On the one hand, staying on course and moving forward maintains the pace that keeps the story engaging for me. To do so, though, felt like it would only lead to a hollow victory at best. For the designer, everything left in the game to give the player freedom also opens the window of unpredictability when if comes to how and when they'll arrive at critical path milestones. I arrived at this one in Mass Effect 2 well before I'd have liked to given the amount of support material still available. I needed, and in fact was craving, the next part by the time it arrived, though.
Halo ODST presented a different sort of pacing challenge. First, playing with a partner who'd already completed the missions it was easy to gloss by important moments. While a degree of this can be attributed to familiarity, there's also an argument to be made that those high points aren't that high if they don't really catch your attention after the first time. I mean, it's not like I put on Blade Runnner and then fast forward through the whole thing. The other pacing issue in ODST comes from a lack of being able to sense how I was progressing in the game. There's an intentional degree of obfuscation to simulate some of the disorientation the drop troopers would experience. Even allowing for that, there's a lack of time and place that throws off my understanding of how I'm participating in the events at any given moment.
The time for the following events was today and the place was, of course, Shacknews:
- New Diablo 3 screens showed up today
- New Aliens vs. Predator trailer for 'Survival' mode
- Wipeout dev rumored to be facing layoffs and restructuring
- Along with the beta there's new video and screens for C&C 4
- We caught up with another Duke Nukem video that hit YouTube
- Stargate Resistance announced that it will be available in few short days
Enough with iPhones and Androids, here comes the Zune Phone (again)
PCMag really got into this whole netbooks vs. iPad thing with 42 reasons why netbooks are better