With the release of Spiderman, I keep hearing comments on how brilliant the narrative is. Do you think the back story of a narrative video game has to be compelling to play it? How much does it affect your enjoyment?
I think this is an interesting topic and one that has arisen a number of times here, but has never been fully discussed. The concept of narrative in gaming is very different due to its modular narrative, and we see that games with great reviews, awards and fan bases often have strong narratives. Yet we also have a myriad of popular, "blockbuster" games that don't even bother. So I agree how much narrative is needed? – SaraiMW3 years ago
Love the topic. I suggest looking at God of War 2018 as well. It's just begging to be compared to spider man PS4. Both are PS4 Exclusives, with iconic heroes, and deep/detailed backstories. Some would say both subvert our expectations of their established canon, ala a Kratos trying to raise a son/be a good father, and Spider Man not at the beginning of his career, Norman Osbourne Mayor, Mary Jane as a journalist. God of War has one of the most compelling stories from a game this year. – Sean Gadus3 years ago
The Last Of Us has also been praised, both for cinematic storytelling and the crafting of a brilliant narrative and strong character development. – ValleyChristion3 years ago
Fore me it depends on the genre. Any RPG, whether it be turn-based, open world, or tactical, needs to have a great narrative and story. There are elements of RPGs that I love, such as level grinding, character customization, and level progression, but story is what makes want to finish the game. Platformers, shooters, and other types of games can have a lackluster story and still be playable. Spiderman is that type of game for me. Most will play because they are fans of the Marvel Universe and would play the only thing available to do was swing with spidy webs and kick bad guy butt. – Richard Krauss3 years ago
I think it all depends on the individual. Many gamers prefer well-done mechanics and couldn't care less about the narrative, while many other games, usually more casual, tend to prefer a good story. I'm more of a casual gamer myself, but I do know that there's definitely a divide between storytelling and gameplay preferences in the gaming community. With the success of games such as The Last of Us, the Uncharted games, Detroit: Become Human, The Witcher series, God of War 2018, etc. it's become more prevalent to wider audiences that games are a medium capable of storytelling. (I'm aware that there are many games before these that have had good stories, I'm just referring to more recent games that presented this to the mainstream). Proponents argue that the games show that video games can be art (which I think they are by default, regardless of a strong narrative or not) However, there's also been some pushback and complaints that video game studios are focusing too much on being "interactive movies" with their emphasis on photorealistic graphics and story-driven projects. I see valid points on both sides, and personally, I just enjoy a game that's fun to play. I think it comes down to the team creating the game and how they want to approach their production. Some games set out to tell a good story, others care more about gameplay, and many others have achieved both, though all that's subjective of course. Personally, it depends on what I know about the game in terms of its genre and what I expect from it. I enjoy The Witcher 3 and Uncharted 4, which have great graphics and engaging characters, and also like a game such as Shovel Knight, a pixelated game which itself has a simple story but also has beautiful art direction and good mechanics. And of course, Nintendo games such as Mario Kart and Super Mario Party never fail to bore me. – ImperatorSage3 years ago
I'd highly recommend that the person who tackles this topic look into Narratology within the field of Game Studies or Digital Media Studies. There's lots of good stuff out there to support arguments made! – Pamela Maria3 years ago