Sunday, August 23, 2020

Mind Games - Prey (2017) - Part 4

Welcome to another chapter of the Mind Games, as my friend Mathias and I continue our adventures inside Talos 1.

Today, we use Danielle Sho's intense loathing of our brother to unlock the road to Deep Storage, arming ourselves before we blast off into the Cargo Bay before running down to the Life Support to turn the entire station off and turn it back on.

Along the way, we encounter many of the survivors left on the station, making tough choices(tm)(C)(R) that will impact both them and our remaining time on Talos 1.

And as always, thank to Sam Callahan for his work on the thumbnails for this series.

This is the segment of the game where we start to get more familiar with the rest of our cast of characters, optionally taking a moment of our time to assist them. I forgot about how close together all of these choices were, but I wonder how much of that comes from the way we're playing the game by focusing on the main quest.

I'm not going to sit here and pretend that these aren't fairly bog-standard moral choices as far as video games go, because they are. That said, the game does a better job of presenting them than most, and players might not even be aware they're making a moral choice in the moment. Usually, they take the form of a timed side quest that we can fail if we take too long, like in the cases of Dr. Igwe and Mikhaila. There's always plenty of time to save them, so accidental failure is unlikely. If they die, it's probably on purpose.

But more than that, another part of what makes it work is listening to January pontificate about the choices we've made and why. Whether it's because their version of Morgan couldn't anticipate another one of her incarnations acting with compassion, or that she was simply unable to code a sense of morality into her operator, January seems genuinely impressed and baffled by our choices to go just slightly out of our way to help the people we encounter on the space station.

The operator also makes an interesting point that our compassion might end up being wasted since we do still intend to destroy the space station. Which raises the question of whether or not it is more or less cruel to give the crew of Talos 1 that shred of hope knowing that our actions will likely lead to their untimely demise either way. Ultimately, events that have yet to occur will render this discussion point moot, but it is still something to consider.

Next time, we'll return to Jupiter's palace to obtain the second Arming Key as new perils unfold.

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