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Old 06-08-2016, 07:55 PM   #1
RobertDentonBryant
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Smile Your Favorite Video Game, Story-Wise (and why)

My top three (in any order are):

1. Fallout (the original, but I'm also partial to Fallouts 3 and 4).
2. World of WarCraft (because the lore is so deep).
3. BioShock, because it's a meditation on the relationship between the player and the game designer.

What are yours?
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Old 06-11-2016, 06:33 PM   #2
Crayon
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Default Re: Your Favorite Video Game, Story-Wise (and why)

I can't properly contribute to this thread because my gaming years ended before games had the cinematic storylines they do today. But of the games I've played that do have a narrative, my top three are ...

1. Metal Gear Solid (PlayStation one)
2. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (Game Boy Advance)
3. Cave Story (PC)

Not that it's relevant, but my all time favourite game is F29 Retaliator (Amiga 500). Not a shred of story - just awesome gameplay. I believed I could fly.
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Old 06-11-2016, 06:44 PM   #3
Southern_land
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Default Re: Your Favorite Video Game, Story-Wise (and why)

Bioshock
Farcry 3 and 4
and one I can't recall the name of - Imperial Japan made a dooms day weapon, flash forwards to the present day and a team are sent out to recapture it off the maniac who has redeveloped it????
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:15 PM   #4
ShakeyAnderson
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Post Re: Your Favorite Video Game, Story-Wise (and why)

1. The Ultimate Stuntman (NES) Not a great winner for story here with mega slugs, evil androids, bomb disposal and such, but this is to games what 80's action movies are to cinema: Entertaining (often ridiculously so) breezy and full of well...action.

2. Super Mario Bros. (NES) The hero's journey. Mario pursues a goal in the face of opposition. Forget the lack of mentor characters (does the little mushroom guy count?). I enjoy this game for its purity of storytelling, and increasing odds as you advance to your ultimate goal: Rescuing the princess! Simple, but timeless.

3. Half-Life (PC) because of the sense of isolation the game creates and moments of discovery that are player made for the most part (unlike the sequel where other - invincible - characters not so subtly nudge you in the right direction). It really takes advantage of the first person format and feels cinematic in all the right ways without becoming bogged down in "creating moments". They just happen.


Last edited by ShakeyAnderson : 06-25-2016 at 05:09 PM. Reason: type-o
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:18 PM   #5
omjs
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Default Re: Your Favorite Video Game, Story-Wise (and why)

I love the way the Dragon Age games have complex stories but still allow the player to make strong choices that influence the outcome. That's a tough thing to pull off.
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Old 06-30-2016, 02:52 PM   #6
RobertDentonBryant
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Default Re: Your Favorite Video Game, Story-Wise (and why)

Quote:
Originally Posted by omjs View Post
I love the way the Dragon Age games have complex stories but still allow the player to make strong choices that influence the outcome. That's a tough thing to pull off.
It's REALLY tough. One of the hardest decisions you have to make when producing a game with multiple endings or story content that branches based on player choice is how to allocate budget for assets that many/most players will never see. Which is why at the end player choices are often "funneled" back to one or two manageable (and economical) endings (see "Mass Effect 3" and "BioShock"), or the end material is presented in a very low-budget manner (like the slides-and-voiceover end movie in "Marvel Ultimate Alliance").

I go hot and cold on Peter Molyneux, but he makes a great point here. Players are players, after all, so when you present them with multiple endings, they'll quickly groupthink some ranking so that one ending becomes the "good one," and if you get it, you've somehow "won" the game. (This behavior is different from us poor, sad, completists, who will replay until we see every ending.)

Last edited by RobertDentonBryant : 06-30-2016 at 02:56 PM. Reason: Forgot some stuff.
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Your Favorite Video Game, Story-Wise (and why)

Planescape: Torment, and most anything by that team and its descendant companies. I mean Alpha Protocol was not a well-assembled package, but had an insane amount of research behind the humint aspect.

Spec Ops: The Line. Players revolted against a plot that failed to give them feel-good cookies for bombing people, which I think was a great precursor to the emotional complexity behind GamerGate.

Star Control 2. Video game humor is often still the most idiotic thing imaginable, and attempts to blend serious and silly tend to fail spectacularly. SC2 had some of the most sophisticated writing imaginable for a sequel to a basic head-to-head combat game. Giving whole backstories to simple sci-fi tropes and then making them come alive in a whole tapestry was one of the more incredible, unsung feats in game writing.
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Old 07-18-2016, 05:38 PM   #8
omjs
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Default Re: Your Favorite Video Game, Story-Wise (and why)

Any love for the old point-and-click adventure games? In terms of story, I think my top choices would be Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Monkey Island 2, and The Dig. In more recent games, Broken Age is pretty good.

I've been working my way through The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, but it's slow going because it keeps freaking me out.

I'm also going to second the Dragon Age games - it's amazing how they do a deep story with customizable characters and player choices.

I haven't played the other Telltale games, but The Wolf Among Us was also pretty good for this, I thought. I think in most of Telltale's lineup the choices are mostly illusory (you still hit the same major story beats regardless of what you do), but the story's good enough that I wouldn't care if it was linear.

I thought the character development on Battlefield 4 was shockingly good for the genre, too. It's the only FPS I kept coming back to because I genuinely cared about the rest of my unit. The plot I didn't really follow so much, but I guess you can count character as part of story.
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Old 07-19-2016, 12:49 AM   #9
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Default Re: Your Favorite Video Game, Story-Wise (and why)

Is this a list of Favorite VGs or Favorite VGs (Story-wise)? Because some of the VGs listed above have little to no story.

The Bioshock series was rich in story. As somebody else mentioned, Half Life for its time was gamebreaking too.

Some old games which had a great story IMO include:

C&C: Red Alert
Jedi Knight
The Chronicles of Riddick: Butcher Bay
Fallout 3

Another great story-driven game was Heavy Rain. An excellent detective thriller where you play several different characters.
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Old 08-07-2016, 03:30 AM   #10
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Default Re: Your Favorite Video Game, Story-Wise (and why)

Knights of the old republic! it was immensely satisisfying after the disappointments that was the prequel trilogy in Star Wars. It was made with a love for the old trilogy and had a fantastic twist in the end.
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