The Rest of the Story

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I reeeeeeaaaaalllly hope Yahtzee does a retrospective review of Second Sight. Hopefully that will have the same effect that it did for Painkiller, as Second Sight was frickin' awesome, not only in the story department, but also in gameplay: for any given situation there are about 10 ways to tackle it.

ie. Single guard down a hallway, standing next to a trash can. Do you:
A. Shoot him in the face, alert guards in next room.
B. Throw psychic energy at him, guard silently dies.
C. Hypnotize him so that he cant see you, then knock him out.
D. Use telekinesis on the trash can, scare him, then sneak past.
E. Use telekinesis on the trash can, smash guard in face.
F. Use telekinesis on guard, smash into wall and/or ceiling.
G. Possess guard, go to next room, shoot all the other guards, then commit suicide by shooting a tank of gasoline.

I could go on

You want good games with epic plot twists? Try the Ace Attorney Series, every case (except for the tutorials, obviously) will keep you guessing and pull about 20 plot twists on you (all of which make sence).
Also, Ghost Trick's plot is just one long series of plot twists that, miraculously, all make sence in the end.

If KOTOR is the Sixth Sense of gaming, what does that make KOTOR II then?

darknight910:
If KOTOR is the Sixth Sense of gaming, what does that make KOTOR II then?

The Others

If it takes place in Africa, and 95/100 of the infected are black, the game is not racist.

If you're a video-game reviewer who was silent about the rabid Spaniards in RE4 but cried foul over the black mobs in RE5, then YOU are racist.

Thank Adonalsium, someone else likes Second Sight! It's one of my favorite games, story wise. And I liked the balance between psychic powers, gunplay and stealth. Plus all the little details in the environment.

What I don't get about stories in games is how, even in the framework of cutscene-gameplay-cutscene-gameplay, the stories are just so BAD. They should be lifting ways to make great stories from other mediums, books and movies have been writing fantastic stories for years, see what THEY'RE doing and figure out how to do that in games!

Seriously Escapist & Extra Consideration guys? What started as a place where you people (supposedly 'in the know' with something useful to say) could strike up an interesting and through provoking debate has simply turned into a load of back-slapping, insult-tossing drivel.

At what point did a list of your favourite games and answers like 'I agree with everything you say' constitute constructive and informative debate? With the minds that are put together for these Extra Consideration sessions, some really good discussions could ensue.

The quality of the content on this website has gone seriously downhill.

It's hard to remember a game whose story really impressed me? There are times when I can say the delivery was impressive, like Uncharted 2. Usually with the caveat "amazing by game standards". But most games use such ridiculous hackney formulas and comic book plots that I find them laughable.

Take Bioshock. Despite the intro blowing a lot of people away I just felt bored and impatient. I don't mind being stuck in first person while the exposition follows "show don't tell". Both Half-life and half-life 2 did it perfectly. And I'm all for atmosphere but to be honest starting with me surviving a plane crash and fortunately being right next to the entrance to Rapture ruined it completely for me. You are led to believe you're survival is a lucky accident. I can accept that but it's already a huge ask to suspend my disbelief 2 minutes into a story.

But of course there's enough to make me suspicious that it wasn't an accident so I knew that somehow there was a convulted plot behind it. Because even though this "accident" turns out to be planned it has to be the most ridiculous plan I've ever heard of. I brain-washed you as a weapon and then sent you a message to so you'd make your plane crash to bring you here, and yes, I knew you'd survive a plane crash....?

I'm not asking for super gritty realism, or heavy subtext like waiting for godot. But is it too much to ask that a game plot is plausable (in its context even if its high-fantasy), well told with good scripting and dialogue, and character motivation deviates from kill-because-they're-trying-to-kill-me, or they-killed-someone-I-care-about. Not all games, just one.

I love half-life 2 but even that only has the basic character motivation of survival to begin with. Then aiding rebels that I'm supposed to care about. I mean I did but I'm not sure I'd elect myself to be their hero.

Mafia II was said to be a good "story", and in essence I think it was. Youg war vet, trying to get his mum and sister out of debt ends up seduced by gangster lifestyle, but poor choices means he ends up in gaol for 10 years, and then betraying his best and most loyal friend. Some might say the dialogue was good but I was left wincing at the stereotypes and cliche lines. Also all the characters becoming mostly detestable in the end. So good story, terrible script.

What about the Bulletstorm method? Other than the couple of cutscenes, when something dramatic happens that needs paying attention to, you get a button prompt which gives you a good solid look at it, and an incentive for paying attention (awesomeness points), which I thought was a good idea, at least.

I have to agree with Yahtzee on the RE plot problem. It's so massive and branching (but not neccessarily good) that when Capcom tries to shoehorn it in to the side, it's just excrutiating and it really undermines the gameplay aspect of the game. That's why I stick to games like Dead Rising and Oblivion, because you don't need back story or need to follow the plot to enjoy it, just grab the nearest sharp object and go nuts. All the theraputic fun, without having to deal with the frustration of the plot until you damn-well feel like it.

So, has this column fallen by the wayside already? I'm a huge fan of it, so I hope not!

Tarkand:
You guys have access to at least a couple people who think that storytelling in game is a very important part of the gaming experience (The Extra Credit folks)... and you put 3 people who's opinion can be summed up to 'meh, story.' together to discuss the point, a bit disapointing :P.

I think they said at the beginning of the last story-related Extra Consideration that James and MovieBob are preoccupied at the moment and are therefore unable to participate.

Irridium:
Ocarina of Time is wholly inferior to Majora's Mask. Now... FIGHT!!

I will be happy to take up this debate with you, sir.
I don't think it is wholly inferior, but it has some problems where MM excels. I think MM has a better story, and I still enjoy playing the game now and noticing all the subtlety that went over my head when I played it as a kid. It explores a lot of themes that I think kids wouldn't notice, and were a nod to older Zelda fans, and I can respect that, whereas OoT's story is a straightforward hero's journey tale, which is not to say that it's bad, but doesn't have as much depth.

Now gameplay-wise? I'd have to say OoT is superior, even if just because of the variety and number of puzzles, dungeons and boss encounters. OoT is good at giving you tools one by one, teaching you how to use them in that dungeon, and then making sure you mastered them. By the end of the game, you will have to use and know how to use all of your abilities if you want to succeed. The mask mechanic in MM is, while inventive, a lot of the masks are only used once, and then never mentioned again. I can think of several that are only useful once, then are purely cosmetic afterwards.
And maybe I'm just scarred from having the moon drop several times the first time I played it, but MM is freaking hard. I'm not sure it's possible to complete the main story 100% without a strategy guide, which is not exactly a point in its favor.

DrLombriz:
What about the Bulletstorm method? Other than the couple of cutscenes, when something dramatic happens that needs paying attention to, you get a button prompt which gives you a good solid look at it, and an incentive for paying attention (awesomeness points), which I thought was a good idea, at least.

Idk, maybe I just have a misconception about the game, but I didn't think Bulletstorm could really be held up for it's great storyline. I thought it was more based on multiplayer, like someone took Team Fortress and shoehorned a story in so they could say they had one.

Devil's advocate now: I'm not sure that giving the player options, different endings, etc is really a good path to travel down. It seems to me like it's a new fad, but if both methods (one ending as opposed to multiple endings) were done well, the game could be great either way, and having a choice system isn't make-or-break, nor does it alone make a game good. I can't think of a single choose-your-own-adventure novel that has been accepted as literary canon, and there are certainly less amazing CYOA books than there are regular books, with only one ending. Discuss.

Taunta:
Idk, maybe I just have a misconception about the game, but I didn't think Bulletstorm could really be held up for it's great storyline. I thought it was more based on multiplayer, like someone took Team Fortress and shoehorned a story in so they could say they had one.

Devil's advocate now: I'm not sure that giving the player options, different endings, etc is really a good path to travel down. It seems to me like it's a new fad, but if both methods (one ending as opposed to multiple endings) were done well, the game could be great either way, and having a choice system isn't make-or-break, nor does it alone make a game good. I can't think of a single choose-your-own-adventure novel that has been accepted as literary canon, and there are certainly less amazing CYOA books than there are regular books, with only one ending. Discuss.

Bulletstorm's story wasn't great, being mostly a loving amalgam of every sci-fi cliche in the books meshing together for a guilty-pleasure as a backdrop for getting awesomeness points, but I liked the method of pointing out important developments to the player without sacrificing player control. Come to think of it, Gears of War did it as well.

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