Picking apart the hype of new and classic video games.

Bring back paranoia

I just finished watching John Carpenter’s “The Thing,” a movie as much about trust as exploding half-dog-man mutants.

The movie documents how a group of scientists cut off from the rest of the world turn on each other while a shape shifting alien picks off stragglers and generally becomes a nuisance.

In 2002 a video game sequel was released that touched lightly on the social aspect of the movie and was well received, but a tacked on conspiracy plot gave me a sense that the developers were concerned the game would be boring without soldiers to shoot at as well.

Fast forward to 2010, the age of Xbox Live and PSN and I think it’s time someone teach an old half-dog-man mutant a new trick.

Last year’s mostly abysmal Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days had one redeeming feature in it’s Fragile Alliance multiplayer mode: it realized online teammates are ultimately conniving, evil people who will shoot their fellow bank robbers in the back if they can walk away with a duffel bag full of money.

Knowing that betrayal was not only allowed but encouraged added a new level of tension to a so-so online experience.I think back fondly to smooth-talking a gang of anonymous thugs into a cohesive unit, gaining trust by saving players and winning a few rounds…and then knee-capping someone before they make it into the getaway vehicle and grabbing game-winning piles of cash in the final seconds.

I think we can all agree the survival/horror genre needs a shot in the arm these days, and feeling alone in a crowd may not be the worst step you can take. At least, if that’s your kind of “thing.”

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One response

  1. Pingback: Sunday night blog round-up | Reinventing the News • Spring 2011

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