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Why Science Fiction Videogames Have Sucky Plots

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Last Friday videogame company Crytek announced that Altered Carbon author Richard Morgan would write the sequel to acclaimed PC shooter Crysis. Since then, Morgan's gone on record zinging other videogames, claiming that "Halo is full of these bullshit archetypal characters."

Philip K. Dick Award winner Morgan may be green when it comes to penning videogame scripts, but he's had no qualms sounding off about other games' plot shortcomings. This weekend, the newly anointed Crysis 2 writer had some choice words for best-selling games, including the Halo franchise. Here's what Morgan had to say about Halo...

I don't like the Halo series at all. Okay Halo is not actually bad, it's just, you know, average. The reason that its fiction doesn't work has nothing to do with the fact that you don't get to see Master Chief's face, it's because of lines like ‘Okay … I'm gonna get up there and kill those guys'. Halo is full of these bullshit archetypal characters and there's no real emotional effect.


...acclaimed Batman title Arkham Asylum...

I think people mistake what good fiction is. Bradbury, in his book Fahrenheit 451, he says that ‘good writers touch life often'. The closer they get - the pores if you like? - the writer reveals the blemishes on the up-close stuff. And I think that's the trick when creating your [non-player character]. You're not going to have like in, say, Arkham Asylum, ‘The Joker' and the stupid girl with the big tits. That's ****ing bullshit, man ... that's comic book.


...and high-tech battlefield blockbuster Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

It was a massive stepdown from CoD4. What I thought when I played it was, 'Jesus guys, what have you been doing? You've not ramped anything up. The story is worse and the game doesn't really hang together, it's just a bunch of mission levels.

I suppose if you've been tapped to write a game as high-profile as Crysis 2, you can say whatever you want, but Van Damme! That's a lot of industry slams over such a short span of time. Crysis 2 - which is about an alien invasion of New York City - will be released around the 2010 holiday season for Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.


[Spotted on Kotaku, CVG, and Now Gamer.]