Gaming experience. Fun or depth?

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Avatar image for pitty8982
#1 Posted by pitty8982 (1044 posts) -

What are you looking for the most in a video game? Pure fun (gameplay-focused games) or deeper experience in terms of narrative?

Avatar image for dynamitecop
#2 Posted by dynamitecop (6395 posts) -

Like anything in life, it literally depends on the day and what you're in the mood for.

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#3 Posted by deactivated-5c18005f903a1 (4626 posts) -

It's gameplay that adds depth for me not a story or narative. Something I can learn and get good at.

A good story is just icing on the cake.

Avatar image for R4gn4r0k
#4 Posted by R4gn4r0k (29800 posts) -

How can I enjoy a deeper experience if it's not fun to play ?

Avatar image for nathanbats
#5 Posted by nathanbats (1057 posts) -

Both.

Avatar image for afrihan
#6 Posted by afrihan (117 posts) -

Depth. As I grew older I started caring about depth more than just mere gameplay.

Avatar image for i_p_daily
#7 Edited by I_P_Daily (9873 posts) -

Gameplay has to be fun, **** all the sappy story shit that comes out these days. That's another reason i stick to racing games.

Avatar image for illmatic87
#8 Edited by illmatic87 (17933 posts) -

Nah as gamers we like ticking boxes and seeing bars/numbers fill up

Avatar image for SecretPolice
#9 Edited by SecretPolice (34325 posts) -

Avatar image for deactivated-5c1d0901c2aec
#10 Edited by deactivated-5c1d0901c2aec (6762 posts) -

It depends on the game, really.

Some games, I'm looking for depth and others I'm just looking for a good time. Generally, I buy with this in mind and do a bit of research before picking something up.

Avatar image for TheEroica
#11 Posted by TheEroica (18001 posts) -

I want both.

Avatar image for TheEroica
#12 Edited by TheEroica (18001 posts) -

@afrihan: don't panic... Itll come back to fun as you continue getting older and you realize that video games often have the narrative/character depth of a puddle

Avatar image for adsparky
#13 Posted by adsparky (1189 posts) -

But if I have to choose I'll go with depth

Avatar image for pembotv
#14 Posted by Pembotv (8 posts) -

It's gotta be fun! But I also like Single Player campaigns that have a deep story - that's what Im really after.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW5rAEuZ1GB05_B0vocL9DA

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#15 Posted by silversix_ (26347 posts) -

depth but in term of gameplay, not narrative

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#16 Posted by DrRollinstein (1147 posts) -

How can you play a game if it isnt fun. What. How is this even a choice.

Avatar image for afrihan
#17 Posted by afrihan (117 posts) -

@TheEroica: That's my main complaint indeed. Very rarely do I find good narrative in videogames; that should tell you how much time I actually dedicate to videogames nowadays. :D

Avatar image for lamprey263
#18 Edited by lamprey263 (35779 posts) -

Fun, always fun. Deep games are good if they can be thoughtful and captivating, but if they're just pretentious for the sake of appearing so and have no substantive value aside from that, those are the worse offenders of truly shallow games. Fun games often don't get the credit they deserve for various reasons. Some are seen as base by snooty high brow people on their high horses, who only touch games that have mass conformed approval with their immaculately white gloves, and can only formulate opinions about games by regurgitating what everyone else says; I find those people to be the cancer of the gaming community.

Personally I find the best approach to not getting burned out by gaming is balanced consumption of variety. I'm so sick of people playing the same things over and over again then saying "all the games are the same thing, the industry needs to change, duurrrr", then when the industry gives them meaningful change they bitch and moan about how its so different. The industry doesn't need to change, the gamers do. Switch up your consumption habits, try to like new things; finding an appreciation for new things will go a long way to stave off demoralizing cynicism about the state of gaming, an attitude that I just find toxic these days in how it perpetuates.

Avatar image for AdobeArtist
#19 Edited by AdobeArtist (25062 posts) -

It seems to me when you say fun as in "gameplay" you're actually referring to "mechanics". Anyway for me it's about immersion.

And this is where both narrative and mechanics work in unison to create that effect. A believable world populated by believable people, supported by a fascinating lore, creates the setting that the player can invest themselves into the experience. And mechanics are what facilitate the interaction so the player is always connected to the experience. Broken, unbalanced, or counter intuitive mechanics, basically if you have to struggle to play the game, really pulls you out of the experience. Just as a poorly crafted world or character scripting disrupts the illusion of the reality the game is trying to create for the player.

It would be ideal if both elements are at their optimal design, that each could stand on their own apart, and coming together in a near perfect package. But that doesn't always have to be the case. Even if each component still has a couple of minor flaws, it's more important that they combine to complement each others strengths while balancing the short comings.

Essentially the model of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. And it's games that achieve this which are for me the most enjoyable, or as you say the fun factor.

I should also say, character/narrative driven games aren't necessarily a requirement for a good game. I enjoy fighters that while having characters, the game isn't centered around their journey or adventure. It's just a pure combat game. Or racers which have no character at all (or maybe only a minimalist type as the driver). And of course the old school arcade style games of platformers or other basic designs to level traversal. They can be built on a solid foundation of mechanics which carries the entire experience, and these can be very enjoyable, no doubt about it. But they'll never be immersive, and that's the type of gaming experience I'll always favor above all else.

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#20 Posted by afrihan (117 posts) -

@AdobeArtist said:

It seems to me when you say fun as in "gameplay" you're actually referring to "mechanics". Anyway for me it's about immersion.

And this is where both narrative and mechanics work in unison to create that effect. A believable world populated by believable people, supported by a fascinating lore, creates the setting that the player can invest themselves into the experience. And mechanics are what facilitate the interaction so the player is always connected to the experience. Broken, unbalanced, or counter intuitive mechanics, basically if you have to struggle to play the game, really pulls you out of the experience. Just as a poorly crafted world or character scripting disrupts the illusion of the reality the game is trying to create for the player.

It would be ideal if both elements are at their optimal design, that each could stand on their own apart, and coming together in a near perfect package. But that doesn't always have to be the case. Even if each component still has a couple of minor flaws, it's more important that they combine to complement each others strengths while balancing the short comings.

Essentially the model of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. And it's games that achieve this which are for me the most enjoyable, or as you say the fun factor.

I should also say, character/narrative driven games aren't necessarily a requirement for a good game. I enjoy fighters that while having characters, the game isn't centered around their journey or adventure. It's just a pure combat game. Or racers which have no character at all (or maybe only a minimalist type as the driver). And of course the old school arcade style games of platformers or other basic designs to level traversal. They can be built on a solid foundation of mechanics which carries the entire experience, and these can be very enjoyable, no doubt about it. But they'll never be immersive, and that's the type of gaming experience I'll always favor above all else.

Would you cite some immersive game/s that you enjoyed playing? I'm looking for that kind of experience, but the only one I came around as of recently was Dishonored.

Avatar image for Heil68
#21 Posted by Heil68 (58177 posts) -

Both for me.

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#22 Posted by Pedro (32705 posts) -

I normally prefer games without depth and is not fun like Uncharted 4.

Avatar image for SecretPolice
#23 Posted by SecretPolice (34325 posts) -

@Pedro said:

I normally prefer games without depth and is not fun like Uncharted 4.

Avatar image for Jag85
#24 Posted by Jag85 (12586 posts) -

Fun > Depth

Gameplay > Story

Avatar image for Juub1990
#25 Posted by Juub1990 (8313 posts) -

@pitty8982 said:

What are you looking for the most in a video game? Pure fun (gameplay-focused games) or deeper experience in terms of narrative?

And what game has that lol?

Avatar image for Lucianu
#26 Posted by Lucianu (10307 posts) -

I'll just play whatever i have interest in, usually that gravitates towards games with mechanical depth so i can learn, adapt and master; stimulate my mind and forget about the foul shit that is life.

@Juub1990 said:
@pitty8982 said:

What are you looking for the most in a video game? Pure fun (gameplay-focused games) or deeper experience in terms of narrative?

And what game has that lol?

Avatar image for nepu7supastar7
#27 Posted by nepu7supastar7 (4812 posts) -

@pitty8982:

Just plain fun.

Avatar image for Telekill
#28 Posted by Telekill (8231 posts) -

I look for the combo of fun to play and a great narrative. Since the PS1 days I've seen gaming as the newest addition of story telling. Regardless of haters, there have been some really great stories told within the interactive worlds created.

Avatar image for Jag85
#29 Edited by Jag85 (12586 posts) -

@Juub1990 said:
@pitty8982 said:

What are you looking for the most in a video game? Pure fun (gameplay-focused games) or deeper experience in terms of narrative?

And what game has that lol?

Visual novels.

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#30 Posted by xantufrog (10346 posts) -

@dynamitecop said:

Like anything in life, it literally depends on the day and what you're in the mood for.

same

Avatar image for aia89
#31 Posted by aia89 (2766 posts) -

I'm interested in what I do in a game, so if what I do is fun, then I like it, if I don't like it, then I drop it. I have a hard time following the story in videogames, for that I prefer to just sit back and watch a movie or read a book, so I can really get immersed in the narrative. In a game, I just wanna do stuff, cool stuff.

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#32 Posted by skipper847 (7298 posts) -

@i_p_daily: Think that why I like simulation games too. Games from euro truck simulator to space games like ED and city skylines type games.

Avatar image for sovkhan
#33 Posted by sovkhan (1175 posts) -

Both if possible and mostly depends on the genre you cherish.

Sim like DCS are not fun if you are not an adept of flight sim, likewise shooters can be the king of boredom for a rpg addict.

Avatar image for Pikminmaniac
#34 Edited by Pikminmaniac (11331 posts) -

I find it funny that you place depth with narrative. Personally, I view gameplay as substance and story/narrative as added fluff.

I honestly believe narrative has harmed games more than it's helped them. Any time that gameplay is sacrificed for story I feel like the meaningless fluff is getting in the way of the core substance of a game.

I used to think story mattered in games when I was younger, but I've grown away from it since.

Avatar image for Renegade_Fury
#36 Posted by Renegade_Fury (20324 posts) -

Having a story doesn't constitute as depth. Unless it's intertwined with the gameplay itself, like in something such as Shenmue, most games often feel as if the narrative is just its own separate entity, and serves more as a break between gameplay segments.

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#37 Posted by David719 (2187 posts) -

Gameplay is supreme in video games, so fun.

Besides finding narrative depth in a video game is like finding a leprechaun.

Avatar image for jg4xchamp
#38 Edited by jg4xchamp (61473 posts) -

Gameplay. Always. I can tolerate a game with fugly visuals, bad writing, bad characters, or even one that is unpolished n buggy. But I'm basically never fond of a game where I dislike the me interacting with it part. Simply put this mediums unique quality is its interactivity, so that part is never allowed to be poor as far as I'm concerned. Plus in this medium I respond more to depth of gameplay, more so than "depth of narrative". Because lets be real, this medium is a pretty bad story telling medium.

Usually when someone goes for the "more than the sum of its parts", it's usually a lazy attempt to apologize for how mediocre the gameplay is. And that to me should be a cardinal sin, you're mediocre at the things that define this medium? Are you fucking kidding?

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#39 Posted by DragonfireXZ95 (24853 posts) -

I prefer fun, but if the game has a good story, then I'll only enjoy it more. Unfortunately, that's so rare in this industry.

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#40 Posted by cainetao11 (35971 posts) -

I don't believe they need to be separated. I look to be entertained. A game like Alienation or Inside entertained me as did the Witcher 3 Blood and Wine.

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#41 Posted by cainetao11 (35971 posts) -

@Telekill said:

I look for the combo of fun to play and a great narrative. Since the PS1 days I've seen gaming as the newest addition of story telling. Regardless of haters, there have been some really great stories told within the interactive worlds created.

I agree. I often wonder what are some of these "Pulitzer prize" winners on SW that bash game stories looking for? What is your measuring criteria?

I understand that crap like Fast n Furious movies entertain people even though I find them to be drivel and drek. I love my comic book movies, even the ones I laugh at more than they are trying to make me do so. I am entertained by them.

WTF do some of you want from a game's story? The Merchant of Venice? Lighten the fuk up. This medium is in its infantcy of story telling. And I doubt it will ever match what film or literature can do. But that doesn't mean it cannot be entertaining if you just loosen the fuk up.

Avatar image for jun_aka_pekto
#42 Edited by jun_aka_pekto (24962 posts) -

Depends on genre. An FPS game can have any story it wants so long as the narrative does not interfere with my game play. Bioshock is a good example of audio narrative staying in the background.

I'm more forgiving with RPG-type games. I used to like the text-heavy, mouse-clicking narrative of traditional SSI D&D games. Nowadays, I prefer the simplified narrative of say, Fallout 4. Some may question it as being an RPG or an action game. I still think it is an RPG. The narrative can seriously affect how NPCs react to me. So, I definitely have to pay attention to the narrative choices I make. Either way, I'm having a lot of fun with it.

Point n Click adventure games? Narrative is everything. So, yeah. Narrative matters.

Flight sims? The only narrative I like to hear with such games are way point or bogey calls and Bitching Betty. Air Traffic Control calls are also helpful.

Avatar image for Wasdie
#43 Posted by Wasdie (53582 posts) -

Depends on my mood.

I am currently enjoying The Witness along side of Call of Duty Infinite Warfare's single player campaign while also playing BF1's multiplayer. I'm all over the place.

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#44 Posted by so_hai (3818 posts) -

Playing a game for the story is like reading a novel for the graphics. It doesn't make sense.

Avatar image for ConanTheStoner
#45 Posted by ConanTheStoner (17371 posts) -

Not the topic I expected based on the title. Can't say I agree with story driven = depth either.

But anyways, that just makes it easier to answer. Always the gameplay. ALWAYS.

I went through a thing in gens 5 and 6 where I valued narrative with my games. Never to the point where I would play a mediocre game for its narrative, but I just wanted something to be there. Not really sure why. Maybe it felt like a reward for my efforts? Maybe I needed a good bit of context? Maybe my standards/expectations for stories were just that low? Ok, that ones not a maybe, I used to legit think that Final Fantasy and MGS had amazing stories lol.

But over the years I've grown less tolerant of it and at this point I don't care for it at all. I usually just skip cutscenes and dialogue. If I try to watch/listen to that stuff I find myself quickly checking out of the experience. There are exceptions, but it's rare.

On the one hand, most of it is just shit, plain and simple. More often than not it's just a watered down and forced version of something that another medium does better. On the other hand, when I want to game I want to game. If I'm in the mood for a movie or show, I'll watch one. If I'm in a reading mood I'll read. When I game, I want the interactive experience, not the tacked on baggage that comes with it.

If a game can play well while also weaving in its narrative in a fashion that doesn't regularly require me to set my controller down and watch a poor movie, then great! But the play>cutscene>play>cutscene loop has worn thin on me.

Avatar image for Jshoelace
#46 Edited by Jshoelace (837 posts) -

I'm at the stage in my gaming life where I am weeding out my games collection and only keeping/buying games that I enjoy playing over and over again. They all seem to be games like Vanquish, Bayonetta, Ninja Gaiden, Megaman, Mario etc. Yet I have tons of story driven games such as Last of Us that I just don't get enjoyment from playing a second time round. It's all about that addicting gameplay that makes me want to get better at a game and improve scores, rather than watching cut scenes.

Saying that I am a huge MGS fan and there will always be a place in my heart for those games, even though I'm struggling to finish 5.

So yes, I prefer depth I guess.

Avatar image for jun_aka_pekto
#47 Posted by jun_aka_pekto (24962 posts) -
@Jshoelace Yet I have tons of story driven games such as Last of Us that I just don't get enjoyment from playing a second time round.

That's the thing with story-driven games. Once the story is out, that's it. One playthrough and then throw away. You can't even discuss the game in forums without giving away spoilers.

When a game revolves around gameplay, you can discuss any part of the game from start to finish and not spoil anything because what matters is actually playing the game.

I know some old timers who retired from gaming. They just laughed their asses off at the thought of spoilers.

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#48 Edited by Pikminmaniac (11331 posts) -

@ConanTheStoner: I swear we're related or something. It's uncanny.

My love of narrative in gaming ended right after the GameCube era. I grew away from it as well.

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#49 Edited by Livecommander (887 posts) -

@pitty8982: I find games that do both. Mgs , kingdom hearts 3 , most fininal fantasys , uncharted etc

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#50 Posted by drummerdave9099 (3968 posts) -

Always fun. When gameplay is both fun and deep, whether in the amount of options you're given, or the complexity of how it has to be done, then a game can be amazing.