Games have told stories as long as they’ve been around. The first digital games were text based and the majority if not all the enjoyment came from the story and the different avenues the player could take to reach the end. Today it seems a games story takes less of an importance. Is the game industry moving in the right direction or should we as gamers demand some better stories from our games?
The major difference between games and other forms of media is that games are interactive. We can’t tell the people in the movies not to go into the house with the killer, in games we can. Why are some gamers willing to give this interaction up?
Personally, I enjoy games for their story and I’m a big RPG fan because of that. The game play of RPG’s is much slower than that of other game types. This slow speed has to be made up for by the story, if not, the game will not do well. Shooters on the other hand can have a very high pace to them and keep the player interested by having keeping the antagonists around every corner.
Gears of War was a game that had a very weak story but was still a decent game. Some gamers I’ve heard speak about the game say that it is gaming nirvana but I disagree with this stance. The lack of story detracted from the game as a whole. The game play made the game worth of being played, but without the story it looses some worth. Would it have been easy to incorporate a better story? Probably, but today many gamers seem to discount it’s importance.
I think story can make up for some design flaws in games. I think it is more difficult for game play to make up for a weak story. I think an upcoming game is going to have just about the perfect balance. The upcoming game Left 4 Dead ties multiplayer (which I believe is killing the story in games, not trying to say multiplayer is a bad thing) and story together very well.
To elaborate on my point above, games with multiplayer in mind spend less time on story and more time on game play. There’s a reason for this, most multiplayer is storyless. Most people are going to play multiplayer longer in Call of Duty 4 or Halo 3 than the single player campaign. I’m guilty of this. I can see from a resources perspective why multiplayer usually gets the nod over story. I’ve played through the campaign of Halo 3 probably close to 30 times due to helping friends play through, meta-score, friends’ meta-score, etc. I’ve only played through the CoD4 campaign once. In both cases without having a high speed internet connection, the games wouldn’t be worth the purchase at $50+.
I think we are about to see a new genre of games in the industry. Games like Left 4 Dead where the story mode and the multiplayer mode are merged together. This will let the players alter the story mode as they play as well as keep its replay value which is the whole purpose of multiplayer to developers.
So which do you prefer, game play or story? Let us know in the comments.
Users That Liked This Page Also Liked: