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It’s a tale as old as time itself, and one that you should probably be familiar with given how prevalent it is, especially in games: a happy go lucky normal person suddenly becomes the “Chosen One” and almost singlehandedly does the impossible to save their world/galaxy from an evil force that is immeasurably powerful by taking the concept of a main character and putting it on super steroids. Love it, hate it, or don’t care either way, it is an undeniably effective tool to tell a story; too many characters and the intended audience becomes lost, plus it helps people connect with the main character on a more personal level. Star Wars is famous for it (becoming rather literal with the Chosen One trope in the prequels), Halo did it during the Bungie-era of games (Master Chief may not be by himself all the time, but who else is going to fight the Flood?), and even games like Battlefield 1 do it (you may as well be fighting the entire German Army in some of the chapters, though to the game’s credit the chapters are presented as a dramatic retelling of an event rather than as a fact).

In some cases, following the story of a Chosen One makes sense; after all, it wouldn’t be much fun to follow the story of Mr. Average who dies in two seconds after their introduction (i.e. pretty much every starfighter pilot in every Star Wars movie ever). However, it becomes noticeable in other cases, sometimes to a rather distracting degree. Take Titanfall 2, for example; you start off as an above average Grunt, and after one concussion and a field promotion you turn into this expert Pilot who has killed at least several dozen other Grunts with your own hands along with a few (presumably) veteran Pilots and their Titans. Oh, and you still have to do everything by yourself because your friends are either all dead or just not there until the last couple of missions in the game. Normally, this wouldn’t be so noticeable if it weren’t also for the fact that you meet other characters who supposedly belong to elite units in the Militia, but they also end up being of little help. Once again, this may not be that bothersome all things considered, but it is definitely something that can be improved upon (and we all want our entertainment to be the best that they can be, no?).

After all, that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story can shift the focus of the beloved franchise from one super-character to highlighting a small set of above-average characters shows that it can be done, and perhaps more importantly, that it can be done well. Yes, Jyn Erso may be the main character, but she isn’t the only one who is a part of Rogue One, and she does a really good job of making her plot armor subtle. By the end of the movie, Jyn doesn’t have the highest kill count or pressed all the buttons or even had the most emotional scenes (although that’s a bit more subjective), but she didn’t have to because she was the catalyst of the story; everyone else pushes the buttons and kills all the people because she is the one who is moving the plot along and inspiring people to do such things.

If the main characters weren’t in the middle of the screen, you might mistake them for a couple of background characters, because at the end of the day, they’re all just parts of one really big movement, rather than being the face of it.

To put it in gaming terms, Rogue One could’ve easily been rather similar to Titanfall 2 or Call of Duty, where the main character goes around doing everything despite being not that special while all the other side characters act more like really annoying cheerleaders, but this would’ve diminished the threat of the Empire if you saw just one supposedly average person doing everything. Showing that the Death Star plans were stolen (I don’t know what to tell you if you think that that was a spoiler) by a group of people whose individual actions contributed equally to the end result, on the other hand, enhances both the protagonists and villains by making everything that they do have that much more meaning. It would be akin to taking your average FPS and turning it into something like Overwatch. If you could heal, tank, and do damage all at the same time, even the toughest enemies can feel more like a nuisance than anything else. But if you had to rely on someone else to do something that you cannot possibly do, then suddenly you start to acknowledge that maybe you should turn around from time to time to make sure your healers aren’t getting killed.

Will other forms of media catch onto what made Rogue One stand out from all the other Star Wars movies despite not necessarily having the biggest explosions and the largest battles? Maybe, maybe not, but it would be foolish to ignore what made it special. Besides, with Halo 5’s decoupling of the story from focusing on just Master Chief (even if just for the sake of co-op immersion purposes), perhaps the next great step in singleplayer gaming can be taken by making AI controlled teammates just as effective as having another human being playing with you. After all, you gain nothing by taking the safe and steady route (as Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed have shown), but when you take a chance, you might get another chance, and yet another, and another …

Anson Chan

Staff Writer

You ever wonder why we're here? It's one of life's greatest mysteries, isn't it? Good thing games exist so that we don't have to think about it. Or at least I don't have to think about it. Instead, I'll just play Halo or something.

  • Zepherdog

    “Will other forms of media catch onto what made Rogue One stand out from all the other Star Wars movies despite not necessarily having the biggest explosions and the largest battles?”

    You mean like the fan service and pandering, and the lack of anything resembling remarkable or interesting characters? I sure hope not.

    Funny thing, the only memorable thing about this movie was the action sequences, everything else was downright boring.

  • Battlefield Hardline and The Order 1886 are indicative of the state of AI in modern Triple A – at best it’s only theoretically possible for your ally to be helpful during non-scripted gameplay. The sodding wingmen in Wing Commander (1990) get more kills in five minutes than the characters in Hardline and Order 1866 do in the entirety of their games.

  • Lee

    When playing The Division, I felt the game is trying to leave this ‘alone’ thing. Though you can single-played it, it was build with group mindset of active agents ready to team up.


    This movie was god damn boring. I even had someone fall asleep during the showing and snored. I got so bored, I got up, took a shit, and came back feeling better for having done so. This movie was so crap, I walked out feeling like I wanted to see A New Hope just to see a good movie. There were two interesting characters, the K2 and blind monk dude, and the rest were forgettable to the point that when the the ending made it a point to show their deaths, I didn’t feel anything because I didn’t know who they were! Hmm, lets see, death scene for evil dude in white uniform who is important for some reason, the father, the team of peoples, the gunner dude with a waste bin strapped to his back, the defector pilot, the dude in black power armor, the blind monk, and a nuclear blast hug between some chick and some dude who both lost their parents. I’m serious, does anyone have a name that you can get without looking it up online or in the credits? I sure as fuck remember Leia, Darth Vader, Tarken, and the cameo of the two drunk bastards from the bar in A New Hope.

    And where was the Star Wars music? Or the opening? Or anything that invites me to remember Star Wars? The movie went from end of the preview trailer for the Power Rangers movie, black screen with LucasArts Logo, and Inception horn blat, and then suddenly movie! It just starts! WTF? All of a sudden pan over a planet, some black shuttle looking ship, a family and someones come to get the father, for some reason, people die and suddenly I’m in a prison transport years later and some woman is attacking the people rescuing her, for some reason.

    This movie was a fanfiction young adult lit version of All Quiet on the Western Front, complete with nuclear blast headshot for an ending. There are no characters, just job descriptions. There’s no memorable music, just some generic background music. The only character I can remember is the acerbic droid. And I found out that for some reason the Death Star is powered by the Souls of Jedi (the crystals). Weee, midichlorians part 2 the revenge! Honestly the villain came off more like King Sombra from MLP:FIM screaming “CRYSTALS!”

    Oh right, and apparently Darth Vader floats in a vat of semen when he’s not in a body suit, and both Leia and GM Tarken both looked really bad. Like really cheap CGI animation bad. Sigh.