Shola of GAMElitist.com - "As a student of literature, I am aware I may be attributing too much importance to a good storyline. So what do you guys think? Is an engaging storyline and plot the necessary foundation to a good game or is gameplay?"
I always prefer having a great story. Though it seems as if most games push that aside in favor of other aspects. The RPG is prominently about story and I think that's why I love them so much. Though there have been a few great exceptions to the rule. I really think developers should focus on that a bit more than they have been however. You want every other part of your game to shine when making it right? So why should a great story be left out? Also, I think it has to do with character development and how likable they are as well.
Storylines to still matter, for most games. Games that actually care about having a great story; Uncharted, Half Life and Skyrim. Of course there are games, and gamers that care less about the story, but that isn't the rule. Plus, if the story in a game matters depends on the gamer himself/herself. I could play Uncharted and not care about the story, it would be dumb of me to not care, but I very easily could.
For most games in most genres, storyline matters. Or rather, it SHOULD matter.
Short answer hell yes. Now more than ever. A story can make or break a game for me. Take Gears of War for example. It's an insanely fun game, but once you pay attention to the story your level of enjoyment will plummet. It was one of the first games I ever came close to hitting the mute button and getting rid of subtitles. And I never do that. I hardly play games without stories anymore. I like my gameplay with meaning. I can't just play a game anymore because it's fun. I want to be more emotionally vested like say Mass Effect, Uncharted, Alan Wake, Heavy Rain, etc.
Storylines are important to give you an incentive to keep playing in some cases but some games that are action based should be all about the gameplay.
You better believe they matter. Otherwise there is no point in what you are doing. Nothing worse than feeling like you are spinning your wheels. In real life and in gaming.
Well, if the only thing you intend to do is capture the gamer's attention with flashing lights and loud noises, then obviously not.
While a game can be great without great story telling, nothing makes a game legendary like a legendary story. That goes for any story based media.
Have story lines really ever mattered?
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