Adam returns this week with the next episode in his OnlySP Chat video series. This week’s discussion focuses on main characters in video games and how the risk associated with them is usually pretty low, resulting in the gamer not caring about the main character. Check out the video below and let us know what you think about this issue in the comments. Feel free to join our forums as well to discuss topics likes this and many others with your fellow single players.

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Owner/Creator of Only Single Player - Nick strives to make OnlySP as professional as possible by hiring only the best of the best writers and keeping the site updated daily. His plan is to turn OnlySP into a game development company that creates games for the single players one day. His current plan is to attend the Business Department of Northwest Missouri State in the Fall of 2013

  • http://www.onlysp.com/ Nick Calandra

    Personally, I think developers have gotten much better with this the past couple years. Obviously the Last of Us is a great example, but there were other games that did it too, mostly indie though. Permadeath is really the only way to achieve that total fear of losing that character though. State of Decay attempted it, but without a good personality that concept falls through.

  • Damien L.

    Really enjoying these, Adam.

    For me, there needs to be a certain connection with the characters, and a tone throughout the game that makes it evident that this sort of gut-wrenching thing can happen. The Last of Us is a perfect example as you stated above. I have to admit that the good ending for inFamous 2 didn’t affect me strongly, but the evil ending did. Also, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Valkyria Chronicles.
    **SPOILERS**
    Having to kill Zeke after spending two games getting to know the guy was rough. I mean, yeah he was a bit of a douche, but I found it so hard to fry the poor guy.
    For MGS, seeing Snake in that graveyard ready to blow his own brains out after all that he’s been through… that was rough, and then the way the camera pans away and you hear the shot ring out. Gutwrenching stuff, partly because you knew that he was going to die anyway because of FOXDIE, so he’s just getting it out of the way. But then, SWERVE.
    And then there was Isara. I’ve played that game four times now and I cry every damn time…
    **END SPOILERS**

    I think that a lot of developers don’t really understand how to get people to connect with their characters. When that guy got shot in Medal of Honor: Warfighter, I really couldn’t give a damn because who the hell was he? When John Marston went down in Red Dead Redemption, I didn’t care. When Ethan Mars’s son was run over in Heavy Rain, I thought it was trite (although the game that followed was harrowing). I need to feel a stronger connection through the character by getting a chance to know them (whether through cutscenes or gameplay) than the vast majority of games allow.

    • http://www.onlysp.com/ Nick Calandra

      Strongly disagree with John Marston having no connection. That was a great storyline and getting back to his family was pretty heart warming..

      • Damien L.

        It was a good story, but I never connected with Marston. Don’t really know why.

    • Adam

      Thanks very much Damien. It means a lot that you like the series:)

      Ya, InFamous 2’s bad ending was more emotional when I replayed it. It was kind of strange.

      Damn! I forgot about the graveyard scene in Metal Gear Solid 4. That was a great scene. I thought the game was over at that point.

      I agree with your sentiments about the other characters. Developers are too quick in killing off characters without putting the time and effort into making us care. Although, killing Sarah in the opening level of The Last of Us still hurts to this day:(

      Adam.