Great Storyline Games

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Zaij, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. Hoxie

    Hoxie King Queer oTO Orderite

    May 19, 2008
    Almost all endings to Bloodlines were great, the Kuei-Jin ending may have been somewhat shitty but it was redeemed a bit by seeing what happens to La Croix. X3
  2. TheWesDude

    TheWesDude Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 25, 2005
    its a tie between U7 and U7.2 for me.

    martian dreams had a kick ass story, but it was pretty whacked out.
  3. PlanHex

    PlanHex Legislative Senator oTO Moderator Orderite

    Nov 4, 2007
    I really like the Legacy of Kain series' storyline, despite its at times confusing or contraditory continuity.

    And Torment of course.
    I'm actually replaying it at the moment, and boy howdy, some scenes just send shivers down my spine.
  4. Multidirectional

    Multidirectional Mildly Dipped

    Sep 12, 2008
    Silent Hill 2 and VTM: Bloodlines for me. SH2 because of the emotional impact and Bloodlines because of overall presentation and characters.
  5. fedaykin

    fedaykin Vault Fossil

    Jul 15, 2007
    If you can get through the horrible English translation, that is. Plus the somewhat shitty gameplay mechanics. There's an official (?) re-translation in the making, though.
  6. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Re-translation and shuffling of the gameplay mechanics. A kind of Enhanced Edition.

    Yeah, the game's a pain, but for a big part its pain is a part of the gameplay experience. Not the mechanic shittiness, but the level of challenge and relentless unforgivingness of the hunger mechanic. I think they want to tweak that down too, which is kind of a shame. Dumbed down lollerskates.

    Still, I know few games that are as consistently intelligent in their plot reveals and structure as Pathologic. It really is something else. And a proper combination of game and story, unlike most great-story games which are just linear as feck.
  7. Ravager69

    Ravager69 Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Dec 21, 2007
    The Kuej-Jin ending may get you pissed a bit, but it certainly made sense.
  8. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    It made a lot of sense. If you didn't see it coming you just weren't paying attention to how they operate.

    Of all the endings I dislike the Camarilla one the most. It's too satisfying, too "everything's tied up now everyone lives happily ever after".

    But Kuei-Jin is second in dislike. Not that I don't like it taken in isolation, but it misses the "Don't open it" point which is exactly what makes Bloodlines so great. To whit...

    [spoiler:8279d3d4c5]The whole game is set up for some epic legendary reveal, of an ancient vampire come to life or - really - sucking an ancient vampire dry to become the most powerful of all vampires. It's just that - and the many hints dropped - that so perfectly sets it up for the real, explosive ending, which is an ideally structured anti-climax. This isn't just a good ending for games, it surpasses most films in story structure and originality.

    The only thing that kind of meh's it up is the presence of Caine, really.

    The only thing even better conceptually than the ending is the werewolf sequence. You can tell you're dealing with p&p and game design vets here; you just slaughtered a building full of vamps and feel all-powerful, and then you come up to a werewolf. In my arrogance I actually tried attacking it the first time around, but after he quickly slaughtered me I decided hiding would be the better option. I now know there is a way to kill it, but a high-level vampire character, spending minutes cowering in a bathroom or running through an empty house in a panic? That's pure genius.[/spoiler:8279d3d4c5]
  9. lugaru

    lugaru Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Mar 9, 2009
    I agree on Bloodlines, great game. It had lots of issues, but was overall excellent.

    I hate games where I need to learn the story to play, so I love games where there is no story but there are a lot of cool things implied.

    Silent Hill is a great example of this, very little lore but lots of weird events and hooks that get your imagination racing.

    Same goes for PERSONA 2 if anyone ever played that, it was an incredibly strange and cool game which I would compare to a Stephen King novel... people getting together to battle a strange apocalypse and magic and mundane mix along the way.

    I also loved the story in the Freedom Force games... they where simple and corny comic book stories, but they really nailed that.
  10. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    Story in Fallout is pretty much non-existent, you are creating one and that's why I put it as one of the best game stories.
  11. Starwars

    Starwars Mildly Dipped

    Sep 17, 2006
    I think Torment is a fair bit above the rest in terms of impact. But I mean, even with the story being good, so much of it is how it's presented to the player. Torment is very, very good at that. It's also extremely satisfying when it comes to an end.

    I also enjoyed Bloodlines a lot. Not a huge "goth fan" or whatever the hell you wanna call it, but I've always liked Vampire: The Masquerade and think Troika did a great job at it.

    Mask of the Betrayer is also a good story made great because of some of the choices you can make during the game.

    Finally, Silent Hill 2 is a pretty great achievement, especially in the visual storytelling. And just how much depth is merely *hinted at*, so that the player can go completely fanboy and analyze the hell out of it. It does lack somewhat in execution though, the actual writing and voiceacting is pretty poor at times.

    KOTOR2 is another game that has a *lot* of interesting ideas in it, and I think partially it succeeded in providing a great story. But the short production cycle and cut content did fracture it so it doesn't come together as well as it should have.
  12. alec

    alec White heterosexual male Orderite

    May 21, 2003

    'Cause in the end it all boils down to Pong, people.
    Pong, Pong, Pong.


  13. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan

    May 27, 2004
    well, it's never said it's really him at all. how you view it, is up to you.
  14. Autoduel76

    Autoduel76 Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    May 14, 2007
    To be honest I wouldn't consider most of the games people have listed here among the best stories.

    Better story-game combos, perhaps...great writing, well told...all of these things.

    But, if I had to pick the best story, it would probably be for a game that was much more linear, and hamfisted with its story telling. There have been lots of games with quite good stories. Its just that most of them play out like watching a movie, more than playing a game.

    I would probably personally pick Betrayal at Krondor.
  15. TheGM

    TheGM The voice of reason

    Aug 19, 2008
    Eternal Darkness for the Gamecube.
  16. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    Some kind of merge. I still say Grim Fandango and, uh, Chrono Trigger.
  17. Ratty Sr.

    Ratty Sr. Ratty, except old Moderator Orderite

    Apr 23, 2003
    I'm reading you like an open book, Per. Your mind may say "Grim Fandango", but your heart screams "Albion". Albion, baby, Albion!
  18. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    Some of the games which I think that have good storylines have already been mentioned so I will mention one that wasn't directly brought up;

    Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis.

    I really like the atmosphere in this game.
  19. Starseeker

    Starseeker Vault Senior Citizen

    Jul 25, 2003
    Besides the already mentioned ad nauseam times, there are a few with interesting stories that aren't mentioned. Grim/Chrono Trigger/Torment.

    The lore in the legacy of Kain is quite deep, but sometimes it doesn't feel quite connected to the game play.

    Shadow Hearts 1 & 2 had good story. SH 1 was especially interesting because of the horror setting the the style of story telling. Phantasy Star 2 & 4 had good stories. The ending of 2 was a famous twist.

    I prefer the story for Persona 1 better. I haven't finished 3 or 4, so I couldn't tell you if it's good or not. Grandia 2 had a good story. So did Okami.
  20. Eyenixon

    Eyenixon Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 11, 2008
    Sanitarium, very emotional, good writing and the pacing is excellent.

    I typically despise most RPG storylines (if not all of them) because they nearly always tend to follow the typical RPG mistake of being too wordy.
    There's a talent in being able to create a concise narrative that carries the story and manages to emotionally bind the player to the game at a very slight degree.
    Max Payne 2 did this well as far as stories in gaming go generally, the comic book panels weren't as long as the original game's, the cinematics were typically short and non-obtrusive, once again, unlike the first game's, and most importantly, the writing didn't make you want to kill yourself, both because it was intentionally over the top, and because it somehow made you care for the characters without them spouting ten page monologues, the few neo-noir inspired quips from Max were enough to carry the character, and when the comic book panels came, they still didn't compose pages of written work.

    Baldur's Gate 2, Planescape: Torment, Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines, Arcanum, I hate all their stories, not because of the general plot or the twists therein but because they tend to drag on forever with dialog and written segments without actually realizing that good writing is writing that is both written well and concisely without losing the depth. Torment failed the absolute worst in this regard, horrendous bucket-loads of purple-prose, incredibly obtuse writing - some of the characters were so bad that I got an incredibly bad college creative writing vibe - and the fact that it never seems to get to the point. However, the greatest crime was the fact that often these giant branching bits of dialog did nothing but establish absolutely tiny little bits of character development. While Dak'kon's dialog was probably the least cringe inducing and actually made me enjoy myself, the Ring of Zerthimon was extraordinarily wordy without holding much depth at all.
    You'd read these gigantic stories, go through pages of dialog with Dak'kon, only to find out something base like "Dak'kon feels enslaved" or whatever the balls they wanted to point out.

    I don't expect something on the level of Joyce in a game, but really, stylized contained writing in a well paced shell is far more appreciable than overwrought bags of one thousand word count text blocks.

    On the opposite spectrum, the games that do incredibly well are ones such as Sanitarium which I mentioned at first. The dialog doesn't carry on forever, the characters are all interesting, well made and avoid being annoying.
    Another good aspect regarding Sanitarium is the fact that the story moves along at a decent clip. It doesn't waver too long on insignificant plot points but it doesn't slide all about them like glossing over a SparkNotes page.

    At the absolute minimalist end are games such as the first two Silent Hills, which have sparse dialog, exposition that is delivered in tiny notes, and only a few separate cutscenes that carry the story forward. I also like this style of storytelling, because it leaves it up to the player to explore and actively uncover bits of it. This is the kind of non-linear storytelling I prefer. It doesn't "come upon you" as it does in most RPGs, where you simply wander around, accomplish some tasks, then have bits of story unveiled like some sort of written prize, rather it encourages you to explore, read things you come across, examine things in the environment, and make your own conclusions.

    Admittedly, the original Silent Hill had a very simplistic storyline that the rabid SH fans have completely over analyzed to the point that most of what they say is actually considered canon to many people. In reality, it's just a shortly summarized tale that is just so unusual that it comes off as far more complex than it really is.
    And that's a virtue, Team Silent managed to put a lot of subtext into a very minimalist storyline, and that takes a good amount of talent to pull off.

    Talent which I would say, to the chagrin of many people, are lost on most RPG story writers, the worst offenders of which are those godawful jRPGs that I've hardly ever touched in my lifetime.