So we got a babysitter for the first time, just so I could see *Batman Begins*, and I guess it’s the best Batman movie made, but I was expecting more. I think my main problem is this: although it pays homage to the excellent *Batman: Year One*, and though both Year One and Batman Begins are dark, Year One had heart. It had moments that got me, right in the sternum. And that heart is missing from the movie.
Having some kind of momentous choice may be a Hollywood cliché, but it works. Worked for Spider-Man and Superman and the X-Men. And in *Year One*, Batman chooses to be Batman. In *Batman Begins* it feels like he’s on a rail. I suppose you could argue that in the movie he has to choose whether to be an executioner or not, but it’s not really much of a choice, it’s not like he’s really sacrificing anything. In *Dark Knight*, for example, the choice to be an executioner or not is momentous.
And...that gives me a way to tie this into game development. Choice isn't just important in games, it's important in fiction. If the character seems to be on a rail, then the story is happening to the character, instead of the character making the story happen.
So what does that say about funhouse-ride games where the characters really are on rails? Not only can we dis on their linearity from a game design point of view, we can dis on their lack of character development from a storytelling point of view.
On the other hand, some games, like KOTOR and Jedi Knight and Fable, give us the opportunity to explore the results of the choices the character makes. But when we do, the story loses some of its power. Like seeing the alternate ending for 28 Days Later, we become hyperaware that it's just a story.
I don't seem to have a point here. Just thinking aloud.