Everybody likes a bit of the old The Funny in games, right? After all, it seems to be the great missing element in most modern games. Just ask Al Lowe, creator of the legendary Leisure Suit Larry series. “When the adventure game format passed away,” he says an in interview for Gamasutra, “… humour seems to have been left by the wayside.”
More often than not, in modern AAA-grade titles what little humour there is tends to rest on the shoulders of the ‘comic relief’ member of your combat squad, if there’s any at all. Games that have plots reaching almost to the level of a parody/farce such as Modern Warfare 2 lack even that, and take themselves so seriously that they can be quite painful at times to some players.
The question is – just how important is humour in some of these games? Surely some genres are better off taking themselves seriously. After all, who wants to be pulled out of combat sim by having your wingman making James Bond-esque one-liners every time he shoots down an enemy? It might work in a space combat sim like Wing Commander III (“Chalk up another number for the maniac!”) but it’s probably not good in a serious combat simulator like Falcon 4.0.