Morning Discussion

"What's a second-person shooter then?" is a question we've all felt quite smug asking at one time or another. Turns out, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 comes quite close.

I started playing the singleplayer campaign last week and scarcely a minute goes by without the game fading to black and entering a cutscene. If I'm lucky it'll be a third-person cutscene--something I'm rarely excited to see in an FPS--but a terrible proportion of them are from a first-person perspective with the game deciding where 'my' character should stand and what they find interesting to look at. I'm constantly ripped out of the world to observe a fun-ish skit. It's a poor second-person narrative--"You stand there, staring gormlessly while someone else does something interesting."

This might be more understandable if I were playing as a definite character, if the game were attempting to force me into 'being' Marlowe, but I don't see that. "Hey!" the game would be yelling. "You're this nondescript, quiet white male, yeah? The one with barely more prescribed personality than Gordon Freeman. Isn't that great?" No.

I imagine DICE was attempting to boost the cinematic, re-told story feel but the cutscenes do little that wouldn't be better in first-person and add nowhere near as much as they take away. Perhaps the cutscenes are simply for technical reasons, masking asset streaming or similar. No matter what, it's weird and unpleasant.

It's a shame because while the cutscenes are terrible, the mish-mash of 'realistic' and arcade play is weird and trying to figure out who's shotgunning your face through a thick cloud of smoke is awful, the game is quite enjoyable. I have a jolly jaunt to venture off on with a wide and wonderful selection of shotguns and sniper rifles--that'll do for me.

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