Submitted by jaredhart 1865d ago | opinion piece

Only 20% of games should have stories

Ian Fisch of Gamasutra: I love good movies. I love good books. I love good TV series. I’m a huge fan of noninteractive media. Yet I skip through most cutscenes in videogames. Why is this?

The other day, a popular internet reviewer criticised Mario Galaxy 2 for having a weak story. The game's story consists of little more than Bowser kidnapping the princess and Mario having to go through a bunch of abstract worlds in order to find her. (Culture, Industry, Mario Galaxy 2)

ZombieAutopsy  +   1867d ago
no 80% of games need better stories.
DA_SHREDDER  +   1867d ago
I could see how someone who only has a 360 can say this.
Joule  +   1866d ago
Darkstorn  +   1865d ago
Stories are going to be increasingly important as our medium of choice becomes more mainstream, professional, and accessible.

I'm always looking for smart social commentary that the developers sneak into the writing, and compelling characters are a joy to play as (mostly because you actually give a shit what happens to them).
Quagmire  +   1865d ago
IMO Story > Gameplay

Do I lose? Call me old-fashioned, however, as I prefer story as a source of reason for gameplay. Take the story out, and I will have no fun. This is why i dont play MP games. I do play games which have little to no story, however, a simple narrative or form of motivation at best is the reson why I game.
Galaxia  +   1867d ago
If only 20% of games had stories, only 20% of games would be good.

I am a firm believer of Gameplay >>> Story. But that doesn't negate the fact that Story is also critically important to any video game. Every game needs a narrative driving force to it.
ZombieAutopsy  +   1867d ago
Where you talking about me? because i have a Ps3
jaredhart  +   1867d ago
Guess he thought you were a fanboy.
Poseidon  +   1866d ago
poor atricle.
SupaGamer  +   1867d ago
I prefer games with good stories.
dizzleK  +   1867d ago
if you don't want a story, dig out your atari.
Darkstorn  +   1865d ago
Agreed. Even a very heavy-handed story > a lackluster story. Hell, Bioshock and MGS4 both had extremely heavy-handed stories and are some of the best games this gen.
xcroptic  +   1865d ago
Heavy Rain is all about Story... with out that its guitar Hero... what I'm saying here is Stories plays a huge role in games!
dktxx2  +   1867d ago
Video games are the best media for stories. Followed by books, then movies. I mean you are basically in the story. It's almost total immersion. Its a shame developers don't realize that.
Galaxia  +   1866d ago
I very much agree. Glad that some people do realize Video Games are the best medium for story telling. I'm sick of people belittling games in favor of Films.

This writer of this article is sickening, what kind of person quits out of cutscenes on their first playthrough? Even if the story isn't anything amazing, cutscenes are where you learn a lot about the character that you control and about the ones around you. It hurts to imagine how much of the experience would be ruined by exiting them.

If the dev puts them in, it's for a reason. Watch them.
LordMe  +   1866d ago
I get games for the stories. I do think that game play needs to be great. But since I hate online games most times I would be completely screwed...

That said since I hate shooters I pretty much am screwed in the current market. >.>
RIPSKATEDESTROY  +   1866d ago
story is everything
SOAD  +   1866d ago
I read the article and I understand where this guy is coming from. What he's saying is that certain games thrust the player in a weird environment with weird gameplay mechanics and being that there can be no rational explanation for those things a simple story is the best fit.

I also agree that some game stories become so complex that the only way to explain it, according to the developer, is to force the player into watching a cutscene. I think that's disadvantage of story telling, even if it's necessary for certain games like Uncharted or shooters like Killzone.
Nihilism  +   1865d ago
I think all games need a reasonably well thought out story. But I agree that cut scenes need to go. The in game cut scenes in mass effect 2 were 10x better than the pre-rendered ones...partly because the in game graphics are better than the pre-rendered clips...:S, but I hate having to wait for a 10 minute clip with some cheesy narration ala Dragon Age, or the millions of codex entries that you have to wade through to get the backstory. Gaming has been around for a while now, you'd think they would have figured out a way of doing it.

Borderlands basically had no story, you had like 4 messages from the mysterious person telling you what to do, and the main quests were very straight forward. A good example of a game that would not have benefited from a deeper story though, it's all about the phat loot.

But even in RTS like starcraft they have clearly stepped up the story telling a few notches, because it just becomes a boring grind fest when there is no overall purpose to it. I hope Diablo 3 has some sort of story, going from A to B to fight random boss X gets old very fast.

Edit: disagree is not from me, the stealth troll strikes again
#7.1 (Edited 1865d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(5) | Report | Reply
Nihilism  +   1865d ago
double post
#7.2 (Edited 1865d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
LordMarius  +   1865d ago
smh, no
RosoTron36  +   1865d ago
I guess 80% are shovelware... Ouch...
Unicron  +   1865d ago
I think the existence/or lack thereof of a story should be based on the design of the game. Sometimes, I just don't need a story to play a game and be immersed in it.
ZombieNinjaPanda  +   1865d ago
Only 20% of writers should actually write articles. I think we can tell which percentage this guy falls under.
RosoTron36  +   1865d ago
Brilliant comment! :D

#11.1 (Edited 1865d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Spenok  +   1865d ago
Lol im going to steal 12O5OT12O17's comment. xD

Brilliant comment! :D

MrAwesome  +   1865d ago
If u dont like the story ignore it.
pippoppow  +   1865d ago
Why anyoneone would want less of one of the foundations of a video game is beyoond me. A good story can only enhance a game. Too many yound twitch shooter this gen has dulled this gen a little. A little more story and less shooting is what is needed. Reminds me of my nephew who is all about the action and doesny care about the story and skips cinematics. Youngstas.
chiwoo  +   1865d ago
I am a Story guy if it got a good story i will play it even if the combat is not that great which is this Gen theres a lot some gamers these days just care for Online and Multiplayer as a first and does not bother with the single player story A game
vampstreak  +   1865d ago
The stories are mostly what make me purchase a game and then it would be gameplay so I have to disagree.
TheHomerPimpson  +   1865d ago
Strong stories with characters that the player actually cares about are integral in advancing the art form that is interactive media (gaming). There is a delicate balance of focusing mainly on the story while trying to achieve good gameplay, that is where we are at in video game history. Where players expect a story that will enthrall/move them; we are truly experiencing a defining moment in gaming history. Not to say that old PS1 games didn't have enthralling stories, but it really seemed like they were a dime a dozen...whereas there have been like five or six games this year that had me genuinely caring about what happened to the characters in games and really had me on the edge of my seat as the game advanced.
JumpNPlayBon  +   1865d ago
Didn't read the article because the title alone tells me this guy is no gamer and if so a very young gamer. people like him just want to jump in a game and do cool moves and blow shit up. Bang bang, boom boom. reminds me of a two year old, " hey look what I can do, look at me, look at me!"

Now there's nothing wrong with that if that's your thing, but your no gamer. you are just a person playing video games to pass the time until something else arises to entertain your feeble mind....
Alos88  +   1865d ago
Why is this? Because you have the attention span of a goldfish and just want to get back to killing things.
GMWPS3  +   1865d ago
I need a reason to play the game.
Even if it's Mario, I need a bit of a story to give me a purpose. Of course with Mario all you have to say is the Princess was kidnapped and being kept in the evil druid's castle, in the forest, with scary trees, etc. I then say "okay, I need to save the princess from the evil man!" That's enough to keep me plowing through levels and enemies. Though, lest I forget, there had better be a proper >10 minute movie at the end as a reward for saving the princess. The movie obviously would just show the end as the characters meet or the princess meets her parents/prince, whatever.

Now if someone just says go kill all those 'bad' guys....I'll hesitate and question, "why am I killing them? what have they done? how am I?" We're not robots...yet. So I need a reason. Some games like Metal Gear Solid 4 give me nice in depth stories some like Uncharted hit a perfect balance to keep you entertained.
beavis4play  +   1865d ago
Ian Fisch is an IDIOT.
i love the stories games provide.

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