I’ve discovered something recently. While playing games on my PC, I’ve realized how dissatisfied I’ve been. I think back to all the times I’ve had wonderful fun playing games and it comes down to two things. Great story, or playing with other gamers.
Let’s focus on story. Some of my favorite games were old school, story driven games. Fallout 1 and 2. FF 2 (released in Japan as IV). Dragon Warrior I. Star Wars the Old Republic. Warhammer 40k: Spacemarine. Bastion. What do all these games have in common? A strong story! So, why do I not get any satisfaction playing games like ANY of the Elder Scrolls games? Or Fallout 3? The problem I’ve found with recent “sand box” games is… There’s too much. The story gets lost in the sand box. I jump in the game, and start playing, but get lost. There’s so many side quests and people to talk to, that the main story just gets lost. I quickly lose interest and move on. A few months later, I’ll read an article about how good the story is, or talk to a friend who played the game and give it another shot. And… right back where I was. Lost with no story. Fez has an awesome story, but once you actually start the game… It’s just a platformer. Lost interest about 15 minutes in.
It’s gotten to the point that I’ve almost given up on games. I hardly have time to play anymore with Rory around anyway, but it was making me a bit sad. But tonight, I pulled up a game called Alan Wake. Woah. Sucked me right in! A horror mystery. No side quests. Just a great story line. Can’t wait to continue this one!
So, how did I figure out it was the story that was driving my interest? I read books. A lot. Why? Because I love the stories! And the games I like basically let me live the story. I don’t need all the side quests to pull me off track. I don’t need to talk to every person in a large city just to make sure I get all the interesting quests while getting side tracked. I just hope once I finish Alan Wake that it won’t take me so long to find the next one!