Lord of the Rings is arguably the fundamental basis from which all stories of fantasy ideology, is transcribed, with subtle but distinct variations on the pantheon derived in Tolkien’s creation. So it’s no real surprise that novels, movies and even games pander to the same formative mentality, in a vain attempt to emulate similar success, with vague alterations to the established mythology from its stoic contemporary. This is by means a slanderous assault for the evident lack of creative attentiveness, illustrated with such adept frequency. In contrast its an understandable recourse attributed to such media, with almost a homage to such a lauded, literate work of fiction. Lord of the Rings is the revered comparative, scrupulously adorned with other fictitious creations, as a figurative marker of speculative attainment, to which all overs aspire to reciprocate, particularly in the age of digital interactivity so associated with RPG’s. The results are erratic, with games such as Final Fantasy, Skyrim, Tales of Graces and many others besides, creating games that are both richly detailed and densely populated, allowing for a more visually appealing story, but a derivative interpretation of the stories submitted by Tolkien.
Despite minute variants of names, locations and titles, you except the predictable finality of many core principles; Elves, mystical beings harnessing magic, dwarves, dragons, even the journey of steadily accumulated group, on some admirable, life attaining expedition resonates the poignancy of LOTR’s inception. RPG’s have an insatiable lust for abusing our intelligence with a duplicate premise. There is always a “chosen one”–though perhaps not specifically stated as such, but some mosaic contortion to fit the appropriate, condescending banner, complimented with the arbitrary triumph over adversity. With a vast accompaniment of dialogue, so retracted from anything resembling captivation, that even Eastenders script writers would cast resentful, scrupulous doubt over its legible competence. RPG’s seem intent on emphasising the inferior intellect of its audience with juvenile, stereotypical portrayals, with a reduced reliance and quantity on violence, and of course a containment on simulated lacerations and profanities in some cases, which allows games to become more accessible to a more impressionable contingent. Because as we all know that such grotesque stimulants promotes absurd consequences for kids; like inciting them to strangle kittens, push the elderly out of buses and stimulating general thuggery within their juvenile minds, but that shouldn’t negate the lack of a more sophisticated story.
Theres little contentment with derivative, isolated plot progressions so linear in execution and hesitant to progress to a more articulate conveying, of cohesive story telling, that should feel less like a supplementary inclusion, and more of an intricate inauguration. Inducting any form of assured narrative composition, is like a violation of reasonable conduct, as though all submitted scripts must be both processed and solely distributed by an impartial toddler, with the appropriate stationary so it can be moderately, though illegibly altered with a plenitude of colourful emulsion of crayons, scrawled furiously across the pages. It’s little wonder that prestigious journalists such as Roger Ebert continue to berate the potency of narratives in games, as opposed to its more “mature” cinematic brethren, when RPG’s further compound the problem–not only a games competency to create the required emotive response or the fluency of its adventure, but also encapsulate the pessimistic perception attained by many unfamiliar with gaming in general.
RPG’s–as well as the general populace of games– should be intuitive to your every action, with every decision sparking an equivalent, often dramatic retaliation. Though not strictly considered an RPG, Heavy Rain dabbled with such diverse arrangements with varying degrees of success, insistent on loosening the restraints of narrative shackles, and thus producing a miraculous, emotive connection with a totally digitalized cast, and a constant empathy for its victims. It’s not even the prospect of a particularly motivating story, but also the interactions between its simulated cast. The intensity of the situation is greatly increased when you have a sympathetic cast to observe, I mean no one watched the Lethal Weapon movies for its moralistic integrity or the complexities of coping with suicidal tendencies, but because of its varied, dynamic cast. There’s almost a veiled cowardice in an RPG’s inception that feel measured, almost restrained with rehearsed labouring approach to the subversive plot, introducing rudimentary character developments, almost oblivious to the regurgitated supposition, reluctant to segregate itself from seemingly obligatory derivatives. Games shouldn’t treat you with such contempt, as though you’re so inept, that it takes a conscious effort for you to inhale oxygen, or that your continuously bemused by the notion of a door. It’s akin to an ignorant tourist abroad in some foreign speaking nation, who amplifies their vulgarity and ignorance, by interacting with people by adopting an irregular cadence and abruptness to their vocal interactions, that implies that the simpleton your conversing with will interpret what you say better, if you speak very slowly, but loudly.
But perhaps I’m being unfairly dismissive to insinuate that their should be any comparison to an exceptional piece of literature such as Lord of the Rings, and that its natural for developers to include much of its law into their games, which is more than acceptable. But with a fresh perspective on the “chosen ones” quest, or even a complete abstinence from such formulations, could not only create flowing, visceral worlds, but a worthwhile story, as well as the means to want to indulge in such expeditions. Or is it just me?
Do you still enjoy the stories afforded by RPG’s? Or are you as bored with the stories as I am? Let me know what you guys think. Cheers.