Location, Location, Location (Part 2)

24th January 2009

Another rant?

No, more of an introspection. Nearly 4 years ago I wrote a piece called Location, Location, Location in which I shared my thoughts about the locations used in Half-Life 2.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with a work colleague and we were discussing our favourite movies. He is much younger than me and I was talking about films that he hadn’t really heard of. He asked me to briefly describe.

When then moved onto some newer favourite movies that we thought we had in common but didn’t. Anyway, out of the blue he made this amazing observation…You seem to like movies that have limited locations.

I thought about that for a moment and he seemed correct. In fact the more I thought about it the more he seemed correct.

My favourite mod in 2008 was Intrusion, which I know not everybody loves, but that’s another story. The mod is set in a research facility and has very little variety. That’s not to say it’s plain and boring, just limited in the sense that there are great beach vistas, or huge indoor storage areas.

The point is that when I think about the mods, films and and TV shows I really like, it seems that when the locations are limited I enjoy them more.

Of course there are plenty of moives, mods and TV shows with ever changing locations but if I had a choice. What I prefer is character and story development rather than action, action and more action.

I wonder if other readers have made a connection with the type of mods they like with the type of books, movies and TV shows they prefer.

The Movies

Here are the three obvious examples of movies with limited locations that I would consider as part of my favourite movies.

In the interests of full disclosure I am in love with Grace Kelly’s character in Rear Window.


  1. firba1

    I’ve noticed this about myself somewhat as well. I enjoy movies with more locations (I loved Dark Knight), but I really like movies that only take place in one or a few locations. 12 Angry Men is one of my all time favorite movies. I really liked Rear Window and I really liked Reservoir Dogs. I don’t think that I like one more than the other, but I think that if a movie can be made in a small space like that, it really makes the movie more interesting.

  2. Kyouryuu

    And yet, you won’t play BioShock. Very strange. XP

    Seriously, if you can do it right, having a game set in one location is a great thing to try. It’s not an easy thing to pull off. At worst, you’re accused of repetition, as was the case with FEAR’s infamous Armacham building. At best, you paint an amazing picture of an imaginary world that takes on a life of its own and is as much a character in the story as anyone else.

    BioShock is probably one of the most recent exhaustive surveys on a single, fictitious location, the underwater realm of Rapture. There’s the Ishimura in Dead Space, the Von Braun in System Shock. Black Mesa in Half-Life 1 counts. The list goes on. I would even say that Vice City, despite its size, falls into this criteria since it is such a detailed study of 1980s Miami as seen through Miami Vice.

  3. AI

    I didn’t think much of the demo of “BioShock”, BUT after I bought the game my thoughts have changed!! I’ve played thru it twice, with 2 outcomes! I enjoy the “inside close combat” and exploring everything feel! Ofcourse the retro time frame was great for me at my age! 😉 I think that’s why I enjoyed F.E.A.R. so much and am looking forward to F.E.A.R. 2 , Just DL’d the Demo! The HL2 series ahs been a ball for me also, lots of inside/outside action!!

  4. Dylan Holcomb

    In the mappers point of view, (or at least my point of view) a limited location can be either a curse, or a blessing. With the right knowledge, you can probably pull off an entire mod in a set location, but when you do that you have to require on gameplay and other entertaining factors like the storyline to really pull off a nice mod. A game that comes to mind is, of course, Portal. The locations in Portal were interesting, but became somewhat tiresome throughout gameplay. But the aesthetics of Portal is not it’s main focus, the gameplay revolving around the ASHPD, coupled with the writing for GLaDOS is.

    Everyone enjoys variety in mods/games/movies, but you there is a way to avoid it.

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