Just as you interrogate your companions and enemies in order to understand them and their worlds, the game reveals itself to have been questioning you. What kind of player are you? What kind of person?
Home is where we see characters in a state of normalcy. We get to know what the protagonist does between adventures, and for a medium that depends so much on empathizing with the lead character, seeing who they are at home, away from it all, is a significant experience that more developers should consider investigating.
The critical consensus is that the main character in a game has to either be an extension of or a substitute for the player. The whole world must be at the player’s disposal, and the world has to be built around the player’s actions (or inaction). The more the player can play with, the better the game respects its medium. This “me-first” approach to video game storytelling is tragically limited.
Spec-Ops: The Line has been critically lauded as a game that takes a hard, self-aware look at the shooter genre. But all good shooters are self-aware. It's how they're able to distill conflict into something fun that matters.
Developers of games like Heavy Rain, Mass Effect, and Fallout 3 take pride in their ability to provide players with the experience of deciding for themselves exactly how plot lines will develop in their games. So why are we gamers fixated on the idea of making and playing such games?
With the ability to carry over story data from one game to the next, we consider how this system in Mass Effect affects the way we play the game and how much control we assert over getting "our" Mass Effect experience just right.