Sunday, October 4, 2015

Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director's Cut - 10/20 hours

The last couple of missions have presented me with difficult moral decisions. Do I continue to work for the mysterious secret society that deceived me about the intent of my mission, tricking me into planting a bomb when I thought I was merely setting up some surveillance devices? Do I turn over the prototype cyberzombie, when it is clear that there is still a sentient troll inside it, being tortured by its prison of metal or do I grant it the release of death?

These are the sort of choices I enjoy. It makes me feel like I have some control over my character when there are real consequences for taking a particular path. However, I'm not sure I approve of the way that "Dragonfall" implements these choices. It was clear to me that by telling the Lodge that I was no mere thug who would perform without question that I was closing off a whole line of quests. And though the cyberzombie client's threat to "never hire me again" struck me as empty (it just felt like a one-off mission anyway), I don't care for the implication.

It's not so much that I mind these particular NPC dissociating themselves with me as it is that I worry by making the "wrong" choices, I am being punished with being able to see less of the game. It's a tricky balance, I know. If the consequences of your choices aren't dramatic enough, then good and evil will feel like mere reskins of each other, a single story with a light or dark coat of paint. But if they are too different, you basically have to make two games in one, and your players will probably only see one or the other.

I'm going to reserve judgement on "Dragonfall" for now. There's probably more than enough missions that the loss of the Lodge questline is no big deal, but if it turns out that it gets referenced later, then I'll probably feel quite put out.

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