I also Agree with Angelthanatos. But I'd like to add that without a right narrative there is also less to help a game stand out as unique and worth playing. Many times when the story ends up being a second string requirement for a game, or so clearly half baked it is oozing cake batter out the sides, it ends up feeling like a "generic version of better game x". And then it is reviewed poorly and generally the gamers also end up playing it and finding "well it was OK but.. forgettable" and so the game is never really going to gain any steam or popularity. Strong narratives often bring strong characters and iconic bad guys and the kinds of stuff fans can get behind. Could you imagine what Uncharted as a series would be without the plot, characters and overall narrative to go with the action? It'd be ... a generic run 'n' gun cover shooter with climbing elements akin to Tomb Raider or a billion other games. Even WITH the great graphics it'd lose the feeling of being cinematic and FUN.
I have seen some really rail on the idea of playing games for the story, and well, in terms of older games (and maybe some newer ones too) it is true, the story is total schlitz. "Games are about gameplay, story is optional". lol. Some games are like that, true. I guess it is genre dependant.
Personally I'd say for most games a strong narrative/plot HELPS rather than hurts the gameplay. It is one more layer of awesomeness in an already wonderful cake. But unlike a lot of other layers, it is one of the bottom layers, where the whole of the cake/game is grounded. A solid narrative strengthens characters, gamer motivations, sense or urgency and emotional involvement, and so in retrospect it can be the clincher between "the game was ok" and " it was a lot of fun and I want to go back and try it again!".
It is also what fuels a lot of fanfic and cosplay and stuff. hehehe.
Funny thing that.. I just finally finished out Mass Effect 3 this weekend. For the majority of the series, I'd say iot has a strong narrative and that REALLY helps makes the hours of work you have ahead of you from 1-3 worth it. But then the narrative at the end of 3 kind of falls to a dead stop. Now I have the "expanded" ending that they released later tacked on and even so, the final moments of the game feel completely uninspired (the pacing goes from sheer adrenaline to sitting back and watching the nightly news). And then the ending is fairly brief. It was all together such a lackluster finale to the serie it killed every motivation I had to replay the trilogy again with different decisions to see how it all came together...
So yes a strong narrative can be one helluva foundation for a series, but if that strong narrative runs out of steam.. or ends in a facepalm kind of " well we had a deadline and were out of time so.. here you go" then it becomes counter intuitive. A lot of Mass Effect 3 felt "cinematic" in visual flair but totally dead in terms of writing. It is as if the original writing staff for the 1-2 games were all shuffled off to other departments .
anyhow..sorry.. little off the mark on that.. Guess I'm still slightly trying to come to terms with this.. hehe.
9 months, 3 weeks ago