How does one simply prefer story over gameplay?

  • 86 results
  • 1
  • 2

This topic is locked from further discussion.

#1 Posted by RageQuitter69 (1295 posts) -

I haven't been on these forums in months, i've been on the GTA Forums, and it's full of whiners saying that GTA IV is better, and most of them can only say one thing in GTA IV's defense: story.
Anyway, onward to the main question, the 7th generation of gaming has seen the rise of storytelling in video games, but it has also sadly seen the downfall of the most important aspect of a game: gameplay. The best games out there are those which combine gameplay and story perfectly but when it can't be done, gameplay should get priority considering it is a game. Examples of games that sacrifice gameplay for stories is Metal Gear Solid 4 (4 hours of gameplay) and Mass Effect 2 (garbage gameplay and level design), yet these are some of the most critically acclaimed games this generation, but when a game comes out and focuses on gameplay and the story is not the reviewers up of tea, the gameplay focused game does not score that well when compared to story driven games.
So i'm asking, how does one prefer story over gameplay when a game which has great gameplay but a meh story can still be enjoyed while playing and a game which has terrible gameplay and a great story can't be enjoyed while playing?

#2 Posted by CoquiNegro (173 posts) -

How does one prefer apples to oranges?

In the case of Mass effect 2, I'd have to disagree. It had great gameplay, much better than the first which did indeed sacrifice gameplay over story. However terrible gameplay is something that is so relative. I find most shooters to have horrible gameplay, yet adventure games like the walking dead attract me more. It honestly depends on the game, but in modern times I've realized that a game without a good story simply doesn't drive me like it used to, even if the story is a shoe in, it has to be entertaining. Of course not every game benefits from this, but it does add to the experience.

#3 Posted by Black_Knight_00 (18072 posts) -

a game which has terrible gameplay and a great story can't be enjoyed while playing

I disagree. There are games with bad gameplay somehow kept afloat by a good story. Alpha Protocol being the foremost example of this: rotten gameplay mechanics you're willing to overlook because of the plot and the great dialogue system.

#4 Posted by chicagog19 (746 posts) -

I haven't been on these forums in months, i've been on the GTA Forums, and it's full of whiners saying that GTA IV is better, and most of them can only say one thing in GTA IV's defense: story.

Anyway, onward to the main question, the 7th generation of gaming has seen the rise of storytelling in video games, but it has also sadly seen the downfall of the most important aspect of a game: gameplay. The best games out there are those which combine gameplay and story perfectly but when it can't be done, gameplay should get priority considering it is a game. Examples of games that sacrifice gameplay for stories is Metal Gear Solid 4 (4 hours of gameplay) and Mass Effect 2 (garbage gameplay and level design), yet these are some of the most critically acclaimed games this generation, but when a game comes out and focuses on gameplay and the story is not the reviewers up of tea, the gameplay focused game does not score that well when compared to story driven games.

So i'm asking, how does one prefer story over gameplay when a game which has great gameplay but a meh story can still be enjoyed while playing and a game which has terrible gameplay and a great story can't be enjoyed while playing?


I don't think one has to prefer story, but a great story can certainly overcome some gameplay flaws. To me a great game is a great game. It can because it has great story, gameplay, or both. I also think the same thing can apply to music or movies. An example can be a movie that has a cheesy story, but great action sequences that make up for the so-so story (See Pacific Rim). I also think that critics go the other way around as well where gameplay overcomes a so-so story. Gamespot's game of the year this year comes to mind.. It's your typical Zelda game with an okay story, but the gameplay was fun.

#5 Posted by Ish_basic (3896 posts) -

I think we overstate the importance of gameplay sometimes, specifically when we try to act like good gameplay is all you need. It certainly helps, but it's tantamount to saying good prose is all you need to enjoy the book you're reading. Phillip K Dick is probably my favorite sci-fi author, and yet his prose is often lacking. And then there are authors who write very well and somehow manage to bore me to tears with subject matter I usually enjoy. Similarly with games, I can't stand Mario or Sonic, but I love Ratchet and Clank. Some of us need to care about what we're doing - the character we're playing as and the world we're playing in. To be sure, a certain standard has to be achieved gameplay-wise in the way that a book would be unreadable without at least having correct grammar...but once you've got that, a lot can be overlooked.

#6 Posted by El_Zo1212o (6001 posts) -

@Black_Knight_00: I'm gonna have to disagree with you there- Alpha Protocol play excellently as long as you remembered that it was an RPG and NOT a shooter. As long as you kept that in mind during your playthrough, you see that it accomplished it's aim admirably.

But on topic:

There aren't many games where a good story can make a great game out of lousy gameplay, but they do exist. Primarily, I've found, in the area of the true blooded adventure game. What people last gen called 'visual novels.' Gameplay in that genre is often limited to solving puzzles, wandering aimlessly to turn up the next clue and/or selecting the correct branches in a conversation tree to learn what you need to know. All things I actively dislike. And if there is any combat, the mechanics are either so shallow you wonder why they even bothered, or they're QTEs that would have worked just as well as a cutscene.

As to Mass Effect, it was the only series I wanted to complete this gen that I left undone because I simply couldn't stand the gameplay any more- The stories were eye poppingly amazing, but they took an adventure rpg and tried to morph it into an action adventure rpg. In the process, they lost what, to me, made the game worth suffering through- the story focus. From the first time I watched my brother playing Mass Effect, my thought was that it would have been an even better experience had they just omitted the combat. Then ME2 decided the series would benefit from less substory and narrative focus and more of the old ultra violence. I got about 15 hours into ME2 before I set the whole series down and never touched it again.

On the gameplay side, there are any number of games I've played through- and even count among my favorite games of all time- that I've adored despite their glaring faults and truly monumental underachievements. WET, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, Just Cause 2, Captain America: Super Soldier, WH40K: Space Marine, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, to name a few.

I'd like to see responses from some of the Story is-greater-than Gameplay crowd list some of the titles they endured for the stories.

#7 Edited by Articuno76 (18651 posts) -

@RageQuitter69: Gameplay is not the most important aspect of a game in absolute terms. Each part of a game is important (to varying degrees).

Oftentimes when a game's most overwhelmingly important aspects are mechanical (gameplay), it becomes a toy (it has no meaning or function outside of getting good at a virtual task). To me I have to ask, when a game's only good quality is gameplay how can you enjoy it knowing you are playing with a toy?

Apply your reasoning to film. Film is a visual medium. Therefore it's priority should be on moving images. Why would you prioritise a story over visual images?

IMO because prioritising the visual aspects of film completely misses the point; you end up with a meaningless display of visuals (probably special effects) but the audience might come away feeling they had nothing to take from the experience.

#8 Posted by Black_Knight_00 (18072 posts) -

@Black_Knight_00: I'm gonna have to disagree with you there- Alpha Protocol play excellently as long as you remembered that it was an RPG and NOT a shooter. As long as you kept that in mind during your playthrough, you see that it accomplished it's aim admirably.

rowd list some of the titles they endured for the stories.

Oh, I call those shooting and sneaking mechanics and the AI rotten even by RPG standards. It's a great example of a game built around a solid idea, but without the know-how of how to make a good game. Admittedly, later weapons improve the shooting a little, but you'd never know that if you quit the game in disgust after 30 minutes as most people did, as opposed to a minority like us who kept playing for the plot.

#9 Posted by ReddestSkies (4087 posts) -

I'd like to see responses from some of the Story is-greater-than Gameplay crowd list some of the titles they endured for the stories.

The combat in Bioshock Infinite made me cringe and I was constantly wishing that it would just stop so that I could enjoy its story (and explore its world). I liked the game a lot, but I didn't like large part of its gameplay.

But for me the story vs gameplay thing is situational. I just started playing FTL and I'm barely even reading the text, the game is all gameplay for me and I like it that way. Before that, I had played The Stanley Parable mostly for its storytelling.

#10 Edited by El_Zo1212o (6001 posts) -

@Articuno76: I just happen to be a 27 year old man who likes toys.

@Black_Knight_00: Alpha Protocol was the first third person shooter/rpg I ever played(Parasite Eve was isometric, and I don't lump those together), and yeah, I built my character for stealth, but I never saw what was so bad about the sneaking or the AI. At times I thought the patrolling enemies even a little over-vigilant. The 'super' powers helped, but in an RPG, aren't they supposed to?

#11 Posted by Articuno76 (18651 posts) -

@Articuno76: I just happen to be a 27 year old man who likes toys.

@Black_Knight_00: Alpha Protocol was the first third person shooter/rpg I ever played(Parasite Eve was isometric, and I don't lump those together), and yeah, I built my character for stealth, but I never saw what was so bad about the sneaking or the AI. At times I thought the patrolling enemies even a little over-vigilant. The 'super' powers helped, but in an RPG, aren't they supposed to?

Yeah, but would you play exclusively with toys? I reckon many people wouldn't. And I also reckon most would prefer to spend their time not toying around.

#12 Posted by Black_Knight_00 (18072 posts) -

@Black_Knight_00: Alpha Protocol was the first third person shooter/rpg I ever played(Parasite Eve was isometric, and I don't lump those together), and yeah, I built my character for stealth, but I never saw what was so bad about the sneaking or the AI. At times I thought the patrolling enemies even a little over-vigilant. The 'super' powers helped, but in an RPG, aren't they supposed to?

It's been years, I can't go into details. I have very clear horrific memories of the gameplay though. It just felt like an early 2000s N64 game.

#13 Posted by Mastone123 (8 posts) -

I (partly) disagree with the OP, I personally think it depends on what type of gamer you are.
I for one like a game where a story unfolds itself and you the player preferably have some say in the matter and although the gameplay has to have a decent level of refinement it is not the big key ingredient for me.
But there are gamers who can play MMO's/Minecraft type of games where it is solely about grinding/gameplay ( imo doing the same thing over and over again)and get annoyed when a dialoque window pops up or when they need to listen to a NPC in order to solve a puzzle..to each his/her own.

I personally don't get all the hype over GTA 5 tbh, I looked at gameplay vids on YT and it was just same old same old to me, I am not saying it is a bad game it just doesn't do anything new, like when GTA3 and Vice City came out ( I specifically bought a PS2 to get to play Vice City) it felt new and fresh, I have played San Andreas and the fore last one with the russian and that's where I disconnected with GTA and lost my appetite for the type of game Rockstar made.

The Mass Effect franchise used to be one of my favorite games and Bioware one of my most favorite Gamedevelopers, Mass Effect 1 had a great story arch, when I bought 2 I found it lacking in the storydepartment ( you already knew the main plot points in teh second level ) but the gameplay was enhanced to a point where the shooting worked better, but since it was an inbetween and ME3 was around the corner I could forgive its mistakes.When ME3 came out and when I finished it they ( meaning Bioware) were so lacking in the story/plot department it ruined the entire game and franchise for me ( regardless of how well the gameplay was)and will most likely never buy a Bioware title ever again.

My eye is looking towards CD Projekt RED these guys have made major leaps in their gamemaking skills and are actually working on their game as a total package, when I played the Witcher 1 I came to a point where I just got a bit sick of it, when The Witcher 2 came out I couldn't get enough, the gameplay was greatly improved, the story was compelling and the graphics were amazing, the witcher 3 seems even better.

My point being is that for a game to be great it needs to do well on all fronts from gameplay to story to graphics and even to internal development.
When I look at Bioware for instance you actually see that they are using the same gamemechanics over and over again for each game, the worlds in ME3 are just as lacking of life as to ME1, the lightside/darkside meter is just the same as ever. every dialoque a character does a head wobble and a wave motion with their hands..even the dancing animations look just like the ones from KOTOR 1...in short no internal development/progression.

The Witcher 1 had some clunky animations,game mechanics and a rough way of storytelling, imo the witcher 2 fixed this and the sequel improved itself a lot ( I know a lot of hardcore the witcher fans would disagree)at least the dev was trying to push themselves and the game they were making into something better than what came before.

#14 Posted by DarkCatalyst (20930 posts) -

I've never understood this, either. When I sit down to play a video game, regardless of anything else, it's to play a video game. I can't sleep through a bad game for any reason whatsoever, even if the story is good. I don't like the idea of studios using the game industry as a medium to tell their stories when they can't successfully do it in the context of making a video game (hi there, Quantic Dream). It's incompetent at best and exploitative at worst.

#15 Posted by hrt_rulz01 (5481 posts) -

@RageQuitter69: Gameplay is not the most important aspect of a game in absolute terms. Each part of a game is important (to varying degrees).

Oftentimes when a game's most overwhelmingly important aspects are mechanical (gameplay), it becomes a toy (it has no meaning or function outside of getting good at a virtual task). To me I have to ask, when a game's only good quality is gameplay how can you enjoy it knowing you are playing with a toy?

Apply your reasoning to film. Film is a visual medium. Therefore it's priority should be on moving images. Why would you prioritise a story over visual images?

IMO because prioritising the visual aspects of film completely misses the point; you end up with a meaningless display of visuals (probably special effects) but the audience might come away feeling they had nothing to take from the experience.

Yeah I agree. Well said.

All my favourite games are ones which have a great story & character development, and I find myself becoming bored with games that don't incorporate this into it. A good example of this are games like Mario, or Super Mario 3D World (which I played recently). Although the gameplay is fun, I just find myself going through the motions after a while, and it does becomes like "a toy" (as you stated above).

So, would I say that I prefer a good story in a game over good gameplay? Definitely not. Both are equally important to me, and if a game has one but not the other, I probably wouldn't bother with it.

#16 Posted by El_Zo1212o (6001 posts) -

@Articuno76: What kind of deeper meaning do you think you're looking for? It's an entertainment product. I look for fun in my entertainment products, and (for the most part) I can't have fun if the game is all story with poorly implemented gameplay.

#17 Edited by Pikminmaniac (8595 posts) -

I'm just not wired to enjoy heavily story driven games. I play video games for the unique aspects they offer that no other medium can and that's gameplay. That aspect is what you are actually DOING all the time and if that's not up to snuff, the entire game is unenjoyable to me.

I really hate it when a game interrupts gameplay obtrusively the way most cinematic games do these days. It's a poor way to tell a story in a game IMHO (Uncharted is incredibly guilty of this). It would be like reading a book and having to be unexpectedly interrupted by something every so often to do something else and you have no control over it. It's just plain annoying.

in the end

Good gameplay+ good story= good game

Good gameplay+ terrible story= good game

Terrible gameplay+ good story= terrible game

terrible gameplay+ terrible story= terrible game

Story focused game= generally rough in the gameplay department but the reward is the next story sequence. This tends to end up being a chore

gameplay focused game= the reward is the gameplay itself. The game in its entirety ends up being enjoyable.

Story is just a bonus when it's good, but when it controls the experience, a game tends to become worse than if they let gameplay dictate design choices.

I never understood those who say they game for the story... That's something you can get at a higher quality from both movies and books. Gameplay is the aspect that's unique to gaming... You'd think that would be the unanimous response.

#18 Edited by CarnageHeart (18316 posts) -

I haven't been on these forums in months, i've been on the GTA Forums, and it's full of whiners saying that GTA IV is better, and most of them can only say one thing in GTA IV's defense: story.

Anyway, onward to the main question, the 7th generation of gaming has seen the rise of storytelling in video games, but it has also sadly seen the downfall of the most important aspect of a game: gameplay. The best games out there are those which combine gameplay and story perfectly but when it can't be done, gameplay should get priority considering it is a game. Examples of games that sacrifice gameplay for stories is Metal Gear Solid 4 (4 hours of gameplay) and Mass Effect 2 (garbage gameplay and level design), yet these are some of the most critically acclaimed games this generation, but when a game comes out and focuses on gameplay and the story is not the reviewers up of tea, the gameplay focused game does not score that well when compared to story driven games.

So i'm asking, how does one prefer story over gameplay when a game which has great gameplay but a meh story can still be enjoyed while playing and a game which has terrible gameplay and a great story can't be enjoyed while playing?

So you lost your arguments in the GTA forums so you've retreated back to GD? Nice.

GTA5 is better than GTA4, but GTA5 is pretty damn disappointing due not so much to the story (which was weak though the characters were great) but the game design (most of the side stuff was really boring and while some of the missions were great too many of them were 'go buy a pair of pants'). I really hope next go round Rockstar doesn't mess around with multiplayer, but just focuses on giving us a big world with lots of fun stuff to do and multiple ways to tackle missions (many of the missions were artificially restrictive).

As for the other games you mentioned, MGS4 was way too cinema heavy for its own good, but the three generation old series has always been that way. The gameplay/game design is top notch and Kojima has few rivals when it comes to designing kickass boss battles. Mass Effect 2 is a mediocre shooter, but by action rpg standards the combat was quite good (ME1's gameplay/game design would have had to radically improve to work its way up to garbage and one could say the same of Jade Empire). So neither game is really a case of story at the expense of gameplay.

#19 Posted by Renegade_Fury (16952 posts) -

Beats me; story is nothing but fluff. If I don't like the gameplay, I'm gone.

#20 Posted by Jacanuk (3695 posts) -

I haven't been on these forums in months, i've been on the GTA Forums, and it's full of whiners saying that GTA IV is better, and most of them can only say one thing in GTA IV's defense: story.

Anyway, onward to the main question, the 7th generation of gaming has seen the rise of storytelling in video games, but it has also sadly seen the downfall of the most important aspect of a game: gameplay. The best games out there are those which combine gameplay and story perfectly but when it can't be done, gameplay should get priority considering it is a game. Examples of games that sacrifice gameplay for stories is Metal Gear Solid 4 (4 hours of gameplay) and Mass Effect 2 (garbage gameplay and level design), yet these are some of the most critically acclaimed games this generation, but when a game comes out and focuses on gameplay and the story is not the reviewers up of tea, the gameplay focused game does not score that well when compared to story driven games.

So i'm asking, how does one prefer story over gameplay when a game which has great gameplay but a meh story can still be enjoyed while playing and a game which has terrible gameplay and a great story can't be enjoyed while playing?

Wrong forum to post in.

Fanboyism goes down into system wars

Because of course people can prefer story over gameplay, saying anything else is as clever as saying Black is better than white and no-one can like white because its not really a colour.

As to GTA IV, well i agree with them, as to story there is no other GTA game even coming close to GTAIV, and with the DLC it just became even better.

#21 Edited by El_Zo1212o (6001 posts) -

@CarnageHeart: Wow, do I ever disagree with you- In my opinion, GTA 6 shouldn't happen for nearly a decade- work should BEGIN on GTA6 when PS360 is firmly in it's grave and long forgotten- until then , they should work on expanding and refining GTA Online, and when GTA6 does launch, it needs to be a new kind of multiplayer experience.

#22 Posted by wiouds (4993 posts) -

A game story does have an affect on how much I can enjoy games. It is not the most important part but it can swing my opinion of a game.

Mass Effect 2's writing is the only thing that keep the game in good graces with me when you compare it to the far better game play of the first game.

I am hating how some are trying to claim interactive story as being games.

#23 Edited by The_Last_Ride (69046 posts) -

How does one prefer apples to oranges?

In the case of Mass effect 2, I'd have to disagree. It had great gameplay, much better than the first which did indeed sacrifice gameplay over story. However terrible gameplay is something that is so relative. I find most shooters to have horrible gameplay, yet adventure games like the walking dead attract me more. It honestly depends on the game, but in modern times I've realized that a game without a good story simply doesn't drive me like it used to, even if the story is a shoe in, it has to be entertaining. Of course not every game benefits from this, but it does add to the experience.

Mass Effect 2 is a piece of excellence. Is it the best third person shooter? No, but if you combine the rpg elements, the story, characters, gameplay, levels, voice over, graphics, etc. Then i think Mass Effect did all of them great if not superb. Just look at other games that did not have great story for the sake of gameplay. Gears of War, Vanquish, Army of Two, Lost Planet, etc Those games are fun, but would you remember these gamesin 10 years? I play games for the singleplayer. That's what games should be made for, The singleplayer experience. Sure co op has always been there since Pong. But saying that you are sacrificing anything if you get a good story out of it isn't that much of a sacrifice to be honest. Gameplay to me has to make sense for the game. Did i play Journey, flower, Walking Dead and other similar games for the gameplay? No, i did it for the amazing story they convey. So i agree with you completely. If you ONLY want gameplay. People should play games like Mario, Resogun, Geometry Wars, etc There are enough games that only have gameplay and they are good just doing that

#24 Edited by Renegade_Fury (16952 posts) -

@The_Last_Ride said:

@CoquiNegro said:

How does one prefer apples to oranges?

In the case of Mass effect 2, I'd have to disagree. It had great gameplay, much better than the first which did indeed sacrifice gameplay over story. However terrible gameplay is something that is so relative. I find most shooters to have horrible gameplay, yet adventure games like the walking dead attract me more. It honestly depends on the game, but in modern times I've realized that a game without a good story simply doesn't drive me like it used to, even if the story is a shoe in, it has to be entertaining. Of course not every game benefits from this, but it does add to the experience.

Mass Effect 2 is a piece of excellence. Is it the best third person shooter? No, but if you combine the rpg elements, the story, characters, gameplay, levels, voice over, graphics, etc. Then i think Mass Effect did all of them great if not superb. Just look at other games that did not have great story for the sake of gameplay. Gears of War, Vanquish, Army of Two, Lost Planet, etc Those games are fun, but would you remember these gamesin 10 years? I play games for the singleplayer. That's what games should be made for, The singleplayer experience. Sure co op has always been there since Pong. But saying that you are sacrificing anything if you get a good story out of it isn't that much of a sacrifice to be honest. Gameplay to me has to make sense for the game. Did i play Journey, flower, Walking Dead and other similar games for the gameplay? No, i did it for the amazing story they convey. So i agree with you completely. If you ONLY want gameplay. People should play games like Mario, Resogun, Geometry Wars, etc There are enough games that only have gameplay and they are good just doing that

Uh, yes? Don't belittle games that actually focus on the aspect that defines this form of medium in the first place. Vanquish is my favorite third person shooter of all time, and it's because of its amazing gameplay.

#25 Edited by Tobougg (42 posts) -

Well the best examples i've seen are Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the patriots. These have AMAZING story, AMAZING gameplay. Wait until MGS5 part 1 and 2 come out. ou'll get the same again.

#26 Posted by Jacanuk (3695 posts) -

@tobougg said:

Well the best examples i've seen are Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the patriots. These have AMAZING story, AMAZING gameplay. Wait until MGS5 part 1 and 2 come out. ou'll get the same again.

MSG have gameplay? thats a first for me :D

#27 Posted by Jacanuk (3695 posts) -

@tobougg said:

Well the best examples i've seen are Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the patriots. These have AMAZING story, AMAZING gameplay. Wait until MGS5 part 1 and 2 come out. ou'll get the same again.

MSG have gameplay? thats a first for me :D

#28 Edited by Ish_basic (3896 posts) -

@mastone123:

The Mass Effect franchise used to be one of my favorite games and Bioware one of my most favorite Gamedevelopers, Mass Effect 1 had a great story arch, when I bought 2 I found it lacking in the storydepartment ( you already knew the main plot points in teh second level ) but the gameplay was enhanced to a point where the shooting worked better, but since it was an inbetween and ME3 was around the corner I could forgive its mistakes.When ME3 came out and when I finished it they ( meaning Bioware) were so lacking in the story/plot department it ruined the entire game and franchise for me ( regardless of how well the gameplay was)and will most likely never buy a Bioware title ever again.

There's a great article in the latest GI about game endings and some really thoughtful insight from various devs. There's also insight from BioWare and it shows they're still clueless. Basically the guy says the discontent over ME3 was that people had different expectations for what their individual choices ultimately would mean. So, in other words, we, as gamers, expected too much. Right, because we expected our choices to mean something and not simply be illusions - shame on us. And maybe we were foolish to ever think that a "pick-a-color" dialogue system would end with anything other than a "pick-a-color" ending. But you're absolutely right in that BioWare has been fundamentally making the same RPG since KoTOR. They made some changes with the last couple MEs and DA2 in terms of how missions/quests are presented, but they haven't really improved things. When you consider there are games over a decade old that do a lot of the same things we praise BioWare for, but better...it's a shame. More it's a shame they don't have more competition like the CDProjekt's of the world to force them to improve.

I've never understood this, either. When I sit down to play a video game, regardless of anything else, it's to play a video game. I can't sleep through a bad game for any reason whatsoever, even if the story is good. I don't like the idea of studios using the game industry as a medium to tell their stories when they can't successfully do it in the context of making a video game (hi there, Quantic Dream). It's incompetent at best and exploitative at worst.

And from the other side of the tracks, I don't play games to push buttons. I need something more or else this medium means shit to me. Not everything I play has a great story. Really what I want is ambience and videogames can do worlds like no other. I think of games like Silent Hill or a heavily modded TES. Just set me down in a well-realized creation and let me explore. People game for different reasons and so people make games for different reasons. Calling it exploitative that someone's vision of a gaming experience might diverge from your own is an absurdly self-centered view of the game industry. If you don't like it, fine. But it's not a flawed approach.

#29 Posted by Jag85 (4265 posts) -

@RageQuitter69: Gameplay is not the most important aspect of a game in absolute terms. Each part of a game is important (to varying degrees).

Oftentimes when a game's most overwhelmingly important aspects are mechanical (gameplay), it becomes a toy (it has no meaning or function outside of getting good at a virtual task). To me I have to ask, when a game's only good quality is gameplay how can you enjoy it knowing you are playing with a toy?

Apply your reasoning to film. Film is a visual medium. Therefore it's priority should be on moving images. Why would you prioritise a story over visual images?

IMO because prioritising the visual aspects of film completely misses the point; you end up with a meaningless display of visuals (probably special effects) but the audience might come away feeling they had nothing to take from the experience.

The toy comparison doesn't make much sense. When the focus of a game is the gameplay, you don't call that a toy, but what you call it is a sport. And that is how video games were viewed in the past, and they still are primarily viewed as a sport in some corners of the globe (e.g. South Korea). I think it's a real shame how the traditional sporting aspect of video games has been forgotten by so many modern gamers.

Nevertheless, I do still enjoy story-driven games. I even enjoy Visual Novel (VN) games which are almost completely devoid of gameplay, more so than story-driven action games which shove pointless combat sequences into an otherwise good story, disrupting the narrative flow. If the gameplay and story are both equally good, then I don't mind, but if one is bad, then it only ends up becoming a chore holding the other back. If a game's only strength is its story, then it may as well just be a VN / interactive movie.

#30 Edited by bob_toeback (11267 posts) -

If the story is good enough, I might be lenient on whether the game mechanics need to be amazing. And same with if the gameplay is amazing, and overlooking the story. If a game is enjoyable in some aspect, I'll like it.

#31 Posted by Jackc8 (8500 posts) -

I'm usually surprised with how much I can enjoy a game that's got downright bad gameplay. Like Final Fantasy XIII - the gameplay consisted of pressing a single button (for the most part). Yet I ended up loving that game because of the story, characters and marvelous variety of environments. Or even Damnation - the shooting mechanics in that were clumsy as hell yet I enjoyed it for its environments and whacked out story.

Gameplay is just something you do over and over. All shooters have identical gameplay: pan the camera around, put the crosshairs on the guy, push the button. Action/adventure games might add some climbing and jumping, and you'll be doing that over and over. Even with RPG's where you've got a variety of attacks to use, you'll end up using a couple of them...over and over. The story and characters are what makes you feel like you're doing something important - working towards a goal. Otherwise you're just killing guys for the sake of killing guys or whatever.

#32 Edited by cfisher2833 (1511 posts) -

It usually depends for me. Even though Mass Effect 2 had fairly generic gameplay (ie standard TPS), the inclusion of a party and party commands made it far more interesting for me. I also just happened to enjoy the Mass Effect universe, and found exploring it to be rewarding in it of itself. Some games which rely entirely on story just don't do it for me--Spec Ops the Line for instance. It's story might be good, but god damn did it have the most generic as hell gameplay imaginable. I just couldn't get through it, even though the story was interesting.

I've never understood people that go on about how emotionally affected they were by games though. Makes no sense to me. I can't emotionally identify with 3D models, and I find all the talk about "ooh, I don't feel good killing this guy, I want to be able to let him live" utterly idiotic. I am talking specifically about Bioshock Infinite, where sites like Polygon got all pissy because the game had combat in it. I just really can't identify with people that feel bad killing a guy in a videogame. I've also never once cried from a videogame. Not trying to be a badass, but it's just never happened...ever. Movies, yes. Cried my ass off reading The Old Man and the Sea, but videogames....nope.

#33 Posted by loafofgame (377 posts) -

I've also never once cried from a videogame. Not trying to be a badass, but it's just never happened...ever. Movies, yes. Cried my ass off reading The Old Man and the Sea, but videogames....nope.

What do you think is the difference between videogames and movies/books in that regard then? Is it just the digital models or are there other aspects...?

#34 Posted by wiouds (4993 posts) -

Spec Ops the Line for instance. It's story might be good, but god damn did it have the most generic as hell gameplay imaginable. I just couldn't get through it, even though the story was interesting.

The scoping system in Spec Ops the Line was the only thing that stood out. The level design had some good points but many just standard staged shootouts. The story was bad! If you want to talk about underhanded and manipulative story then it is a perfect story to talk about. The story is about sending a madman and his team into a over the top setting. Then they try to smear your face in something that they force you to do even when it was unreasonable to do.

That story killed that game and drop it from forgettable to being hated.

#35 Edited by CoquiNegro (173 posts) -

@wiouds said:

@cfisher2833 said:

Spec Ops the Line for instance. It's story might be good, but god damn did it have the most generic as hell gameplay imaginable. I just couldn't get through it, even though the story was interesting.

The scoping system in Spec Ops the Line was the only thing that stood out. The level design had some good points but many just standard staged shootouts. The story was bad! If you want to talk about underhanded and manipulative story then it is a perfect story to talk about. The story is about sending a madman and his team into a over the top setting. Then they try to smear your face in something that they force you to do even when it was unreasonable to do.

That story killed that game and drop it from forgettable to being hated.

Specs ops is a fantastic example. I cannot remember the last shooter I played that I actually found memorable. Perhaps bioshock 1, because of its imaginative world. However, spec ops is still I game that although I beat 7 months ago, even yesterday I was talking with my friends about how fantastic the ending was and that it totally took me by surprise. It was the amazing story that drew me into its world, had it not been for that I would have not cared for the game which had passable gameplay.

#36 Edited by CoquiNegro (173 posts) -

It usually depends for me. Even though Mass Effect 2 had fairly generic gameplay (ie standard TPS), the inclusion of a party and party commands made it far more interesting for me. I also just happened to enjoy the Mass Effect universe, and found exploring it to be rewarding in it of itself. Some games which rely entirely on story just don't do it for me--Spec Ops the Line for instance. It's story might be good, but god damn did it have the most generic as hell gameplay imaginable. I just couldn't get through it, even though the story was interesting.

I've never understood people that go on about how emotionally affected they were by games though. Makes no sense to me. I can't emotionally identify with 3D models, and I find all the talk about "ooh, I don't feel good killing this guy, I want to be able to let him live" utterly idiotic. I am talking specifically about Bioshock Infinite, where sites like Polygon got all pissy because the game had combat in it. I just really can't identify with people that feel bad killing a guy in a videogame. I've also never once cried from a videogame. Not trying to be a badass, but it's just never happened...ever. Movies, yes. Cried my ass off reading The Old Man and the Sea, but videogames....nope.

Have you ever played The Walking dead or To the moon? I've cried perhaps in two movie (Toy story 3 and amour) and never in books, although I constantly read them. But something about those two games simply made me feel distraught. So I'm wondering if you've played them.

#37 Posted by El_Zo1212o (6001 posts) -

@wiouds: They dropped a man on the edge into a crazy situation and he just lost his grip.

That game was simply amazing. I hated it, too, but I hated it because I went into it trying to be a hero in a place where there were no heroes. That game single-handedly deconstructed what I had planned on doing and turned it in on itself to the point where I was mowing down civilians(something I actively skipped doing in the infamous No Russian mission), foreign enemies and american soldiers with equal gusto. By the time I finished that game I was so turned around I kept having to remind myself it was only a game.

I tried playing it again about 6 months later. I completed the first act and sold it without a second thought.

You called the story "manipulative." I say that was the whole point. If it failed to manipulate you as completely as it did me, well, I guess I can see how you can dismiss it so easily.

#38 Edited by foxhound_fox (86939 posts) -

I pushed my way through 35 hours of grinding in Odin Sphere so I could experience the story. Some people like the stories told in gaming that they could put up with less than passable gameplay.

About GTAIV however, that just seems like contrarianism due to the popularity and success of GTAV.

#39 Posted by CoquiNegro (173 posts) -

I pushed my way through 35 hours of grinding in Odin Sphere so I could experience the story. Some people like the stories told in gaming that they could put up with less than passable gameplay.

About GTAIV however, that just seems like contrarianism due to the popularity and success of GTAV.

I agree, though ultimetly for me, one has what the other does not. I liked both equally, due to that. I'm hoping the next gta has both excellent gameplay and story.

#40 Posted by Jacanuk (3695 posts) -

I pushed my way through 35 hours of grinding in Odin Sphere so I could experience the story. Some people like the stories told in gaming that they could put up with less than passable gameplay.

About GTAIV however, that just seems like contrarianism due to the popularity and success of GTAV.

Ehh? the last comment i don't get.

So because it sold a crazy amount and earned a lot of money people cant dislike the story or simply think a story is better in a previous game? that logic is pretty flawed

Also i bet if you ask people why they bought GTA it would be because 1. its a GTA game and its all about the mayhem not the story and 2. GTA Online.

#41 Posted by cfisher2833 (1511 posts) -

@cfisher2833 said:

It usually depends for me. Even though Mass Effect 2 had fairly generic gameplay (ie standard TPS), the inclusion of a party and party commands made it far more interesting for me. I also just happened to enjoy the Mass Effect universe, and found exploring it to be rewarding in it of itself. Some games which rely entirely on story just don't do it for me--Spec Ops the Line for instance. It's story might be good, but god damn did it have the most generic as hell gameplay imaginable. I just couldn't get through it, even though the story was interesting.

I've never understood people that go on about how emotionally affected they were by games though. Makes no sense to me. I can't emotionally identify with 3D models, and I find all the talk about "ooh, I don't feel good killing this guy, I want to be able to let him live" utterly idiotic. I am talking specifically about Bioshock Infinite, where sites like Polygon got all pissy because the game had combat in it. I just really can't identify with people that feel bad killing a guy in a videogame. I've also never once cried from a videogame. Not trying to be a badass, but it's just never happened...ever. Movies, yes. Cried my ass off reading The Old Man and the Sea, but videogames....nope.

Have you ever played The Walking dead or To the moon? I've cried perhaps in two movie (Toy story 3 and amour) and never in books, although I constantly read them. But something about those two games simply made me feel distraught. So I'm wondering if you've played them.

Tried to play the Walking Dead as well as the Wolf Among Us, but I just couldn't get into them; I found the gameplay elements too lacking.

#42 Edited by El_Zo1212o (6001 posts) -

@Jacanuk: methinks you got your 1s and 2s mixed up.

#43 Posted by speedfreak48t5p (6202 posts) -

One does not simply judge others for playing games for different reasons then them.

#44 Posted by Jacanuk (3695 posts) -

@Jacanuk: methinks you got your 1s and 2s mixed up.

Yep think you are right that the main selling point is GTA online.

#45 Posted by 4nationfury (606 posts) -

I don't have some extreme preference. I can enjoy a decent game with a great storyline. On the other hand, a game with an alright story and excellent game play also works. But if one of those elements is mediocre, it will likely bring the whole game down for me. I personally think games can be as good at storytelling as movies so why wouldn't a great story matter to me? The only way that would work is if I was deliberately ignoring the story aspect of the game.

#46 Posted by Yoshi9000 (377 posts) -

I can understand why you would think it strange to favor story over gameplay, but I think it all depends on the game. For me though, unless it's multiplayer, I have to have some sort of story to act as a push to keep playing, even if it is not the best story. Nier had pretty mediocre gameplay, but the story and characters were so interesting I had to keep playing, and it was worth it.

The only games that I can enjoy without much story are pikmin and patapon, as well as a handful of indie games like Limbo and Ilomilo. If the game is a shooter or RPG though, I prefer to have a story

#47 Posted by wiouds (4993 posts) -

@El_Zo1212o: There is no

@wiouds said:

@cfisher2833 said:

Spec Ops the Line for instance. It's story might be good, but god damn did it have the most generic as hell gameplay imaginable. I just couldn't get through it, even though the story was interesting.

The scoping system in Spec Ops the Line was the only thing that stood out. The level design had some good points but many just standard staged shootouts. The story was bad! If you want to talk about underhanded and manipulative story then it is a perfect story to talk about. The story is about sending a madman and his team into a over the top setting. Then they try to smear your face in something that they force you to do even when it was unreasonable to do.

That story killed that game and drop it from forgettable to being hated.

Specs ops is a fantastic example. I cannot remember the last shooter I played that I actually found memorable. Perhaps bioshock 1, because of its imaginative world. However, spec ops is still I game that although I beat 7 months ago, even yesterday I was talking with my friends about how fantastic the ending was and that it totally took me by surprise. It was the amazing story that drew me into its world, had it not been for that I would have not cared for the game which had passable gameplay.

How could you get drawn into a story with flat characters, poor dialog, a story plot that was just moments that you should feel a way just because and a weak plot twist ending. They did nothing to earn anything in that story.

#48 Posted by Shmiity (4965 posts) -

I don't know, man. Some games, like other media, have that X factor, that charm that makes them what they are. Silent Hill 2 is a pretty shitty game, but it's so sad, that how can you not like it? Same goes for Heavy Rain and Deadly Premonition. Kind of crappy gameplay, but it gets you in the feels.

#49 Edited by Pffrbt (6367 posts) -

@Shmiity said:

Same goes for Heavy Rain and Deadly Premonition. Kind of crappy gameplay, but it gets you in the feels.

Please don't put Deadly Premonition and Silent Hill 2 on the same level as Heavy Rain. They actually have good stories and acceptable gameplay. Heavy Rain has neither, it's a trainwreck.

#50 Edited by GreySeal9 (23939 posts) -

Disregarding gameplay for story is baffling, but I also find playing just for gameplay to be baffling. To me, a game needs to be a multi-faceted experience.