Will you care about the dame in Max Payne 2?

It’s being billed as a film noir love story. It got me thinking about the first game and about how I absolutely did not care that Max’s wife and kids were murdered, and in fact I didn’t give a rat’s ass about Max either, other than I needed to keep him alive so I could complete the levels. This makes me wonder if you can even pull off a love story in a game? Will we ever care enough about the characters to invest any emotion in them?

My guess is that at some point in Max Payne 2 I’m going to wish I could just shoot the woman in the head and it will annoy me that I can’t. That’s about as much emotional involvement I expect to get out of the game.

Are there any games where we care about the characters? The game I remember being cited the most is the old Infocom text game Planetfall, when Floyd the robot makes his noble gesture. Players seem to have been genuinely moved by that. Of course, that’s a text game. The experience of reading is different from the experience of actively controlling a character in a graphic game.

I don’t know if I’ve ever cared about any characters in games. Maybe some Jagged Alliance characters – Tex disappointed me. I kept him around even though he was mediocre, just because I liked him, and then he stabs me in the back.

How can you develop an emotional attachment to a game character in a game thats just 6 hours long? You can’t and thus one of the major problems of this second game. Its suppose to be 20 hours long this time out so maybe but I’m not checking it out.

Wasn’t Donkey Kong also a love story really?

<Mandatory Planescape:Torment reference here>

Well, you watch a two hour movie and cry at the end when they have to shoot Old Yeller. Two hours, man, and you’re nothing but a puddle of saline solution!

Planescape: Torment

Totally got immersed in the story and totally cared about the characters. Also, I might add, PS:T has got some of the best music ever written for a computer game. It still gets me when the music softly switches over to an extremely beautiful and haunting version of the main theme when you approach Deionarra at the beginning.

LOL, you beat me to it. I was about to post ‘Only if she has a Scottish accent.’

Fallout also does an excellent job of making the player care about their character, especially because of the ending.

I think the only game character I ever cared about was Boo.

But thats two hours of story and character development. The original max payne probably had 15 minutes of story when you weren’t running around capping people.

The problem is that the plot seems to be pretty much standard as far as I’ve read it in previews. And the female character seems to be your average femme fatale. Max will fall in love with her, she’ll cause nothing but trouble. And at that point, yes, the player probably wants to shoot her thanks to the potential predictability of the plot.

Oh well, right now I don’t even care about the game itself. Despite me actually liking the prequel. But I somehow don’t see myself buying MP2. There’s a bunch of other games I’m more interested in.

I’m suprise no one has mentioned Ico yet. The relationship between the player character and Yorda was more like puppy love (I guess) but you definitely had this urge to keep her from harm. And it wasn’t just to get through the level (at least not for me).

There’s also a wonderful moment late in game that shows how Yorda also has feelings for the player character as well. And it’s all done without dialogue.

In Outcast I cared about the characters, and I attribute that to plentiful, well-written dialogue; truly excellent voice acting; and the deepest immersion I’ve experienced in a game.

The opening movie is all it takes for the player to genuinely dislike Xue and to believe in the eventual consequences of his egotism, and the combination of slowly revealed backstory and nasty in-game jibes between Marion and Cutter makes you believe in their relationship — you feel relieved when it’s all over and they make their peace…and then the writers put the knife in and twist it. (I’m trying to avoid spoilers here.)

As for Cutter himself, he’s a funny, self-deprecating guy who you’ve seen interacting with a huge variety of personalities by the end of the game, and it would be hard not to get drawn in. His conversations with the twon-ha handler (“Will you sing to her when she is lonely?”) and with Mogi the escaped slave from Motazar are good examples of the fun and serious sides of the game.

I’d rather have Outcast II (which was cancelled last year) than any other sequel, frankly. But I’m hoping Deus Ex 2 will really be as open-ended as they say it will be — I’m playing the first Deus Ex now, and appreciating it as a sort of midpoint between Outcast and Half-Life.

Thanks for reminding me, Outcast truly was an excellent game. So good in fact that I’d rather see Outcast 2 than Half-life 2 if I had to choose.

mmm, the chick in Max Payne 2 is a redhead… is there sex in the game? then i really do care!


Ultima 5. When Blackthorn blackmails you into giving away one of the words of power or mantras (can’t remember) else Iolo gets the guillotine.

That was rough. :(

I nominate Out of This World as I cared about Lester’s alien buddy.

In my experience, adventure games create more character empathy than shooters do. RPGs fall somewhere in the middle.

Gabriel Knight > Minsc > ‘Serious’ Sam Stone

Did you see those Outtakes they released? One of them redid that scene, except that this time the twon-ha crapped in front of him, leading to the response “<BLEEP>. WILL SOMEONE GET THIS <BLEEP>ING ANIMAL OUT OF HERE BEFORE I KICK IT IN THE STOMACH UNTIL IT DIES?!”

I haven’t read the whole thread, but I developed an attachment to my squad in Gunship 2000. This was the first computer game that I really got into, so maybe it was just the newness of gaming. I tend to think not, though, because it’s never really happend for me since.

In GS2k your pilots got better as they gained more experience. Somehow this really worked and I felt bad when one of the little guys died. I would give them names like Clint Eastwood or John Wayne and then they would appear as Cpt Wayne in the mission.

If one of my good guys died, I would replay the mission to try and save him. If there wasn’t time for replaying the misison, I would be annoyed at how hopeless his replacement was. Sometimes I would send the replacement on the most dangerous parts of the missions, because I didn’t want to risk my other guys.

I can remember being completely bummed when my whole squad got killed–but I was also made a general and sent back home for that mission, so I did not bother to replay. War is hell. :)

I remember the same sort of thing in RB2, but instead of getting invested in my squad I would get really pshyced if I got to fly against an ace. I coudlnt’ wait to get back to the mission text screen and see who it was I was flying against, (since I would only know he was an ace because his crate was painted up–not which ace he actually was).

Games just aren’t ready for love stories really, at least not on the level that Max Payne 2 is apparently going for. You see that clip where Max and his love interest hug? Sorry, it just looks stupid and lame.