Why "Butterfly Effect" Games are Bullshit

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Limited Replayability 

If you're going to shell out $60 for a brand new game, you'd want to at least get your money's worth out of it's experience right? Well, despite providing some of the most captivating narratives offered in gaming today, you might still not be getting your money's worth.

Heavy Rain's biggest problem was its limited replayability. No matter what decisions you made, no matter who lived and who died, the villain always stayed the same. Once you've played through the game once, there won't be as much of an appeal to go through the campaign all over again, especially since the mystery behind hunting for the "Origami Killer" will be long gone. And considering that's the entire point of this butterfly effect title, all you're left to do is to see how you can kill off your characters for fun.

Once you've gotten that ending you were so desperately after, the appeal of "Choose your own adventure" games immediately wares off. Sure, you can pop in the game again and see what you could have done differently, but since it's essentially an interactive movie, things are still going to play out mostly the same. The majority of stories in games go from beginning to end, but they break up those moments with gameplay sections that give freedom to the player to play the game the way they want to. Butterfly effect games don't really do that.

However, despite the limitations of butterfly effect games, I would love to see more pop up in the near future, so long as developers don't stick to a routine, and actually try to revolutionize the field with age. What once started out as unique and spectacular has slowly devolved into a gimmick thrown about to make it appear that the player is in control, when it's really just the developer jingling keys in front of your face for a few hours. 

How do you feel about butterfly effect games? How do you think they can be improved in the near future? Be sure to comment and let us know your thoughts!

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Published Aug. 8th 2016
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