Theory Analysis - Just Cause 3

21. Jan 2019

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Theory Analysis - Just Cause 3

  1. Media Product Analysis Tom Haase
  2. Product – what is it? The product I have chosen for this task is the video game “Just Cause 3”. I have chosen to analyse this product because I enjoy playing the video game and have spent a lot of time playing it, therefore I have more knowledge on this game, compared to a product I am not as familiar with, meaning I will be able to analyse it better and with a fair amount of detail and experience. Below is an image of the video game cover. Just cause 3 is an action-adventure video game developed by Avalanche Studios and published by Square Enix. It was announced on 11th November 2014 and is the third game in the Just Cause series, produced as the sequel to Just Cause 2, which was released in 2010. It was released worldwide on 1st December 2015, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (the next-generation consoles/software). Set six years after its predecessor, Just Cause 3 evolves around protagonist Rico Rodriguez as he returns to his home country of Medici, a fictional island country in the Mediterranean, which is under the control of dictator General Sebastiano Di Ravello. The game is played from a third-person perspective and allows players to explore the island of Medici in an open world environment, allowing them to explore, destroy, fight and help the people and place of Medici, with missions and objectives to complete as/when they wish.
  4. Context – Who made it? Avalanche Studios were the core developers of my chosen product (Just Cause 3) and were partnered with Square Enix were published it, increasing both Avalanche Studios and Square Enix’s popularity, fame, wealth and rating massively as this game was a top seller. Avalanche Studios is an independent AAA developer dedicated to creating huge open worlds, full of explosive and emergent gameplay. This small description of how Avalanche Studios works and what they work towards, describes Just Cause 3 perfectly. Avalanche Studios is a Swedish developer based in Stockholm, Sweden. The company was founded by Linus Blomberg and Christofer Sundberg in March 2003. They base their open world projects on their proprietary Apex game engine (otherwise known as Avalanche Engine). Just Cause series are their most popular games, however they are also known for developing Mad Max, theHunter and Renegade Ops, which are again open world projects, following similar gameplay standards. This company formed after the collapse of Rock Solid Games, who both founders worked for. In 2015 Sundberg stated that the studio was born in “pure chaos”, as the bankruptcy of Rock Solid and the “trusting in the wrong people” led to the start of Avalanche Studios. They had a lot of success with they first Just Cause game, however suffered from financial problems, after they began Just Cause 2’s development, due to two contracted projects being cancelled. After missing the release window twice, Just Cause 2 was a huge financial success, which allowed them to open a studio in New York City to work on Just Cause 3. With the original Just Cause game, Sundberg wanted to develop a game “where you could skydive onto the roof of a car and keep going”, and they designed the Just Cause series with this as one of the main ideas and Sundberg considered Just Cause to be the ‘DNA’ and the ‘centre point of the studio’.
  5. Context – Who is in it? Just Cause 3 was quite a large game, therefore it had large cast for the characters and large a large amount of writers/developers. The main character, Rico Rodriguez, was voiced by Kevin Collins. Collins is an American actor who works on stage and screen, and in this case video game voice acting. Collins voice is regularly heard in national ad campaigns in the United States, Canada, the UK. As a voice actor, he has worked for RTÉ and BBC radio drama, and documentary narration. This shows his experience in voice acting and his popularity in the industry, which is why he was chosen to play the main role of Just Cause 3. Despite Collins’ American origin, in the game he uses an Italian accent for the character, due to the home country of the character (Medici – Italian origins). This was interesting when the game was released, as Avalanche Studios and Square Enix didn’t hire a voice actor of Mexican (Rico’s nationality) or Italian (Medici) nationality, however because the game is an American game and was developed in New York City, they hired an American actor to appeal more to the audience because it would be a lot easier for the player to understand an American voice doing an Italian accent, rather than a strong Italian accent. The voice for the main enemy (General Di Ravello) was acted by Jon Avner. This voice actor is also an American actor, playing the Italian dictator, meaning most characters (including both main ones) are American, therefore there is no variety in nationality, in the cast, and no diversity. However this can be partly excused due to the location of development, as the studio developing Just Cause 3 was in New York City, USA. There are only 3 non-American actors out of all the main cast, showing how non diverse the cast is, in terms of nationalities. Also there aren’t any Italian members of the voicing cast, which is ironic because the in-game fictional country is closely related to Italy, with Italian as their main language.
  6. Context – Characters?This game has many characters including main and extras. Rico Rodriguez is the main character and the character that the player uses in a third-person perspective. This character is the peacemaker in the game, however uses the acts of violence and destruction to achieve this, creating a lot controversy as the violence juxtaposes the idea of peace. This could be seen as how the world is today, with war and violence occurring all over the world (attempting to resolve things). Rico Rodriguez was born in Mexico, however grew up in Medici. He joins the Agency, in Medici, at the 18, after his parents were killed in action. The Agency is a part of the CIA which specialises in “regime change”, that involves overthrowing dictatorships that are being ruled unfairly and are no longer USA friendly. In Just Cause 3, the dictatorship you try to overthrow (as Rico) is General Di Ravello, where the player travels the open world, liberating provinces and locations freeing the people of Medici from the dictatorship. Rico is dressed in a blue jacket, which has many connotations connecting to his role in the game. For example the connotations of blue include freedom (Rico liberating the people of Medici), loyalty (his loyalty to the Agency and his work), confidence and intelligence (to complete the skills and troubles he is tasked with in the game) and heaven (as there are many deaths within this game, which can be linked to heaven). Blue is also seen as the ‘good’ colour in movies etc. as appose to black or red. He is also equipped with a wingsuit coloured with red and black, which can mean his ‘bad’ side is being shown, as black and red have the connotations of death, blood and power, which can all be seen as a bad description, showing not everyone is perfect, and there are some ‘bad’ things you have to do for the ‘good’ reasons, for example destroying the dictatorship. He is also shown to be wearing a cross (symbol of Christianity), which contradicts his actions of violence and destruction. The main enemy in the game is the dictator Sebastiano Di Ravello, the antagonist of Just Cause 3. His storyline in the game is based around him and his army defending his reign over Medici, against the Rebellion (Rico’s Agency). This player is an NPC (non-playable character) and is only interactive at the end of game in a fight between Rico Rodriguez and Di Ravello. He is a very egotistical character with his face all over Medici on (billboards, posters, propaganda vans, speakers, and statues). This point is also enforced by his costume. He shows his medals and badges on display on his uniform, against the contradictory colour of white. This is contradictory because white is seen as innocent and naïve, however Di Ravello is evidentially not either of these. There are other characters such as Mario Frigo (Rico’s friend), who is dressed in a light blue, showing he’s a ‘good’ character, along with Dimah Ali Umar al-Masri who works with Rico and is always seen in a white (innocence and naivety) lab coat, which makes sense as she’s always inside doing work, rather than outside fighting, as Rico does. This role of Dimah is very stereotypical to have the women doing ‘domestic’ jobs and men doing the ‘dirty work’.
  7. Context – Influence? There is no definite influence on the game from real world events or experiences, however there are some theories that link Just Cause 3 with the real world. First of all, the name of the Mediterranean island is “Medici”, which means “doctors” or “medical” in Italian and Romanian (as Medici is located in the Mediterranean, near the west coast of Italy). Which can be seen as a ‘healing’ when Rico Rodriguez liberates the country in the game. “Medici” was also the name of a prominent Italian renaissance family. The developers stated that they wanted to tackle a location nobody has used in a game before, as they said “it’s such a good area because it’s a little bit of everything. Everyone’s done South America. Everyone has done Eastern Russia, but we thought that the Mediterranean was an untapped source.” They continued to describe the area with “beautiful emerald waters, and those great big skies. It seems like a great area to lay waste to, because it was so beautiful”. Some say that the war between the Rebellion and Di Ravello, resembles many fascist leaders involved in civil war, for example Mussolini (dictator of Italy from 1925-1943) was a very powerful fascist dictator on a similar level to Hitler (dictator of Germany from 1934-1945). Mussolini has a close relation to this game and could have been a influence when creating it because Benito Mussolini was the dictator of Italy, very close to where Medici is located, both having Italian as their main language.
  8. Context – What was happening at the time the game was made? The development of Just Cause 3 started in 2012, two years after the release of its prequel, Just Cause 2, in 2010. The game took three years to make, being announced in November 2014 and finally being released in December 2015. After research, I have come to the conclusion that the developers didn’t use current wars/conflicts (at the time around 2012) to base the story/gameplay on. The story of the civil war in Medici can be linked to many other civil wars such as the Spanish civil war in the 1930s, however there is no direct comparison and the storyline/gameplay was only chosen to carry on the story from this game’s prequel Just Cause 2, which involved Rico Rodriguez fighting against the enemy military. The game’s developers Avalanche Studios could afford the time and money to spend on the creation of Just Cause 3, due to the great success of Just Cause 2, which was a top seller at the time, allowing them to open up a studio based in New York City, purely for the production of this game, in 2012 (the start of development).
  10. Themes – How are themes explored narratively? Throughout this game the players view is a third-person perspective of the main character, which compared to many other war/fighting games doesn’t make the player feel like it’s actually them committing the acts of violence, because it’s not seen through a first-person perspective. Just Cause 3 includes cut scenes where the story is explained to the player, showing the player where o the timeline of the story they are. These cut scenes consist of dialogue and subtle explanation to why an event has taken place and little action (war and destruction). This little amount of action shown in the cutscenes means the majority of the action of violence is left for the player to execute, making the player feel more responsible and although the player is advised to do so, it still makes the player feel responsible for the actions they commit, such as destruction of a base/province and the murder of the enemy military. On the other hand the player is also made to feel as though they are not responsible for the actions and the actions are being committed by the character (Rico Rodriguez) and not the player as the dialogue in the cutscenes and objective rules etc. is written and spoken in a third-person narrative, rather than a second-person perspective, and written in a script format. For example when someone is speaking in a cutscene their name is shown before the dialogue, even the PC (playable character) Rico Rodriguez. A example of the dialogue is displayed at the bottom (first image). This makes the player feel like they are just watching and following the story of Rico Rodriguez instead of making decisions and committing the acts out of their own choice, as the game is not a multiple choice game and you have to follow what it says.
  11. Themes – What is the product about? Just Cause 3 involves the work of Rico Rodriguez trying to liberate the fictional country of Medici, as it is ruled by the cruel, fascist dictator General Sebastiano Di Ravello. Rico Rodriguez is part of ‘the Rebellion’, as they’re called, destroying and liberating provinces one at a time. The fight between the Rebellion and Di Ravello’s military is a civil war, where you don’t see many other Rebellion fighters, apart from Rico. This game is rated ‘18’ and can be seen as dangerous for children or anyone to play because it promotes war and violence, and there is no peace or mercy shown between the two alliances. However this can also be seen as a resemblance of real life, as many times in history war has been proven to stop and defeat an unfair dictatorship (for example Adolf Hitler’s dictatorship was ended in World War 2). Another prominent aspect of this game is destruction. The player even gets rewarded with in-game points for the destruction they cause, for example destroying and exploding vehicles, control towers and generators. However the player controls the character through a third-person perspective, meaning it doesn’t make the player feel like it is them committing these acts and throughout the game there is very minimal blood and gore, meaning the deaths and kills doesn’t seem realistic, making it less dangerous for children to play it. On top of that, although war looks as if it is the main theme of Just Cause 3, it is all for one reason, which is freedom, showing there is a valid reason for the violent acts the players commit and it’s for a positive outcome. Many reviewers have also stated that this game is based around destruction of almost everything, therefore this theme is clear to many people as it’s a prominent feature in the game. One reviewer on ‘’ said “they should just rename this series explosion simulator 3”
  12. Themes – How are themes explored visually? The graphics of this game are fairly ‘cartoon-like’ when it comes to gore, blood and fighting one another, however the explosions and destruction is a huge part of this game’s visual aspects. When you shoot an enemy in this game there isn’t a lot of blood, just a little on the walls and the clothes of the enemy. This takes the emphasis of the killing away and doesn’t make the player feel like they’ve actually killed someone, compared other fighting/shooting games such as Grand Theft Auto, where the blood and gore is a main focus of the killing/shooting, making it feel more real. The non-realism of the shooting, along with the narrative I have explained on the previous slide, means the player doesn’t feel as responsible and guilty because the in-game deaths don’t resemble real life death and how the physics of the shooting would actually happen, which also takes away the danger of the game for people (especially children). This is why many people were confused to the rating of the game (18). The explosions and destruction on the other hand is emphasised a lot visually. A lot of time and effort was put into the development of the explosions and destructions with realistic ‘fireball’ aftermaths and different coloured smoke depending on the item/object you have destroyed/exploded. The realism of the explosions are very strong, with the different heights and greatness the explosions reach, causing a chain of explosions depending on what is around the explosion (other flammable objects). Contradictory, many disagree with this point of realism in the graphics because many fans and critics have stated that they were disappointed with the visual in this game and gave the game a negative review. They stated that the graphics were too ‘unrealistic’ and ‘cartoon-like’ and “a lot of the time its clear that neither version of Just Cause 3 is able to sustain a locked 30fps, but it is indeed the Xbox One release that offers a noticeably lower level of in-game fluidity”. This flaw in the visuals of the game took the focus off the themes of the game and they were unable to see how the destruction and explosions were being used throughout the game, meaning the developers, Avalanche Studios and Square Enix, didn’t exactly succeed in emphasising the destruction within the war/fighting that was taking place.
  14. Content – Representation There is only one gender shown in this scene. This could be for a few reasons. For example this scene is right before I big fight and a big part in the civil war that is taking place in Medici, and the stereotypical gender for the military and war is male, so they have only shown male characters, especially showing soldiers as well, as you can see from one of the screenshots below. This stereotypical view is quite false in today’s times as there are many female soldiers and fighters, also considering this game is aimed for 18 years and older, therefore at this age the players should be educated enough (and in most cases are) to know to allow female soldiers/fighters. Men have been shown to the more powerful gender by including them in this scene and also more intelligent as they are discussing tactics and plans for the fight, showing women aren’t intelligent enough to think of reliable and effective plans, which in the real world is very false, making this seem a little undermining towards women. The age range of the people in this scene is unknown however you can tell that they are all adults and there are no children, showing that war and fighting is not for children and only adults should be involved in it. This is a fair representation to display, as adults have more experience and wisdom, which is why you need to be at least 18 to join the army in USA. The ethnicities of the characters here are Hispanic and White, as this is based on a Mediterranean island and some of the characters have Mexican background. There are no Black characters in the whole main cast or in this scene, showing either this race are a minority or the White/Hispanic are superior in war/fighting, however because this was developed in 2012 and released in 2015 I highly doubt that the latter reason is true, as this would be very bad for publicity and popularity.
  15. Content – Mise en scene There is a variety of features in this Mise en scene. For example the colours use here are very effective. The dictator Di Ravello is clearly the dominant colour here, wearing a bright white as his uniform. The symbolism is very contradictory to his character, however, because white is seen as innocent and naive, however Di Ravello is evidentially not either of these. The colour white is inherently a positive colour and is associated with purity, goodness, heaven, safety and cleanliness, which begs the questions why did Avalanche Studios choose white for the costume of Di Ravello? This could be to lead the player away from the truth and manipulate and trick them, just like General Di Ravello does to the people of Medici, with his propaganda vans and billboards displayed all over Medici. From his uniform you can also see that he is a very egotistical character, with his medals and badges displayed on his uniform and the way he is position compared to the others, in front of them as they are lines up for him. The position of Di Ravello is controversial as well because usually the ‘good’ characters are on the left hand side of the screen and he is the worst enemy in the game. The soldier in the middle is dressed in full black, which is very contrasting to Di Ravello’s white, which could have been chosen to show how less important he is in the shot, as he’s not very noticeable. The symbolism of the colour black makes sense for a soldier on the enemy side because black represent power, strength, death and evil, which at this point in the game, this character has as they are destroying the Rebellion towns of Medici. Another symbol for black is mystery, and you can’t see his face, showing how irrelevant his identity is and he is used as a puppet to do whatever Di Ravello tells him to do, along with the rest of the army, because they are committing crimes which isn’t fair of the people yet they still go along with it. The props in the background consist of a table with a bowl of fruit and a beer bottle on. This makes the character look more comfortable in the situation, as these are items are usually seen in a living for example and used by someone who is relaxing, however the situation is completely different, as Di Ravello is planning an attack against the Rebellion, which shows the character’s evil nature because he is relaxed with committing these horrible actions. All the characters in this shot are the same height, showing they are of equal dominance, however throughout the game Di Ravello is more dominant then the other characters in this shot as he commands them and they follow his orders.
  16. Content – Mise en scene This shot is a very effective establishing shot. There is no prominent feature in the shot, apart from the bright white sign, even though it is very small compared to the whole shot. There are no people in this shot but there are props and other interesting features. The tank on the left doesn’t stand out due to the dark colour of it against the dark night sky and the black smoke from the fire in the background. However this prop in real life and in the game is very large and dangerous, but in this shot it isn’t shown to be large and dangerous. The bright orange fire contrasts well against the dark blue night sky, making it stand out slightly, however there isn’t a lot of it in the shot the they are shown to be very small, making it harder to see. The sign is small in the middle of the shot, which could be to show its power against Di Ravello and his army, but at the same time showing its significance, as its positioned in the centre of the shot, giving it more focus.
  17. Content – Mise en scene This shot shows the discussion of Rico and Frigo who are on the ‘good’ side. The colour here is very clear and obvious, for example Frigo is wearing a bright blue. A blue colour is usually used for the ‘good’ people in movies etc. and Frigo is wearing a very bright blue, showing he is the very innocent good character, as you don’t see him participating in the war or fighting. Blue is also symbolic for trust and loyalty, which is enforced by the fact both characters are wearing blue and they are both working together, showing their strong bond they have with each other. Finally blue can be symbolic for confidence and intelligence, showing Frigo is confident in Rico and his ability to beat Di Ravello and his army with the Rebellion and he is intelligent as he is discussing the plans to take down the dictator. Rico is also wearing blue showing he can also be wearing this colour for the symbolic reasons I have explained, however I believe that Rico is wearing a darker blue to Frigo as he isn’t as ‘good’ and innocent as he is. This is because he kills people and destroys things, even though he does it for a good reason, it is still not peaceful. He is also equipped with a wingsuit coloured with red and black, which can mean his ‘bad’ side is being shown, as black and red have the connotations of death, blood and power, which can all be seen as a bad description, showing not everyone is perfect, and there are some ‘bad’ things you have to do for the ‘good’ reasons, for example destroying the dictatorship. Out of the two characters Frigo is wearing the dominant colour which is controversial as Rico is the main character and the main focus of the game. Both characters costume’s colour matches with the background (the sky) and even the mountains are seen as a faint blue, showing they are on nature’s side (the good side) and work with the world instead of against it like Di Ravello. These two characters are pretty much the only physical feature in the shot (in the foreground), with no props, emphasising their importance and the focus they should have in the scene. This point is also enforced by the size of them in the shot, as there isn’t a lot of room for any other features to be included in the shot, showing this particular clip is all about them.
  18. Content – Use of camera The camera shot throughout this scene is in a third-person perspective. This makes the player feel less involved with the scene, as if the camera shot was in a first-person perspective then it would feel as if the player is seeing the scene though their own eyes, but in this scene the player just feels as if they are watching the characters. The movement of the camera makes the scene feel more realistic and creates a better effect for the player, instead of still shots from a camera fixed to a single point. The movement also makes the player feel more involved with the scene, which levels out the third-person perspective making the player feels less involved. In this shot clip that is screenshotted the character on the right is one of the focus points in the shot as he is covering a large amount of the screen compared to the other two characters, however he isn’t in great focus, which takes the focus of him a bit. The lighting on this character also makes him stand out a little more, however he character doesn’t have as big of a role as Rico (the main character) and Rico is small in the shot and hard to see, with no intended focus or attention on him. The character on the right is the other focus point in this shot and he is made to look a lot brighter than the other characters bringing more attention to him, as they have placed black smoke in the background behind the character, with his bright blue clothing contrasting well with it. Finally the lighting on Rico is very bright and his clothing is made to blend into the sky in the background. Aside to the lighting and focus on the two characters stood up, they are both shown to be dominant and powerful. This is done through the angle of the camera, as the camera is quite low to the ground and the characters are stood up and looking bigger, making them look more powerful, especially compared to the man sat down (closest to the camera).
  19. Content – Use of editing The first part of this clip shows the dictator Di Ravello and the discussion with his soldiers about his plans and orders to destroy the towns of the Rebellion. After this it cuts to a shot of the sign post (showing the location of the scene) and in the same shot moving down lower to the ground (showing inferiority) and looking up at the first of Di Ravello’s tank arriving at the rebellion town. One camera shot showing the destruction Di Ravello is causing and showing each tank as it arrives, is very effective as the camera moves each time a tank arrives and the tanks take three different routes towards the town, showing they will be coming from all angles. Also the use of one shot and the movement could represent the non-stop arrival of tanks and military causing destruction, as the camera never stops rolling. This middle clip in the scene also shows an effective establishing shot as the it moves for the tanks, showing the destruction Di Ravello has already caused to the town, as more tanks are being deployed, showing no mercy. The final clip shows the two ‘good guys’ looking at each other then looking down towards the town at war, at the same time the camera moves closer to the town, so only the town is in shot. This could be done to show the player is the same as Rico Rodriguez as both Rico and the camera look down at the same time, along with the dramatic slow moving effect. I also believe that the order of these clips in the scene is representative for how the timeline of the war talking place. As Di Ravello is in the starting clip and he started the war and the disruption/destruction of Medici and the people living there, then the fighting takes place in the middle clip, with the explosions and the tanks etc., then finally it ends with Rico and Frigo (the two Good guys) who will end the war and liberate the town and free the people from the dictatorship of Di Ravello.
  20. Content – Sound (diegesis, sound effects, music, dialogue) Diegetic sound: The dialogue in this scene is very clear and is a large part of the scene, as it involves a lot of information that is useful for the player to know to understand the storyline and what Di Ravello is planning to do. Di Ravello is the only character to talk in the first clip of the scene, as he is in charge and it shows power to be the only one speaking whilst everyone else is listening silently. Di Ravello’s dialogue is very calm even though he is planning an attack and is in the middle of the war, which shows his evil nature and how he isn’t a good person because it doesn’t bother him morally to fight against the Rebellion. At the end of the scene in the third clip, all three characters speak and have an input to the conversation instead of just getting spoken to as it was with Di Ravello and the soldiers. This shows the equality of the three characters, which enforces their positive nature. The sound effects in this scene are very effective and are used fairly loudly as they would be in real life, making it feel more realistic, for example when the soldier shoots the gun and kills himself, the gun shooting sound effect is quite loud and you notice it’s loudness even more as the dictator is speaking and you cant hear him over the gun. The other sound effects in the scene are also quite loud and they create danger and fear for the player, as the characters would be feeling. For example the other sound effects include the explosions in the Rebellion town and the tanks arriving and shooting their cannons. You can hear gunfire in the distance as well. All of these sound effects make the scene feel like an actual war to the player as this is what it would actually sound like in real life, with many different sounds happening at once, causing pure chaos, which again creates fear and danger. Non-diegetic sound: The music and sounds brings suspense to the scene and makes the player more on edge. For example when Di Ravello hands the gun to one of the soldiers there is a continuous beat getting louder the closer the soldiers holds his gun to his head. Then it suddenly stops as the soldier pulls the trigger. This is effective because it made the player on edge and feel tense as they knew something was going to happen, so they were anticipating it. When the dictator is explaining his plan to the two soldiers, after one killed himself, the music is intense and fairly fast-paced, which makes the player feel more fear in anticipation to what’s going to happen. The music can be described as ‘build-up music’.
  21. Content – Language The language style in this scene is very formal, which makes sense because a military personnel, who’s highly ranked and very powerful is speaking to his soldiers and someone who he wants killed. The formal language makes the General look more intelligent, therefore giving him more power over the others, and also makes him look more professional as it’s his job, not his hobby. Therefore he should be speaking professionally, as appose to how someone would talk to their friends (informally). He is speaking formally to someone who he implies to kill themselves (for punishment) because this makes Di Ravello look and feel more powerful and bigger then the soldier who he wants punished. A lot of the writing style in this scene is story-like, almost as if the dictator is telling the story to the soldiers if they’ve never heard it before and don’t know what he’s talking about, which they most likely would. This means that the writing style is story-like to explain the audience (the player) what’s happening and what he’s talking about. The mode of address is third-person mostly as he’s explaining a story to the soldiers, however there is one small part where he commands to burn the Rebellion town and kill the people, although he never says the words “you” or “I” and only uses the third-person words “he” and “they”, which again makes it feel more as if he’s telling a story. It seems like the developers have used this character’s dialogue in this scene as a narrative, instead of a voice over explaining what’s happening, but a character describing it in a more subtle way, which brings more meaning to what he’s saying and makes the cutscene more interesting as it coming from a character. “Di Ravello: our inability to protect Manaea was easily predicted” “Di Ravello: “burn it!”
  22. Content – Typography The dialogue in this scene and throughout the game is ‘script-like’ as it shows the name of the speaking character before the dialogue. This makes the cut scenes feel more like a film, even though the player controls the main character throughout the game. The use of the ‘script-like’ dialogue is helpful on the other hand, because a lot o the accents of the characters are Italian and some are fairly strong accents, making it fairly difficult for some viewers to understand who is talking and what they are saying (especially to people in America, as it’s not everyday American people hear Italian accents. Contradictory to my last point, the font size is very small on the screen, as you can see at the bottom, which can be seen as the dialogue not being shown with a high importance, which is hard to understand, considering everyone speaks with a foreign accent (to USA). Although this game is greatly focused on the visuals, and because the text is a small font size, it makes the player look at the visuals more instead. This font size could have been chosen to make the player focus more on the dialogue, because it’s hard to read, therefore they have to put more effort into reading it, making them actually read it properly instead of just skim reading it. On the other hand it could have been a flaw in the game, meaning it’s an improvement they can make for the next game in the Just Cause series. The amount of text in each shot is minimal, it never makes the player read a lot at once, which would appeal to players because they don’t want to read a lot, they want to play the game and watch the cut scenes, whereas if there was a lot to read at once, then the player is likely to not bother reading it (especially for the target audience of 18-20 year olds). The font choice and colour is clear and easy to read (apart from the size of the text) and the colour usually contrasts well with the dark background, meaning the reader doesn’t have to put in more effort to see what it says (as they are already put in some effort due to the small font size).
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  24. Task • Context • Who made it? Who is in it? Who are the characters/subjects/models? What influenced them? When was it made? What was happening in the country/world at the time it was made? How have these factors impacted upon the product and its content? • Themes • What is the product really about? Explore subtext and discuss in detail with frequent reference to examples. How are these themes explored narratively? How are these themes explored visually? • Content • Choose a sequence/image/extract and examine it in minute detail. Discuss relevant elements listed below in specific reference to how meaning is created • Do not just reference when something has been used. Discuss why it was used. • Representation • How are different groups represented? Is it positive or negative? Consider gender, age, ethnicity, social status, sexuality etc. Pick the the one (or more) that is most relevant to the product. • Mise en scene (colour, costume, props etc.) • Use of a camera (angles, movement, focus, lighting, shot) • Use of editing (what shots have been put together and why) • Sound (diegesis, sound effects, music, dialogue) • Language (vocabulary, writing style, mode of address) • Photography styles (candid, portrait, studio, papparazi) • Typography (font size, amount of text, typeface choice) • Bibliography • A minimum of 5 Harvard referenced items that you have used/quoted in your discussion. One of the items must be your product • These sources must be established and academic (not Wikipedia etc.). Books, journals, articles, bonus features etc.