I now own a Playstation 4, which is a good thing because PC gaming is too much of an effort to keep up with. One of the games which tempted me toward the Playstation platform was “Horizon: Zero Dawn“, which is an exclusive release. The game looks good, features a diverse cast, and throughout the very early stages of the game it appears that the narrative conflict resolution is designed by people who aren’t sociopaths.
This game is an open world action RPG set a thousand years in the future after contemporary Western civilisation has collapsed into a pre-industrial state. Robot dinosaurs roam the land and the people of Aloy’s tribe are warned away from the ruined cities and underground vaults which contain pre-fall technology. Accordingly there is a main thread of story punctuated with dozens of optional side-quests.
The side-quests are always the best part of an RPG.
Recently I finished one called “Insult to Injury”. The mechanics of it are dull. The resolution of the story though the options I chose lead to decent, not murdering, behaviour being displayed. Insult to Injury starts with Aloy arriving in a village not long after a vicious battle with the game’s primary antagonists. There she finds a healer tending to a dying warrior. The warrior is in pain and will die from their injuries. You are tasked with finding Dreamwillow, an analgesic so that palliative care can be given. Searching the map happens, but eventually you end up at the home of a recluse who has been locked in their home by outcasts, exiled members of Aloy’s tribe.