Which is better: friendships or interrupting conversations?

Last time you decided that controlled crits were better than random crits. It was a mistake to compare similar things, but we tried, and I managed to do very expensive graphics. Then a whole bunch of things happened that disrupted that process for several weeks, and… I come back partially inspired by all that mess that broke the plan. Tell me, which is better: friendships or interrupting conversations?


I like when people are friends. Oh sure, romance is still popular (you’ve all decided that’s even better than de_dust2) and mega budget games have lately been seduced by the redeeming family responsibilities of mortal fathers, but it’s the friendships that I want the most. Give me people who love and care enough to hang out, chat, have fun, and be there for each other just because they want to be.

It’s good to have friends.

Friends come in all forms. A voice in our ear. A wandering person in our world. Text in our inbox. A companion at our side in battle. And we’re just friends, and that’s nice. My favorite moment in all of Mass Effect is taking a break during ME3’s War to shoot bottles (and breeze) with Garrus, two buddies nearing the end of a mad dash. I also like when adversaries become dear friends, like The Narrator in The Stanley Parable (I’m thinking in particular of the novelty of the Ultra Deluxe Edition) or GLaDOS in Portal 2. I don’t need friendships to be followed with statistics, it’s just nice when people are friends. I’ve been playing Watch Dogs 2 lately, and it’s nice to see those idiot Hackers having fun. And I’ll say it: yes, I’m even here for Daikatana’s frustratingly mocked error line, “Can’t leave without my homie Superfly.” Of course, Hiro can’t leave without Superfly Johnson; they are friends.

Interrupt conversations

Hey, shut up. No stopping. I’m finished. This conversation is over. And not in the sense that we’re all done with what we were saying and now I’m choosing to make this silence permanent, I mean LA LA LA HEY, I’M TALKING NOW. Actual interruption is rare in video games but still a joy.

Normally I wouldn’t give an example beyond PC games, but Capcom are monsters, so I have no choice. The best interrupts are in Asura’s Wrath, a 2012 console game about jackass demigods, where you can cut short monologue cutscenes from multiple bosses by telling them to be quiet and punching them in the face. He is perfect. Mass Effect also has fewer hits. Oxenfree’s interruptions give conversation a lively flow. And while Fallout 4 isn’t my bag, I was pleased to find that jumping through dialogue is reflected in the world by our character urging people with uh huhs and banter, with special lines for when you’re drunk. Interruptions are exciting steps in making video game dialogue more natural, but dear reader, you should have shouted SHUT UP and hit me by now.

But what is better?

Interrupts may be rare now, but if we finally decide they’re the best thing in video games, then almost every game will surely include them in the future, because why wouldn’t you want the best thing? Maybe it’s a little too intense. Maybe I’ll settle for nice friendships. They are good.

Pick your winner, vote below, make your point in the comments, and then we’ll meet again next week to see which thing wins out and keep the big contest going.

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