If you haven’t noticed it yet, the newer video games seem to be having more and more comic relief in them. It seems that light-heartedness and comedy are one of the focuses of the developers right now. While it is usually harmless, sometimes someone has to draw a line where we say that it is too much.
The line separating comedy from cringes has always been a thin line. In addition, not everyone has the same sense of humor so jokes are often a hit and a miss. Moreover, comedy is seldom well-received in a form of a video game. Let’s be honest, we do not buy a game just because it is funny.
Truth be told, I do enjoy a good joke every now and then when it comes to playing a video game. However, developers should be mindful of adding comic relief at only the right moments. Overusing comic relief in a game can turn off a lot of people, including me.
In this article, we will talk about whether video games are force-feeding their players with comic relief.
What is Comic Relief in Video Games?
Since we are talking about comic relief, let us first find out what it is exactly. According to a dictionary, it is a relief from the emotional tension, especially in a drama, with the usage of jokes. When given out in moderation, it is a great way to lighten the mood. I mean, who does not want to laugh once in a while?
In video games, the most common form of comic relief is through a character. There are many examples where a comic relief character is a big part of the game. Off the top of my head, I can name Claptrap from the Borderlands series and Ellie from The Last of Us.
Claptrap, the first stated example, lies on the borderline of “overuse” of comic relief. I get that Borderlands is a game that is heavy on comedy so it is kind of warranted. However, Claptrap jokes and shoots off puns as many times as I breathe. While it is deliberately designed as an annoying character, it can get, surprise, annoying.
Claptrap got fans divided whether it is a good comic relief character or a bad one. Some find its annoying jokes funny, while some just find it annoying. However, thanks to the good and bad press it receives, Claptrap is one of the most popular characters in video game history.
The Importance of Comedy in a Video Game
Another example of a comic relief character is Ellie. She is a good example of what a good comic character can do for a video game. Since The Last of Us is a dark video game, her jokes and funny moments help lighten the mood.
Her strong personality and great sense of humor allow her to come to terms with this global crisis and even make others feel better. She is a great example of how to use a comic relief character. She strikes the right balance between the number of jokes, and when to tell them perfectly.
To get right back on the topic, do video games force-feed us comedy? There are certainly cases where a character is extremely annoying by telling too many jokes. There are also situations where the jokes aren’t funny. However, this is not the case for a majority of video games out there.
There are more good characters than there are bad ones so the answer is no. Video games do not force comic relief. While there are extreme cases where a game does force it, the number of that happening is too low to call out the majority.