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Submitted by LewisDenby 1292d ago | news

Hideo Kojima: Games shouldn't try to tell stories

Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima insists he’s “not trying to tell a story” in his games, as interactivity and complex narrative don’t gel together well. Instead, he says, he tries to make the player feel the same emotions as a character as they exist within a world. (Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Series, PC, PS2, PS3)

matgrowcott  +   1292d ago | Intelligent
This is bound to get lots of "lolwut?" comments, but I actually see what he means. A theme throughout the Metal Gear Solid games is that there's a lot going on around the character, but not directly involving them. Snake, Raiden and Big Boss all play a major role in events within the game, but they don't often take part in the story, instead reacting to it.

Which, of course, puts the player in the same position. The colonel is definitely holding something back. I need scissors? Is the Boss all bad? They're questions that have been intentionally forced into your head.
#1 (Edited 1292d ago ) | Agree(29) | Disagree(8) | Report | Reply
Run_bare  +   1292d ago
more like cause and effect paradigm then ?
LOGICWINS  +   1292d ago

SavageFlamingo  +   1292d ago
Wow. This is very well said. I'm impressed. This is how comments should be. Intelligent and thought out. Kudos, sir.
Feralkitsune  +   1292d ago
And of course, people who have not played the MGS series are disagreeing with you about his comment. Sigh.
LightofDarkness  +   1292d ago
It's true, Snake functions more like a force of nature, a proverbial spoke in the wheels of whatever machination he's been aimed at. When Snake is involved, it's like injecting a free radical into the system or introducing a wild card to the game: things are about to change.
#1.4 (Edited 1292d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
dirigiblebill  +   1292d ago
Sure - but however you style the plot itself, at the end of the day we're still talking about a series in which huge quantities of narrative are delivered via static cinematics. Perhaps Kojima's talking about future projects, or perhaps it's a translation error, because this philosophy is pretty hard to swallow as regards Metal Gear. Lead by example, Hideo!
LOL_WUT  +   1292d ago
Whats up?
ElitaStorm  +   1292d ago
i will have what he's having
Canary  +   1292d ago
Yes, lolwut. Lolwut indeed.

Hideo Kojima very obviously thinks games should try and tell stories. Just look at his games. You'll also notice that his attempts at storytelling are more than enough to convince some people that games shouldn't even try to tell stories, period.

I mean, Metal Gear Solid 4.



-awful- storytelling.

Loved that game to death, but goddamn, no matter how fun the game is, lenghty, poorly-written narrative elements can be ruinous. Tossed the disc back on my shelf at the diarrhea scene and haven't gone back to it since.
humbleopinion  +   1291d ago
Perhaps this is why now he came to realization he shouldn't tell stories in games. Other writers are however a bit more capable (or perhaps he's just a genius doing this on purpose and as a tribute to bad films like Escape from New York - just like Tarantino is doing with his works).
Alos88  +   1292d ago
LOGICWINS  +   1292d ago
Fission Mailed
pwneddemocrat  +   1292d ago
Comment of the year. LOL
tigertron  +   1292d ago
Braid  +   1292d ago
That's strange, coming from the man who's the master of story telling in video game history. Your games are consisted of long, long cutscenes that tell the story in great detail, Mr. Kojima. And that's why we love your games. That advice of yours is simply wrong as I tend to hate typical run and gun games that surround the gaming world nowadays. You can do both at the same time, Spec Ops The Line is a great example from the recent history. The game is a third person shooter with non-stop action but it still manages to tell a story that would put most of the games available on the market today to shame.

Edit: I've read the article now, seems like that's not what he meant and I may agree with that. The title is a bit misleading.
#4 (Edited 1292d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(9) | Report | Reply
Feralkitsune  +   1292d ago
Never comment before reading. 90% of titles are to attract people.
xX-StolenSoul-Xx  +   1292d ago
I love storytelling in video games, especially Metal Gear :P
MWH  +   1292d ago
maybe you should've stoped telling stories right after MGS1 but i'll hand it to you on ZOE, what came after is mostly a pile of mess.

overrated nerd.
h311rais3r  +   1292d ago
There is so much fail in everything you said its not even funny.
MWH  +   1292d ago
i'm not trying to buddy. this is how little i still have for this guy until he does something truly worthy and truly intelligent, again.

so go ahead, disagree all day and see if i care.
jon1234  +   1292d ago
Fission Mailed
goldwyncq  +   1292d ago
Then how come the story is so elaborate then?
Ramas  +   1292d ago
well kojima its your opinion and in my opinion best games are who tells story. heavy rain one of my favorites and cant wait for beyond two souls.
ChunkyLover53  +   1292d ago
If I may break out my Stone Cold Steve Austin quote "What!?"
Of course games need to tell stories, that is what keeps us all interested.
baldulf  +   1292d ago
If Kojima isn't able to write stories (not good ones at least) it doesn't mean others can't try.
Minato-Namikaze  +   1292d ago
Did ramas, chunkylover53, or baldulf read the article?
cpayne93  +   1292d ago
A lot of people commenting didn't read the article.

Edit: Heck a lot of people commenting didn't read the first comment.
#12.1 (Edited 1292d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
StrongMan  +   1292d ago
No. No they didn't.
Psychonaughty  +   1292d ago
"The old man's finally lost it"
FPStealthRPGamer  +   1292d ago
Dear Kojima-san

Not sure if you're "not trying to tell a story" through games
you were "trying to make a movie" with all those "40+minutes cutscenes" in MGS 4...
...just saying.
#14 (Edited 1292d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
MYSTERIO360  +   1292d ago
Hideo kojima why are you saying this! you've had one of the best stories in gaming history. And why can't we have both good story telling and good character interaction which draws emotion.
BlackSharinganX  +   1292d ago
kojima try not to tell a story. He is a boss of story he doesnt need to try. Infact if he would of live by the time the bible existed i would of read it more often and the world would of been a better place.
Laxman  +   1292d ago
Kojima fanboys are nearly as bad as console/PC fanboys...
BlackSharinganX  +   1292d ago
guess what i dont give a damm, i like kojimas story so what? sue me. :)
Fact: more interesting than the bible (lets see how many disagrees i get on this baby for religious comments on a gaming subject)
BlackSharinganX  +   1292d ago
(btw in a serious term, not sure why kojima wants for games not to tell a story, when his games actually tell them pretty goods, cant have emotions and connection to the game without a good story and great characters, imo though.)
Laxman  +   1291d ago
"Fact: more interesting than the bible "

Haha, dude, thats not hard in the slightest.
Snarkasaur  +   1292d ago
His sentiments might be ok, but framing it in such a way is ridiculous and borderline offensive. Every game should try to tell a story, as the MGS games most certainly do. It may not be the timelined narrative of your average novel, but in some way, shape or form, it should be a story. Without story, what's the point?
giovonni  +   1292d ago
I agree with that. There is a story behind it all the emotional attachment is all brought out from the story created around the main character. As specially if there are 45 min worth of video explanations
giovonni  +   1292d ago
Ok, I understand what he is trying to say, but sorry I don't buy what he said. Lets take BIoshock for example, The story line was complex and interactive. Yes we were thrown into a story not knowing what was going on until we got to the final stages. Yet, we felt the emotions of the character through interactions with the balance of what was understood to be good and evil, and the cause and effect of following the actions of what we were manipulated to thinking was was good and evil through a balance of story telling and short interactions with the environment and characters. Case in point The bIg Daddy's and kids were supposed to be evil because we were manipulated to believe so through short cut scenes and character interactions.

The problem with Kojima's form in mgs4 is it lacks balance with interaction and story telling. there is a story to be told, but told more through long confusing sometimes boring, 40 minute cut scenes. To make matters worst, often times in the game a lot of the information presented isn't really important to the progression of the game. Take the arms dealer you met, what could of been a 3 min cut scene of why he is there, and what needed to be done for his services turns into a 10 minute " Why do I need to know that" session. To be honest there were a few scenes that went over board, and also mission briefings that could of been summed up in interactive game play.

Just think how awesome metal gear solid 4 would of been with a story structure like Bio shock with a wonderful plot twist that we didn't see coming.
mochachino  +   1292d ago
What Kojima said is actually pretty genius and may explain why the MGS series is the only series that actually elicited strongs emotions instead of just the occasional adrenaline burst.
giovonni  +   1292d ago
I disagree, because their are many games that have drawn out emotions greater than The MGS series. Lets take The Legacy of Kain Soul Revere series just as an example. That series had so many strong emotions for the characters, we were led to believe Kain was actually evil, and with the story unfolding around Raziel **spoil alert**** being left for dead, killing his brothers, finding out how he became a vampire while pledging his loyalty to vampires only to find out someone else is pulling the strings and what his real or what he thought his real purpose was one of the best sets of emotions created in video games. Too bad they ended the series the way they did

However, this is my opinion, the same as I disagreed with you someone can disagree with me, and may have felt more emotions connected with Snake.
Tzuno  +   1292d ago
yeah dude? then play pong for 8 hours straight see how the story drags you in for more. You high???
lastofgen  +   1292d ago
sorry, but I really don't agree with him about this. story and emotions go hand in hand. emotions fuel a story and a good story fuels the emotions that exist in that particular universe.
Omnislash  +   1292d ago
hmm maybe thats another reason why he is making MGS5 even though the story ended at 4....
2pacalypsenow  +   1291d ago
accomplished :-)

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