Sibling Rivalries embraces the spirit of competition and differing opinions for an entertainment debate showcase for the people. Both writers are given an opportunity to defend their choice and readers are encouraged to comment their thoughts and pick a side via poll.
This time around, we have our own Profex going up against Richard Bailey, a writer from our entertainment rivals The Koalition.
2013 has shaped up to be one of the most exciting years for gamers in recent history. The war has ramped up between Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony; the later essentially taking the win at E3. Gamers worldwide are taking sides in the upcoming skirmish between the PS4 and Xbox One, but the current gen systems still have a lot to offer. The Last of Us and Bioshock Infinite were highly anticipated titles that lived up to the hype, but which one is the front runner for Game of the Year?
- Words By | Charles E. Singletary and Richard Bailey
- Twitter | @_Profex / @RichBaileyJr
- Warning | There are slight spoilers. We suggest finishing the titles before reading.
Profex | The Last of Us
Last of Us has ultimately lived up to, if not exceeded, the hype Sony and Naughty Dog cultivated in the years since it’s announcement in 2011. It had a strong showing at E3 last year and every single detail since had been a hot topic. Naughty Dog took the zombie craze and put a unique touch to it. The “zombies” are the result of a fungal infection that jumped species and nearly wiped out the human race. You play as Joel, a troubled man adapting to the new world as a soldier for hire of sorts. He’s tasked with escorting a young girl, Ellie, to a group called the Fireflies in exchange for weapons. Joel lost his own daughter prior to the fall of man and 12-16 hour journey develops an intense dynamic between himself and Ellie. From beginning to end, you’re treated to an extremely realistic personal progression of the two main character’s relationship. You witness Joel’s apprehension when taking on Ellie for the job. You notice the changes in conversation as he recognizes her competence. You even recognize when he finally grows attached to her. And the ending? It’s a true testament to a titles writing when you, as a player, make excuses for the characters. I asked a good many people their thoughts on the final scenes and they all defended the character’s decision. I did so as well, understanding just how bittersweet the ending was.
Another thing that makes The Last of Us stand out from other action titles is it’s meticulous attention to detail. As you play through, every item picked up, conversation overheard, and even the posters scattered around carry a story. Most shooters send you a wave of enemies simply as cannon fodder before moving to the next area, but every encounter had in this game carries a certain weight. Every character you fight seems to have a history and purpose for being where you found them, even when you fight the infected you have an idea of how long they’ve been there and who they were. Naughty Dog does a phenomenal job of making players understand that the story you play through isn’t the only story to be told. Your characters aren’t the only ones affected by the happenings and each person has found (and/or lost) their own place within this new world.
Richard Bailey | Bioshock: Infinite
When Ken Levine unveiled BioShock Infinite earlier this year, both critics and gamers alike were treated to an engaging first-person shooter rich with creative storytelling and thrilling set-pieces from one minute to the next. While Booker Dewitt played the role of a tortured man on a quest of redemption and self-affirmation, his female counterpart in Elizabeth became a much more innocent, yet powerful character. As players dived deeper into the narrative, all of the mysteries were revealed and many were left floored by the game’s dramatic conclusion. Rarely do you find many games that succeed in telling a good story that can leave you filled with a flood of emotions long after the credits have started rolling. This is the main reason why BioShock Infinite most certainly deserves to be a part of The Game of The Year discussion.
Another reason why BioShock Infinite is worthy of this title lies solely in the fact that the world created within the game is nothing short of brilliant. Through the eyes of Dewitt, we are introduced to a harsh environment where issues such as racism, religion, and politics take center stage and in turn reflect both the negative and positive sides of American culture. It is especially risky to tackle issues of this nature in most of today’s mediums. Not only does Levine succeed in exposing the truths, but he also does it in a way that provokes further conversation and thought long after you’ve stopped playing the game. This is the reason why video games are an ever-evolving art-form and are capable of being both seriously informal and fun at the same time.