Why does game storytelling have such low standards?

Gamecritics writes: "Storytelling is an art form in and of itself, just like painting or music. And of all the art forms that comprise video games, story is often at the low end on the totem of importance. This is perfectly acceptable to me-games are more often than not held up by mechanical and/or aesthetic components, leaving the story as icing on the cake. However, this does not mean that any game that even attempts to have a deep and/or dynamic story can automatically be heralded as storytelling mastery. To do so belittles the craft. You could have a fantastic cake that gets topped with shit, and while the cake itself might be a perfectly fine baked good, you still need to contend with the fact that there is shit on your cake."

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Light Yagami3505d ago

"Metal Gear Solid 4 (MGS4) is the absolute grandaddy of narrative train wrecks."

So true.

Das_Bastardion3504d ago

So true...

On topic: I can't believe the motherfvcker who wrote this sh!t called MGS4 like that and didn't have the balls to say the truth about Halo...

People like him should be banned from the Internet forever... I can't begin to understand how someone can be THAT motherfvcking retardad, MGS4 is a Masterpiece of gaming in all its forms.

God I wish I had the power to break hand bones with my thoughts

avengers19783504d ago

The truth is everything has already been done a thousand times. Movies, tv shows, and books have had years and years to get to all the good stories they have. Video games are at a disadvantage because there is no more orginallity.

SolidAhmed3505d ago

i wish that he mentioned Shadow of the colossus, due to the perfection of the story despite the minimum plot.

this game is a masterpiece because it drive your emotion with little to say.

-Alpha3505d ago (Edited 3505d ago )

Too bad they are making a movie on it. Stupidest thing I've ever heard.

Just thinking of Shadow of the Colossus drives my head in awe. It's one of those games you simply must play for defining this industry.

presto7173505d ago (Edited 3505d ago )

Cuz I cant understand what the f**k the author thinks he's saying.

The entire time I was playing MGS4 I was thinking to myself just how much of a masterpiece it was. I was moved when Eva/Big Mama was shot, and that split screen part towards the end. The game just reeked of quality. Masterpiece.

Then some unknown guy takes 30 minutes to type up sh*t about the game....

-Alpha3505d ago

I know I'm like a year late, but damn man, spoilers! I was going to get around to it it too lol.

Darkfocus3505d ago

Firstly MGS4 was a masterpiece that wrapped up just about every element of the story from previous games perfectly and secondly has no one played system shock 2? I always see people praise bioshock for it's story but it's story has been done before.Sure the settings different(it was a spaceship in SS2) but it has the exact same plot and the same method of telling the back-story through audio logs in fact it even has the same plot twist halfway through.

ABizzel13505d ago

Because developers come up with the ideas for their games, and publishers don't want to pay professional writers to write a script so the leave it to the developers.

Stop being cheap. Writers are the most important thing to the entertainment industry they need to be treated and paid like it. Without writers there's no music, movie, or video games with moving cast and stories.

Without writers you get, online only games, Ninja Gaiden 2, and crappy movies that seem to be in abundance.

presto7173504d ago

Damn man!! My bad. I definately did not mean to spoil anything. I just assumed that everyone had... never mind.

I hope I didn't give away too much. You know, people heal from gunshot wounds all the time. And there will be many split screen parts throughout the game. There!!

rezzah3504d ago

Shadow of the Colossus is my favorite game of all time, the only game that makes me want to go back and play just for the experience of running around with Agro, or climbing the Colossus. A true epic experience.

Tony P3504d ago

I wholeheartedly agree that most game stories absolutely suck. But unfortunately this guy doesn't know what he's talking about half the time.

I'm no critic, but as an avid reader I find precious few games satisfy my need for good tale. They don't have to be as epic as Tolkien or as existential as Philip K, but they have to try. As it stands, I feel they don't or don't try hard enough. Games are far more comfortable embracing the lot of the summer blockbuster film: all show and no go.

ThanatosDMC3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

Guess he loved how deep the story of Gears was???

Anyway, it's fine at this point to talk openly about MGS4. It's several months old and if they havent played it then sucks to be them since you can grab the game for $20 now.


n to the b3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

whatever. this guy thinks the storytelling in Dragon Age: Origins was top-notch?? I stopped reading when I got to that part.

@ThanatosDMC "MARIA!!!" lol. actually that part came across okay IMO; or at least better than I was expecting from gears2. the parts that bothered me were the little 'non-story' in-game bits of dialogue from Dom immediately following that climax. he just goes back to chirping his stupid sidekick BS like nothing happened, for the most part.

Epic hired 'pro' writers for gears2 story. I'm betting the in-game bits of dialogue were just done by the devs.

in fact, I watched thru the entire Fallout3 credits and Bethesda hands off most of the side-quest/minor dialogue to another team. that team sucks! people with a brain - like, say, me - get pulled out of the experience when we're suddenly hit with [email protected] writing in a diff style. wish games weren't made like this!

vickers5003504d ago

MGS4's story was good for a games story, but was about as deep and intriguing as a b movie action flick.

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 3504d ago
JonnyBigBoss3505d ago

MGS4 a train-wreck?

I've been playing games my whole life and the MGS series, particularly MGS3 and MGS4, have the best stories I've personally experienced. This article is filled with arbitrary, opinionated sentences.

Rikitatsu3505d ago

MGS4 was a train-wreck, but the rest of the main series is just great if not legendary.

Slimshadyn3505d ago (Edited 3505d ago )

Really? I mean I know it isn't exactly simple but a train wreck. MGS is one of the few series that if you miss one of the games then you won't get the same feeling as someone who has played 1-4. Playing MGS4 without playing the other ones would be a complete train wreck in the story department but if you've played the other ones you will have a very different view. Plus the future MGS games will continue adding to and completing the story. MGS's story isn't meant just for enjoyment, its there for you to have something to think about while enjoying it.

Sarcasm3505d ago

"MGS4 was a train-wreck, but the rest of the main series is just great if not legendary."

This is coming from the guy that probably has a shrine of Bayonetta in his room.

Move along folks, nothing to see here.

theEnemy3505d ago

It must have been fun talking sh1t about a game you haven't played yet..

iamtehpwn3505d ago

And while I wasn't able to fully comprehend the plot, I was able to make a lot of sense of it.

BlackCountryBob3504d ago

A little unfair on MGS4 IMHO, sure it is a little obscure but I approached it as being a piece of Japanese storytelling and I found it no more obscure than any manga or JRPG I have ever played.

I don't understand why so many people seem to think that if a game has guns and realistic style graphics it is automatically tied to western Hollywood narrative structure.

Also, I notice Halo 2 is very much omitted from the list, I loved the first game but the story of H2 was a total train wreck for me. Modern Warfare 2 also had a very poor story IMO filled with plot holes, very much inferior to the original modern warfare game.

bjornbear3504d ago

you don't understand Kojima, and you don't understand MGS

it isn't conventional story telling, but it didn't bother me one bit =)

Yes_23504d ago

I wouldnt say MGS4 was a 'train wreck'. The story was absolutely superb.

That's not to say it wouldnt have beneffited from a better editor, however.

JackBNimble3504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

I have been a MGS fan from the begining up until MGS4 . I to thought the story was sh!t , infact I thought it was so bad I couldn't finish the game.

Nikuma3504d ago

I'm a huge MGS fanboy, and while I enjoyed MGS4 it just didn't do it for me the way the other MGS games did. Something about it was just off.

+ Show (7) more repliesLast reply 3504d ago
Apocalypse Shadow3505d ago (Edited 3505d ago )

and it usually has a ps3 EXCLUSIVE GAME as the picture.

most hyped?why.....let's put a picture of killzone2.and not halo.

doesn't "refine" action games?why...let's put uncharted 2 as a picture.and not a picture of gears.

long development time?should we put too human or alan wake?nope....let's put a picture of gt5.

graphics overhyped?can't put a wii or 360 game there.let's put (insert ps3 exclusive here)

too much story(mgs)?too short(heavenly sword)?too much **variety**(ratchet and clank)?too many online in one game(mag)?too much free online?too many features(ps3)?too many freebees(mods,themes,DD)?too much space(bluray)?too much future proofing(pseye,3D,interchangea ble HDD)?

the list goes on and on.if it's **TOO SOMETHING**,it's usually sony related.

IGNORE and continue gaming.i recommend demon souls or gow3 while you are this:

or if you want to **politely** ignore bullsh!t articles like this,then use these tactics:

i like the food and beverage one myself.

Anorexorcist3505d ago (Edited 3505d ago )

That headline for this article would have fit more appropriately with an accompanying Halo 3 or Halo: ODST screenshot, not a MGS4 screenshot.

This author clearly isn't a person who has followed the MGS property over the years. Anyone who has enjoyed the MG IP over the numerous past generations, NES to PSOne to PS2, would see this author's idiocy in claiming MGS4 was "hamstrung" by the plot developments in previous entries in the series. MGS4 was an incredible climax to a IP that is widely considered to be a virtuoso in theatrical story gaming.

Apocalypse Shadow3505d ago

if it's a busted article,it's a ps3 exclusive game and a ps3 exclusive pictured to the right.

i could pick crackdown for having a LACK of storyline.or gears 2 for trying to get you emotional and failing. you said.if there is complaining or bashing to be done,let's go after that ps3 game to get hits and earn some site revenue.

this time it happens to be the one game that NEVER RELEASED on 360.but was rumored for months and months and months.even when kojima said:

"NO!""YOU ARE NOT GETTING IT!"......or something like that but "polite."

so the bashing continues.

TheBand1t3504d ago

Says the guy who couldn't stop bleeding when ODST got crap scores.

Rainstorm813504d ago

The part where Dom is crying about maria (i think thats her name) That has to be the worst storytelling and voice acting combination ive seen in a top tier title.

Hey Halo now that was crying....or at least it was supposed to be it sounded like a 15 yr old did it in his basement and put it on youtube.

DatNJDom813504d ago

I'm glad I'm not the only person noticing the "media" always bashing anything PS3 related while the 360 get a free pass. I'll repeat the obvious, the western media (US UK mostly) wants PS3 to fail. They want the western system to win. Funny thing is that soooooo many people are eating from microsoft's "bullsh!t cake" as the "author/reporter" so elequently puts it. It's not a conspiracy, it is what it is. Bubbles for you sir.

kaveti66163504d ago

Maybe it's because some PS3 fanboys say that the PS3 has mature games for mature gamers. So, you guys are still getting punished from the arrogance of the past. 360 fanboys are just stupid, but their arguments about 360 game stories usually center on the games being really fun and graphically great (we know that the second part is probably not true).

David Jaffe himself said that while the Metal Gear Solid series had a great story, it wouldn't translate well into film because it is a hamfisted, and somewhat cheesy story.

I agree with him.

And speaking of characters, while we may agree that both the Master Chief and Sevchenko from KZ2 are generic soldier types, it seems that Master Chief has become a very memorable icon in gaming. I don't know why, but he has, and I criticize Guerrilla Games for not having a more memorable character in KZ2, besides Rico, which everyone hates and doesn't want him to be in the next game.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 3504d ago
spektical3505d ago

mgs4 a train wreck?... obviously we got some fanboy hate here.

MGS4 has a superb storyline with a plot full of emotion, realization, and betrayal. Obviously this person just wants hits.

SAFARI3504d ago

The guy that wrote the article bash another great game (HL2) but nobody gives a damn cos he bashed their precious MGS4, OMG PS3 EXCLUSIVE THE INDUSTRY DOES THIS SH!T FOR MONEY JUST TO HATE SONY OMG.

Take a deep breath and look at yourself, really? I think by now most of the industry loves ps3 and you guys still believe its 2006.

I PERSONALLY think that the Half Life francise is just as good and just as big as the Metal Gear Solid series, they are both night and day different from each other (genre, storytelling, platform) but both of them got the most amazing game universe that I have ever been in.