The Weird Things That Go Through an RPG

Ah, RPGs. That kind of game that you can chose if you’re going to play the good guy or the bad guys (it doesn’t matter if you’re saving the world or destroying the word — You can be the “I do everything that’s morally right” or “I’m going to kill everyone to bring peace to the land”, it doesn’t matter).

Ah, Skyrim. The empty canvas Bethesda created, where there are no rules to follow.

I must admit that, maybe, total freedom have corrupted me.

When I started playing Skyrim, I chose to be the “morally right” guy and I refused some quests that I knew I would do something wrong (wreck a ship, kill some person, steal, that kind of stuff). But, again, total freedom may have corrupted me ’cause, now, I simply don’t care anymore: Bring an innocent to sacrifice? Sure, BRB.

I’m still refusing quests that require pickpocketing or such, ’cause my light armor skills are too low at the moment, so I can’t really move stealthly and pickpocket someone that easily. Besides, I’m level 50 already, and in that the number of perks I can unlock (necessary for stealth and pickpocket) are greatly reduced and far.

But if I want to be the good guy, why I’m worried about this kind of quests? The reason is that I have nothing else in my quest list that can be done in the right way. So I’m stuck with a problem of lack of freedom.

Woah there, didn’t I just say that “total freedom” corrupted me and now I’m complaining about lack of freedom? What the heck is going on here?

Well, thing is: There is no real “freedom” in games, what you get is just illusionary freedom. Let’s not be naive and think that games can be so really open that they will let you pick any option and do anything — specially when narrative is important — ’cause that would be so much work for the developers you’d either get a broken game or no game at all.

But, for a RPG, when you can only chose your weapon… that’s not much freedom. You can’t chose your alignment, which is basically who the character is. The weapons don’t make the character, its moral alignment that does Am I going to be the good guy or the bad guy? Can I be the valiant noble that will save the people in that ship ’cause I heard some smuggler mentioning taking the lighthouse out or the really greedy guy that put out the lighthouse in the hopes of getting some cut of the loot? That would be the kind of thing you’d expect from a RPG, but not in Skyrim.

So yeah, I’m doing the “I’m the bad guy” just because I have no freedom to do anything else.

Which brings another point: Are we so used to corridor FPSes that suddenly a game that lets you play in whatever order you want called “total freedom”? Have games descended so much into the depths of scripted play that a single illusion of freedom can be called game of the year?

PS: But yeah, good girl (it’s my second character) warrior is going to be in a saved game forever, here comes chaotic cat thief.