Saturday, 20 December 2008

Storytelling in Games

Stories, fiction or based on true events are the backbone of movies that determine the success or failure of them.

As for games, a strong storyline doesn’t always necessarily make a better game, there are many aspects that establish whether a game is successful or not, one of which is the game player’s own decision.

On the contrary, Namco’s booming series of ‘Tekken’ uses storylines for the characters with each having their own personal reasons for entering the tournament and competing for the prize. Completion of the game would assume that the particular chosen character won the tournament and their ending is shown, therefore depending on what character is chosen, there are multiple endings.

The ‘Resident Evil’ series by Capcom has become a huge triumph with various games starting from Playstation. The storyline of the T-Virus with zombies allows an action-based gameplay to entertain the player so they can engage with the storyline. If this wasn’t successful, there wouldn’t be a Resident Evil 5 out today.

In some games, the player can create their ‘own’ storyline where there are alternative conclusions and ending sequences. These are influenced by the players’ actions during gameplay, but this can become tedious when the player figures out the different endings and the game stops there. The ‘Grand Theft Auto’ series by Rockstar Games avoids this as the player can continue gameplay between or after completing the missions around the locations. These ‘sandbox’ games allow free roaming around the game to maintain the player’s interest and add to the realism of gameplay.

After contemplating, I feel that having a storyline for games allows the player to connect and feel part of the game. After all, without a story behind it, there wouldn’t be a game.

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