[–] [deleted] 0 points 78 points (+78|-0) ago 

[Deleted]

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[–] NyranK 0 points 102 points (+102|-0) ago 

No-one in that damn game acted right.

The fucking villagers, and especially the children, sass mouthing the greatsword wielding, dragon soul eating, hero of the whole fucking world, right before they decide to solo the nearest dragon with their fists, or try throwing punches at you because you killed a random chicken.

And the bandits...

"You see that dude there?"

"Who?"

"You know, the one in deadric armour with the giant glowing sword who just killed that dragon and absorbed it's soul."

"Oh, that guy. What about him?"

"Lets mug him."

Not to mention the entire games quests are completely isolated. Alduin is trying to destroy the world and all, right? You'd think that'd be a pretty big deal to most people, right? Fucking nope.

The Mages Guild has it's own 'end of the world' to work up to and defeat. The Dark Brotherhood opts to stick to politics. The Thieves Guild is pretty much a fetch quest. All of them basically boil down to "We fucked up, son. Hey new guy, save us and we'll make you the leader."

The only quest line other than the main that even seems to notice that there are giant dragons flying around is the civil war one.

As a game, Skyrim is playable, but it's disjointed and half arsed for most of it.

[–] [deleted] 1 point 28 points (+29|-1) ago 

[Deleted]

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[–] cobeast 0 points 17 points (+17|-0) ago  (edited ago)

You know it reminds me of Fable. As much as I really didn't like any of the Fable games they did have people react to you differently depending on who you were in the game and what you've done. I always liked that part at least.

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[–] FriedrichNietzsche 0 points 7 points (+7|-0) ago 

The thieve's guild chain was worse than "fetch". It's basically the worst writing I've ever experienced in a game.

And I did think that before I ever read that link

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[–] TalkingAnimal 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

I was playing and a dragon attacked Solitude. I killed it alongside a guard that shot it repeatedly, who then said, ""My cousin's out fighting dragons, and what do I get? Guard duty."

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[–] 1304876? 0 points 42 points (+42|-0) ago  (edited ago)

What are you talking about? It makes perfect sense that a Dragon Jesus could publicly ally himself with both the Stormcloaks and Imperials at the same time, rising in each of their ranks until he's equally indispensable to their efforts of killing one another. Also he routinely murders the world's deadliest monster, oftentimes posing heroically on the tops of buildings and firing arrows up into the dragon's belly...yet five minutes after the attack, he still has to pay for his own bread.

I think, perhaps, Skyrim is actually a first-person depiction of the world's craziest skooma bender. Khajiit is actually passed out in the gutter.

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[–] feistylemur 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

The weakest part of elder scrolls has usually been the main quest line. It's only real strength is the interactivity of the world. The connection you feel to the world through so many interactive and persistent objects is it's charm.

This is why Elder Scrolls online did nothing whatsoever for me. Take that away that spirit of exploring a highly interactive world and all the charm is gone.

Bioware honestly has never really done much for me either. Their ham fisted progressive bullshit is especially annoying lately. Even KOTOR, while good, annoyed me in many ways. Particularly in how if you wanted to be a darkside character you basically had to be a frothing lunatic asshole. There was no provision to be a puppet master character like palpatine.

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[–] WildThingSammiT ago 

Alduin wasn't even that hard to beat, it's everything else that's a bitch. The dragonrend shout makes everything less of a challenge, which sucks.

Dragonrend!

smash smash smash smash smash

Dragonrend!

smash smash smash smash smash

explosion

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[–] Frankensauce 0 points 1 point (+1|-0) ago 

I really wish that Sapphire had more than just the small backstory. Not romance or anything, but for a character with such a horrible yet awesome past, wish she'd be more than just a 3 dialog NPC.

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[–] DiogenesofSinope 0 points 45 points (+45|-0) ago 

It's important to mention that a lot of the games you're talking about are mainstream, AAA games. These tend to be cash cows first, and a media of creative expression second (if at all). Which is why bastardized franchises get spawned from originally decent games (e.g: Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty), and writers get marginalized or neglected (e.g: Mass Effect series). You can see the same phenomenon happening in the American cinema.

The moment I looked a bit off the beaten path was the moment I began to find great writing in games. I liked Ether One and Papers Please in particular, can't recall others off the top of my head.

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[–] wollington 0 points 7 points (+7|-0) ago 

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter also had some pretty good writing.
Gotta love indie games.

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[–] Fuckery 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

When I found the post with the four lights on it leading to the chase through the woods, I knew I was in for a great ride.

Anyone planning to grab it should know its a walking simulator. Now don't do anymore research than that and go play blind.

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[–] Questionssm 0 points 1 point (+1|-0) ago 

Played that game at an 11.

Holy fuck that space man shit tripped me out.

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[–] Ikaris 0 points 1 point (+1|-0) ago 

Wouldn't it be nice to have the best of both worlds? AAA graphics, writing to match, and stability.

A gamer can dream.

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[–] super_d_rawk 0 points 1 point (+1|-0) ago 

I hope Star Citizen's Squadron 42 will be decently written. Here's hoping....

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[–] SkepticalMartian ago  (edited ago)

We've already seen Chris Roberts make a wing commander movie. You've never heard of it you say? Probably because it was a steaming pile of "what were you thinking?!". Anyone who has seen the movie is almost certainly focused on purging it from their long term memory.

He's a hell of a programmer and game maker, but he absolutely sucks at story telling and everything else cinema related. I hope he doesn't try to do it himself. In fact, as a Star Citizen backer myself, I hope he goes on a long vacation while professionals deal with that part.

I mean, this is the same guy who decided that when Wing Commander IV (which contained a truckload of cutscenes) was going to get amazing actors like Mark Hamill and Malcolm McDowel, he'd put them across from laughably bad actors like ex-porn star Ginger Lynn Allen.

My magic 8-ball keeps saying "outlook not so good", and I'm inclined to agree.

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[–] Jourdy288 0 points 1 point (+1|-0) ago 

Oh yes, I love Ether One and I've not even beaten it yet (I got stuck somewhere). It seems that the indies are really making the games with the best writing.

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[–] DiogenesofSinope 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I've seen the to be the trend for most media. There's not as much money in such indie/obscure/small fry games, so the people involved are more interested in making a quality game than securing a bottom line. They might not have the budget for the technical aspects of the game, like graphics, but quality writing doesn't require millions of dollars.

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[–] WhoToldYouThat ago 

That's because they haven't been gobbled up by corporate commander yet.

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[–] KeenBlade ago 

So it really is good? I've been intrigued by it for quite some time. How about Homesick? Have you tried it?

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[–] TH0UGHTP0LICE 1 point 38 points (+39|-1) ago 

GTA V had great writing too. The funny lines were all delivered naturally without the usual wink and nod to the camera. Conversations seemed natural and fluid, and the best zingers weren't bracketed by the writers with prolix.

It's like they didn't assume their entire audience was fucking retarded and needed every joke spelled out for them, unlike most other games where each joke is followed by something equivalent to "EH?! EH?! YA GET IT?! SEE WHAT WE DID THERE?!"

South Park Stick of Truth was also fantastic with it's writing. But it's Matt and Trey, so I would expect nothing else

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[–] ProfKraken [S] 0 points 6 points (+6|-0) ago 

You know, you're absolutely right. Both are fantastic.

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[–] MrChiselfist 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

I'm so damn hyped for the Fractured But Whole.

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[–] Frankensauce ago 

It took me awhile when I first heard of it to get the joke. I was so, so confused.

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[–] PsychoDesign ago  (edited ago)

I'm glad that Ubi hadn't fcked up with TSoT. Its the best adaptation of TV Series I played. If not for Matt and Trey I dunno what it may become. For sure Obsidian has a great storytellers, but cooperating with creators of the series is what makes this game so amazing.

Are Matt and Trey involved in next one? I mean like writing, VA and designing the game, or just as supervisors?

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[–] Pawn ago 

that's why it made so much money.

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[–] GeekPhotography 0 points 17 points (+17|-0) ago 

I'm currently playing Skyrim and I'm surprised at how often I skip over the dialogue. The actual reason I spew fire at someone seems irrelevant.

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[–] 1305015? 0 points 8 points (+8|-0) ago 

Check out Morrowind (or even Daggerfall). The difference is more extreme than The Witcher III vs. Skyrim.

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[–] GeekPhotography 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

I've been thinking about trying Morrowind. How is it different?

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[–] escape 0 points 6 points (+6|-0) ago 

Same here. I will pay attention to the story sometimes but only when I'm in a dungeon and I'm trying to find out why I'm there. If I'm in town getting filled in on everyone's back story I just skip it all.

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[–] GeekPhotography 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I'm a little sad. I was excited to start, but now I feel like I'm just getting bogged down in minor errand running.

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[–] johnlocke90 ago 

Have you played New Vegas? It is similar to Skyrim, but had much better story.

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[–] Link1299 1 point 16 points (+17|-1) ago  (edited ago)

List of games with fantastic game writing, and I mean both literal in dialog and/or figurative gameplay:

Spec Ops the Line: it is Joseph Conrads "Heart of Darkness" in videogame form. It is written beautifully, and does psychological warfare better than most movies and books..

Thomas Was Alone: This game made me cry about quadraladerals. And that's not a joke. It is a superb example of how to write characters into a game, utilizing both witty and intelligent narration, and the actual gameplay mechanics to contextualize and characterize the players in the game

Bastion: Oh my god Bastion. How have more games not taken on this semi passive narrative style? Instead of being typical, and splitting game/narrative apart, large aspects of the narration are done whilst playing, with multiple well timed instances of contextual narration that can happen dependant on player gameplay.

Silent Hill 2: give it is voice acting faults, you can't deny that this game is stellarly written, with gameplay elements being more than just elements, and its many puzzles, riddles, and enemies being more than just "creepy" for the sake of being creepy.

Ace Combat 4 and 5: Now, I have a better understanding of 5 because its the one of the two games I actually have finished, but both are stellar examples of how to make a non polar conflict. As in you may be fighting an enemy, but the enemy isn't really evil, and that conflict effects both players, not just your side negatively.

Okami: Oh my god, Okami, this gem is one I wish more people recognize. It is a brilliantly done example of how to do the a fable. It has you as a player play as aspects of the Hero's journey in other character's stories. And that's what's important here, there is never just one story going on in Okami. Okami is a series of smaller, well directed narratives encompassed in your larger narrative being a god. And I think it is brilliantly excuted.

Papers Please: I would never have thought a game about pushing papers would ever even be a game worth making, but I'm glad that whoever did it did on their own. This game is not for everyone, and I will admit, it is boring. But there is a wealth of examples of how to do choice in games here that many people miss out on given its appearance. This game got me to stop and think about my actions, even if those actions had not long term consequences, or ones that could be on the scale of Mass Effects. I don't know how the man did it himeself, but Papers Please gets you to think what you will do in order to survive, and what you are willing to do to others. It is not happy, and it is not fun, and I love its existance.

Nier: now... this one is probably a bit of a stretch for some, but it is still an example I commend for its effort to be significant and try and stand out writing wise. I feel that over all, given all of its faults, the game struck quiet a few chords, and well overall a satisfyingly well written game. Its only for playstation and it certainly is a cult classic, but it is a game I appreciate exists even if it is a bit more specialized.

And many more. Games have been well written. But just like any medium, especially for how young it is, the "popular" market is going to get a lot of screen time, and thus as a whole the medium will get knocked. Know what I say? Don't play bad videogames. Don't support the poison of the industry. We won't see more games like Red Dead Redemption, Silent Hill 2, and Spec Ops the Line if we are willing to let mediocrity be the norm and be what people want.

[–] [deleted] 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

[Deleted]

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[–] Link1299 0 points 6 points (+6|-0) ago  (edited ago)

I completely disagree, but that's because that's the whole point in the game

the game is not supposed to make you feel good about the things you do and leave you to reflect on how your actions and often the actions of officers in war are often ambious, and how the consequences of a miss call can be so severe, both physically and mentally

Dude, I want more games to do that. To say, "Oh my god what have i done." To reflect on yourself as a person and even though the pixels on your screen are just that, pixels, you had some sort of investment, or stake into what happen so you had to stop and think about what you did. That is a good thing. That is that same feeling people get when they look at a piece of art and think of its meaning, think of what the artist is trying to portray.

I love spec ops for a lot of reasons. The white phosphorus is just one of those reasons

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[–] Laurentius_the_pyro 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Would have liked spec ops's writing better if they didn't make you do morally shady shit (white phosphorus scene being the most famous example) and then try to guilt trip you for it.

I'm sorry I'm such a bad person because I was literally given no other than to commit war crimes.

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[–] Tsugumori 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

You mention Ace Combat for the writing... but not Zero? It was the best of the whole series.

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[–] Link1299 ago 

I keep hearing that, I need to replay it then. As a kid 5 was my personal favorite and the one I played the most, it was cemented into my memory much more than Zero's narrative. But I still hear its good I'll replay it.

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[–] RedditCEOEllenPao 0 points 1 point (+1|-0) ago 

And you left out Demon's Souls/Dark Souls/Bloodborne? C'mon, son

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[–] Link1299 ago 

yeah... but that almost needs a whole post/thread of discussion.

Trust me when I say that Dark Souls is one of my favorite games of all time in regards with intentional game design/writing both for single player and multiplayer interaction. So yes, I'm a sham http://dl.glitter-graphics.com/pub/3425/3425711f6n7hmqief.gif

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[–] Bobfish_Almighty 0 points 7 points (+7|-0) ago 

Apparently not, since people keep buying the shit and raving about them

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[–] jeegte12 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

who's raving about them? slack-jawed gamers and paid reviewers?

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[–] Dejers 0 points 1 point (+1|-0) ago 

Who else is there? Really?

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[–] Bobfish_Almighty ago 

The Tomb Raider reboot was the best selling, highest praised in the series. Fucking Halo. The Last of Us. Need I go on?

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[–] Spiral_Out 0 points 6 points (+6|-0) ago 

Shadowrun: Dragonfall is amazing at the moment. GTA V was great. Dark Souls (which may not have a lot of dialogue, but the world design and the lore/conversations you strike up with people along your journey is top notch.. heh.. heh.. heh..). Longest Journey is phenomenal. Wasteland 2 was alright and Pillars of Eternity was fun too. Gonna boot up New Vegas soon, only heard amazing things (and loved FO3).

Just play better games... Destiny is just bad (Warframe is 100x better from a gameplay stand point). Skyrim was great, but because of exploration. Haven't tried Inquisition yet.

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[–] Tantalus 0 points 1 point (+1|-0) ago 

Destiny is just bad

It had all the elements of being great before it was torn apart and reassembled to be sold as DLC.

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[–] Spiral_Out 0 points 1 point (+1|-0) ago 

You know, you're probably right. I haven't researched much of it, but did people datamine Destiny and find content already on your disc/downloaded?

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[–] lawofchaos 0 points 1 point (+1|-0) ago 

The thing that pisses me off about Dragonfall (without even trying it) is that when they released it, the main story of Shadowrun Returns was still buggy as hell but all devs efforts were now going to the new episode instead of fixing anything. But that was ages ago and maybe I should try again some time, or just go straight to Dragonfall and skip the first episode. While we're on bad writing, while it was mostly cool I thought it was pretty lame to include Jake in the story..

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[–] Ziusudra ago 

I too loved FO3, but it is a text-book example of the Blistering Stupidity that this post is discussing.

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[–] CultClassic 1 point 5 points (+6|-1) ago  (edited ago)

Am I fed up with low quality video game writing? yes. but I'm not willing to sacrifice gameplay, the defining feature of games, for the sake of story.

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[–] Link1299 0 points 8 points (+8|-0) ago  (edited ago)

I don't think that's very fair. In fact that is to assume that game narratives take away from a core experience. But the best games I've played were games where their core aspects related to their core narratives. It wasn't just "play the game, get a cutscene, get a story, move on" the best games portray their characters, narratives, stories, and themes directly through the gameplay itself.

I think its a little harsh to assume that games that focus soley on their mechanics and nothing else are definitvely always better than games that have a focus in narrative. It seems shallow in thought, and assumes that the gameplay will be significantly worse if time is spent on the narrative. It also suggests that the only thing videogames can provide are that, mechanics without depth of literary context. When in reality, in order to improve game narratives we have to get better at making the gameplay an aspect of the narrative, otherwise it will just feel like the narrative is, "another part of the game" instead of feeling integrated like it should be, and is when done correctly.

It also kind of assumes that videogames are designed with a set goal or purpose, and that the best ways have already been found. But in the words of Giorgio, "Once you free your mind about a concept of harmony and music being correct, you can do whatever you want. So, nobody told me what to do, and there was no preconception of what to do". This applies to all art mediums, and videogame designers need this ability to look past what their gameplay is expected to be if we are going to grow to have better narratives over all.

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[–] HighlandValley 1 point 2 points (+3|-1) ago  (edited ago)

I think this strikes at the core of the issue - video games don't need a story. Pac-Man, Tetris, Space Invaders - all of the founding pillars of the industry have zero story and are all about game mechanics. If a game has good enough mechanics, you don't need any story at all. Modern examples of this being Guitar Hero and Mario Kart. Even games with decent attempts made at narrative would be fine without them if there was good enough gameplay - Far Cry 3 comes to mind there.

If you want story and are willing to sacrifice gameplay, then you're not looking for a game so much as a "narrative experience." The Telltale games are not really games - they're "choose your adventure" books where you walk around instead of flipping the page, and there are occasional quick time events thrown in to make it seem like a game.

People can enjoy what they want, but it would help to be mindful of the difference between playing a game and experience a narrative. The two are not inseparable.

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[–] ProfKraken [S] 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Writing and story are similar, yet very different things. While the player can largely create their own story in open world games, the writing dictates the way the world reacts to the player and the way the player gains information from the game. Every thing you read is part of the game's writing. While it is true that not all games need story, ALL modern games(excluding the Candy Crush's of the world) do need good writing.

That said, an RPG doesn't have to chose between good writing or gameplay. The two are independent. Considering the massive budgets of modern games the only reason they have shit writing is that executives believe cheap creative writing grads are completely adequate.

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