David Jaffe: Games can’t tell emotional stories…yet

David Jaffe has addressed the storytelling capabilities of videogames once again, stating that he’s unsure if games can ellicit certain emotions through play and developers should stop trying to force them through non-interactive means instead.

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Hufandpuf2321d ago

Someone tell Jaffe to play Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2

Snookies122321d ago

Who the hell disagreed? Those games had such beautiful storytelling and emotion.

HardCover2321d ago

I did.

They were fun games, but I didn't feel much emotion during my playthroughs. Besides, I wouldn't call the storytelling "beautiful," not by a longshot.

crxss2321d ago

Jaffe has a point (for those who actually read the article rather than glanced at the title).

Games are capable of telling amazing emotional stories through cut-scenes and dialogue but it's hard to portray that in gameplay (and the majority of games fail at this). The only game that comes to mind that has succeeded in eliciting emotion by pressing a button is the Metal Gear Solid series, mainly MGS3... when you fight the Boss and eventually press the shoot button to kill her (which actually triggers a cutscene for more emotional story telling)... man that was rough, well done Kojima and co. probably the only time I hesitated to kill an NPC in a video game. One of, if not, the greatest game(s) of all time.

erathaol2321d ago

Shadow of the Colossus = Emotional Trill Ride


TheGOODKyle2321d ago

Holy hell...can't believe people disagree with those two.

SilentNegotiator2321d ago (Edited 2321d ago )

Play the infamous ending of InFamous 2 without tearing up at the last part of gameplay. I dare ya.

Games are CAPABLE to be sure. But games too often leave all of that in the cutscenes. I'd love to see more games that manage to get emotional stuff integrated in the gameplay like the ICO games, for example.

badz1492321d ago

inFAMOUS 2 has unexpectedly great way of driving a story! the Good ending is 1 thing and the infamous path hurt so much! it was so emotional and any longer, I'll cry!

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Thatguy-3102321d ago

Kingdom hearts did a fantastic way of evoking emotion because every character introduced was likable. I was shock and gutted when sora killed Roxas in kingdom hearts 2 and the ending to that game is just amazing specially with the amazing soundtrack that it has.

MariaHelFutura2321d ago

Anything by Team Ico and their games barely have any speech/text either. But yeah, a lot of developers struggle w/ bringing emotion into their games. Which is what makes Team Ico so special, IMO.

KeybladeMaster2321d ago

I was just about to say that although Jaffe is right too. Some games do pull off good storytelling through actions too. Take both the endings to inFamous 2 very strong storytelling while playing the game.

KH 1 & 2 were both beautiful in their storytelling and those games will always hold the top two endings in video games for me. The only two games to actually get me to tear up at the end of the game and leave me utterly speechless.

Fylus2321d ago (Edited 2321d ago )

God I cannot agree more with you about Infamous 2... especially with the evil ending:

Having to kill Zeke in that mercy battle was seriously heartbreaking.
*End Spoiler*

MsclMexican2321d ago (Edited 2321d ago )

I could never get into the KH games... they just were not my thing.

But what Jaffe is trying to say is that games can tell emotional stories... but only when they focus on cutscenes.

In some cases I agree and in some I disagree.

Some of the most powerful moments that I have "played" rather than viewed was the evil ending of Infamous 2 and the dessert scene in Uncharted 3. Both had this unique way of conveying the struggle of the main character, while maintaining involvement by the player. I mean, the evil ending made me feel so bad and the dessert scene made me feel sorry for Drake as he logged around in the dessert

I actually had to stop and get water because I was feeling thirsty.

What Jaffe is saying is that games should emotionally involve players with the gameplay rather than cut-scenes.

Both Infamous and Uncharted had that emotional scene that involved the player, but the other scenes that got players teary (drake and elena at the airport) were cut-scenes.

He wants gameplay to be more emotionally involving rather than just the cut-scenes

Capt-FuzzyPants2321d ago

Yes. Those games are amazing. I have actually cried a couple of times during those games. There are plenty of emotional stories besides KH. FF7 Crisis Core's ending was really emotional. FF X too. A lot of times I am connected more to video game characters than to characters from a book, amovie, or a television show.

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Vinster2321d ago

I thought Heavy Rain pulled it off rather well.

fluffydelusions2321d ago (Edited 2321d ago )

Came here to post that exact same thing. I actually just tweeted him asking him about heavy rain. Let's see if he responds.

-Alpha2321d ago (Edited 2321d ago )

He may say Heavy Rain is not a "game" in the traditional sense. In fact, I hear lots of fans say that it's a different experience, interactive storytelling, etc. People will tell you it's not for everyone, and it isn't.

In terms of gameplay, it's not the deepest and that seems to be his criticism that gameplay should be built primarily before storytelling, and that storytelling/emotion should come from the gameplay itself, but it isn't done so well because most use cutscenes to do that. Isn't that what makes us different from movie watchers anyway? At least that's what I get, some of the article is a little confusing

A better example IMO is Shadow of the Colossus. That's a game that had an emotional story and told it through the gameplay. That's the key here, telling a story through the gameplay, instead of having games "display" and tell you the story themselves. Sure, SoTC used some cutscenes, but those cutscenes only meant something to me because everything I played up to that point in the cutscene made me feel emotionally responsible. Other games may use cutscenes to feed you an emotion and may rely heavily on that, which takes you out of the experience of interaction. I wouldn't say that it is never the case though.

KwietStorm2321d ago

I was gonna say I thought Heavy Rain did a pretty good job of making you care, at the very least. I don't know if Jaffe is talking about rolling on the floor crying, but I think the most a developer can ask for is making you care about the characters and what happens to them.

MsclMexican2321d ago

I loved heavy rain because it made me feel so involved with it.... but I would argue that it is more an experience than a game.

zielocz3k2321d ago

I must give him Silent Hill 2

Mr Tretton2321d ago

Def the most emotionally effecting game I ever played.

RedDeadLB2321d ago

I was just about to say that :)

Ace_Pheonix2321d ago

Metal Gear Solid anything.

Spydr072321d ago

Pfft, he should go play Super Mario Bros. for the NES. I mean, all those castles poor Mario had to go thru just to be told, "Your princess is in another castle." I mean, how gut-wrenching!!!!

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