Script: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

The Deus Ex script was the first I ever wrote for Playthroughline, so I was really looking forward to tackling Mankind Divided, the next entry in the franchise. I won't use this space to dig into the game's misappropriation of social issues for its science fiction allegory, since the script already does that. I do want to look at how a more general failing of its storyline is connected to the first Deus Ex.

Script: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

It's such a rare idea, to actually end a game franchise. Videogames come second only to comic books in their tendency to be perpetual – while movies, books, plays, albums and so forth are more often than not standalone (even in this day and age), and even TV shows are expected to eventually end, it’s exceedingly rare to see a video game created without any chance of a followup, and also very rare for a successful series of games to be deliberately brought to a permanent conclusion.

Script: Half-Life

How did it ever become a conversation? And why, after such a long time, does it persist? You can't have a story – a nine hour story – fronted by a character who doesn't ever speak. That's basic. That's the first rule. I can definitely imagine the meeting where someone boasted it would allow videogame players to more easily identify with their avatar. But I can't imagine why nobody in the same meeting stood up and said “No. That's stupid. That's anti-narrative.”

Script: Pokémon GO

Note: To capitalise on the latest videogame craze, Ed Smith wrote out a short but sweet script on Pokémon GO. Click the link above to give it a read. Think of it as a look at the wider world of Pokémon games through the lens of This is England. Yes.

-- Joannes

Script: Resident Evil 2

Leon Kennedy is one of my favourite videogame characters of all time. He's stupid, jocular, ludicrously good-looking and cracks some of the best/worst oneliners in history. “I need a report on your situation,” inquires Hunnigan at the start of Resident Evil 6. “I just shot the President,” Leon replies, his perfectly designed fringe hanging gracefully across one eye. He's a guy that you just want to be around. Whether macho, funny or trying it on with one of the many, many ladies that he meets, every word out of Leon's mouth is pure gold. In a world of try-hard heroes, all with gritty “back stories,” he's an unadulterated, absolute joy.

Script: Prince of Persia: Warrior Within

Hey everybody, I've decided that this rant is going to be DARKER AND EDGIER than my previous ones. I want you to all put on your favourite death metal track and imagine me growling this out in an angry monotone, while I figure out how to work in an uncomfortable number of beheadings and disembowelments. This makes it automatically better, right? Jamming in more blood and anger makes everyone more interested in consuming your product! 

In case I'm not being clear: I absolutely can't stand the "darker and edgier" approach in media, and I cannot comprehend the marketing machine that thinks it's the way to win an audience.

Script: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Note: As promised, here is the first of three contributor Scripts to celebrate the launch of the redesigned site. John Keefe has bravely faced Hideo Kojima's latest offering and you can go marvel at the results through the link above. There's some further thoughts from John below, and they couldn't conflict with Ed Smith's opinion any harder if they tried.

-- Joannes

Hideo Kojima is one of gaming’s first and finest auteurs, producing innovative and experimental titles that have defied convention in every respect and have also sometimes been kind of good. He’s created some of the most memorable characters in gaming, crafting a convoluted pastiche universe blending pathos, duplicity, and weird clown humour in a way that’s only occasionally coherent but always fascinating. Kojima is uncompromising, unhindered, and insane. We love him, like that gibbering man on the subway who smells like cheese but churns out some pretty gorgeous crayon drawings in between rants about reptilians causing global warming. But ambition is the curse of great men.

And Hideo, like the glorious bird he is, flew too close to the sun.

Welcome to the slightly new and marginally improved Playthroughline!


It's been six years since I started this little blog and it's grown quite a bit since then. At first I was just putting out a couple of wacky scripts that poked fun at stories in videogames, but in those six years, those scripts have been read and shared by more people than I could have ever hoped for, and I even got fellow writers interested in contributing scripts. That's why I felt it was time to give Playthroughline a thorough redesign to get with the times already. So, what's new? Let's take a look.

Script: True Detective (also not a videogame)

Detective Ray Velcro, who'll stick to any case.
Detective Ray Velcro, who'll stick to any case.

After abridging the final seven episodes of Mad Men, I wanted to throw myself on another television series. Just then, the highly anticipated second season of True Detective reared its grim head and I knew I had found my next target. Unfortunately, TelePlayTime went on hiatus after I had completed the third episode, but I was allowed to continue my recaps over at HappyNiceTimePeople, a site run by my The Editing Room co-author Rick Lewis. I've now wrapped up the entire season and you can relive it through the links below. You know, should you want to.

Script: Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

Note: After making his debut on Playthroughline earlier this year, John Keefe returns to sink his teeth into Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number. You can read his Script by following the link at the top of this post. In addition, fellow contributor Ed Smith has kindly allowed me to pipe in his thoughts on the game. Check out the link below, where Ed pretty much tells Hotline Miami 2 to shut up.

-- Joannes



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