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Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by demondrops, Oct 18, 2019.
This thread right now:
11 out of 52 games on that list are not story games (depending on how you define 'story driven'), so plenty of them are.
How many quality games do you think launch in a year??? 3-4 years and 52 games in a list is pretty darn good.
The lore of Dark Souls and Bloodborne is really good if you take the time to read everything. But, unfortunately, you can play and enjoy the game without knowing really what’s going on.
Every game has some sort of story, even mp games like apex legends, that doesn't make them story driven.
Story driven implies you play the game for the story, that is the driving factor.
I agree that there are more narrative driven games on PS4, but that's little consolation to me.
Many games on that list aren't story driven or AAA. I know the op didn't specify AAA, but that is always my default assumption. I don't care about low budget, low production value games.
Xcom 2 or Xcom 9 - "Xcom2"?
Good for you
I'd have said terror from the deep if I was referring to that xcom2.
Yes, it is good for me. This clearly bothers you, so let's hear it
He did not specify triple a, you assumed, ergo your point is moot.
I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that's the member berries talking.
The fact of the matter is, most games that we remember fondly do not have a good story. The game play may have been absolutely solid for the time, but few popular games were good in the story department. Stories in games were often a veiled reason for the game's structure and setting. The stories themselves were often so bad they would never have even been made into a B movie. There are certainly examples of games that were the exception, but I don't think they were the norm by any means. For every Wing Commander, BioForge, KOTOR or Diablo, you had probably 10 or more games with stories as bad as what we saw in Doom or any number of other popular franchises. Many popular games didn't convey their stories well at all even if they were reasonably well written.
You didn't really play Doom, Descent, Unreal or Hexen for the story.
Since the op is clearly fire and forget, I'm going out on a limb and will assume they didn't mean there aren't enough indie / homebrew category games with a story.
Besides what is your point? That if we count every game the numbers add up? Great, doesn't change the fact that previously single player focused franchises and developers are clearly gravitating towards live service mp games. I'm sorry, but not even a 1000 indie story driven games can substitute for one splinter cell, mass effect, or deusex.
That there are plenty of SP games, both story driven and entertaining. You chose to limit yourself to the mostly shovel and shit ware that has become most of triple A gaming, not my problem. Hell even in that paint by numbers, big budget means you need big sales world (and the problems implied by that), there are still a good number of triple A SP games per year.
How many good triple A games release in a year? Maybe 1 a month, at best. Include games you won’t consider, 2 or 3 at most. That’s between 12 and 36 good games a year.
How many AAA MP service games launch in a year, I’ll let you include expansions to existing ones as they are services (like destiny 2 seasons)? 4, 6 maybe?
I am seeing the reverse trend of Sp v MP, half a decade ago I would have agreed with you, but things are shifting back.
Edit: I think people like you just want every game to be RDR2 or Witcher 3 quality, those things come out once every few years, always have, nothing’s changed but the colour of our hair and glasses.
Most games in the 90s were "You crashed/woke up in a dangerous environment, You must fight to survive. There is a main bad guy, with a few bad guys in between. Destroy them and you save the world/universe."
I feel like games didn't get decent storylines until the early - mid 2000s.
There were a few exceptions in the 90s, but those were just that, exceptions.
Speak for yourself.
Isn't that what I always do?
Go ahead and give me some examples of good, older games with good story writing and good story telling. The latter isn't the same as the former. A game could have a good story, but not necessarily deliver it well. Destiny 1 and to a lesser extent, Destiny 2 are modern examples of games with very rich universes that have great story, but the delivery is poor, as it isn't really done in a way that conveys it to the average player. You have to look at the lore entries for specific weapons or look at the triumphs section to discern the story of Destiny 2. Very little is conveyed in dialog or cut scenes. What is, you'll find is generally breath taking but such moments are generally few and far between. The story delivery is subtle. Comparatively, Mass Effect had a rich and well developed universe from day one. The game also does a great job of conveying this universe and its story to the player. People who really get into it can dig deeper and are rewarded with even more details through the codex entries. One could spend hours immersing yourself in the game's lore that way, but a great deal is still conveyed by playing the game.
Older games were particularly bad about either their story telling methods or the stories themselves. Even with a solid premise, they rarely did anything beyond showing you cut scenes at the beginning and the end of the game. If you go back to the 1990's, you'll find that the story and structure of popular titles was lacking in a very serious way. Sure, RPG's and Star Wars games conveyed their excellent writing and stories well, but this was the exception rather than the rule. I'd argue that outside of some RPG games, stories in popular titles and other genres were on a sliding scale of "Too bad for B movies" to "Decent enough premise to make a low budget Sci-Fi movie the Sci-Fi channel would have reservations about airing." Games with a good premise didn't really communicate story to the player well or very often leaving the stories weak and without any fleshing out of details.
Some random examples:
Mario Brothers = Fun game, but you can't really argue that story is a strong point of the series.
Wolfenstein 3D = Bad B movie sci-fi plot
Doom = Bad B movie sci-fi story.
Duke Nukem 3D = Do I really even need to argue on this one?
Unreal = No real discernible story that I can recall. Unreal 2 had it, but that game wasn't well received.
Unreal Tournament = Zero story.
F-Zero = No story that I can recall.
Need for Speed = No story until later sequels and then it was just bad. Most Wanted from 2005 I think is particularly cringe worthy.
Street Fighter Series = Convoluted mess. The premise is beyond ridiculous.
Mortal Kombat = Seriously? Granted, I think its bad story which is well presented and there is something to be said for that. But no one really plays MK for the story.
Quake I = Basic premise was fine, but there wasn't much in the way of story telling here either.
Quake II = Discount Borg
Quake III Arena = No story to speak of.
Counterstrike = Zero story.
Half-Life = Overly convoluted story. I've replayed that game a million times and I'm not entirely certain what's going on beyond the events that lead to the invasion of monsters in the Black Mesa facility.
Half-Life 2 = Doubles down on the weirdness and makes even less sense. It's a great game, but I'd argue that the story isn't all that clear. Who is the G-Man? What is he actually doing? Friend or foe? The list goes on and on.
Descent = Story served as a basic frame work of what you were doing. It was hardly center stage and wasn't really something you experienced a whole lot.
Quake IV = The dollar store Borg are back.
Unreal Tournament 2003 = Zero story.
Unreal Tournament 2004 = Zero story.
Call of Duty = Please. Even if I grant you the first game as being decent in this regard, the subsequent games got more ridiculous with each entry. Even CoD4: Modern Warfare, a game I like very much is still relatively weak in the story department.
I will give Heritic and Hexen props for attempting story. Those games were great, but it was still generally atmosphere and game play that made them what they were. The story itself didn't really impact the game play. Games like that may have attempted story, but it was usually only by way of an intro and end credit scenes. The middle (you know, the game play) was basically medieval Doom. Some games like Wing Commander had a decent premise, but fairly bad story telling early on. They improved dramatically as the series went, but games like Wing Commander 3 were essentially films that you could play out the action sequences of some of the time. It was more film than game. 4 was largely the same way and Prophecy was probably the first one to get things right.
Granted, I mostly play first person shooters. A genre that's not generally known for story telling. I've played a few other game types over the years, and there are some examples of good story telling in the old days. However, I'd argue that story telling is something that games of today actually do better. Obviously we aren't talking about games that are of the live service variety or are Battle Royal types. Those games obviously fail at delivering any type of story. Either it isn't a focus of the game or the game doesn't have one. Any game that leans heavily on co-op or massive multiplayer mechanics tends to be weak in story. MMO's have to take a very generic approach to story because of the wide player base all doing the same things at the same time. Star Wars the Old Republic is probably the sort of exception to the rule, but its weak by BioWare standards because of its MMO nature.
I can go on and on, but I concede this may very well come down to the types of games I usually played vs. what others played but I'll stand by the statement that games these days (when they attempt it) usually have better written, voice acted, and delivered stories than older games do. Unfortunately, game development now takes so much time and money, that the only option many developers see is to create games using the live service model, which puts story on the back burner to favor multiplayer content and microtransactions.
Even if we disagree on which games have a good story or not, I think we can all agree that multiplayer games and live service offerings are a disease that's killing off story telling in gaming.
My generation was too young in the early-mid nineties to appreciate a good story even if I saw one. I didn't even care about the story at all before I was at least 16. Adventure games had stories even back then. I mean did we suddenly forget all Lucasarts point and click adventures?
I think the heyday of actual storytelling started with FMV, that's when AAA games started to have longer cut-scenes and more fleshed out stories. Before that games were all gameplay. It was fun, but I don't want to go back to that era.
All I wish for is games that heavily rely on storytelling but still have good gameplay. My priorities have changed. Now I choose my games based on story and narrative. You can give me a perfect game that is perfectly balanced and finely tuned to the absolute best it can be, if it has no story I'll not touch it. The only exception being sims, but lately I barely play any of those too. Even the most basic narrative is preferable to no narrative.
Games as a service aren't bad, and there are still plenty of story driven games out there.
You hear about them the most because they tend to have the most longetivity, popularity, etc. I guaran-fucking-tee you the next Elder Scrolls, Cyberpunk, etc game is going to soar across the internet for a month of two....just after you beat these types of games, there's usually not a lot of reason to keep playing.
Meanwhile, games like Destiny, Apex, etc spit out content every few months and have on going events/updates that keep them interesting and novel.
I enjoy both quite a bit, though the thing I struggle with now days is having SO MUCH to play but not enough time to play them :'(
When I see games like Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Ghost Recon Breakpoint ruined by that exact thing. Deliberately made worse so you spend money on "time-savers" instead of having fun playing the game, you pay to play less of the game.
But I could mention Anthem as well. I think it had a ton of potential, if it wasn't turned into a live service coop looter shooter, it could've been a great story based game. I played the alpha, and it was throbbing with potential trying to break trough from under the garbage it was buried under.
Oh, no, I didn't forget about point & click at all. The Monkey Island and Police Quest series have given me plenty of fond memories. I liked playing those a lot growing up, and they did have stories. But you had a lot of games come out around the same time with weak stories. They were the exception, and I still stand by my statement, that mid 2000's is when story started taking off.
In the 90's is when gameplay was being refined, polished, and standards set.
This. Some lower budget games may have decent stories but the gameplay and polish may be lacking.
There is probably a disconnect here between what people consider old. Most of those games are from the 1990s or earlier. In general, stories didn't start becoming notable until the 2000s. Practically everything story wise in the 1990s were very basic. I'd say a game from 2000-2009 (ranging 10-20 years old roughly) are "old".
Also, story depth will vary depending on genres because some don't lend themselves to heavy use of cutscenes or personal interaction but can still have strong themes or settings.
There are what I would consider three tiers of video game narratives. I'm sure you can become more nuanced, but I'll keep it simple:
Video Game Average / Video Game Grade - A story is present and the main missions are based around completing this. The story and theme are very present and you may interact with many characters. But the story itself is not very well though out and very simple and merely does enough to bring some content to basic gameplay actions. An example would be Far Cry 3 and practically every Call of Duty game. The games can be fun but the story was weak, although it was sufficient to carry the game along. There are large gaps in logic, actions don't always make sense, and motives for any of the characters are often not thought out. But again, typically the gameplay is good enough and having some basic context is enough to keep the game going.
Story wise these games are forgettable and generic, but give enough motivation and uniqueness to make missions feel a little different.
Thematic & Setting Derived - These are stories that are largely based off a certain theme or setting and require some lore as they are not continuously in your face. Typically for games where excessive cutscene use or personal interaction doesn't work. Likewise the stories themselves cannot be extremely detailed due to the nature of the games setting and gameplay. Often times these stories are fleshed out in between action via cut scenes and not integrated into the gameplay. An example would be the early Splinter Cell games. Sam Fisher is a strong character who is well liked, but the gameplay limits what can be done story wise. We learn bits about the organization he works for as well as himself but there are no major twists or turns and gameplay design comes first. Another example is Ace Combat 4, in which the cutscenes are told in retrospective of a man who was a child during an occupation and deals with the struggles of befriending the enemy and his native countries resistance. It also works to give the enemy a personality that you cannot obtain through gameplay.
These types of games can have good stories that are memorable, but do require some lore to fill in the blanks because not a huge amount of time is spent on them during gameplay.
Omnipresent & Narrative Derived - These types of games tend to have the strongest narratives and typically the most complex structures. Often these are RPG or action RPG games but can also be shooters and action adventure. Even if the story is not exceptionally complex, the quality and presence of the story is a near constant. The stories here are woven into the gameplay seamlessly. What occurs in the gameplay almost always directly correlates with the story. Examples are Mass Effect, Metro Exodus, Deus Ex and I assume The Last of Us (never played this). Typically the story is given a lot of thought into what may work or make sense even if using an unrealistic theme. The small details often have semi-plausible explanations (see Codex in Mass Effect) adding some justification for why XYZ are present in the game universe.
These games also have very memorable stories and during the gameplay probably have the most emotional impact.
The 2nd and 3rd type of story telling aren't exactly "better" or "worse" than one another because it varies depending on the genre. You simply can't make a flight game personal on the level of an action RPG due to the thematic disconnect it would cause as an example. But both are absolutely superior to the first type.
Then there is a final category but I don't really consider this a category on its own, and that would be for games like Mario, multiplayer only games and things like Ghost Recon Wildlands. There may be some characters but they're basically entirely nonsense and irrelevant. Yes, these games can still be fun, and I like Mario. But I would not consider Mario a narrative driven game.
There is always some game that comes out and starts a new fad, just like clothing for teenagers. Not everyone likes fads. Battle royal is in right now, but soon enough it will be something else.
Like what? Pillars of Eternity 2 has wonderful Story, excellent game play, and is beautifully polished. There are plenty of games outside the triple A world that have been excellently executed.
Nice ninja edit, but you don't have a clue if you haven't even tried the best of them, that is the problem with your opinion, you don't know, so your comments are worthless (outside triple A games). Like I said, you just want every game to be of Witcher 3 quality, which just doesn't happen in any medium.
I think it depends on whether you're talking about console or pc gaming but for pc adventure games like the ones from lucas arts and sierra pretty much defined the era, turn based games were around too but less common until later. Adventure games were big in the ega/cga eras and continued into the vga era while shooters and a lot of the other less story driven genres that have been big on pc didn't get started until the vga era and didn't really get going strong until a few years later when we had hardware accelerated 3d.
If you want to go back farther pc gaming was mostly text based games which other than a few exceptions like rogue and nethack were almost exclusively story driven.
I think you could. Nobody tried it yet, but I believe a career mode in a flight game would work. Wing commander is that exactly, a flight game with a narrative.You just have to replace space with the sky.
Or driving games aren't too far from that either, and NFS: The Run has shown that it is possible to make a driving game with a story, even if execution was poor in that case, but that small narrative cohesion was enough for me to play that one and not the other new nfs games.
I get what you are saying here but lets break down the games of which you talk about the story telling based on their genre....
Mario Brothers = Single Player - console I agree there is no real solid story
Wolfenstein 3D = Single Player Good Game for its time,
Doom = Single Player Great Game for its time,
Duke Nukem 3D = Single Player Decent Game for its time.
Unreal = Single Player Good Game for it time.
Unreal Tournament = Multiplayer Only Fun Mulitplayer game.
F-Zero = No story that I can recall. Never heard of or played Can't comment on game play.
Need for Speed = Single Player The game play was all about the cars and drag racing. The racing of cars for it time was pretty good.
Street Fighter Series = Multiplayer (could be considered single player as well) These are arcade style games so i expect no story only tournament style play.
Mortal Kombat = Multiplayer (could be considered single player as well) These are arcade style games so i expect no story only tournament style play.
Quake I = Single Player Great Game for its time
Quake II = Single Player Great Game for its time
Quake III Arena = Multiplayer Only This was just a arena style deathmatch. Multiplayer only almost never has a story. Great Game for its time
Counterstrike = Multiplayer Only These games focused on player versus player nothing more than rescue hostages or blow up bomb sites.....Multiplayer only almost never has a story. Great Game for its time.
Half-Life = Single Player - Loaded with backstory Lore everything was based off of the events at Black mesa. I thought the story went together every well. The story continued with HL2. One of the best Games of all time.
Half-Life 2 = Single Player - Loaded with backstory Lore everything build off of the events from HL1. This never finished because Valve stopped on mid story and never went back. Great Game for its time.
Descent = Single Player Agree there was no real story except blow up cores in mines (planets? or asteroids?) I never knew what they were but just a mine maze. Great Game for its time.
Quake IV = Single Player with added Multiplayer Never played this one but expect there was no solid story. Good Game for its time
Unreal Tournament 2003 = Multiplayer Only Multiplayer only almost never has a story. Good Game for its time
Unreal Tournament 2004 = Multiplayer Only Multiplayer only almost never has a story. Good Game for its time
Call of Duty = Single Player with added Multiplayer Depends on the game but these all had some serious story telling behind them. Depending on the installment of the series Good Game for its time.
It just depends on where you land but I don't think it matters if its SP or MP only, there are some great games in the past, either one or the other. I think today there games out now aren't in that Great or Best Ever categories.
Fortnite - Fast rounds load and do it again. Multiplayer Only
Apex Legends - Fast rounds and do it again. Multiplayer Only
PUBG - Fast rounds and do it again. Multiplayer Only
These games definitely don't have a story.
I agree with You on the fact that the multiplayer games are starting to kill off story......i don't include co-op games.....multiplayer I my eyes is player vs player focus. MMOs are a different story.
My point is that many of the games we remember so fondly from the old days didn't really have any story to speak of or don't convey it well. I didn't mean to imply that all of those titles were supposed to have it. Multiplayer doesn't necessarily preclude the potential for story, although it does complicate story telling. Star Wars The Old Republic is rich on story and is an MMO. Destiny 1 and 2 have a great deal of story, but are multiplayer by nature. Now, the method for conveying story is poor to say the least, but it can be done. Some games that you mentioned as being multiplayer only, do in fact have stories. MK and Street Fighter are examples of this. It doesn't really matter that you didn't expect them to have it, because they do.
I agree but I was just pointing out the fact that the single player games typically had better stories(or stories at all). MK and Street fighter are loose stories more based on the tournament. The very late 90's / early 2000's is the sweet spot for Story telling and great games. Multiplayer games are typically added on to the great single player games.
A lot of us made our own stories. Lots of those FPS games really immersed us into what I fondly recall as personal experiences. Like you said the FPS genre really is light on story but I recall my Unreal experiences (even the poorly received ones) because I think I was generating my own narrative as I played them.
I think that's what I miss the most, at times, is a game loose enough for me to lose myself in it. Those games did for me what choose your own adventure books did for me prior to graphical games really immersing me into them.
I do tend to let my mind wander and create my own narrative when playing things like Battletech these days. Not sure what it was but I didn't care for Disco Elysium, I just couldn't get into it the way my cousin did. I set it down after 2 hours and uninstalled it. Interesting game, but I still didn't give a rats ass to play it.
I play more single player games than multiplayer games and my backlog is still a good 500+ games long.
I'm not worried.
The main problem with this is you cannot stop while flying as you're constantly in motion. So a lot of character building things that can occur in RPG/shooter/action adventure games can't occur because you're constantly doing something whereas in those genres you can stop and stare at someone. On top of that, you cannot communicate without a radio which will have limited communications and be radio brevity for the most part. The moment you start injecting out of context banter is the moment the game looses the setting and immersion. There are cut scenes but these typically should only occur in a few instances because they will not fit in as organically and what can occur in cut scenes would be more limited in scope, typically be used to allow more units to spawn and mission situation changes. If you over do them you'll find yourself shifting around the map which is why they should be used as little as possible in a flight game.
I'm trying to figure out what the hell I just read while simultaneously thinking of the dozens if not more vehicle based games I've played where:
1: you stop at hubs of some sort, ships, planets, space stations, garage, whatever. Usually with NPCs.
2: There's all sorts of amazing banter over the radio, sometimes not brief, sometimes lasting for the ENTIRE MISSION.
3: weird ass cases such as my beloved Space Rangers where the amount of dialogue is so absolutely ridiculous it could probably fill a novel.
Ace Combat, which is currently on its 10th game or so is a flight based game with a HUGE story emphasis and a ridiculous amount of lore.
Here's a timeline for ya.
This is what would fall into what I considered "Thematic and Setting Derived" narratives. Ace Combat games don't have much story in the gameplay, but instead focus on cut scenes that show different perspectives. Often times with some type of general underlying theme that isn't overt in the gameplay. This ranges from good to outright cheesy. The Ace Combat games that do try and bring story and character banter into the missions tend to sound dumber and it hurts the overall experience. Ace Combat 7 is the biggest offender because the dialogue and story premise is so dumb. It just doesn't fit and is so awkward. The best Ace Combat games keep gameplay dialogue limited to radio chatter or something else fitting.
Ace Combat 4 - No character to character talk, period. It isn't a flight sim but the radio chatter sounds like radio chatter. There is absolutely zero sense of personal interaction in the gameplay. Story and cut scenes are told in retrospective from a non-combatant in an occupied neutral country. You get a look at one of the antagonists via this perspective, but the player never knows them on a personal basis. Said enemy is just another roadblock in neutralizing the enemy country in the gameplay.
The result is gameplay that feels authentic (although the game is arcadey) and a story that has a theme, but isn't omnipresent during gameplay.
Ace Combat 7 - Story is shoved in your face. Premise is stupid. The problem is, you simply can't ignore it in the gameplay. There is a bunch of awkward locker room banter that isn't fitting. The ridiculousness of the plot can't be escaped. The characters all know each other and talk about useless, unimportant nonsense mid mission that doesn't fit the theme.
The result is gameplay that can be good but has a lot of outright stupid commentary which hurts the theme during gameplay. It doesn't help that the situation the main character are in is outright outrageous and god damn stupid.
Even then, Ace Combat games have very little pausing mid gameplay. Again that is because the genre doesn't lend itself well to character to character interactions. The moment you start offering "down time" gameplay like wandering around a base between flights is the moment it jumps genres and because something else. Besides, who wants to talk around and talk to people in a flight game?
Ace Combat 4, mission 15 Emancipation. There is some setting derived story here, enough to rise some emotions (one of my favorite missions). But story wise, it simply isn't as present as say, Mass Effect or Deus Ex. Which isn't a bad thing:
Ace Combat Zero, mission 12 The Stage of Apocalypse played by your truly.. Same deal here.
There is certainly story and lore there, but it simply isn't the same as an RPG/action adventure/FPS due to the gameplay / cut scene divide required.
Today's games-as-a-service = yesterday's arcades at the mall
All things considered I feel story driven games are as plentiful as before. If you were more into point-and-click or text adventures then you might feel things lacking now but even Witcher and that recent God of War are pretty strong in the story department and pack a lot of content, and RPGs are still well and alive.