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Author Topic: Last game played...  (Read 262967 times)

radiator

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Re: Last game played...
« Reply #435 on: 06 March, 2013, 06:06:36 PM »
Half Life 2 is wonderful - a classic through and through.

What I really love about it is that it has a plot, but unlike the vast majority of games nowadays, puts gameplay in front of the developer's egotisitical delusions that they're telling a brilliant story, and in fact the fiction is actually - shock horror - quite interesting in its own right and subtlety done. In many respects its very mature.

A great example of how to do narrative well in games.

radiator

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Re: Last game played...
« Reply #436 on: 06 March, 2013, 07:02:36 PM »
Speaking of which, I caught a glimpse of the PS4 conference and they had a laughably pretentious developer twonk giving a speech about how Killzone 4 was 'a story about identity, and the lengths people will go to protect it' or some such bumwhiffery.

Give me strength. No, it's not mate. It's really not. It's a silly game about shooting Space-Nazis in the face. It's called 'Killzone' for Christ's sake. The story is bound to be Z-grade, derivative hokum, and stuffing it full of intrusive, ponderous cutscenes and atrocious dialogue (as is the case with every game nowadays) will only highlight that fact.

Link Prime

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Re: Last game played...
« Reply #437 on: 06 March, 2013, 09:22:17 PM »
Speaking of which, I caught a glimpse of the PS4 conference and they had a laughably pretentious developer twonk giving a speech about how Killzone 4 was 'a story about identity, and the lengths people will go to protect it' or some such bumwhiffery.

Give me strength. No, it's not mate. It's really not. It's a silly game about shooting Space-Nazis in the face. It's called 'Killzone' for Christ's sake. The story is bound to be Z-grade, derivative hokum, and stuffing it full of intrusive, ponderous cutscenes and atrocious dialogue (as is the case with every game nowadays) will only highlight that fact.

I take it you didn't choke back the tears when Dom bit the bullet in GOW 3 Radiator?
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Professor Bear

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Re: Last game played...
« Reply #438 on: 06 March, 2013, 09:39:42 PM »
Speaking of which, I caught a glimpse of the PS4 conference and they had a laughably pretentious developer twonk giving a speech about how Killzone 4 was 'a story about identity, and the lengths people will go to protect it' or some such bumwhiffery.

He's a PR man and it's a PR event.  He can't really say "and then you shoot another zombie thing, and when you're done you get to shoot some more zombies, only somewhere else" for half an hour.  He has to sell it.

DrJomster

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Re: Last game played...
« Reply #439 on: 06 March, 2013, 09:59:55 PM »
I'm playing Aliens versus Humans on the iPad at the moment. A very nice X-Com clone. So much so in fact, I'm surprised a cease and desist order hasn't come through the post for the authors. Anyway, great retro fun for only two quid! TWO quid! That's just unbelievable. A coffee costs more than that. It's a universal app too, so if you've got an iPhone you get that for free.

This version follows the original of yesteryear. Great fun and also, very, very difficult. At some point you just know your squad of well armed soldiers is going to have a TPK. Luckily you can always hire some more!
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radiator

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Re: Last game played...
« Reply #440 on: 06 March, 2013, 11:46:55 PM »
Speaking of which, I caught a glimpse of the PS4 conference and they had a laughably pretentious developer twonk giving a speech about how Killzone 4 was 'a story about identity, and the lengths people will go to protect it' or some such bumwhiffery.

He's a PR man and it's a PR event.  He can't really say "and then you shoot another zombie thing, and when you're done you get to shoot some more zombies, only somewhere else" for half an hour.  He has to sell it.

No: they really, truly believe this crap. I've seen it/heard it a million times, and it's as hilarious as it is tragic.

In my mind it's every bit as ludicrous as someone describing Super Mario 3 in those same ridiculously pompous terms.

Games are (mostly) a terrible medium for storytelling, and one where ability is outstripped by ambition to an embarrassing degree. That's not saying there is no such thing as good writing in games (see my comments about Half Life 2) but I cringe every time I hear a game developer drone on about 'taking the player on an emotional journey' or 'telling an amazing story'.

Professor Bear

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Re: Last game played...
« Reply #441 on: 07 March, 2013, 12:10:26 AM »
That's more the problem of the modular development of most games: writers go here, coders go here, artists go here, etc.  There's no central concepts that everything hinges around as there is with something like the Metal Gear or Final Fantasy games, it's just product - though the shite spouted by the average PR man is - in theory - what they want to believe is what will happen when people play their games because the alternative is to tell a room "you'll play through it in four hours, but it has more multiplayer maps than the last one so you can pay Microsoft a subscription for the privilege of strangers calling you a faggot."
I think they know their hyperbole is occasionally off the mark and/or flimsy, but I think they also want to believe you'll get invested in their games beyond just shooting things at increasing levels of difficulty.

radiator

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Re: Last game played...
« Reply #442 on: 07 March, 2013, 12:32:34 AM »
Metal Gear
Final Fantasy

Both series cited as having great stories. Both utter gibberish.

And I'm not talking about what PR people say - I'm talking about what the people working on the games say and mu personal experience of playing the actual games themselves.

Professor Bear

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Re: Last game played...
« Reply #443 on: 07 March, 2013, 01:23:17 AM »
I gave up on both series long ago, but there's no denying the singular creative vision at work that links everything together from production style to story to themes.  If you dislike the games then fair enough, but they're focused in a way that most western games - outside RPGs - simply aren't.

JamesC

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Re: Last game played...
« Reply #444 on: 07 March, 2013, 08:32:57 AM »
It's got to the point where developers think that every game needs a story to tie things together which is just not true.
Even 'Need For Speed' was given a story in 'The Run' but it didn't work out too well - it just made for lots of interruptions to the action. It's not the only racing game to do this though - the F1 games, Forza Horizon and the Test Drive games all have a sort of narrative structure. Just unnecessary in a racing game IMHO.

Some western games have fairly decent stories though - the Arkham games and 'Spec Ops:the Line' all had pretty strong stories, good character development and good acting.

Zarjazzer

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Re: Last game played...
« Reply #445 on: 07 March, 2013, 09:40:38 AM »
Damn you Rebellion. Zombies.Undead hordes of NAZI Zombies. Oh yes I had it beat now hooked again damn you...
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Professor Bear

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Re: Last game played...
« Reply #446 on: 07 March, 2013, 04:22:46 PM »
It's got to the point where developers think that every game needs a story to tie things together which is just not true.

Sales figures would suggest otherwise.  Gaming used to be a hobby when it was one-screen affairs like Manic Miner and Pacman, but games like that with arbitrary goals (score, time taken, etc) didn't interest the mainstream public, and seemingly still don't as anything other than a distraction.  Gaming has moved on, and the narrative in games is there to make people invest in something other than gameplay mechanics for their own sake, though I agree with the sentiment that most games need to be one or the other - story or gameplay-focused - to hold together as a single coherent package, otherwise you end up with shite like the aforementioned The Run.

radiator

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Re: Last game played...
« Reply #447 on: 07 March, 2013, 04:38:26 PM »
But that's just it - a nominal story is usually needed to tie everything together - fine. But too many devs put the cart before the horse. Someone needs to sit them down and tell them they are not writing Shakespeare.

Personally, I couldn't give a monkeys about most stories in games and I skip most cutscenes as they're generally terrible and they seem so far removed from the actual gameplay. However that doesn't mean I can't get absorbed in the atmosphere of a game, which is something entirely different to the narrative, and is something games as a medium excel at. For example, the original Halo. The story is entirely derivative. You can literally pull apart it's constituent elements, it's purely functional. I never give a shit about the admiral the game dictates I have to save in the pre-scripted moments. However, I do care about keeping my squad of marines alive, precisely because it is optional and unscripted. I feel like games are missing a massive trick by pursuing the heavily scripted 'cinematic' linear route, as it does literally nothing for me.

There should be a gaming equivalent of 'Show, Don't Tell'. Maybe "Don't Show Me, Let Me Play!".

radiator

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Re: Last game played...
« Reply #448 on: 07 March, 2013, 04:49:48 PM »
Again, this is why HL2 is superb. Story is told mostly through gameplay. Information is relayed cleverly to the player, the visual storytelling is great. Control is almost never taken away from the player. It's linear, but mostly leaves the pacing up to you. You can dig deeper into the story if you want, but its optional.

Mister Pops

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Re: Last game played...
« Reply #449 on: 07 March, 2013, 07:48:30 PM »
The story in HL2 isn't even a very original one, but what it is, is an exceptionally well told story, a story that was best told in the medium of a video game.

I don't usually expect much from a games story (I never really got the plot to Tetris), and I don't think I can remember playing a game that was ruined by a bad story. Bad gameplay yes, but not a bad story. I had to laugh at the net's fanboy rage of Mass Effect 3. Were their expectations really that high? I've not played any ME but I believe it uses a moral choice system, and THAT is something I have a big problem with. My experience of moral choices in games such as KOTOR is that you can either be an impossibly good Disney-like protagonist, or a ridiculous, moustache twirling sadist. There's no subtlety, no grey areas. There's no focus either. I've heard HL criticized for being too linear, but that linearity is precisely what allowed them to tell such a tight, well-focused story.

Ultimately, game storylines (especially in FPS) are fairly limited and cliched. The world/universe is in dire peril and only a Macho-Messianic-Malefactor-Murdering-Machine can save the day with his big gun.
You may quote me on that.