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Story or Gameplay?

47 replies to this topic

Poll: Story vs Gameplay (47 member(s) have cast votes)

Which is the most important to you?

  1. Story (17 votes [36.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 36.17%

  2. Gameplay (30 votes [63.83%])

    Percentage of vote: 63.83%

Which kind of game would you rather have?

  1. AMAZING gameplay -- poor story (11 votes [23.40%])

    Percentage of vote: 23.40%

  2. Great gameplay -- average story (14 votes [29.79%])

    Percentage of vote: 29.79%

  3. Fair gameplay -- fair story (11 votes [23.40%])

    Percentage of vote: 23.40%

  4. Great story -- average gameplay (10 votes [21.28%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.28%

  5. AMAZING story -- poor gameplay (1 votes [2.13%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.13%

What is the ratio (in terms of playing time) of story to gameplay you'd prefer to see in games?

  1. 10% story, 90% gameplay (8 votes [17.02%])

    Percentage of vote: 17.02%

  2. 20% story, 80% gameplay (4 votes [8.51%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.51%

  3. 30% story, 70% gameplay (5 votes [10.64%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.64%

  4. 40% story, 60% gameplay (7 votes [14.89%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.89%

  5. 50% story, 50% gameplay (14 votes [29.79%])

    Percentage of vote: 29.79%

  6. 60% story, 40% gameplay (5 votes [10.64%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.64%

  7. 70% story, 30% gameplay (4 votes [8.51%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.51%

  8. 80% story, 20% gameplay (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  9. 90% story, 10% gameplay (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

Vote Guests cannot vote
DeafMetal
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#1

Posted 01 February 2014 - 10:49 PM Edited by DeafMetal, 01 February 2014 - 10:50 PM.

As games are becoming more technically advanced, their story is taking on a larger role. We've moved from games having very simplistic stories like "rescue a princess as a plumber" to more three-dimensional stories like Metal Gear Solid and The Last of Us.

 

And this has led to a lot of division among gamers who feel that the incremental importance of the story is affecting actual gameplay; in contrasts with others who feel that gameplay functions as a conduit of the story, existing to keep the story going.

 

And this has affected our games. You can find games which focus on gameplay and treat the story as a side activity, such as Dark Souls and San Andreas. You also have games that focus so heavily in their story that the gameplay feels like small breaks between the story, such as Metal Gear Solid 4 and The Last of Us. There's also games that seem to give an equal amount of attention to both factors, such as Metal Gear Solid 3 and Red Dead Redemption.

 

What's the most important factor to you?

 

___________________________________________________

Just to put into perspective for question #2:

amazing > great > fair > average > poor

 

Also, Sorry for you neutral planet inhabitants, but I'm wanting to get a straight answer. Also, mods, I did a search on our tool and Google and nothing came up.

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FranklinDeRoosevelt
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#2

Posted 01 February 2014 - 10:58 PM

Both have to have a good balance. Open world games like RDR and V do that. TLOU is a prime example since it's a linear game, the gameplay is part of the story and is wonderful!


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#3

Posted 01 February 2014 - 11:15 PM Edited by Nale Dixon, 01 February 2014 - 11:20 PM.

I think that the only way for games to be taken seriously as an art form that it has to take advantage of the position it is in, that is interactivity. Interactivity with the story, having a world/story which you yourself can shape individually. Games have a unique advantage in this way in that most other art forms are static. You can listen to a great song, watch a great film, but you can't change the notes or alter the script. With games you can theoretically do jut about anything.

 

Obviously the stories involved have to be created by a writer or writers and such, but the beauty of it is that you can arc the line of a story into any which way the player wishes, given a good enough writing team. This makes stories a much more interactive thing and vests people into the story much more.

 

I don't think that any game has really pushed this idea as far as it could go, but there are games that have either come close or have embraced this idea, such as Brain Fargo's Fallout and Wasteland series, Planescape Torment and other games created by the Black Isle members ,who are now Obsidian Entertainment and InXile. There are some mainstream games who have done this too, or went down a similar road, like Mass Effect, though the choices in that game were rather binary.

 

Of course gameplay is important. Nobody wants to 'play' a series of cutscenes. The gameplay should also make you feel like you're able to interact with the world in the same way as you can with the story, but I'm not too bothered about having overly complex systems and flashy lights and such.

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DarthShinobi
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#4

Posted 01 February 2014 - 11:17 PM

50/50, devs have to do both if they want those $60 out of my pocket. But it also depends on the type of game. I don't expect a game like angry birds or something alike to blow me away with an expansive universe like GTA or Halo.

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#5

Posted 02 February 2014 - 12:09 AM

A mix of both really.

The story doesn't even have to be "good". As long as there's a story that gives a reason for the gameplay, I'm good.

I can't really enjoy a game when I'm just chucked into some gameplay without a story, tbh. It's why I pretty much never play a game after the story is finished and the credits have rolled, I always have to start over.

This doesn't really apply though if it's a multiplayer game, or a game where the MP is mixed with the SP, like Burnout Paradise.

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#6

Posted 02 February 2014 - 01:53 AM

why limit your own choices? :pp

 

it really just depends on the kind of game and/or what you're in the mood for while playing.

but I guess usually I'm more concerned with gameplay than story only because gameplay = what you're doing. it's primary in my book, while the story is background or secondary... usually. as long as gameplay is solid I could probably care less about a weak story or weak voice acting. but if the gameplay is bad, it really doesn't matter how incredible the storytelling is; I won't be playing it for very long.

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#7

Posted 02 February 2014 - 04:01 AM

lol, I like how you broke it down into percentages. I'd say I prefer forty...one percent Story and 59 percent gameplay. That sounds about right. 

 

Gameplay will always trump story for me. I just want to enjoy what I'm doing, and if I have to assign my own meaning to the plot and make it up as I go, so be it. It's what made games like Paperboy so fun. 


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#8

Posted 02 February 2014 - 05:39 AM

Story through the gameplay.

 

The gameplay reflects how the characters feel, you learn about the world through your actions. Both the gameplay and story are going in the same direction.

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The Odyssey
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#9

Posted 02 February 2014 - 05:44 AM

Stories have ruined gaming IMO. Companies think they can lure in the casual crowd by making an emotional story with little to no gameplay. 

 

This spawns the sissies saying "HURRR, BEYOND TWO SOULS IS THE GREATEST GAME OF THIS GENERATION, IT HAS AMAZING STORY AND GREAT CHARACTERS, GTA V SUXX IT HAS A sh*t STORY AND IS OVERRATED AND IS FOR LITTLE KIDS AND IM A MATURE GAMER" 

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Boxman108
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#10

Posted 02 February 2014 - 05:49 AM

Depends on the games. Some seem to be able to pull off really simplistic stories like NMH or Ico and yet are still at least interesting. Games such as MGS are far more complex, 2 being the worst when it comes to pacing, but I feel they've become more balanced.

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#11

Posted 02 February 2014 - 05:51 AM

Gameplay matters more than story for me. I like a good story but I'd love great gameplay. Far Cry 3 sums up my point perfectly. The story isn't great but the missions are so varied, the graphics mind-blowing and the game play is awesome. The story wasn't bad it wasn't great either, it was decent, around the 8/10 mark.

 

GTA IV had a perfect mix of both IMO. The story was gripping and the gameplay was great. Same can't be said for SA though, it had a terrible story but great gameplay. Honestly if it wasn't for SA's gameplay, the game would have been crap in my opinion. Although there are some useless things in the gameplay section too.

 

Games are all about gameplay in my opinion. Which is why they are called games in the first place. Although it does need to have a decent story but it shouldn't be too focused on the story. A great story on the top of great gameplay is just an icing on the cake.

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CantThinkOfOne2013
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#12

Posted 02 February 2014 - 06:16 AM Edited by CantThinkOfOne2013, 02 February 2014 - 10:02 PM.

Stories have ruined gaming IMO. Companies think they can lure in the casual crowd by making an emotional story with little to no gameplay. 

 

This spawns the sissies saying "HURRR, BEYOND TWO SOULS IS THE GREATEST GAME OF THIS GENERATION, IT HAS AMAZING STORY AND GREAT CHARACTERS, GTA V SUXX IT HAS A sh*t STORY AND IS OVERRATED AND IS FOR LITTLE KIDS AND IM A MATURE GAMER" 

I was going to say almost exactly the same thing, and hate those story whores (yeah I said it, get over it) thinking that they are so mature and tells people who like great gameplay to go and play CoD.

 

I've said it before and I will say it again, I like a good story just as much as the next person, but if the gameplay sucks, the entire game sucks.

Take Mass Effect 2 for example, it has great story and characters, but the combat feels like you are playing with super-soakers and pea-shooters and the level design is nothing but undetailed, poorly designed, and repetitive corridors which are filled with chest-high walls which are unnecessary and are out of place.

Metal Gear Solid 4 is another example, it has a great story, but the gameplay to cutscene ratio is awful, the 'game' has 16 hours of cutscenes (and some of those cutscenes are the length of movies) and only 4 hours of gameplay, the worst part is that Kevin VanOrd on Gamespot claimed that the game had a "brilliant mixture of storytelling and gameplay", yet anyone which a crayon shoved into their brain would know that is nowhere near the truth.

Heavy Rain (and Beyond: Two Souls for that matter, even though I have not played it) may be new concepts, but they share the most common problem with the modern gaming industry, which is sacrificing gameplay for storytelling, it does not matter if your games concept is original, if your gameplay is boring, your gameplay is boring, end of story (pun intended), those games have you doing stuff like brushing your teeth and washing up after dinner.

Overall,storytelling is usually done in the form of cutscenes, and those can usually be skipped, but you have to endure bad gameplay. Storytelling can't make a game with bad gameplay fun, but great gameplay can make a game with a bad story fun.

And to end this rant, GTA V has yoga, yes we know, you don't have to keep saying it, yoga is boring, but it's a tiny little insignificant part of what I consider to be the best game ever made because there are so many other fun gameplay features, so stop complaining about. Heavy Rain has you repetitively shaking a controller back and fourth to simulate brushing your teeth, do people complain about that? no, of course not, because it's a story driven game. If people keep giving story driven games free passes on bad gameplay issues, there is going to come a time when every game has a cutscene to gameplay ratio comparable to Metal Gear Solid 4 and the quality of that gameplay will be comparable to Mass Effect 2, when this happens, people might actually start wanting gameplay back and will start complaining about the lack of it in games, but they will only have themselves to blame.

 

TL,DR: Read it, it's a forum website, you should be expecting to read long posts.

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a20characterusername
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#13

Posted 02 February 2014 - 10:20 AM Edited by gtarelatedusername2, 02 February 2014 - 10:20 AM.

Depends on the genre, really.

 

Take fighting games for example-- almost nobody cares about backstories or lore and it's usually ridiculous anyway *cough*Tekken*cough*. Responsive controls and well designed movesets and stages, on the other hand, are absolutely critical.

 

RPGs can (to a point) get away with being unintuitive and clunky, since most people play for immersion/story/characters. That said, seeing the same old mechanics over and over again can and does get old, no matter how interesting the story is.

 

So to answer your question, I have no idea.


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#14

Posted 02 February 2014 - 11:24 AM

I'm all for equality between the two, videogames are just the next level of storytelling to me and their potential is pretty much limitless when it comes to telling tales that simply couldn't be told in any other medium.


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#15

Posted 02 February 2014 - 11:31 AM

I'm all for equality between the two, videogames are just the next level of storytelling to me and their potential is pretty much limitless when it comes to telling tales that simply couldn't be told in any other medium.

take out the gameplay and gasp....you have a b class movie.

Gameplay should always come first. The story should just be there so the gameplay makes sense.
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Jc_39a
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#16

Posted 02 February 2014 - 11:46 AM

50/50 games like Uncharted and The Last Of Us have good gameplay and story

Fireman
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#17

Posted 02 February 2014 - 12:20 PM Edited by Fireman, 02 February 2014 - 12:20 PM.

 

I'm all for equality between the two, videogames are just the next level of storytelling to me and their potential is pretty much limitless when it comes to telling tales that simply couldn't be told in any other medium.

take out the gameplay and gasp....you have a b class movie.

Gameplay should always come first. The story should just be there so the gameplay makes sense.

 

So you're on the 90% - 10% side? Have fun with the story being Frogger.

 

Why did the videogame character cross the road? Because that was the storyline.


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#18

Posted 02 February 2014 - 01:11 PM Edited by Secura, 02 February 2014 - 01:34 PM.

take out the gameplay and gasp....you have a b class movie.

I don't see Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect, Portal, Gone Home, The Last of Us, The Witcher or TWD as "B Movies" I see them as great and fantastic stories that give the player the ability to connect with characters, worlds and narratives in ways that were just impossible before the invention of narrative-driven gaming.

 

Gameplay should always come first. The story should just be there so the gameplay makes sense.

No. The gameplay is there so that the player can experience the story, the story is not there so the player can experience the gameplay, games that focus solely on gameplay needn't bother with a story, that's why games like Minecraft, Terraria and Starbound don't bother with one. If you want your game to tell a story, then do it in such a way that story's the main focus and the gameplay is simply meant to immerse you in the gameworld.

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#19

Posted 02 February 2014 - 02:25 PM

If the game have good gameplay, you would enjoy the story more.

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#20

Posted 02 February 2014 - 02:42 PM

It's difficult. The story has to be in a balance with the gameplay. Insanely long cutscenes, quick-time events or pretty much no real gameplay at all are pain in the a*s and don't contribute to anything. But on the other hand, I've sort of come to expect a solid story, at least from big AAA titles. I can forgive Minecraft or some puzzle game for not having a plot, but not high profile TPSs, for example. And if the game doesn't deliver in the story department, it really hurts my overall opinion of it.

 

Standarts have changed and I feel we should expect more of games than just "be fun". Of course, games could have an excuse story 10 years ago. "The ninjas kidnapped the president and you've got to save him" was all they needed. But games evolve as a medium. What's wrong with a game, if it complements great gameplay with a stellar story? That makes it only better. No, I don't think "all story - no game" is a good thing. I don't like interactive movies. But I'm not crazy about "shoot the aliens and don't ask questions about why you are supposed to be shooting the aliens" either.

 

Story is what ties all together. Story tells us why we should care for characters and their stuggles. Some of most memorable gaming moments I experienced were story-related, be it John Marston's death, Michael and Trevor's first meeting in 10 years, pretty much all of Mafia and so on. If I look back at games I played and enjoyed in past few years, 99 % of them have something in common - the story, characters and atmosphere were important to their experience.

 

So yeah, I guess I'm a story person.

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FranklinDeRoosevelt
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#21

Posted 02 February 2014 - 03:19 PM

Depends on the genre, really.

 

Take fighting games for example-- almost nobody cares about backstories or lore and it's usually ridiculous anyway *cough*Tekken*cough*. Responsive controls and well designed movesets and stages, on the other hand, are absolutely critical.

 

RPGs can (to a point) get away with being unintuitive and clunky, since most people play for immersion/story/characters. That said, seeing the same old mechanics over and over again can and does get old, no matter how interesting the story is.

 

So to answer your question, I have no idea.

Talk about fighting games, Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe has a REALLY good story as an arcade fighting game.

The gameplay and multiplayer are pretty good but it just doesn't last enough.


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#22

Posted 02 February 2014 - 03:59 PM

I dont care about story, only for gameplay. Mortal kombat 9 has good story for fighting games. I mostly play online and shooters so no story needed else cliche russian terrorists bla bla bla. I game for fun not for story else i would read a book or watch a movie ( imo ), good story is like bonus/extra for me and i 99% skip cutscenes. If i cant skip cutscenes like in max payne 3 i quite the game and never play again. 


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#23

Posted 02 February 2014 - 04:04 PM

Gameplay, I don't really care about the stories as long as theres something fun to do.


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#24

Posted 02 February 2014 - 06:34 PM

I want gameplay. That's what games WERE about back in the day. Think Mario. Maybe you asked yourself back in the NES days, why the f*ck is Peach always kidnapped? But you didn't really want an answer. All you cared about is making that jump. Nowadays, it's different. Games like TLoU concentrate a lot on story. Don't get me wrong, that's a really good game, but a good story won't make the experience of playing that specific game more better than a gameplay concentrated game, at least for me.


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#25

Posted 02 February 2014 - 07:31 PM

I can't really give you a straight answer. It pretty much varies from genre to genre. But in a lot of cases, I don't think a great game can have only either one or the other for it to work. Sure, I love a great story, but if the gameplay isn't up to scratch, then I'm distracted from it and the experience is ruined by frustration. But at the same time, it's well and good for the gameplay to be awesome, but if I have no interest in the story, there's very little that makes me want to keep playing.


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#26

Posted 02 February 2014 - 08:38 PM

I want gameplay. That's what games WERE about back in the day. 

So? Back in the day Films were silent and the story involved a guy with a mustache tying girls to traintracks with a ragtime piano in the background.

 

Games already have an unfair label with older generations largely considering them meaningless wastes of time at the very least. Keeping them in an 80s style stasis doesn't help. Nobody wants to play pong for 30 years.


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#27

Posted 02 February 2014 - 08:58 PM

Back in the day when everything was text-based, games were definitely about gameplay back then.

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#28

Posted 02 February 2014 - 09:46 PM Edited by ryuclan, 02 February 2014 - 09:51 PM.

I definitely favor story over gameplay, but there is a sweet spot. There have been a lot of games I have force myself to finish just because the story was so good. Fable 2 as an example had a pretty engaging story (IMO) and the gameplay was completely fundamental. I finished that game to see how it played out. I will finish a game with bad gameplay if the story is amazing.

 

 

I really don't understand the people that say that the story is only there to make the gameplay make sense. And saying that if you can't skip cutscenes you quit playing?  Jesus christ people

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DeafMetal
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#29

Posted 02 February 2014 - 10:49 PM

 

I want gameplay. That's what games WERE about back in the day. 

So? Back in the day Films were silent and the story involved a guy with a mustache tying girls to traintracks with a ragtime piano in the background.

 

Games already have an unfair label with older generations largely considering them meaningless wastes of time at the very least. Keeping them in an 80s style stasis doesn't help. Nobody wants to play pong for 30 years.

 

The thing about those people is that is that they'll never be satisfied. They're the kind of people who think killing hookers in GTA gets you "points."

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#30

Posted 02 February 2014 - 11:54 PM Edited by gtarelatedusername2, 02 February 2014 - 11:55 PM.

I want gameplay. That's what games WERE about back in the day. Think Mario. Maybe you asked yourself back in the NES days, why the f*ck is Peach always kidnapped? But you didn't really want an answer. All you cared about is making that jump. Nowadays, it's different. Games like TLoU concentrate a lot on story. Don't get me wrong, that's a really good game, but a good story won't make the experience of playing that specific game more better than a gameplay concentrated game, at least for me.

This whole "this is what games WERE like" argument isn't true at all, since plenty of older games had in-depth storylines, usually in the form of a thick instruction manual that the player would be prompted to read at certain points in-game. Wasteland is a perfect example of this.

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