Westworld. Badly designed game, fun theme park.
I feel the need to write this given the praise some people are applying to HBO's Westworld. Gaming has hit the mainstream but depictions of it still are about where Hacking was in media up till Mr. Robot came out. IE the people making these films and shows don't really know the subject matter and it shows.
The series Westworld is more like it's 1970s film than anything modern. True the depiction fo tech is much more advance but the core idea for Westworld is that it is a theme park. It is not a video game. One major reason I say this, nowhere can you lose at Westworld much like you can't lose at Disneyland.
What are the rules to Westworld? Far as I can tell there are robotic hosts playing out loops and when the guests come by them the attempt to engage the guests with some kind of story line that is intended to take them along a pre-selected path. The guests have some ability to influence the outcome of these stories but the paths are set. This is how it is for most people except for the Man in Black who wants to get to some secret area of the park. This aspect is similar to some games but if the parks purpose as it's creator states is to find out who you are. The limits of the narratives voids that entire idea. Yes, a person can just decide to shoot everyone and void all the
WESTWORLD IS WASTEFUL
Episode 5 shows that outside of the park are crazier Hosts one's that are playing out loops that would lead themselves into tons of sex and violence. Purely from a design standpoint this is wasteful. Most of the loops the park has none of these areas are visited. So all the cum, blood, and wounds that would happen on a nearly constant bases are resources that literally went to waste. If the Hosts were in a state of hibernation up until guests came by this wouldn't be an issue but the Dolores character flat out shows that these Hosts are going through set routines. Pointless wear and tear is exhibited on the Hosts and the area's that make up the park.
WESTWORLD LACKS CONSIQUENCES
The hosts are on loops so it seems rather pointless to have them remember everything that's happened before to them. It would accomplish the same result. The memories being erased voids any long term story lines and any immersion that could be gained. Imagine how much more interesting a park like that would be if the world remembered what you did in it. Design like that has been a long dream of most game designers. All this does is make it so that once you've done something in Westworld there is little reason to do it again. Nothing will change.
WESTWORLD LACKS CHALLENGE
This is a big one. There is no way to lose in Westworld. None. Maybe you can get arrested but the NPCs come to your rescue there is no cleaver puzzle to get out of the jail cell. Or how about this what if other people could break other players out of Jail. There is also far as I can tell no PVP in Westworld. Competition is fun could you imagine getting whole gangs to go against each other, both lead by guests. Given it's the wealthy coming wouldn't there be things like paid items. How much would an aimbot be worth to someone. Or even a gold plated horse. Mind you these would be extras given the park is designed to make money it seems odd not to have exploitative costs like most AAA games do these days.
WESTWORLD WASTES TONS OF TIME
I know it's considered immersion breaking to some but the lack of a fast Travel System is criminal for any enjoyment and would explain why few people bother to venture out. Given that people have a day horse riding is going to eat up a ton of time leading to said activities. The lack of any navigation system is also a major hindrance. I'm also not sure how anything long term can exists if in fact things are reset each day. The rules for Westworld really don't add up in this regard.
WHERE IS THE HIGH LEVEL PLAY?
The man in black exists but if he's been playing for 30 years there doesn't seem to be much difference between his skill level and that of the majority of other people. I don't know about you but high level FPS play makes anything a noobie does a joke. Dual wielding handguns could be a start. Or even just challenging oneself with 'knife only' runs seems like something people would do. They do it in other games. What about Stealth runs? A solid Snake style guest would be something I'd welcome.
These are just some of my thoughts on the whole show. It's one I want to like but it gets so much wrong and hits us with so many mystery boxes i'm not sure I want to even bother. Maybe in another 10 years there will finally be a show that gets it. Until then we have stumbling blocks like Westworld.