My game is all about choice. Why? Because our choices define who we are. As my game opens, you find yourself looking through the eyes of a character. For now, you know almost nothing about them. All you know is that they are about to be executed. You do not know why, but for now, that doesn't matter. As the executioner utters the words 'I hope your last thought is a nice one' the game slows to a halt and you are thrust back in time, to a time before your grim fate.
It is here that your story begins. The camera pans away to reveal your character in bed, they walk over to a mirror and it is here that you 'see' yourself for the first time. You are given the choice to make yourself look exactly how you want to. Hundreds of customisation options are available from the very beginning, ranging from body size, to eye colour, to skin tone, to gender. The ability to craft your very own character to an impossible level of detail is at your finger tips. Once you are finished creating your character, you are tasked with naming them. This name will be one of the many defining things for your character, so choose carefully. Once you have named yourself, your adventure truly begins. As you step out of your cramped room, you find that your house has been raided; your belongings are scattered across the floor and you know that they were looking for something important. After collecting your belongings and choosing your desired clothes, you head out of the front door. A bustling street stretches in both directions, spaceships streak across the grey cloudy sky overhead, and at your feet, there is a note. The note reads 'Go left' . It is here that you make your first choice. Do you follow the mysterious note and turn left? Or would you rather carve your own path and discover for yourself by going right? The choice is yours. The choice is always yours.
That is the opening to my perfect game, but here is the key concept. The story is a large, open world sci-fi RPG. It is set in the fictional city of Adracir, a sprawling maze of skyscrapers ruled by a powerful cult known as the Children of Kreth . Beneath the glossy city lies an underground slum city, hidden from view. It is not just poverty that thrives in the seedy underworld; criminals roam free and rule the slums. But when the city surface is rich with corruption and deceit, nowhere is truly safe. Darkness lies in every corner, both above and below.
With a stylish and powerful art direction, a wide variety of talented voice actors, a fully orchestrated soundtrack and a dark, gritty atmosphere, my perfect game would have a distinctly cinematic feel to it. The gameplay would be a careful mixture of engaging combat and action, light puzzle and discovery elements, and a large emphasis on customisation and adaptation. But not only would it be an action-packed experience, it would also have the grand scope of the biggest Hollywood films. You get to watch, and play, as the hard-hitting storyline unfolds and adapts depending on your actions, meaning you can play through the game multiple times and witness all new events and storylines every time.
You follow the scattered memories of your character, as their last thoughts are a vivid recollection of their life in Adracir. You will relive key moments from your past and you may just make some friends and enemies along the way. Throughout the story, your decisions will shape your identity. Characters will respond to you differently if you behave in certain ways. If you choose to be helpful, your character will have a proud posture, people will look fondly upon you in the streets, they will greet you warmly. If you choose to defy the rules, if you choose to help only yourself, people will not trust you, they will be on edge when they see you.
These small decisions throughout the story will shape your identity, and will affect how you interact with others. As you play through the game making decisions, you will form a bond with the person you have created. This is important to me, because currently there aren't enough games that make you truly care about your actions, and the characters that they affect. So as you traverse your memories, you will learn more about how you came to be sentenced to death, you will learn the true cost of your actions, and maybe, just maybe, you will learn of a way to prevent your grim fate from occurring.
This would be my perfect game.
This is an entry to the Perfect GAME competition for the chance to win a Wii U from GAME
From the second I started playing LEGO Batman 2, I knew it was unlike any other Lego game.
Right from the off, I was bombarded with shinier graphics, amazing music and a whole heap of the familiar Lego humour. What set this game apart though immediately was one of the brand new features in the game. Voice acting. Whilst in previous Lego games the minifigures were limited to the odd grunt or mumble every now and then, and up until now it was fine, it was funny. But within seconds of hearing a miniature Joker chatting away on stage, I was sat wondering; 'How did these games ever get by before without voices?'. The voice actors do an amazing job of pumping life and character into the colourful cast of heroes and villains that populate the game, Clancy Brown reprises his role as Lex Luthor from the animated series of Batman, and he once again does the great character justice with some killer one-liners. For those fans who have played the previous games and have fallen in love with the slap-stick charm and humour of the silent characters, worry not, for this game still retains the classic humour but manages to do so much more with the added possibilities of voice acting.
Another new aspect the game tries out is an open-world hub. After the first level or so you find yourself plonked straight into this huge hub. The first Lego Batman game offered players the chance to run around the Batcave and Arkham Asylum in-between levels, but now you have the whole of Gotham City to explore. The hub itself is the biggest the developers have ever made, and the scale of the area is mind-blowing. Littered with collectible, secrets, unlock and citizens to rescue, you'll find yourself spending more time in the hub than you do in the levels themselves. This is a good thing. The 15 levels in the game are great, they feel so much more action packed and cinematic than any other legion game, and the variety is really, really satisfying. But the hub world is so jam-packed full of things to do, you'll want nothing more than to just swoop around as Superman whilst the classic John Williams theme kicks in. It truly is an immense achievement for a lego game, sure it's no Arkham City, but the scope of the Gotham City created in this game really does do a lot more interesting things with the environment than other games have managed. The characters are truly superb and each of the 60+ playable characters feel unique and different from one another, rather than just a re-skinned version of the last person you played as. That's definitely a refreshing change.
There aren't many things in the game at all that detracted from my gaming experience, but a few of the little things need mentioning. Firstly, the hub world is huge and amazing, I've already established that, but it is in this that one of the games' kryptonites is revealed. It is sometimes such a sprawling place that I had trouble finding my way around. Sure there were in-game guides in the form of 'ghost studs' which lead me to my objective, but the compass offers little to no help when trying to find that last collectible or when you need to get to that certain place. You can place a marker on the in-game map to track down a certain location, but you will often find yourself wandering around aimlessly in the general area of the marker until you find what you are looking for. It wasn't too much of a problem, but for younger gamers this could cause some serious hassle. Obviously this sort of trouble needs to be fine-tuned and it is expected from a game that is trying out an open hub world for the first time, but it is a trouble nonetheless.
Overall, the game does so many new things that the experience feels completely fresh and exciting, even to a seasoned Lego gamer. The signature features of the Lego games like the free play aspect and the character creator return and they are as fun as ever. On the surface, the game is an adorably fun DC game that kids and adults will love, but at it's core it is a game that drags in the compulsive collector and will keep you coming back time and time again.
How does it look: 9/10
How does it sound: 8/10
How does it play: 9/10