contribution

Script: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Note: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and 3 are already represented on this blog with scripts, but the first Modern Warfare has yet to see one. Step in Patrick Lindsey, who did me the honour of becoming Playthroughline's newest contributor and completing the Modern Warfare trilogy by filling in the start. You can read his script through the link above.

For a thorough critical appraisal of the game, I direct your attention to Bullet Points, a splendid podcast run by Patrick, fellow Playthroughline contributor Ed Smith, and Reid McCarter. They put together an episode on the first Modern Warfare back in February, and it's full of interesting insights on what works and doesn't work in the game.

Patrick, Ed, and Reid have also recently started up Bullet Points Monthly, where they write a series of deep-dive articles focused on a single game each month. Their insights into Deus Ex: Mankind Divided especially are a great read. Do consider their Patreon if you enjoy their work. 

-- Joannes

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.

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

SHUT UP, HOTLINE MIAMI 2

Script: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

So reasonably, I ought to be using this space to talk about the game Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. What makes it a brilliant game that balances amazingly smooth gameplay and first-rate storytelling chops, that sort of thing. But since I'm allowed to talk about whatever I like here, I'm going to indulge myself by going waaayyy off on a tangent and ask the age-old question: why can't we get a decent movie based on a video game?

Script: Metal Gear Solid

Note: The effervescent Ed Smith made his debut on Playthroughline with a no-holds-barred beatdown of Red Dead Redemption and now he enters the ring again to face 1998's Metal Gear Solid. The result is a tad different from what you might have come to expect from the Scripts on this site. Please do find out for yourself, and afterwards, if you're eager for a more direct appraisal of the Metal Gear franchise from Ed, there's some of that below. It's quite direct.

-- Joannes

Hideo Kojima is a sexist, untalented, copycat hack whose status within the gaming industry is nothing more than proof of what dire straits videogames are in. His games are clumsy to play, aesthetically derivative and written like fan fiction. And in the words of Agness Kaku, who worked as the Japanese-English translator on Metal Gear Solid 2, Kojima "wouldn't last a morning in a network TV writers' room."

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