If you haven’t read it yet, you’ll probably want to read through part one before continuing.
At long last, I have finished No One Lives Forever. This took a while partly because I was busy but partly because the game is even longer than I suspected. I’m happy to report that despite the length, the quality of writing that I praised in part one never really faltered. There was one character I was unimpressed with, and a few dud jokes, but overall No One Lives Forever remained a tightly-written and thoroughly entertaining game. Most importantly, it handled the theme of sexism elegantly, without becoming overly preachy or melodramatic. Given the problems that most games have with female characters, this was a relief. Actually, it was more than a relief, because I now have a game I can point to as evidence for how to do it right. It’s not perfect — Cate’s wardrobe is a little worrying for most of the game — but in terms of the writing at least, it’s miles ahead of the norm for games at the moment.
I’m not worried though. The demand for better female characters (and indeed better characters in general) will continue to grow, and games as a whole will improve in response. But, despite holding up No One Lives Forever as an example to aspire to, new games will have to go about things differently. You see, I wasn’t entirely accurate earlier — the writing in No One Lives Forever isn’t great despite the game’s length, it’s great because of it.