I know Final Fantasy XIII is supposed to have a grand story, but I find myself inching through that game. The importance of stories is always evident, but I have played many games where story is shelled out but I had immense fun (Just Cause 2, I'm looking at you). The point I'm trying to make, I guess, is that there seems to be a balance board in the game universe between gameplay and story, and any game can be good without balancing the two.
The trolling with Sonic Unleashed brings up a bigger point, in my opinion. If you aren't going to maintain a story, why make only half the game worth playing anyway?
Ha, the Sonic Unleashed trick was excellent. That's like a rocket to the glowing-red weak-point of the Escapist community.
But yeah, I'm totally with you. I gave up playing Just Cause 2 after a few hours. My friend who lent it to me couldn't understand it - it was, on paper, a perfect formula of sandbox chaos. But I told him I couldn't get into it because there simply wasn't enough story or context for me to buy into it.
Forgot to mention Grand Theft Auto IV.
The reason the story is so good here is because it flows so well with the game play. For example, I decided to play in such a way that I could complete all the side missions without finishing the main quest line... but no matter how you play, the main story catches up with you in surprising ways.
I think it more has to do with Niko actually being relatable, or atleast more so than the trilogy's(i'm probably the only person to call them that) complete psychopaths. In a completely non-ad way, check this out:.. er actually i had an article somewhere, by someone else, that would fit perfectly with this, it even goes through how Niko is the only truely rounded character in the whole of GTA-games, but i can't find it. Just imagine it. Unless you also have it, coincidence..
And why does this matter? My point was that the game was worse because it had more story that was bad. It doesn't matter if it's typical for FPS games to have less story than an RPG. What matters is that because it had less story it was better. I'm not trying to argue that Epic made a conscious decision to have little story in Gears of Wart. The second game tends to disagree with me there. But in the end it did have little story which allowed the game to be saved by the game play, while Tales of Symphonia didn't do that. What genre these games belonged to is irrelevant. Why you are arguing against what I said just because one game is an FPS and the other is an RPG is beyond me, since that doesn't have anything to do with my point that a bad story doesn't necessarily ruin a game.
That bolded sentence is the silly part that I'm addressing. That's it. Combined with that sentence, genre is completely relevant. You can't just compare those two games so easily.
It's probably beyond you because you're thinking way beyond the simple point I was making.
Keep arguing if you want, but I'm done because this is going nowhere.
I would much rather see developers focus on the mechanics of the gameplay and leave story far behind.
Just Cause 2 sounds like your wet dream then, sir or madam
Can't agree more! Everything about Just Cause 2's story is there to take the piss out of itself. The main villain is a midget in a lime-green shiny suit with Ninja bodyguards. That basically says it all. Avalanche knew any attempt to make a serious story fit to their game would utterly fail, so they just went crazy with it and made it (for me) the most enjoyable story I've heard in a long time.
Sorry, kinda went off on one.
OT, story is important, but some games are better off without it. Battlefield: Bad Company and it's sequel are prime examples. Bad Company 1 was the first Battlefield game with a singleplayer, and the aim of said singleplayer was to chase crates of gold across the globe.
Then they tried to make the sequels more serious, and it failed. The characters weren't right for it, for a start. The story itself was ridiculous in the extreme. Basically, it failed.
"ragequit". I think that's an awesome word. It definitely caught my attention when you said "Sonic Unleashed" in reference to good stories. hahha! Awesome. Glad I finished the article. Good stuff man. I am a fan of good stories too, and I think you made some great points about the nature of concise story telling. I can't wait to see a game come out that has the emotional impact of "Gone With the Wind" or "On the Waterfront". I want to see the games industry make some real gems of expression and creativity; I just think you need to have a lot of space marines come first, 'cause they're gonna make that dough and get the next generation's noggins spinning once they go, "yeah that was fun. but I want MORE..."
Totally nailed me on the Sonic Unleashed trick, you jerk. Also, yes, yes a thousand times yes. I want to wrap this column around me like a warm, safe, blanket and tell myself everything will be ok.
Hey game developers, when it comes to story less is always more! Portal, Shadow of the Colossus, Fighting Games, etc.
If that seems like a cop out to you, then don't try to build a fifty hour story, build a world that will sustain 50 hours worth of player-built narratives.
that's exactly how I feel! If a game is going to be story driven the gameplay has to mesh with it and the plot and characters have to inspire the player to put time in it.
and "Crunchy English", I'm a writer working to become a game developer, so I'm trying my best to wrap my arms around you like a blanket and tell you everything's alright...in a TOTALLY NON-CREEPY WAY.
Planescape: Torment-level stories with Shadow of the Colossus-level emotional impact
now why did you say that ? it's the most cruelest thing i've ever read on the escapist.