I necessarily agree with this position, but let’s at least stick to criticising what the article actually says, instead of just making stuff up to get angry about.

        • Philomelle says:

          You said what I’ve been trying to say in much fewer words!

          I don’t think it’s bad for a game to call out that the only available choice is a bad one. Bioshock, Far Cry 3 and Bioshock Infinite did it very well by the value of not touching the fourth wall; the actions being criticized are firmly those of the protagonist and the player can appreciate the game’s acknowledgment that those actions are wrong.

          The major problem with Spec Ops: The Line is that it likes to actively harass the player about what a disgusting human being they are during the menus and on loading screens. Between that and the narrative designer’s smug claim that the players are guilty for doing all those horrible things when they could’ve just turned off the game and pretended that Walker bailed on his mission, it might as well be renamed Unwarranted Self-Importance: The Game.

        • Eight Rooks says:

          Sorry, but

          The point being made is that games shouldn’t try to make you feel bad for things that they have forced you to do in order to play the game.

          I don’t agree. If you’re angry with Shadow of the Colossus because you feel bad for killing the colossi, that’s your problem. If you’re angry because it shows you cutscenes showing that killing the colossi was a Bad Thing, that’s your problem. I’m happy to step into the shoes of someone who’s done a Bad Thing and feels bad (but is going to keep doing it anyway, because reasons), I enjoy the experience of being “forced” into playing that role, and I don’t think it’s a regrettable decision not to play to the strengths of the medium or whatever. I think this article, while well-written, is basically saying “Games shouldn’t do that, and they’re always much much better when they do this instead”, and again, I don’t agree.

          • Melody says:

            To unpack things a little bit, what was being criticized in the article is not
            a) That the player was made to feel bad
            but that
            b) The game criticized the player directly (not simply the player character, in this case Walker) for an action the game forced them to take in order to continue playing – which is not particularly compelling since the player was forced, they had no choice.
            This is different from:
            c) The game criticizes the player character for something they did – and the player may or may not feel bad because they empathize or identify with the player character.
            Spec Ops doesn’t stop at C (criticizing Walker for something he did in the narrative – and we feel horrible out of empathy/identification) and goes all the way to B (criticizing the player for something they couldn’t choose not to do). At least, that’s the claim.

          • Rizlar says:

            You do seem to be missing the point, possibly reading more into the article than is there. It’s not that they are offended, as you suggest. In fact almost the opposite, it’s that they don’t care, the narratives don’t work in what they set out to achieve. They are ineffectual. In the article they say (regarding The Line etc):

            Yes, we are entertained, and what’s more, I for one don’t feel the least bit bad for that. You’re not real, Maximus, and attacking us for taking part only draws more attention to that.

            They don’t praise Consortium because it caters to our every whim, they praise it because it is a more engaging, effecting type of game. It’s a more direct, more subtle and playful experience.

            when characters start dropping hints that they know a secret about you, you’re not pulled out of the game by an NPC having an existential crisis; instead, you’re hit with multiple reasons to be paranoid. Do they know you’re not who you claim to be? Is there something about Bishop 6 that I need to know? Is that creepy story in the news relevant or just flavour text? Why am I being allowed to do this, anyway?

            None of this would work in another medium. Consortium offers a solid sample of what we’ve been saying games have the potential to do for a generation.

          • Juke says:

            Seems like a valid rebuttal to me; referring to SotC is a good counterpoint to The Line. SotC does reinforce a strong sense of melancholy over its protagonist slaying the colossi, but it is the only course of action the game offers you. And of course, Shadow of the Colossus is widely (and rightfully) praised for its artistry. Which is to say, this kind of forced complicity can still work if handled well, and we should grant that it’s still a potential option for devs to take, which is all I think Eight Rooks is arguing.

          • Geebs says:

            The first Bioshock pretty much got it right, precisely because it was a commentary on how the player is usually forced to follow the designer’s script in order to progress. Shadow of the Colossus made it very apparent from the start that what Wander was doing was probably not a good thing, but he clearly wanted to carry on because he thought it was worth it; however the game doesn’t ever go out of its way to judge either the protagonist or the player.

            Far Cry 3, on the other hand, got literally everything wrong; yes the protagonist is unlikeable, that’s fine, but having the protagonist forced to do stupid things and insinuating that the player wants to do them because they’re somehow getting off on it because colonialism is insulting, and the whole business with the idea that the player is being tricked into revealing that they’re a violent chauvinist, where the only choice given is not to play at all, is moronic.

            Actively blaming the player for playing is stupid, and extra double stupid where they are being blamed for something they can’t influence. That’s not the same thing as the player taking on a role as part of the game’s intended experience.

            So yeah, basically my thesis is “screw Far Cry 3, screw Far Cry 2 and extra double screw Yohalem for being a smug cretin.”

          • Philomelle says:

            @Juke
            While killing the Colossi is the only way to progress in SotC’s story, it is far from the only course of action the game offers you. It took people around eight years to map out the entire Forbidden Land, not to mention find the collectibles such as fruit and lizards. There are several gameplay mechanics the game simply doesn’t mention (did you know you could ride eagles that fly over the area?) and the player can only discover via experimenting.

            Shadow of the Colossus is much like the recently released Eidolon in that it offers the player a goal and an open space, then lets the player inhabit said space however they wish even if it means ignoring the game’s narrative. The result is that most of the dedicated community prefers to approach the game as an elaborate walking simulator and focus their discussion on the game’s amazing geography.

          • subedii says:

            Spec Ops doesn’t stop at C (criticizing Walker for something he did in the narrative – and we feel horrible out of empathy/identification) and goes all the way to B (criticizing the player for something they couldn’t choose not to do). At least, that’s the claim.

            That’s the claim alright, and frankly, it’s one that I’ve never bought. To be honest, I think that people got personally upset with the game when that happened, because every time they bring it up, they always bring up how they should have been allowed some other way of playing. Which would have kind of destroyed the whole narrative.

            Major Spoilers

            You see, me personally? I also knew that what was happening in that scene and what the big revelation was going to be. I even tried experimenting with different things to see if the scene could play out differently. And it can’t. But I didn’t feel as if the game was doing anything unfair in that. It’s just a narrative. That scene didn’t even really have much of an impact on me, but a scene much later on did, again just as railroaded and without you being allowed to change the narrative.

            The meta-commentary there is that Walker (and if you feel any involvement, yourself) went into this trying to be the hero, and kept progressing onwards into a situation that, even with the best of intentions, he could never save. Sometimes no matter what you do things will only end bad. And he ends up being torn apart because of that because he was continually choosing to go forward in the hopes that he could make it different. Near the end he’s saying “I had no choice”, and his own words come back to haunt him mockingly, saying “there’s always a choice”. And it’s a sentiment that made sense in the narrative at the time, and that I even personally agreed with at the time, because “hey, another dumb action game, they’ll fix it so we can deal with Conrad and be heroes”. But it was never as clearly cut and dry as that, and walker keeps continuing on with ever strained justifications, hoping that by getting to the end he’ll have made it right in the end, because by that stage he’s so damned that forwards is the only direction he has left. He left behind the chance of getting out of this situation a long time ago.

            And in the end, he doesn’t make it right, he only comes to the realisation (or not) that he made all his choices and justifications, and he only succeeded, by himself, and by his actions, in doing terrible things to others, his men, and himself. And there’s no more justifications anymore.

            At that point you (the player) get the only real narrative choice in the game, whether Walker accepts this realisation, or chooses to run from it. And either way, the narrative still plays out pretty bleak. In any of the three endings, Walker is still a completely broken man, just in slightly different ways, depending on how you felt about it all, and how you felt his story would end.

            If we’re to talk about the nature of choice in games, I felt that Spec Ops handled choice exceptionally well in regards to what it was trying to accomplish. Because the choices were never about giving the player agency. Some of the choices in the game occurred even when you might not have realised it. The choices were about making the player feel more involved in the proceedings, and potentially, more complicit in what was going to happen.

            It was never going to work for everyone (It might or might not have worked for you). And that’s fine. It was a pretty big risk to take to begin with, and whether it chimed or it didn’t, I felt what they tried to do with this game is so far beyond what almost every FPS narrative to date has even thought of attempting that it’s not even funny.

            Like I said, I also saw the same thing about to happen, but where your issue seems to be is in that you feel like the game is directly calling you a bad person and “guilt tripping” you after that. I can’t say I felt that the game was doing that at all. If the player does end up feeling guilty, it’s because of feeling involved in the narrative (which like I said above, isn’t going to work for everyone). In real terms Walker, the main character, is doing all of this. And tonnes of crap that you never have a say in, all the freaking time, in all the minor and major situations before and after the WP scene. And it’s Walker seeing the results of this, and being affected by it. Your only ACTUAL choice as a player is just to play the game. Beyond that, what happens is basically fixed from start to finish.

            tl;dr

            It’s not really about the devs insulting your intelligence and saying “nobody’ll ever figure out it’s civilians”. But whether you can see what’s happening or not, Walker can’t. And the further you go into the game, the worse Walker gets and the more you, as an observer, see it as well. Heck, Yahtzee even raised that point same point in his review, and he makes 5 minute youtube videos consisting mainly of swearing.

            I certainly can’t laud SotC as an example of somehow doing it more right in that context. To me they seem to be largely the same in that respect.

          • Juke says:

            @ Philomelle: Just wanted to say thanks for the detailed reply. I really do think Shadow of the Colossus in a wonderful game, and while I have not revisted its community 8+ years hence, it delights me to think that it might now be regarded as the world’s most artistic Horse-And-Rider-in-Nature Simulator, which just happens to have huge, meticulously constructed mythic creatures roaming around in it, creatures the designer secretly hoped you would properly revere and leave to their solitude. It’s a magical thought, and it made my day. :)

          • KenTWOu says:

            @Philomelle

            While killing the Colossi is the only way to progress in SotC’s story, it is far from the only course of action the game offers you… it offers the player a goal and an open space, then lets the player inhabit said space however they wish even if it means ignoring the game’s narrative.

            It doesn’t mean anything at all, because narratively the game doesn’t notice these activities you mentioned. And it doesn’t make the game exceptional, because we could say the same thing about most of the open world games nowadays. It’s possible to ignore the game’s narrative and do shit almost everywhere even in Far Cry 3. If SotC will be released today on XO/PS4/PC, thanks to the internet, people will find everything about the game during the first months. I mean they’ll find all its secrets and focus their discussion on the game’s completion.

          • drewski says:

            Great reply, subedii.

          • Philomelle says:

            @KenTWOu
            1. Believing that the only times when the game acknowledges your presence within its world is when it provides you a confirmation in form of a cutscene or a collectible jingle.

            2. Having the attention span to explore the entire space provided by the game and complete your understanding of it.

            Please pick one. Because even Far Cry 3, with all of its map icons and collectible jingles, actually does have areas which you cannot find if you simply blindly follow from one waypoint to another.

          • KenTWOu says:

            @Philomelle
            Juke said that slaying the colossi is the only course of action the game offers you. You could jump, run, walk, look at texture artist work, find Easter eggs and hidden game mechanics. It doesn’t change the fact that killing all beasts is the only meaningful choice you have. I’ve heard there are so-called seekers. But ‘eight years’ doesn’t necessarily mean SotC world is exceptional or deep from narrative/artistic point of view (although, it’s a masterpiece without a doubt). It was released on a closed platform. If the game will be released today on PC, during the first week we will have Cheat Engine table hack with free cam which makes you able to reach into every single nook and cranny of SotC open world. Because, you know, people love making high res downscaled screenshots. I mean Juke does have a point.

        • Thiefsie says:

          Basically they should make an existential Donkey Kong game where collecting enough bananas makes the fruit extinct and no one else can eat them anymore and woah it’s just like all the vego’s eating quinoa and driving up the staple price for some communities that rely on it.

          How about a Mario game where you collect enough coins that the world economy falls apart because no one has any capacity to barter with them any more and you’re all scrooge McDuck in your pipes with infinite 1ups?

          Eh, eh?

    • Neoprofin says:

      I’m fine with a game calling me wrong, but I’m fairly bored with one that’s so ham-fisted about making sure that there are only poor outcomes and then bludgeoning you with disdain rather than allowing you to have an authentic emotional response to your own actions.

      I don’t feel guilty about melee striking a member of the angry mob who is accosting me. Unfortunately Spec Ops only allows two outcomes to the situation and on their moral continuum a single act of self defense is no different than opening fire on full auto at a pack of children. By the final choice I was honestly just wondering what mindset most players have. I’m a soldier who has just been through days of madness in the desert fighting for survival. The end is just on the horizon and and rescue has arrived. Is there someone who was trying to play the game honestly and opted to open fire on the patrol?

      It’s not about not liking the game for calling me wrong, it’s that I don’t believe I am, and that’s something I honestly don’t think the developers ever considered. That people can make hard choices with unexpected outcomes and then sleep soundly knowing they did the best they could with limited information and intentionally restricted options.

      • Sonntam says:

        I think that games like Spec Ops: The Line are more of a logical experiment, than an attempt to guilt trip the player.

        The game simply sets up some assumptions: you are stranded, you meet hostile forces, you are a good person that tries to save refuges, you are a soldier and as such can only help through violence. And then the game beautifully shows how with these tools you have no chance of winning, to arrive at a morally superior ground.

        It’s a rigged game. Of course you lose. The whole point is to make you see WHY it’s rigged and this is the only logical conclusion. If you don’t see why things turn out this way, then the developers failed. But if you don’t feel any guilt, then it’s absolutely alright. I personally felt really sad for Walker, but in the end he wasn’t me. His guilt wasn’t mine to bear.

        This did not make the game any less enjoyable, though. Even on the contrary, some distance made me appreciate the game design even more.

        • drewski says:

          Yeah, I felt confronted. Saddened. Empathetic. A bit sickened. But guilty? No. Don’t think it was trying for that.

      • subedii says:

        I don’t feel guilty about melee striking a member of the angry mob who is accosting me. Unfortunately Spec Ops only allows two outcomes to the situation and on their moral continuum a single act of self defense is no different than opening fire on full auto at a pack of children.

        Funny you should raise that point in the game.

        In that scene, you don’t need to kill anyone. You just thought that was the only option open to you.

        But here’s the thing: The point isn’t about making you feel good or bad about your actions. It’s about exposing you to the moment and making you think in that context. Most people I know did fire into the crowd.

        I mean my take-away from that wasn’t “man we’re all so evil”. It was “man, being in that situation there is almost no right choice, and people in that situation wouldn’t be in a position to do much more than react”.

        More than basically any other game I’ve played short of ArmA, Spec Ops gave me an insight into the pressures that soldiers face. And ArmA isn’t about any sort of psychological toll, it’s purely mechanical. It’s always been telling to me that the ones who sent the devs the most praise for the game often happened to be ex-servicemen themselves. In fact you can read a few blog and forum posts here and there from ex-soldiers who have played the game.

        • J-Force says:

          I think the problem that Spec Ops suffers from is that you are a soldier, facing the mental challenges of that role. In setting up the narrative in this way the devs restricted themselves in a ‘the player will lose to moral high ground. End of story’ kind of way. There is no way to walk away from Spec Ops and feel good about what you did, you either feel guilty or utterly indifferent, either going ‘yeah… I’m not proud of that choice’ or ‘what else was I meant to do???’ (which is my main problem with Far Cry 3, as previous comments have gone into already).

          There are more choices in Spec Ops than a lot of people realise, people tend to think that because they are a soldier with a gun they have to act somehow, but as the hugely underrated Knights of the Old Republic 2 showed me, apathy is as much an action as firing a gun. In many scenes in Spec Ops I can go ‘you know what – fuck you and this situation, I will sit here and see how it plays out because I am not doing that!’ but I often feel a destinct seperation between my actions (which are – philosophical debate aside – of my own free will) and that of the character, that must do certain things to progress the story which causes me to not really care about what i am doing – that and I don’t have a gun pointed at some refugees.

          KoTOR 2 made the point Spec Ops makes far more effectively in a single cutscene. It is one where you arrive at the refugee quarter of Nar Shadaar, full of wounded, starving, desperate war veterens and displaced civilians (all because of stuff you did in the long described past). One approaches you begging for money so that they can get some food. There are three ways this scenario plays out:

          1) Naturally you, being the moral authority of the universe as a Jedi, decide to help one of them by giving them some money. You are then shown how your act of charity resulted in that person getting beaten up and robbed and the money going to an impoverished thug. tl;dr: your act of kindness fucked over the guy you were trying to help

          2) Naturally you, being full of revenge and having the red mist descend at will, tell this guy to bugger off and die. He is less than happy and takes out his misery on a guy that just happened to be nearby by kicking them to the ground. You feel slightly unhappy because your lust for vengeance has not been filled, and the antagonists point out the futility of your anger. tl;dr: you were a douche, and it worked – not that you were trying to help anyway

          3) You are on your third playthrough, having played the above two and decide to just say to the man very nicely that you don’t want to give them anything. They give you a little speech on how you should have helped them and he is miserable, taking out his misery on those around him by shouting at them. Eventually he kills someone as others take issue with his shouting. tl;dr: apathy is death

          The point made in this one cutscene is that no matter what you do you may be morally wrong and there is the important thing: YOU are morally wrong. There were a wide array of dialogue options but no matter how you decide to deal with the situation (a situation that naturally has a limited number of outcomes, regardless of whether it is in a game or not) it goes wrong because of what I did. A man pestering me on the path is completely out of my control both as a character and a player. How I respond is fully within my control both as a character or a player and as a player, I felt guilty when the companion characters all point out how futile my efforts were in dealing with the situation, using the second person just to really push home that this was my choice, as both a player and a character.

          In that regard KoTOR 2 is one of the best games for fourth wall busting in a not in your face way and makes you scrap your moral system as a bonus. All without ever going ‘HEY! I’M TALKING TO YOU AT THE KEYBOARD!’. Much like the subject of this article it says ‘Here is your situation, now go’ and I love it for that.

          • subedii says:

            I can’t talk too much on KotoR 2, since I haven’t played it (and I got very bored with the first game and never finished it, so going onto the sequel felt “off”). That said I’ve always been meaning to since I’m a major Chris Avellone fanboy for all the other stuff he’s put out.

            I’d actually say that the issues that Spec Ops is raising are focused on a different point, but most of the time people tend to get so wrapped up in saying “The game made me do bad things!” that they basically ignore the entire rest of the game and its context.

            I don’t want to go onto another massive post on the topic, but I will recommend watching Errant Signals’ video on the game, as he largely covers the same points I wanted to, and far more eloquently. I don’t necessarily agree with all of it, but I feel he has a real understanding of the larger points the game’s trying to make.

            Chiefly I’d say the game works far more as a deconstruction of the modern military FPS and a lot of their core conceits (it is, basically as he says, a game about games). That the ideas presented in them are often really freaking messed up if we were to take the time to look at them a little closer. The player is always the hero with complete justification in their actions , the very idea of violence without context or consequence, in games where shooting people is the only interaction you have and that this is all that’s necessary for what follows. Even the idea that deliberate “moral choice” points (what’s worse, deliberate and discrete “good” and “bad” moral choices) in such a game basically frames everything outside of those choices as having no real moral bearing at all. The idea of “clean” and contextually sanitized violence. The psychological toll that such actions have on people where every other military FPS basically paints you as a mute emotionless cyborg killing machine in which the limit of the effect it has on the protagonist is how long it takes the blood smears to clear from their visor.

            I’d also recommend the links he gives at the bottom of the video, again pointing out the comparison and context with other games in the genre. Frankly I’d say that one scene is only the start of the conversation actually going on, if even that. The fact is that I frequently see people lambaste that one scene for “what it made me do”, but very few if any (none here) talk about its really freaking obvious connection to the same scenes that play out in almost every other modern military FPS, particularly the infamous scene in Modern Warfare 1, a scene it is deliberately mirroring and then subverting. A scene which when it crops up in other conversations, is only brought up to say how “cool” it was and how it defined a genre set piece. There’s some serious dissonance in that that’s worth looking at.

          • zarniwoop says:

            That’s interesting, particularly because so often when faced with a horrible problem, people view any action that’s supposed to help, however awful the consequences and side effects, as better than inaction even if that would lead to a better outcome. Inaction in the face of evil is seen as morally reprehensible, even when all the courses of action open to one cause more suffering.

            It’s the kind of thing that games are really suited to exploring.

          • J-Force says:

            I do have a habit of missing a ‘game about games’ theme. When I first played Stanley Parable I noticed the existentialist fail state more than the jokes. So thanks for the video, it was very interesting.

            If you’re going to get KoTOR 2, you’ll want the Restored Content Mod, some things (like several parts of the ending) were cut to meet deadlines, and this mods brings that content back. If there is one line I will remember for decades from that game it is ‘Apathy is death’. It comes up all the time and is proven to you over and over and over. The game explores the idea of not doing anything very well.

          • subedii says:

            Talk of the “missing” ending is also something that always put me off, so yeah, I always intended that if I picked it up, Sith Restoration would be the first thing I’d install. :)

          • SpoonySeeker says:

            There is no way to walk away from Spec Ops and feel good about what you did, you either feel guilty or utterly indifferent, either going ‘yeah… I’m not proud of that choice’ or ‘what else was I meant to do???’

            I think the problem here, and this is the problem most people have who object to the game; is that you think you are Walker, and you are trying to enjoy a power fantasy through him that you would expect in any other shooter. But you aren’t supposed to think like that. Walker is not you, it’s the other way around. You are roleplaying Walker. Everything you do and every choice you can make are Walker’s choices, they are what he sees, not what you see; or else there would be no hallucinations.

            Should they have put more effort into ensuring people experienced the game like this? Maybe, but that’s another argument.

          • drewski says:

            That KoToR2 scene didn’t affect me at all. Me giving the guy money didn’t make him immune to bad things for the rest of his life; why would I expect it to?

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            I think part of the point here (I haven’t played KOTOR2 in awhile so correct me if I’m wrong) is that he wouldn’t have been begging for money at all if it weren’t for your character’s past actions. The point is that you can do one thing, or another thing, or nothing, but none of those will actually undo what was already done. You’ve already made a bad thing happen, you CAN’T undo it, and you’ve just got to damned well accept it. You can’t just magically make everything better by making the ‘good’ choice – unlike in most games.

            But what do I know? I’m pretty sure I’m the only person on the planet who really liked Kreia’s character so I think I might’ve been playing a totally different KOTOR2 from everyone else…

          • kyrieee says:

            You’re not the only one who loves Kreia, I think a lot of people agree she’s one of the most well written (and voiced) characters in any game. Here’s someone singing her praises: link to borderhouseblog.com

  10. jayfreck says:

    so do you shoot stuff in this game or what?

    • Rizlar says:

      Yes.

    • Sonntam says:

      Most of the time you walk around the ship and talk to people. Out of a 2 hours of playtime you get to fight perhaps 20 minutes. If you are lucky, you get to skip combat entirely, because it’s just awful.

      Thankfully writing in the game is top-notch. First time I see fourth wall break so beautifully and to have the devs build a magnificent castle out of its shards.

      • thripper says:

        Oh sonntam, stop spreading falsities! ;) I’ll copy paste my other comment to your comment mentioning 2-hour playtime:

        To you, and the several folks jumping on the “this game is two hours” bandwagon: that is simply not true, as long as you do a little bit of exploring and don’t just power through the core mission objectives. I’ve played through this gem four times now (close to game of the year for me, though Divinity is hard to beat), and the playtimes have ranged from 3 hours (where I played like an asshole and barely spoke at all) up to 6 hours (where I explored and engaged in many of the conversations)… it just depends on what you do, and how you do it. The fact you can “say nothing” and walk away from every single conversation + skip dozens of conversations, makes the game length almost impossible to gauge from person to person.

        From experience, to make this a 2-hour game you are very obviously skipping a LOT of content.

    • sinister agent says:

      There are two combat sections that can be avoided but probably won’t, as one in particular is tricky to bypass (plus one non-fps fight that appears to be unavoidable, but is a bit dull at worst). The combat is annoying, mainly due to bad balancing – you can fight in the training simulator not long into the game, and it’s much better.

      If there’s a follow up, it looks likely to have much more fighting, given the plot.

  11. Solidstate89 says:

    Been a while since I’ve been on RPS. Sin Vega? That’s a pretty fucking awesome name, if you don’t mind me saying.

  12. JeepBarnett says:

    Omikron. There, I said it!

  13. tomimt says:

    I’ve yet to play this one through as I found the controls to be ackward and the UI to be horrible. It felt like there is a good game there and I liked a lot of stuff they did within the convined space the game takes place, but the game play just wasn’t good enough to fully reel me in.

    • Sonntam says:

      Since gameplay was largely just walking around and talking to people, I was most of the time okay with this. But doing the simplest task was like pulling teeth, yeah.

  14. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Well this just jumped up in my list of games to play.

    After Inquisition, Deadly Premonition or this?

    • Sonntam says:

      Consortium is a 2 hours long game, so I guess play it first. However you have to know that the story is not finished and there will be a second part (when? we just don’t know). So you can play this now, since it won’t take too long or wait for the second part to come out. Your choice.

      • Premium User Badge

        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        I did not know that. Thanks.

      • thripper says:

        To you, and the several folks jumping on the “this game is two hours” bandwagon: that is simply not true, as long as you do a little bit of exploring and don’t just power through the core mission objectives. I’ve played through this gem four times now (close to game of the year for me, though Divinity is hard to beat), and the playtimes have ranged from 3 hours (where I played like an asshole and barely spoke at all) up to 6 hours (where I explored and engaged in many of the conversations)… it just depends on what you do, and how you do it. The fact you can “say nothing” and walk away from every single conversation + skip dozens of conversations, makes the game length almost impossible to gauge from person to person.

        From experience, to make this a 2-hour game you are very obviously skipping a LOT of content.

        • Sonntam says:

          Well, actually I was very often reloading and replaying conversations, so I could only estimate what real play time would be. Also, I played the game first time from 4 to 5 hours (because due to bugs I often had to replay conversations and work around game-breaking bugs). Second time I rushed through and it took me two hours.

          With games like that I prefer to name the lower denominator, that means the least amount of time it takes you to finish the game. I think it sets expectations a bit lower and (in my opinion) that wiser than making them hope for 6 hours of gameplay, when realistically it would be half of that.

          • thripper says:

            OH that sucks. I read about the game’s troubles at launch and also read the patch logs and whatnot. I only finally played it about 2 months ago? I think, and had no problems save for some choreo & graphical glitches here and there. Maybe I got lucky!

  15. webwielder says:

    Liked this game a lot, till I came to a stupid plane combat mini-game that I couldn’t get past. Such a dumb reason not to be able to play a game like Continuum.

    I wish all games would adopt Tron 2.0’s model for mandatory mini-games (light cycle battle in their case): do your best and have fun, but we know this isn’t the kind of game you signed up for, so feel free to just skip ahead.

    • All is Well says:

      I got stuck there as well on my first playthrough, but I think you can adjust the difficulty of those scenes, so you can just breeze past them.

  16. ChrisGWaine says:

    Sounds kind of similar to the PS2 game Kenran Butousai, which had a framing story where the player was using a system to take control of a person in an alternate future who was crew on a submarine on Mars.

  17. Emeraude says:

    I want to play and like that game, but it keeps crashing on me like there’s no tomorrow.

    • Sonntam says:

      Back in the days when the game was released, it kept crashing if you did not run it in windowed mode. Maybe you could try that out?

  18. BooleanBob says:

    I don’t work in HR, but someone who does did a wonderful job of stepping in to protect me when I was being bullied by my boss. So fuck your stupid joke, and fuck your stupid made-up name, Sin. :)

  19. cpt_freakout says:

    This game is brilliant. I played it earlier in the year and what absorbed me the most, like a couple others have already said, was the encyclopedic Terminal. The story of the world is pretty commonplace as far as sci-fi stories go, but the depth and the feeling of discovery you can get out of that little terminal is amazing, and something that I haven’t ever encountered in any other game I’ve played. Putting pieces together about the crew and the world and how everything fits together throws you right into the conspiracy theory mood the environment is brimming with, and brings out a lot of interesting questions surrounding games as a kind of performance and their possibility to modify places through what amounts to useless knowledge. It’s sheer ‘play’, in a more abstract, theoretical sense, that makes good use of ‘gaming’ as we commonly know it, and that’s what makes it so interesting to me.

  20. Tom De Roeck says:

    I bought the game solely based on this article and some of the comments, dear fucking lord, it is fantastic. Ive been having so much fun just running around talking to people. whee.

    lets see where it leads.

  21. zapatapon says:

    Awkward moment: when an article makes you interested in a game you only realize afterwards was somehow already on your steam library.

    • jezcentral says:

      Pshaw. Happens all the time for people like us, doesn’t it?

      P.S. Thanks for the opportunity to use the word “Pshaw”. I think it was my first time. *fans self*

  22. epmode says:

    I’m so glad this article was written. I’ve been so disappointed with the way this game was ignored by practically everyone. Not only is it an actual immersive sin (genre of kings,) It does stuff with narrative that I’ve simply never seen in games before. I’m so glad I backed it and I very much hope the sequel makes it through the Kickstarter phase.

  23. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    Best thing I’ve gotten from a Humble Bundle. And I’ve bought a lot of Humble Bundles.

  24. drewski says:

    Well, I’ve added it to my Wishlist.

  25. DavidMG says:

    There’s a point early in the game when the Russian guy (sorry, forgot his name) boards your ship and you have to meet with him in person. Before you can do that, you must drop your weapon at his crew’s demand, so they can take you to him unarmed. First three times I tried doing this, I selected the gun on the inventory and dropped it (for lack of a hotkey that allowed me to do it immediately). I always managed to drop it in time, but the guards never noticed. After the gun was physically dropped from my hands and left at their feet, they kept yelling at me demanding that I surrender my weapon, otherwise they’d shoot me. And they always shot me. The friggin’ gun was there, resting at their feet, and they kept yelling at me to drop it. Quite an oversight on the programmer’s part, I’d say. Then I found out how to surrender my weapon according the mechanic the game demanded. It was extremely immersion.breaking, showed a huge crack in the game that makes everything else seem staged and showed me a big sign saying: “YOU ARE NOW PLAYING A VIDEO GAME”. I couldn’t choose one of the game mechanics for dropping my weapon, I had to do it the way the game wanted me to. Choose this specific mechanic, please, the others we’re giving you don’t actually work for this scripetd scene. Follow each step carefully and the way we want you to, otherwise you’ll step out of the game’s boundaries and you’ll break the scene and be reminded that this is a video game, partially disconnected from your input. For me, that’s an unredeemable flaw. There’s no way I want to keep playing a game like that, no matter how well it does other things. There’s a number of other flaws, quite minor compared to this one. But this… this is just unacceptable.

    • greatbird says:

      You know what, you’re right! Honestly it’s odd that no-one else ever mentioned this. For tech reasons we can’t just patch this in, but it is possible to detect for the player dropping their weapon in this manner and we’ll get it in for the Kickstarter Special Edition.

  26. kalirion says:

    Huh, I got this game in some bundle or another and then promptly forgot all about it. Guess I’ll need to push it up to a higher priority on my backlog :)

  27. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    Consortium’s framing gimmick was insultingly stupid, easily the worst thing about that otherwise fantastic game. It felt like a mockery. I guess they had to have the explanation for the body-hopping, but anyone could have come up with something that sounded like less of a 90s kids TV show.
    “And then the gamer became a SPY, in a FUTURE WORLD!”
    But hey, all that is easily ignored at least in the first episode, so whatever… Still, nobody should praise or encourage this kind of thing. NOBODY.

    • thripper says:

      Huh? Not quite sure what you are ripping on here. I have played the game a few times and I think by framing gimmick you mean the satellite connecting stuff? The entire backbone of the game?! Care to share what was so insulting about it, because I found it refreshing and quite original. At no point was I “insulted”, but maybe you mean something else? Explain yoself, good sir!

      Also, you don’t play a spy in this game…?

  28. wonder says:

    robinsonbuckler @ yahoo. com did a love spell for me about 3 days ago and the results came like miracle….