Quotes: No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom
"So, this is basically, 'This Game: The Level', a big old flat nothing going on with a gimmick, just kinda layered over it. It's pretty great, if you're into not-that-great things, I suppose."
"Admittedly, 'Campaign' might be to strong a word for ten 5-minute deathmatches, continuing as prepared regardless of which side wins each battle. It's more like an amusement park ride. Specifically, the Back to the Future ride at Universal Studios. Christopher Lloyd tells you that only YOU can save the world, but then you just get tossed about for awhile and then everything gets resolved regardless of who paid attention... The difference being that the Back to the Future ride didn't charge you eighty bucks to get on!"
"CoD assumes a lot about the significance behind a button press. Why it asks you to 'press E to pay respects', it assumes a lot about what that bare minimum of interaction is supposed to represent...You might get excited thinking about how you can cruise a hover-bike around the rainy streets of a post-cyberpocolpyse Neo-Detroit! —But then, whatever NPC is your coach at the moment will say something like this: 'Synch to me. Keep it on autopilot.' And it's not like the functionality isn't there; you actually can control the bike later on, but only during a loud, bombastic, heavily-scripted escape scene that can't adapt to any bit of the player meddling into its sacred, precious script."
"And so begins the hallway. The endless, 40-hour hallway. You have not seen pain until you've seen the hallway, for there is no escape. No free will. The only way is the way forward. The dread of inevitability, the shackles of fate, our choices preordained by programmers. Our existence meaningless, without choices of our own. The only way is forward, the path laid out for us, the choices already made. The monsters you encounter are invariant. They are planned to the last detail. There is no randomness or chance, you fight them because you are meant to. You fight them so you are at the level the game requires you to fight the bosses. No more, no less. Oh, you may find that the hallway branches off at times and you think you escaped! But these paths lead about only fifty yards to a dead-end and some minor treasure. With no way to continue, you must turn back and return to the hallway. Sometimes you may enter into a larger room, some wider area, but there is still only one way in, one way out and the hallway continues."
"The best part of The Tube is its wallpaper, which is very pretty. Square Enix spent millions of dollars designing The Tube's wallpaper. It is very detailed and shiny, but it is only wallpaper."
"Wow, this door isn't locked. I didn't think that was possible. I was starting to suspect these were all welded pieces of steel."
— Gordon Freeman, Freeman's Mind.
"It's linear in the way that a railway track is linear, and anybody who tries to tell you otherwise is not to be trusted. [...] You're given a few metres of leeway either side to explore, but otherwise you trot down the corridor and don't you f***ing dare turn around. In Fable: The Journey there is no pretence. A team of designers has meticulously laid a rollercoaster track for you. Sit back, rest in their pacing, savour their controlled camera angles, gasp at their pyrotechnical timings. Relax, they say, like comely tour guides: enjoy the Journey."