Story Driven Narrative, or Just Play the Damn Game.

What motivates you to play games? Once you are playing, what drives you to come back again and again? I find there are a couple of differing factions.

The story drives the motivation. I fall squarely in this camp. I love a good story, it is why I return again and again. I refuse to play a game with a bad story, it seems like an afterthought and the game designers decided that just killing everything should be good enough motivation, it is a “kill simulator”.

Myst is a great example of a great story without a story. You are discovering the story as you go, a mystery, each clue found, each puzzle solved drives you to find more of story. What happened? Where did everyone go? It is a quiet, thoughtful approach to gaming, yet highly addicting.

I am also a huge Bungie fan, I have been following them since they started business. Marathon, which most people feel is the spiritual origin of Halo, an intriguing mystery story that unfolds via the ship’s AI. Speaking of shooter game stories, one of my all time favorites is Call of Duty Black Ops 2. WAIT! Here me out. They crafted a beautifully twisted tale, that added consequences to your actions. Did you try to shoot the your partner? Or blow your cover to try for the big bad? Did you drive through that explosion only to scar your partner for life?

The other faction is “just let me play damn it!”. I would throw a lot of multiplayer games in this category. But, the biggest offender in this category is Minecraft. I applaud Mohjang for all that his company accomplished, I just wish he would have thrown in a story. Living in a world, building a house, finding resources, sounds an awful lot like life and I already suck at that, I don’t need to pretend in a digital world!

The other side of this coin is the obfuscated story. Dark Souls is great game, but the story is so hidden and deep you don’t notice it’s there. You get so focused on staying alive you don’t have the time or desire to breathe let alone discover the nuanced magically story, but then it is a very complicated story. I have yet to finish a Dark Souls game, the difficulty punishes so much without other rewards… such as a driving narrative.

I will play both ways, there are times for both as there are different people with different preferences. I love me some good, frenetic PVP, I love PVE. Beyond both of those, I love a good story.

What is your story? PLEASE!!!! I need more story!

BY TIMOTHY STRUM - freelance games writer, humourist, and gamer -
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