Is it possible that the best stories in video games cannot be told when players get to choose the direction of the narrative?
Very much so, unless they double development time or something. You have to think way ahead and retrace what you've already done again and again when trying to put branching paths in a game. It's very time consuming, and that time could be put into a much lengthier single branch campaign. That's just my two cents though. That's not to say I don't like choice. It's just that it's rarely done right, and sometimes seems like it could have been a better game if they'd left the options out in the first place.
This goes across the board for just about any story telling medium. If fans had their way with the Sopranos, every episode would have had at least fifteen whackings and lots more ziti.
Not really, while it helps it really has to be a story that can bend different ways and really well. Catherine is a perfect example of great blending of choices and storytelling. You never saw the outcome of your choices until the very end and a little bit throughout the story, it really helped drive the game not knowing where the game was going to turn out. A game like Mass Effect choice doesn't matter what so ever. Out of all the 'major' choices in the game it always came down to a choice A or B at the end and very scripted after. Then there are games like Elder Scrolls where the choices don't affect the plot but they do affect the world and how people treat you in it. Finally games like The Last of Us where there isn't any choice but the story is a fun ride that choices would take away from the game. It really all comes down to what the dev wants to do and how well they can deliver their vision.
Presicley. Well Said!
Time will tell if CDPR can merge a story + true open world with Witcher 3. I think they do the choices very well, and either path can have terrible consequences. They don't exactly hype choices like Bioware, but you do get more dialogue and familiar characters. I wouldn't trust devs like Bioware with choice anymore though, because it ultimately boils down to their choice only. Choose something in a previous game of theirs, and it'll be corrected to something else in the next.
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