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Old 12-14-2007, 07:09 AM   #1
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Splinter Cell: morality check

Most of you should know the score with Double Agent by now, your actions determine how much you side with the NSA or the terrorists, much like the light and dark side in KOTOR. There's many situations where you are called upon to do the wrong thing for the greater good. Example, execute a prisoner to convince the terrorists you're on their side, so you can better undermine them. Would you ever do something like that? Have you even?
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:17 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Most of you should know the score with Double Agent by now, your actions determine how much you side with the NSA or the terrorists, much like the light and dark side in KOTOR. There's many situations where you are called upon to do the wrong thing for the greater good. Example, execute a prisoner to convince the terrorists you're on their side, so you can better undermine them. Would you ever do something like that? Have you even?
That's one of the things people enjoy with games, it puts them in exceptional situations where they can choose to explore behavior and actions they'd never even contemplate doing in real life. It's part of the vaunted freedom of choice/non-linearity many expects from games nowadays to be able to choose if you want to play as a living saint or a baby-eating evil bastard. These choices are easy to make since any consequences they lead to can easily be undone with a simple reload of an earlier save game, and they cease to have an impact on you at all when you exit the game.

That said I much prefer to play as a good guy. I find games more enjoyable if I can sympathize with the protagonist I'm supposed to be controlling.


Oh, and just in case:

Preemptive Mod note:
Please keep any replies to this topic in the context of in-game worlds and decisions only, given that this is posted in the game discussion forum. Real world morality debates and discussion about links between in-game morality and the moral fiber of the player as a person would fit better in the more serious discussion forums like Kavar's Corner.

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Old 12-14-2007, 09:54 AM   #3
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Eh. That drove me off from Splinter Cell: Double Agent really.

Choices are currently meaingless in most games (baby-killer or saint), for there is no Grey. The same thing here, except, as an added insult to injury: The game doesn't allow you to join the JBA at all. In SC: DA, you are working for the NSA regardless, just that your methods are interesting. And the John Brown's Army, why are they fighting? Want to establish real grey? Make JBA's goal sympathic, don't protray them as terrorists.

Honestly, calling about "morality" in a series where the US Government has this "Fifth Freedom" to do whatever the **** it wants! Do you know how vague that is? Do you know who watches the "watchers"? If the regular public knew about this Fifth Freedom, wouldn't you be suprised if they created the JBA themselves? John Brown was an abolinisit fighting for freedom, surely, people could be fighting for freedom from the NSA slave drivers.

That being said, I really did like the Trust system. Make JBA too happy and NSA will cancel the operation and presumbly kill you. Make NSA too happy and JBA will catch on. The problem is, heh heh, that I would only do stuff to ensure Trust is balanced, that both JBA and NSA love me. And I might even switch between doing horrible actions and doing saintly actions to make sure the JBA and the NSA doesn't get too happy. I'll kill the prisoner now and then save the ship from getting bombed. Or I save the prisoner and then blow up the ship.

No sense of pain at all for doing my actions. Why should I? This is a game, and I think that if the government told me to kill off Dictators in far off lands, I would happily do so, so if the government tells me to shut down a terror group, I'll do it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 12-14-2007, 05:35 PM   #4
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Typically me, I would do whatever I could for the greater good. Would that include killing a prisoner? Well...

spoiler:
If you hesitate then they will just take the gun out of your hands and shoot him anyway, making them not trust you, so you can't save him anyway. Of course you don't know that at the time but it's very much a catch 22 situation.


Does that make me amoral? I guess it would to some, to kill someone in the same vein as Nick Berg. With hopefully keeping things straight for discussion here what does doing that say about you? Would I do the same thing for real? It's questions like that that keep me up at night.

And also trying not to make things too serious here, on Fifth Freedom and what the NSA might do, there's meant to be checks and balences to make sure no one gets too far out of line. If the President was out of control for example then someone could intervene. That's not to say it does happen but that's what's meant to happen. And resentment of athority is really going to come across regardless of what rights, freedoms, are allowed of any law enforcement, defense or intelligence agencies, but I think that's a discussion for somewhere else.

That's right, it's a discussion for elsewhere. Keep it game related please. --Jae

Last edited by Jae Onasi; 12-14-2007 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 12-16-2007, 01:11 AM   #5
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This kind of thing fits better with the Star Wars universe - it sounds tacked on in Splinter Cell.


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Old 12-16-2007, 07:08 AM   #6
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I don't know about that. Moral choices in the fancible world of Star Wars doesn't seem to have the same impact as something that's portrayed as real life. I mean what's more believible and something you can relate to more, ditching the princess and look out for yourself (KOTOR) or killing your boss after he messed with you too many times (SC)?
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Old 12-16-2007, 08:41 PM   #7
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I agree with NancyAllen''', in that this is far more complex than SW. You are working for the same side (good, the USA), but will you basically act like a good-doer and get shot? Or will you commit evil actions for the 'greater good'? Sounds better than the simplistic 'right or wrong' answer in Star Wars.

I just wanted it more complex, ya know?


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:09 PM   #8
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Oh there were complex moral situations in KOTOR. The begger on Nar Shaddar for example. Whether or not Kreia is beyond redemption. Promising the settler to wipe out the Mandalorians is a Dark Side act, and the interesting situation with the missing droid. As Splinter Cell is portrayed as real world I think it hits closer to home, because we are more familiar with terrorists killing prisoners for example, and I can't remember a scene in KOTOR where you are put in a position of killing innocents for the greater good.
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Old 12-17-2007, 04:29 PM   #9
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Okay, you proved me wrong. The example in the original post just struck me as a little cheesy when I first read it.


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Old 12-20-2007, 05:54 PM   #10
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Double Agent was one of the best games I've played, when it comes to the gameplay. Story-wise, I preferred Chaos Theory, because of all those plot twists.
Morality? Others have stated some great arguments regarding this. This game is mostly immoral, since although you technically work for the good guys, the methods they use aren't very nice. Lambert will flat out tell you to gas the supertanker crew (a bunch of civilians) to death, since it means maintaining your cover, but will brand you a disappointment, if you don't save CIA agent Hamza, or even kill him yourself.

What I did the first time was kill the prisoner, bomb the cruiser and save Hisham Hamza and Lambert. Doing this unlocked the last level, giving me the opportunity to finally deal with Carson and see the real "To be continued" ending.

One thing I found most entertaining was
spoiler:
hooking up with Enrica at the end of the JBA HQ Part 2 level. Now how morally correct is that?

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Old 12-20-2007, 06:20 PM   #11
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One thing to note, there are two versions of SC: DA (the first one is for Xbox 360, Windows, and PlayStation 3 and the second one is for Xbox, PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube and Nintendo Wii). Each version has mulitple endings, so who knows what really happened to Sam Fisher during the JBA Incident?


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 12-21-2007, 04:07 AM   #12
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No offense you guys, but espionage isn't exactly the most moral of jobs.


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Old 12-21-2007, 09:24 AM   #13
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i've been playing double agent for the past week, first time playing it...the choices are tough!!!


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Old 12-21-2007, 12:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Sitherino
No offense you guys, but espionage isn't exactly the most moral of jobs.
As someone who may actually be going into that field(as an analyst), I agree with you there. Especially lately...

Back on topic: I do think the game would've been better if they had made the JBA an organization whose goals(if not means) the average player might sympathize with. Then again, not all players like moral ambiguity in their games.





Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein. -Friedrich Nietzsche, Jenseits von Gut und Böse
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Old 12-22-2007, 02:06 AM   #15
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Well, spying has always been a trade of lies, betrayal, death, etc.
Not really a moral high-ground, more greater good aspects.


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I am life without limit.”
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:34 PM   #16
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i have this for ps2 i think i went good all the way

i might go through again and be evil. nuke the cruize nuke the president kill hisham and lambert

spoiler:
is there a ending where enrica lives?


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