Sunday, 25 August 2013

Which is more important, gameplay or the game world?

Having been playing Remember Me, I have discovered that I have a dilemma.  As a game it is,  at best, average,  with only a couple of new ideas (the really interesting one only being used twice so far in the space of about four hours). However I am really enjoying the world and the story.  The environments are beautiful realisation of a future "neo" Paris, and the tale of memories and their manipulation as a form of totalitarian control is fascinating.
But in the back of my mind I know that the combat (which is pulling off punching combo's again and again) and the climbing (firmly in the Uncharted mold) aren't very good or original.  But I am enjoying it because it is a different world that is great to see and experience. So where do you draw the line between gameplay and game story. Recently The Last of Us received a great deal of praise, and I understand why.  Like Remember Me it is an evocative world telling an absorbing story,  but also like Remember Me the game mechanics aren't very original.  The Last of Us fairs better because it's mechanics are more solid and satisfying than Remember Me's, but still not a massive step from what other games have done previously.

Probably the best example of the story and environment triumphing over the tired game play is Spec Ops The Line. A very generic third person cover based shooter,  which if you were to rate purely on game play,  you would find it very lacking.  However it is genuinely tried to do something narratively different, and it garnered a great deal of love from many people,  me included,  as a singularly unique experience. But should it be considered a great game? Or indeed if we were to reverse it, should we consider the likes of bejewelled or perhaps even my new favourite Dark Souls to not be great games, because they don't have a dramatic and clear sweeping narrative, despite brilliant core gameplay. Where do you draw the line? How far can the story and the world make up for a shoddy game,  and vice versa? I honestly don't know but it should be fun finding out.

1 comment:

Mark Hargrave said...

Online word games are best to play online with other people and friends