The fantastic intro sequences which we’ve seen on Demo playthroughs and released videos always end the same way: after a minute and a half of stunning concept art, brilliantly backed up by a dramatically sweeping score, your character stands brave and tall (well, unless you’re Asura), they tell you who they are; pouring out the innermost feelings which will drive them to fight against the greatest evil before finally, and very proudly, announcing: “this is my story!”
I'm sorry. I feel somewhat silly even typing it. I cringe whenever I watch one of those videos. I cringe like I cringe when I watch the intro to Ashes to Ashes and Alex Drake tells us that: “My name is Alex Drake, I was shot and that bullet took my back to 1981”.
Maybe it’s the British in me; “this is my story” is so terribly self-indulgent. It comes with a certain swarthy arrogance attached: “this is my story, baby, and you’re going to listen”. It commands attention.
I thrive on cynicism, sarcasm and subtext. These devices keep me away from the raw edge which some media like to dance on: the monologues without pretence, the unabashed displays of affection or lust, and the rousing “Independence Day” style speeches. “This is my story” should be said on a cliff edge, staring squinty-eyed to the bronze-tinted horizon, as the wind blows up leaves and cherry blossoms about your gently tousled hair, possibly whispered to a loved one “this is my story” or even shouted at the sky “this is MY STORY!”.
In truth I’m kicking up dust over nothing; four little words and 2 seconds in a vast landscape of playtime which I believe this game will provide. I just know that whenever I create a new character I’m going to have to go “Lalalalala! Can’t hear you, lalalala!” when I reach the end of the opening cinematic.
If I had my way the game would start with something suitably British:
“Oh crap, I am so not ready for this...”
“Me? Really? Alright I’ll give it a go...”
“Can’t Keith do it? I’m about to go on my break”