- Well, you're completely missing the point!
- It isn't that it's a gimmick, but rather that it's all extremely well executed. See, it's tied into the game. It's not just that there's this disembodied voice present... because that's not what makes the difference. You could add a disembodied voice to Diablo and it wouldn't make it any more like Bastion, it'd still be a massive distance away in the sort of game that was created. Indeed, you could add a disembodied voice to... oh, say Megaman, but it still wouldn't make the difference.
- The game is critically acclaimed for having an ongoing and reactive story. The narrator comments on your environs and what you do, what you choose to explore, what you choose to see or do, reflects upon how much or the sort of story you hear. It also gives another opinion on what's going on, too. It fleshes out the creatures you're fighting, it tells you about the world you're in as you're walking through it, and it comments on what you do. It's not even afraid of telling you that you're a jerk if you do something horrible.
- See, all the books in the world wouldn't change that. Diablo was a game that had books, but it didn't do a lot to convey the story or the world. Diablo was a great game, sure, but it didn't convey the sense of worldliness in the way that Bastion did. As you experience anything new in Bastion, you have its nature explained to you by someone who sounds like they've spent their life in their world. It gives the world itself a feeling of... age. It makes it feel old, old in a way that even most RPGs fail at capturing.
- To come back to perhaps one of what I feel is one of the more overrated games of the year, I'd say that Bethesda and Skyrim could learn a thing or two from this. See, if you remove the voice from Bastion, that's a bit like what we have in Skyrim. When we take a companion with us in Skyrim, they're a blank, unwritten page. And most of the people we fight, most of the creatures, are blank, unwritten pages. It's a terrible shame, really. It makes the world feel new, young, and yet barren. Not even the art conveys a sense of oldness in Skyrim like the sense of oldness that's brought across in Bastion.
- And there's your innovation. It's a damned good one, too.
- The narrator in Bastion makes the world believable, you remember stuff because the narrator told you about it. When you encounter monsters, you may feel a little sad for them because of what the narrator told you about their history, when you encounter a place, you may recognise it as somewhere that the narrator had hinted at. It means that you can take a completely alien world and make it familiar because you have someone who's actually lived there their entire life. That's the genius of Bastion.
- I want more games doing that.
- Imagine if you had a companion in Skyrim that did that: One that commented on the cities, the state of things, the people you were fighting, frequently offering their opinion on what was going on and such. And someone who might disagree with you occasionally since they're their own person. That would be something special. I mean, it'd be nice to have had a follower in Riften talking my ear off about the Black-briars and why they're bad for this place, and why they can't stand Maven Black-briar. That would have made me feel better about Riften. But Riften is an anomaly as it is. There's an absolute atrocity living there (the Black-briars) but no one wants to do anything about it, no one will even dare speak ill of them. It just feels... out of place. There's a lot of that in Skyrim.
- Really, what Bastion did well is something that a lot of RPGs could learn from. Having a companion with you, one that's world-weary, one that's seen a lot in that realm, and one that knows so, so much more than you do can really bring a place to life. I find it very easy to believe in Bastion's world because of that, it's a place brought to life by word and tale, it's a book being written as I walk through its pages.
- And if you don't get that... well, you may never. And more's the pity.
- I don't expect the likes of some of the audiences mentioned to understand that, but... you know, RPS? You expect the standards to be a little higher. Reflect on what I've said a bit and you may see why people talk it up. It's not just some disembodied voice talking that makes this game, that's part of it and yet there's so much more to it than that. So much more.
a guest Dec 21st, 2011 480 Never
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