Godfather vs Path of Neo
I was surprised this morning when I read this in an article about EA’s “The Godfather” on Eurogamer:
Wisely, EA has chosen to avoid putting gamers in the shoes of any of the characters from the movie or the original Mario Puzo novel, therefore giving much more flexibility by avoiding having to strictly adhere to the plot. Kicking off with a short-lived flashback sequence, you enjoy a brief chance to punch out a few thugs before you get shot down by a rival family.
I remember about a year ago, Dave Perry from Shiny saying something quite the opposite about why “Path of Neo” was going to be a fun game to play. I couldn’t find the exact quote, but it did go something like this (from an interview on IGN):
If I was a Spiderman fan and this is the first game I ever get to be Spiderman, let’s just say, I’d be interested. For the Matrix fan, you get to experience the best scenes from the entire trilogy, and FINALLY you get to be Neo!
I agree with Dave that being able to play as one of the main characters is very powerful, and yet I understand EA’s design decision here. I hope that there’s some significant interaction with characters from the movie storyline, or else the game isn’t really “The Godfather”, is it?
Either approach can be done well. Per Perry’s example, Spiderman lets you play as spiderman.
A cynic (hey! I know one of them!) would read EA’s comment as “re-enacting the movie in a Max Payne fashion would be linear. We are trying hard to develop a GTA3-killer here!” 🙂
At the end of the day, both quotes are from people trying to sell what’s already coming, so was it all intentional from teh get-go? Maybe, maybe some stuff changed, but you’ve got to pitch it when the time comes.