Your Opinion on Video Game Storylines

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#1 Posted by Mintymatti017 (17 posts) -

Hey there fellow gamers. I am doing research for an article about the role Story plays in Video Games.

I want to know whether you think story is really vital in a game or whether it isnt the main part, I want to know if you think most games are getting it right or wrong and I want to know which games stand out for you as having an awesome story.

Thanks Everyone :)

#2 Posted by judaspete (400 posts) -
This really depends on the game. Having a good story can pull a game with lackluster gameplay up to new heights. Some examples of this would be Bioshock, Planescape:Torment, and Eternal Darkness. These games all had a rich, well developed setting with great atmosphere and charachters that where complex and interesting. But the actual "game" parts where just not at the same level. They were not bad, but I would never have finished if it weren't for their stories. And I played through all of these games multiple times. I recommend you do some research on Planescape: Torment for your paper. Story was always the main focus for the developers. They actually wrote it in prose.
#3 Posted by Pikminmaniac (8869 posts) -

Story is absolutely unessential to video games. The part of video games that sets them apart from all other media is the participation aspect. Gameplay is the #1 most important aspect and as long as that is of high quality, the game is good. Having a great story is a bonus, but if the story interferes with he gameplay in a negative way then there is a problem IMO.

It's very rare a video game does a good job with story. Sometimes they can be pretty entertaining (inFAMOUS) and on the most rarest of occasions, the story breaks the mold and reaches the level of real art (Wind Waker uses deep and profound metaphors and other literary devises to drive home a beautiful message).

#4 Posted by judaspete (400 posts) -
I guess I only answered part of your question in my last post. A good story can really add to a game, and developers are overall getting better and writing and implementing them. However, most games would be better off with less time and effort spent on storytelling. Battlefield 3 is a good example, it has an opening cut scene that is nearly 10 minutes long. It is actually fairly well done, with good voice acting and cinemetoghraphy, but the whole thing is overkill in an online multiplayer first person shooter. The first Battlefield had very little story was still a great game. Mario games have gone in the opposite direction. Mario Sunshine from 2002 had frequent cutscenes while 2010's Mario Gallaxy 2 had almost no story at all and was better for it. No one says Sunshine was better than Galaxy. No one.
#5 Posted by SoNin360 (5446 posts) -
I think overall it's important, but a game still be good even with a mediocre story. I prefer story-driven games, but fantastic gameplay can easily make up for a lackluster story, while a game with average gameplay can make up with a fantastic story.
#6 Posted by Fear- (525 posts) -
I prefer story-driven games, if a game has a interesting story but rubbish gameplay I'll still play it, But if a game has great gameplay but a boring story I might lose interest and get bored.
#7 Posted by Jackc8 (8500 posts) -

It's very important to me. The story is what gives you the sense that you're actually trying to achieve something - successfully complete and objective and save the day - not just running around shooting guys for the sake of shooting guys.

Games with good stories would be stuff like Nier, Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2, and the Uncharted games. They all featured a lot of relationships (friendships, romances, likes and dislikes) between the characters in addition to the regular stuff that drives the action forward. Likable characters that a person can relate to or at least sympathize with are very important to the story as well. If I don't feel any connection or attachment to the characters, then I can't see much reason to care what happens to them (i.e. the story).

#8 Posted by MonkeySpot (6070 posts) -

I gotta have a good story. If there's no story, there's no interest... Which speaks volumes on why I don't play sports titles very much, although I enjoy a bit of Madden from time to time. Coming from the age of gaming where story was somewhat impossible or inconceivable (we're talking pre-"Zelda"), I revel in the games of the last few gens, and the ability to take on persona... I LOVE "Uncharted", I am so into the characters, and their dynamics as events progress... "MAFIA" is a series where I can really get lost in the world even though it's not GTA-deep-to-the-neck in stuff to do... the world is there to keep me in it, not keep me endlessly busy, and so I appreciate those games for the immersion they give me... When I played the "MAFIA" games (first one on PS2, the second on PS3), I felt like I was in the 1930s and 40s... The music, the cars, the clothes, and then the various action, all added up to a very satisfying game experience.

For some folks, CoD is all about the MP - But for me, the Campaign mode is the real attraction of buying those titles. I like the MP, but it's not my motivation for buying the series year after year. They're like a really good, popcorn-munching action movie that I have a bit of say in, as far as the characters go... It's a lot of fun to strap on a weapon and put yourself in the driver's seat instead of passively watching TV shows on the couch.

#9 Posted by SgtSutton (337 posts) -

I gotta have a good story. If there's no story, there's no interest... Which speaks volumes on why I don't play sports titles very much, although I enjoy a bit of Madden from time to time. Coming from the age of gaming where story was somewhat impossible or inconceivable (we're talking pre-"Zelda"), I revel in the games of the last few gens, and the ability to take on persona... I LOVE "Uncharted", I am so into the characters, and their dynamics as events progress... "MAFIA" is a series where I can really get lost in the world even though it's not GTA-deep-to-the-neck in stuff to do... the world is there to keep me in it, not keep me endlessly busy, and so I appreciate those games for the immersion they give me... When I played the "MAFIA" games (first one on PS2, the second on PS3), I felt like I was in the 1930s and 40s... The music, the cars, the clothes, and then the various action, all added up to a very satisfying game experience.

For some folks, CoD is all about the MP - But for me, the Campaign mode is the real attraction of buying those titles. I like the MP, but it's not my motivation for buying the series year after year. They're like a really good, popcorn-munching action movie that I have a bit of say in, as far as the characters go... It's a lot of fun to strap on a weapon and put yourself in the driver's seat instead of passively watching TV shows on the couch.

MonkeySpot

I agree with you here, I play COD for the Campaign, which I still consider the best FPS single player. Story is really important to me, games with mediocre gameplay but great story can keep me captivated, it is always so on the reverse. Gameplay and story are important, but I think good story can carry a game more than good gameplay.

#10 Posted by Lucky_Krystal (1730 posts) -

Story is very important to me in the game. I tend to really go after games with really interesting stories that I know will keep me hooked. Its very rare that I finish a game with an uninteresting story. I think its a vital part of the game, as important as gameplay and more important than graphics. But that's just my opinion.

Examples of games who's stories stand out: Persona 3 and 4, Catherine, Disgaea 2, Xenosaga, Final Fantasy 10.

#11 Posted by RageQuitter69 (1297 posts) -

I love a great story in a game but only if the gameplay is great too, for example, Mass Effect 2 has a great story but the gameplay is worse than listening to Call Me Mabye on repeat, this results in a 5/10 game.

#12 Posted by AmazonTreeBoa (16745 posts) -
Story is VERY important to me. It is the reason I like Infamous more than Infamous 2. It is the reason I like Mass Effect more than Mass Effect 2. It is the reason that I can't seem to bring myself to finish Demon's Souls even though I like the gameplay a lot.
#13 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -
it's rare that the plotting does much for me. i mean, there are plot twists that i think are effective (the big bioshock plot twist is one i like that everybody knows) but i don't really play games with a "what happens next?" mentality like im watching a thriller or something. i more interested in theme in how systems and mechanics come together in the game world.
#14 Posted by oASSASSINo (23 posts) -
Story is a MUST to keep me playing. I love a game with great characters, plot twists, and amazing endings. I mean without a plot there really is no incentive for me to continue. Ok, you want me to follow this npc, but WHY do you want me to follow this npc. There has to be a reason behind me doing something. Nowadays, developers are focusing more and more on coming up with fantastic stories to convey THROUGH the gameplay. Alot of AAA titles are interactive movies as I like to call them. There is no gameplay without story, of course there are exceptions
#15 Posted by x-2tha-z (8896 posts) -
I don't think stories are essential to enjoy a game. For me, I just see stories in games as a half-assed attempt by developers to justify what you're doing in the game and the setting you're doing it in, but that's enough for me. That's all I need. I grew up with the NES and SNES. Most games back then didn't have a narrative that you could follow like today's games. Perhaps that's why I don't need a good story to enjoy the game I'm playing. And it's a good job that I don't need a good story to enjoy games, otherwise I would enjoy very few. I think the stories that are told in videogames are, for the most part, fu#king awful. In fact, the only games I can think of that I thought had good stories are Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire. If you want a good story, go watch Breaking Bad.
#16 Posted by brickdoctor (9746 posts) -

Stories are in no way necessary for a good game, and I've yet to play a video game with a story that's blown me away. They've come a long way and are improving, but few games take advantage of the way they're set up to effectively tell a story, so exceptions being Half Life 2 and Spec Ops: The Line. And even then, it's mainly the storytelling, not the story, that's good. Video games simply haven't reached the level of writing, acting, or plot found in movies, books, or television. But that doesn't mean they won't, we just have a ways to evolve.

#17 Posted by Zidaneski (8454 posts) -

Gameplay comes first for me. Actually I couldn't care less about story because videogame stories are predictable and weak but what really helps is character development. I like to relate to characters or delve into the human psyche, try to understand them as much as possible. My favorite games for example are the Uncharted games, Jak games, Mirror's Edge, Heavenly Sword, Nippon Ichi games (Phantom Brave, Disgaea), Valkyria Chronicles, Dark Cloud 2, Legend of Legaia, and SotC.

#18 Posted by bbkkristian (14946 posts) -
Yes, very, as a JRPG gamer, story is what drives me to beat the game. Examples: Tales of Graces f, Persona 3, Final Fantasy IX, etc.
#19 Posted by Venom_Raptor (6958 posts) -

A very good, well structured, well paced, and well written storyline is certainly vital for games, but not as important as the gameplay. But the best games combine the best of both, and they're often the ones we remember.