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View Full Version : Why do Games Have to Have a Story?


Shizzable
August 16th, 2013, 01:24 PM
So I've been thinking: From watching reviews on Youtube, talking to people, etc. I got the impression that many people think games HAVE to have some kind of story. Yes, I realize that a good story can add some kind of reason for the player to continue on and give them more of a drive to beat the game. However, sometimes I just want to have some mindless fun without having a story to worry about. Some games, at least for me, don't need any kind of justification for you to play. What do you guys think?

ShadowE
August 16th, 2013, 01:30 PM
A story is something games need for a good single player. Borderlands 1 had no story at all so it wasnt enjoyable as much as i would have hoped. Now Borderlands 2 had a amazing story and i love the game so much. A story keeps the person playing the single player, just going around and shoot stuff gets boring after a while

Apple Juice
August 16th, 2013, 01:38 PM
Minecraft is a prime example of a video game that doesn't necessarily have a story. Plot is definitely prioritized in developer's eyes, as it adds depth to the characters and in some cases make the game more desirable. In Pokemon, Nintendo picked up that the series was becoming too linear, and so recently they've tried to alleviate that by adding more plot into the game. It's worked well, as the Unova region's respective games have been one of their most successful additions to the series. I do agree with you that it's a common misconception that plot is necessary, but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing to have.

Arron13
August 16th, 2013, 01:56 PM
I for one am a person that loves a good story in video games. I've always told my friends that I don't like movies that much cause why would I just sit there and watch something when I can play through a cool story in a video game. Some games like Assassins Creed I love because of the story. Now that doesn't mean I need a story, I just think I play those games less, unless it's a good multiplayer like COD and FIFA. No story but it's just fun to play multiplayer.

Another thing it does is add depth. For example, Zombies in COD is a fun game, but I think it made it just exponentially better when I learned it actually had a story.

So no it is not necessary, but I love games that have a story better than ones that don't.

Squidchan
August 16th, 2013, 02:13 PM
I for one am a person that loves a good story in video games. I've always told my friends that I don't like movies that much cause why would I just sit there and watch something when I can play through a cool story in a video game. Some games like Assassins Creed I love because of the story. Now that doesn't mean I need a story, I just think I play those games less, unless it's a good multiplayer like COD and FIFA. No story but it's just fun to play multiplayer.

Another thing it does is add depth. For example, Zombies in COD is a fun game, but I think it made it just exponentially better when I learned it actually had a story.

So no it is not necessary, but I love games that have a story better than ones that don't.

I know what you mean with Zombies in COD, learning that each map actually has a story makes you go 'Oh, wow, that's actually pretty awesome', though doesn't change the game much at all.

I am one of those people that get really annoyed with cutscenes, especially long ones. But I also can't play some games without a good story. Games in the RTS or FPS category aren't really required to have a story to be good, it doesn't make a difference to the gameplay whether there is a story or not. However, RPGs are different. You are playing the role of a character, and without a story you, or at least I myself, are constantly questioning the purpose of the game. Why am I doing this particular thing, what is the point?

I think the Diablo series of games integrated story into the game in a really good way, it is beneficial for both story lovers and gamers that would rather rush through and experience the game. Hardly any cutscenes, and the ones they do have are easily skippable. If you are really into the story, you can stop and read ever single portion they give you, or you can ignore it all and just go kill some monsters.

ShadowE
August 16th, 2013, 02:16 PM
I am one of those people that get really annoyed with cutscenes, especially long ones. But I also can't play some games without a good story. Games in the RTS or FPS category aren't really required to have a story to be good, it doesn't make a difference to the gameplay whether there is a story or not. However, RPGs are different. You are playing the role of a character, and without a story you, or at least I myself, are constantly questioning the purpose of the game. Why am I doing this particular thing, what is the point?

I agree with the part that RTS games doesnt need a story to be good, but for the campaign it would be pretty good if it has one. StarCraft has a amazing story (with pretty long cutscenes though) that kept me into the campaign and made me play it till the end. The main reason i want the last expansion pack of SC2 is cause of the campaign, i wanna know how the story ends. Thats why stories can be good for a game, if you continue with it in a DLC or expansion pack, people will buy them to continue the story. But the story has to be good will that actually happen.

Squidchan
August 16th, 2013, 02:43 PM
I agree with the part that RTS games doesnt need a story to be good, but for the campaign it would be pretty good if it has one. StarCraft has a amazing story (with pretty long cutscenes though) that kept me into the campaign and made me play it till the end. The main reason i want the last expansion pack of SC2 is cause of the campaign, i wanna know how the story ends. Thats why stories can be good for a game, if you continue with it in a DLC or expansion pack, people will buy them to continue the story. But the story has to be good will that actually happen.

That can be a way to keep your players playing and your buyers buying, but it's a double edged sword in the way that some people would be put off the game because they can't afford DLC or Expansion Packs. There is nothing worse than an unfinished story.

ShadowE
August 16th, 2013, 02:47 PM
That can be a way to keep your players playing and your buyers buying, but it's a double edged sword in the way that some people would be put off the game because they can't afford DLC or Expansion Packs. There is nothing worse than an unfinished story.

I do have to agree with that, but its the way game developers usually think (anything for money). However the time between game and expansion pack for StarCraft 2 is immense (2-3 years for HotS after WoL came out).

donavannj
August 16th, 2013, 02:55 PM
A story is something games need for a good single player. Borderlands 1 had no story at all so it wasnt enjoyable as much as i would have hoped. Now Borderlands 2 had a amazing story and i love the game so much. A story keeps the person playing the single player, just going around and shoot stuff gets boring after a while

Games don't need a story for good single player. See the sandbox games like Minecraft previously mentioned, the The Sims series (where the player basically writes the story as all iterations of the game are basically just controlling a virtual dollhouse), and the Sim City series, among others (Roller Coaster Tycoon and Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 come to mind). And then there's long-term strategy games like the Civilization series, where the "story" is your interactions with the AI civilizations, and is not provided by the developer in text, but through the AI's, well, AI.

Brolijah
August 16th, 2013, 03:11 PM
For some games, some sort of story is required to keep you from putting down the controller, and in others it's a sweet combination with gameplay. Others might just be some simple pleasure and don't require any sort of tale at all. I'm surprised I didn't see anyone mention something similar above... For example: Tetris, Snake, Pong. Those simpler games that easily keep people entertained with no plot whatsoever. However, I do admit Pong is a bit of a guilty pleasure and bores after a few hours (... ... ...), but the other two are plain addicting x3

Morkula
August 16th, 2013, 03:52 PM
Story is important in games where plot would actually matter and would be key to your enjoyment of the game - RPGs, adventure games, and the like. In those games, an at-least-decent plot is absolutely crucial and can make or break the entire game for me. It's one of the reasons I've never been able to get into the Elder Scrolls series, because there's little to no plot and direction.

For games like Mario platformers, the barebones story is secondary to the gameplay - the only purpose of the plot is to give you a princess to save. And of course games like The Sims or puzzle games can stand on their own without plot.

Sweets Witch
August 16th, 2013, 05:32 PM
It's one of the reasons I've never been able to get into the Elder Scrolls series, because there's little to no plot and direction.

This is actually a really good point because the Elder Scrolls series is a great example of what happens when a game has what some would argue to be too much going on. The main quest/sidequest format is pretty common nowadays, but rarely does it ever go to the lengths where you can no longer tell which quest could be considered "main". Some people enjoy that because it makes the game as open as possible, but sometimes it can get boring doing whatever you want regardless of how much you can do.

Do all games need a story? Not particularly, although the matter isn't a "yes" or "no" deal. It's more like a spectrum full of varying degrees of story involvement. Generally, the games that don't need any kind of story are sandbox games and games that focus heavily on PvP. A bit of background is nice for the latter, although it's not necessary since barely anybody will care to begin with. Take Call of Duty, for instance. Huge multiplayer experience, but the actual stories in the single campaigns are barely ever talked about because they're not what sell copies of the games.

Shizzable
August 16th, 2013, 06:59 PM
I'm not sure if you guys quite understood this. There are certain kinds of games that have literally no reason to have a story, but shove in a basic and kinda dumb story just for the sake of having one. Two series of games that I believe don't require any kind of story are Mario (Not Paper Mario, etc. Those have good stories) and Sonic, the main series games obviously. These have never really had any decent story and attempts at a deeper one have failed (i.e. Sonic '06). Sometimes I just want mindless fun, without worrying about any kind of story.

Aeroblast
August 16th, 2013, 07:26 PM
Well, if you want mindless fun, there are plenty of games that offer gameplay without having to go through a story. If you want to play a specific game without one, then well, too bad. Some people prefer solid story with gameplay.

Shizzable
August 16th, 2013, 08:18 PM
Well, if you want mindless fun, there are plenty of games that offer gameplay without having to go through a story. If you want to play a specific game without one, then well, too bad. Some people prefer solid story with gameplay.

That's the problem. Every game I play feels the need to shove in a story, even one that's not "solid." For example, did anyone enjoy the story from a Sonic game? I think some games would benefit from NOT having a story (like some previous games I mentioned).

Seki
August 16th, 2013, 08:39 PM
In my opinion, games with plot are just like movies and tv shows. Games with a good plot will really help the person playing to be in the game, feel connected to the main character and for RPG games, be the character. Although it has to be said that games with no plot or a generic plot can also be good, as long the gameplay's good or there's something intriguing.

So all in all, I am saying that games need not to have a plot as long it has a good gameplay and makes the person playing want to play, but a plot is also necessary for RPG games, as RPG games have to have a story, right?

«Chuckles»
August 16th, 2013, 09:32 PM
GOD games... NO
Sandbox... NO
Singleplayer's that arent of the above genres... YES
jRPG's... it is what makes them good
GTA... nope I be hunting them animals all day

Squidchan
August 17th, 2013, 01:57 AM
That's the problem. Every game I play feels the need to shove in a story, even one that's not "solid." For example, did anyone enjoy the story from a Sonic game? I think some games would benefit from NOT having a story (like some previous games I mentioned).

I haven't played a Sonic game for a long time, but when I did play them on the computer and Sega, the story didn't interfere so much. I couldn't tell you what the game was about, only that you had to do this, this and this to win.

I think the problem here is that game reviewers put so much emphasis on the story of a game, and much-hyped games are the same, that game developers feel like a story, any story, to go with their game is needed to be able to compete with others in general.