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Abraham
04-15-2009, 01:47 AM
What would be the top of your well-written video games lists in terms of story, characters and plot?

Fallout 1 and 2 are up there for me. Very imaginative idea of a 50s sci-fi retro apocalypse. The many side quests and locations really gives it a huge feel too and shows the detail they put into the universe.

Undying had a pretty decent horror plot.

StarCraft still has a great, epic plot with an ensemble of great characters and would probably be my favorite game story of all time. Kerrigan is probably my favorite game villain and StarCraft still my favorite Blizzard game.

Lucas Arts used to have some good ones in their puzzle games too. ANyone else remember The Dig?

Zoombie
04-15-2009, 02:39 AM
Warcraft 3, Anacrhonox, DemiGod (a new one!) The Witcher, Planescape: Torment, Mass Effect, Overlord, Psychonaughts, Fallout 3 (despite some mistakes and a crappy ending, still a good one).

Baulder's Gate, Baulder's Gate 2, Gaulder's Gate 2: Shadows of Amnh (or however you spell that)

Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2.

Planescape: Torment...again. For being f***ing awesome.

Ludka
04-15-2009, 03:10 AM
OMG OMG OMG!

The Dig was AWESOME!

I loved the story in that game.

Adam
04-15-2009, 03:19 AM
The Longest Journey has, to my mind, the best story (and writing) of any game I've played. :)

Zoombie
04-15-2009, 03:21 AM
Actually, I liked Dreamfall a bit more, if only for the assassin character.

His combat sucked, he had no puzzles, and his segments were criminally short, BUT...they portrayed an intelligent religious man questioning his faith WITHOUT being preachy, pandering, over hammy.

When's the next one coming out?

Adam
04-15-2009, 03:28 AM
Dreamfall was fun, but I found the engine really clunky. The assassin was indeed fun to play though. ;)

The sequel has been "coming soon" for years. I'd be surprised if it ever came out. Which is a shame. :)

Zoombie
04-15-2009, 03:30 AM
The author swore on a Bible and some books that actually matter, that if he never gets another game, he WILL get the rest of the plotline out SOMEHOW. Whether its through blog posts or on stone scrolls, he will do it.

He better do it, or I'm going to torture the ending out of him.

<twitches>

WHAT HAPPENS TO ZOE AND APRIL DAMN IT!

TELL ME!

Adam
04-15-2009, 03:35 AM
Damn straight! I'll be there warming the hot pokers. ;)

It's the same company that made Age of Conan (I think), so they should have enough money floating about to at least throw out a cheap paperback. :(

Zoombie
04-15-2009, 03:38 AM
Or better yet, a new game!

With a real combat engine!

And more of our sexy assassin.

<dribbles a bit>

Okay, maybe there was more than intellectual reasons why I liked him...

Adam
04-15-2009, 03:43 AM
Good enough of a reason for me. :)

Think he had a cool accent too, though I'm not sure on that.

Got it on Steam a while back, will have to replay. :D

William Haskins
04-15-2009, 03:53 AM
Anachronox

awesome.

i'll share your post with tom hall tomorrow. he'll be thrilled.

Zoombie
04-15-2009, 04:08 AM
You know him?

Sweet!

Tell him to make a sequel or I'll rip out his eyes.

Or just annoy him.

Or something.

William Haskins
04-15-2009, 04:37 AM
yes, we work together, but on separate projects.

i worked with him at ion storm during the development of anachronox as well.

8thSamurai
04-15-2009, 05:45 AM
Silent Hill 1, 2(the best), and 3

Psychonauts

Abraham
04-15-2009, 10:29 AM
Silent Hill 2 was amazing. I haven't finished Fallout 3 yet though I really enjoy the side quests and just the amount of care that went into the dozens and dozens of peripheral characters. Not too familiar with Dreamfall.

Thinking about The Dig though, that may be my all time favorite. I'd love to see a movie made out of it someday.

Knights of the Old Republic had a great story too (better than what Lucas comes up with).

Usually System Shock 2 makes it onto these lists (never played it but familiar with it).

Zoombie
04-15-2009, 11:01 AM
How could I forget?

Indigo Prophecy if you're American and fat (Fahrenheit if your European and socialist)

The first 2/3rds of the game were amazingly well crafted and fun to play.

Then the last third went completely batshit insane.

But you still got your buggy awesome flying kungfu fight.

Adam
04-15-2009, 04:11 PM
Knights of the Old Republic had a great story too (better than what Lucas comes up with).

Bah! How did I forget that one! :D

Loved that game, and to lesser extent its sequel. Fun story, great gameplay.

Brutal Mustang
04-15-2009, 04:13 PM
Force Unleashed?

Zoombie
04-16-2009, 12:37 AM
I actually loved KOTOR2 slightly more, if only for the Kreia character.

She managed to be so neutral that it actually became a kind of passive evil that gets under your skin and makes you second guess everything you do.

Its awesome.

oscuridad
04-16-2009, 01:30 AM
Deus Ex, anyone? I thought that was very cool - especially with its rather prescient Government backed terrorism twisty plotline... it would make a very cool movie I think.

Zoombie
04-16-2009, 01:49 AM
I liked the gameplay of Deus Ex more, but I actually liked the plotline of Deus Ex 2 a bit more.

The setting of Deus Ex 2 was more...lively and engaging, imo.

Lhun
04-19-2009, 06:32 PM
Freespace 2. It is a space shooter which makes it even more unbelievable that the story would be so gripping. I think a lot of it is also in the mission design, i.e. most story happens during the missions, not in cutscenes inbetween.
The whole Broken Sword series. An absolute must-have for all oldschool gamers who can still remember the times when 2D adventures came out for PC. My personal favorite is Broken Sword 3, though it's the first 3D one.
Summoner. Loved that game. Pretty cool fantasy world, and definitly top marks for getting it across.

Zoombie
04-19-2009, 10:05 PM
Homeworld.

Homeworld seems to be completely forgotten, but seriously: This game made me cry.

Its like playing Battlestar Galactica.

Ya know.

Without the STUPID STUPID STUPID Cylons.

SPMiller
04-20-2009, 02:11 AM
Baldur's Gate 2, Planescape: Torment, and Homeworld are the big winners so far in this thread. Good writing in all three of those.

Freespace 2 was the Last Great Space Shooter. There's no reason to ever make another old-school space shooter, because it won't be as good as Freespace 2. It took all the elements of the genre and put them together in just the right way. However, that has less to do with writing in particular than with the overall game design.

Cath
04-20-2009, 02:52 AM
Loved all the Black Isle games, but especially Planescape: Torment. The characters were very distinct in Baldur's Gate (although I'll admit to making sure one was killed whenever I played it because she annoyed me so much, and I couldn't kick her from the party because she came as part of a team).

Humourwriter
04-20-2009, 06:47 AM
The two games that I can play over and over and still get involved in:

The Longest Journey (and no, I can't wait for the next one either)
Grim Fandango.Bill.

Fox The Cave
04-28-2009, 10:18 PM
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

The whole game really came alive. The story was simple, but so engaging. And you really get to know and like the characters. Sands of Time Prince was by far the best version - they really fucked up his character in the next game, Warrior Within. He was more like his old self in The Two Thrones, which was good.

Zoombie
04-29-2009, 12:31 AM
Oh!

Did we mention Bioshock?

If not, it deserves DOUBLE MENTION!

darkprincealain
04-29-2009, 01:37 AM
:popcorn: Baldur's Gate, Silent Hill & Silent Hill 2, & Chrono Cross, I would say.

Opty
04-29-2009, 04:47 AM
I have to give a huge second to Mass Effect. Brilliant game. Great storyline.

KOTOR was a great story, too.

Grebbsy
04-29-2009, 05:17 AM
Giving away my age here, no doubt, when I say that my fondest gaming memories are of FOOL'S ERRAND and the WING COMMANDER series...

Zoombie
04-29-2009, 05:30 AM
Ooooooooh!

Wing Commander was awesome!

jmascia
04-29-2009, 04:02 PM
Best written Video Games - Final Fantasy 6 and 7. Hands down. No contest.

jmascia
04-29-2009, 04:04 PM
Add Chrono Trigger on that too.

fairy86
04-29-2009, 04:25 PM
Final Fantasy X- The graphics are beautiful and so is the story line.

Prince of Persia (New Xbox 360 edition)

Call of Duty 4- I'm not big on combat games because I die pretty fast but it's an awesome game!

Super Geek
04-29-2009, 05:56 PM
So many Japanese visual novels have wonderful storylines, but alas, they hardly ever come out here. Ever 17 is the only one I've played without a translation patch. Air and Higurashi also have amazing storylines.

I was also extremely impressed with the storyline of the Phoenix Wright games for the DS. I was expecting a goofy, fun time killer and was shocked at how drawn into the plot and involved with the characters I got.

darkprincealain
04-29-2009, 09:16 PM
Final Fantasy X- The graphics are beautiful and so is the story line.

Prince of Persia (New Xbox 360 edition)

Call of Duty 4- I'm not big on combat games because I die pretty fast but it's an awesome game!

Seconding the new Prince of Persia.


So many Japanese visual novels have wonderful storylines, but alas, they hardly ever come out here. Ever 17 is the only one I've played without a translation patch. Air and Higurashi also have amazing storylines.

I was also extremely impressed with the storyline of the Phoenix Wright games for the DS. I was expecting a goofy, fun time killer and was shocked at how drawn into the plot and involved with the characters I got.

From what I read at the time, Silent Hill: Play Novel was up to snuff with the rest of its series in terms of quality--and not just a rehash of the first game.

Zoombie
04-30-2009, 09:02 AM
Am I the only one here who hated the plot line to Final Fantasy 7?

Like...a lot?

SPMiller
04-30-2009, 07:47 PM
Am I the only one here who hated the plot line to Final Fantasy 7?

Like...a lot?No, but a lot of people seem to think it was great, and that's all that really matters, I guess.

fairy86
04-30-2009, 08:02 PM
Am I the only one here who hated the plot line to Final Fantasy 7?

Like...a lot?

Nope, you're not the only one. I could never get through the entire game :D

Fulk
05-01-2009, 03:30 AM
Portal. There's a lot of good humor, and the way that GlaDOS shifts from a cheerful, if not a bit zany, AI to a passive-aggressive and outright violent one.

Lost Odyssey. Not only is the opening cinematic one of the coolest openings I've seen in a video game, but when you're dealing with a main character who has lived thousands of years longer than anyone around him, you've got all sorts of potential for good stories. And they really deliver. Maybe I'm a wuss, but I was on the verge of tears 4 times in the course of about 30 minutes of gameplay as I came across the new memories.

Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2.

The Metal Gear Solid series. I haven't played MGS4, but I thoroughly enjoyed the first three. The ending of MGS3 was another one of those storytelling moments that really gripped me.

Zoombie
05-01-2009, 03:45 AM
No, but a lot of people seem to think it was great, and that's all that really matters, I guess.

The majority is not always right.

SPMiller
05-01-2009, 03:51 AM
The majority is not always right.The majority is often wrong, but who cares? Square/Enix are still flush with cash from that damn game.

Zoombie
05-01-2009, 03:53 AM
Though, really, the market that FF7 occupies and the market that MY favorite games occupies are rather different, as the FF series has never really done well on the computer...sooo...

I don't really care :D

jfreedan
05-24-2009, 09:57 PM
Am I the only one here who hated the plot line to Final Fantasy 7?

Like...a lot?

There were some translation errors in the game, such as when they called Cloud a "clone" of Sephiroth. The translator did a literal translation of the Japanese word for clone, which actually implies a spiritual clone (i.e. they used a similar super soldier process on Cloud that they used to create Sephiroth), not a DNA replicant like Dolly the sheep.

Final Fantasy 7 had a pretty impressive storyline compared to what else was out there in videogame land in the late 90's, and they did some risky things like suddenly killing off an extremely likable playable character. I would rate the storyline of Final Fantasy 6 just a'bit higher than 7 though, and is my favorite game out of the entire series. This might be because despite all of the actions of the heroes, the villain still succeeds at destroying the world, and then everyone has to pick up the pieces and try to make one last final stand to save what is left of the world. That isn't something you normally see in videogames; nor is witnessing the transformation of an unlikely and minor character turning into the central villain of the story. There's something Napoleonic about that.

Xenogears is probably one of my favorite games of all time, and the storyline has a lot of depth to it. It could easily have filled several novels. The central characters go through a lot of development throughout the story, and even several minor characters are explored quite elaborately.

I've always been a huge fan of the SaGa games from Square-- I'm a bigger fan of that series than Final Fantasy. There is something about following the personal stories of individual characters and seeing how they at times crossover and impact one another that is extremely appealing to me, especially with the way some storylines might be an alternate universe. My favorite would have to be Saga Frontier 2. The rise and fall of Gustave and all of the backstory involving other characters was exceptionally well done.

Kingdom Hearts is also a favorite. When I first heard of it, I thought it would be the usual Disney game trash meant to appeal to parents shopping for birthday and christmas presents-- instead it turned out to be one of the best games Square has ever created. The sequel was equally amazing. There is a lot of depth and emotion in the games, but I think what I enjoyed most is that a lot of familiar Disney and Squaresoft characters received some re-imaginings, which was a breath of fresh air.

Chrono Trigger is up there with Xenogears in terms of how epic the storyline is, although it is less serious and focuses a'bit more on comedy, but I liked that. The exploration of different time periods and the many, many, many alternate futures you could create was really well done.

Castlevania games are not usually known for their storylines, but I thought Symphony of the Night and its spiritual successor Aria of Sorrow really did a good job of fleshing out the back story of Castlevania's Dracula, who was always a very underdeveloped character. In SOTN, through the eyes of his son Alucard you learn why Dracula fell into darkness and see the first hint of regret from him; in Aria of Sorrow, you get to see the redemption of Dracula.

I'm a huge Nippon Ichi fan. They are like the Squaresoft of the new millennium. I suppose my favorite game would be the first Disgaea. It was one of the storylines so absurd that you could not predict what was going to happen next, which is the kind of story they specialize in.

Resident Evil 2 is the best of the Resident Evil series, and really set the tone for the rest of the games. After that, everything got a little tripe and weird, and the elements of the storyline became the model for nearly every survival horror game made in the late 90s and early 00s.

As far as MMORPGs go, World of Warcraft is insanely epic. If you really pay attention to the quest plots, it's really amazing how everything fits together so nicely, and gives the world a huge amount of depth.

Leah_Michelle
05-26-2009, 01:08 AM
:popcorn: Baldur's Gate, Silent Hill & Silent Hill 2, & Chrono Cross, I would say.

You made me so happy just now. I love Baldur's Gate. Such an awesome game...

Bmwhtly
05-26-2009, 11:43 AM
I thought Kane & Lynch had well-thought out characters and a good story (although if they do make a film of it, Kane should be played by Kurt Russel rather than Bruce Willis)

Mind you, Freelancer was good too. The depth they put into the history of it was staggering.

Sarpedon
05-28-2009, 02:19 AM
Since no one has mentioned it yet, I'll say Morrowind. In spite of the poor combat system and graphics that left much to be desired, they managed to create a genuinely original and deep main quest, with side quests ranging from very light to heavy in story.

The writing was far superior to its successors, and shows how much more important writing is than celebrity voice actors.

Leah_Michelle
05-28-2009, 01:19 PM
Hm, I thought I was better versed in video game names. I don't play that many, but I know people who do and the names of those games.
I don't think I've heard of 3/4 of the games mentioned here.
I'll mention that I really like the story lines of Warcraft and Starcraft. I've never played Diablo, but I'll be giving that a try soon.

Zoombie
05-28-2009, 02:08 PM
Maybe its just me, but Morrowind's story was about as interesting to me as watching paint dry.

Say what you will about Oblivion being a rip off of Lotor and having a shallow main quest...at least I finished it without trying to commit suicide!

Leah_Michelle
05-28-2009, 10:41 PM
Maybe its just me, but Morrowind's story was about as interesting to me as watching paint dry.

Say what you will about Oblivion being a rip off of Lotor and having a shallow main quest...at least I finished it without trying to commit suicide!
You don't find paint drying entertaining? What is this blasphemy? :tongue

Epiphany
05-28-2009, 10:59 PM
Baldur's Gate I and II are effing amazing. Best story I've ever seen for non-MMO video games. I actually wrote a screenplay for the first one when I was 13. It's sitting at the bottom of one of my drawers. lol.

CDaniel
05-29-2009, 08:37 AM
I'm not really much of a video game player of sorts, but I thought Kingdom Hearts II was good. Though I confess not to having played the first one.

Zelda: Wind Walker is one I liked. But the one that I thought had a good story for me was Final Fantasy 12.

Like I said I'm not much of a video game player. These are just the ones I'm familiar with.

Bmwhtly
05-30-2009, 03:11 AM
Assassin's Creed.

The deeper story is a bit mystical, but thoroughly researched.

Imbroglio
06-05-2009, 09:54 AM
All right, so, I don't even know what this really is, like actual WRITING or just the storyline, or whatever, but I'll just throw some crap out here for consideration.

So, I am insanely caught up in the voice overs of Xenosaga Episode 1. Can't really explain it. It's... strange. I love the voices (aside from chaos, maybe) and the dialogue seems SO realistic to me. Aside from the obviously fake sci-fi stuff.

Xenosaga also has a pretty good storyline for me. Still looking for Episodes 2 and 3 to replay them though. It's been a while.

Planescape: Torment, most definitely, but it's been mentioned.

I have a burning passion for FFX. It's just beautiful. The whole thing. The storyline. The music. The characters. The voice acting could have used a little work, but a few hours in, it didn't even matter to me. The characters were exactly how I wanted them to be.

I really love Shadow Hearts, the original. The second has a better combat system, and I'm a little upset about how they just throw in random party members, but Karin was cool, and so were Kurando and Anastasia. The original is a work of art though. Definitely amazing.

That's all I can think of right now. Shite.

JimmyB27
06-06-2009, 03:38 AM
Definitely the Baldur's Gate series. I'm playing it again now, and even with the 90's(?) graphics, the story is still good enough to carry it today, imho. And all of the little dialogue snips you got here and there were great. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...I bash you!" Minsc and Boo ftw! :D I don't think the later games (Icewind Dale, NWN) have come up to the same standard, storywise. Though my laptop was stolen before I finished NWN2, so I don't know about that one.
I have a soft spot for some of the Command and Conquer series. I think Red Alert had the best story.
Warcraft 3 was pretty good.
The various GTAs.
I second Deus Ex. For some reason I never got into the second one, but the first was great, story and gameplay.

LiquidDan
06-20-2009, 12:59 AM
I really liked the storylines in the Silent Hill games, especially 1 and 2. Also the original Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain had a really good story and great voice acting which carried it through, despite relatively poor graphics (even for its time.) Still one of my favourite games ever. Just a shame that, as far as I'm aware, the sequels did it no justice at all.

10er
06-20-2009, 03:05 AM
We're on the third page and no one has mentioned Vampire: Bloodlines and Arcanum.
I am disappointed. All of you, go forth and play them.
...then join me in mourning Troika studios' bankruptcy until the end of time.

Seconding Legacy of Kain series too. So epic it blew my mind, despite some of the typical time travel plot issues.

Tomothy_Mayhem
06-23-2009, 07:54 AM
I liked the gameplay of Deus Ex more, but I actually liked the plotline of Deus Ex 2 a bit more.

The setting of Deus Ex 2 was more...lively and engaging, imo.

:rant:such heresy shall not be forgiven :rant:

I'm a very, very serious Deus Ex fan, what they did with Invisible War was disappointing to say the least, and I include the story, the game would have been better if it wasn't labeled with the name "Deus Ex"

luke_mushu_2010
06-23-2009, 08:19 AM
Has anyone played Indigo Prophecy? (Known as "Fahrenheit " in countries besides North America) It is amazingly written and in my opinion is the best video game EVER! You guys should totally look into it, it is great.

Zoombie
06-23-2009, 09:24 AM
I thought I mentioned both Arcanum AND Vampires: Bloodlines...

Guss not!

So, you know what is an oddly well written game? But not in the way you expect?

Empire: Total War

It is stuffed FULL of textual information about everything from muskets to how the peasants lived to how the steam engine impacted mining. The information is informative without being dull and useful to the game, as it teaches you more about the setting you play in, which helps you actually manage your empire more effectively.

BigWords
06-23-2009, 10:23 PM
Sam & Max Hit The Road.

The dialogue is really funny. The game may be ancient, but it still makes me smile every time I play it. Season One isn't a patch on the classic.

Merata
06-24-2009, 02:14 PM
The best written games imo are;

Star wars: republic commando(The dialogues are really well written, and there's alot of humour in this game. Though there is no real plot, each mission is build rather good. SO you don't get the feeling that each mission is the same.)
Freelancer (My all time favorite game, great and entertaining story, great pacing, adn a really good difficulty.)
Thief: deadly shadows(Though I never finished this game, I really like the story adn how the game plays.)

LiquidDan
06-24-2009, 04:59 PM
Has anyone played Indigo Prophecy? (Known as "Fahrenheit " in countries besides North America) It is amazingly written and in my opinion is the best video game EVER! You guys should totally look into it, it is great.

my friend was raving about this game to me years ago. I always said I was gonna pick up a copy but never got around to it. Might go and check ebay for it now :Thumbs:

luke_mushu_2010
06-24-2009, 09:19 PM
my friend was raving about this game to me years ago. I always said I was gonna pick up a copy but never got around to it. Might go and check ebay for it now :Thumbs:

Most definitely, man! You will love it.

Zoombie
06-24-2009, 10:38 PM
The only problem with Ferniheight/IP is that it goes from plot point A to plot point B then skips all the way to plot point Z without so much as a second thought.

The last third of the game is so fucking insane, its awesome.

But its also insane.

luke_mushu_2010
06-25-2009, 12:22 AM
Yeah it got crazy during that last third part of the game. I wasn't expecting it.

Marcus
06-25-2009, 01:31 AM
let the flaming beginE

I HATED planescape: Torment! Though having just said that, i Watched someone else play it, :D I just couldn't get into the game for some reason. It was in high school and i loved reading, i loved baldors game, loved story based games, but somehow I Just Could Not Get into that game! My friend would constantly give me shit because of it too, so anything you guys have to rag on me about hating that game, I've already heard :Shrug:

GeorgeK
06-25-2009, 05:18 PM
What would be the top of your well-written video games lists in terms of story, characters and plot?



Lands (or was it Legends?) of Hyperborea written by Jim Farris. LOH was actually a free mod of Dungeon Siege 1. DS1 was good in its own right, but the mod LOH was far superior. DS2 IMO sucked.

LOH had a rich story and the game was strategically challenging, but physically easy to play with lots of macros for people like me with nerve damage making rapid keystroking or heavy mouse use difficult.

Andromeda
06-26-2009, 01:14 AM
May I go old school?

Final Fantasy IV, VI
Breath of Fire II
Chrono Trigger
Zelda: LttP

Pepper
06-26-2009, 12:07 PM
I'm a game fanatic. I gravitate towards games that I believe are well written (aka have good characters/ storylines/ dialogue)

Here's the ones I can think of right now, in rough order of preference:

BioShock
Max Payne (1 & 2)
Half Life (all of 'em)
Mass Effect
Grim Fandango
Final Fantasy 8
The Curse of Monkey Island
Farenheit
Fable
The Longest Journey
Dreamfall

Noticed that there aren't that many girls in this thread. Shame, I think it's awesome when I can kick my fiance's ass on LAN. More girls should do it (with their men, I mean). :D

EDIT: I forgot to mention ToonStruck! How awesome was that game?? :D

Prit
06-26-2009, 09:00 PM
Almost anything Final Fantasy. I'd probably say that FFX is my favorite in terms of story. FF8 has really interesting characters but I find something about the storyline confusing. I can't seem to get into FF7 as much as most people.

And Xenosaga though it sort of fizzled out. Yes, I enjoy 30-minute cut scenes.

Fokker Aeroplanbau
06-26-2009, 09:10 PM
BioShock and Fable I/II.

Take the cake in serious and humerous writing.

BigWords
06-26-2009, 09:47 PM
I've read through all of the responses, and... Not a single mention of the Myst franchise?

I'm beginning to think that the money Cyan have spent on Myst might have been better used to create a "real" game (i.e. an FPS). *sarcasm overload*

tarcanus
06-26-2009, 11:39 PM
Okay people, another travesty is that no one's mentioned:

Vagrant Story.

Nix
06-26-2009, 11:52 PM
Once again, "Planescape: Torment". I'd almost classify that game as a playable novel: there's so much character and world development. That whole game is a labour of love (and is well-worth buying off Amazon, for any who are interested).

I'll have to also second Silent Hill 2. Cerebral, haunting, and downright melancholic. And some of the dialogue is frightening, in a sad sort of way (see You-Know-Who's pre-boss battle dialogue in the Leave ending).

As for new nominations? I loved "Exile/Avernum", a small, independant set of games released for the computer. The premise? The Empire discovers a series of caverns deep beneath the surface of the world. Immediately, they discover a use for these caverns, building a one-way teleporter and sending any criminals, political dissidents, or misfits through it, to Exile. It's primarily about the Exiles' struggle against the Empire (and for survival in the monster-infested caverns).

"Rule of Rose" deserves a nomination. The story is a bit hard to follow (and a bit of a mind-screw: it requires a few playthroughs), but now that I've figured it out, it's one of the most haunting, gothic stories I've ever seen. Broken promises, revenge, orphans, cuddly pet dogs. It has it all :-P

Lastly? "Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem", an HP Lovecraft-inspired story. Pious/Max Roivas' speeches in that game are both brilliantly written and acted, and the story throws quite a few twists at you (let's just say that you shouldn't get too attached to the characters).

Sophia
06-27-2009, 12:07 AM
My all-time favourite is Baldur's Gate II for the inventive character dialogue and interactions.

I did like Planescape: Torment, and can appreciate that it has an excellent premise, but it didn't have very much of a replayability factor for me. I couldn't identify very much with the player character, and wasn't particularly drawn to any of the other characters either, except perhaps for Dak'kon.

Zoombie, I know what you mean about all the information in Empire: Total War. It's fascinating and very well incorporated into the game.

Nix
06-27-2009, 12:13 AM
Actually, I have a new nomination that may strike some people as surprising.

"Hunter the Reckoning", a Gauntlet-styled hack-and-slash set in White Wolf's World of Darkness mythos. Although the game itself is rather hack-and-slash, the story it's framed within is rather good. Monsters live among us, carefully hiding themselves through illusions and human "puppets". Hunters are people who can see through these disguises and who try to protect humanity from the monsters lurking just beneath the surface.

Pepper
06-29-2009, 07:12 AM
Ah! Zork Grand Inquisitor

How the hell did I forget that game??

luke_mushu_2010
06-29-2009, 07:32 AM
"Rule of Rose" deserves a nomination. The story is a bit hard to follow (and a bit of a mind-screw: it requires a few playthroughs), but now that I've figured it out, it's one of the most haunting, gothic stories I've ever seen. Broken promises, revenge, orphans, cuddly pet dogs. It has it all :-P

I looked at two different Game-Stop's today for that game. With no luck of finding it, I decided to get a Fatal Frame II, Clock Tower 3, and Siren. From what I've played of Siren, it's an alright game. Fatal Frame II has a lot of potential, but the camera-views suck, in my opinion. I haven't played my Clock Tower game yet.

SPMiller
06-29-2009, 08:23 AM
Ah! Zork Grand Inquisitor

How the hell did I forget that game??That reminds me of another game...

You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.
There is a small mailbox here.

christinalbarr
06-29-2009, 08:39 AM
I adored Marvel Ultimate Alliance because I did not expect where they were going at all with that game. If you like comic book characters and have a basic knowledge of the characters, I would play the game. I haven't played the second and I know they just did it off of the Civil War story, so I have no idea how Marvel can compare to the greatness of the first. Marvel UA is a game that I wish never, ever ended.

LiquidDan
07-04-2009, 04:00 PM
"Rule of Rose" deserves a nomination. The story is a bit hard to follow (and a bit of a mind-screw: it requires a few playthroughs), but now that I've figured it out, it's one of the most haunting, gothic stories I've ever seen. Broken promises, revenge, orphans, cuddly pet dogs. It has it all :-P


This is one of my absolute favourite games ever! I was thinking of mentioning it, but the thing is, I wasn't sure if it fit the criteria for being "well written". I've got to be honest, the story is kinda confusing and there are still some parts of the plot that I don't quite understand. (I've only played it through once though...)

I loved the writing on the characters, the "levels" and the overall theme, and I thought the capturing of emotion and feelings of loneliness, fear, spite etc in children was absolutely excellent. I suppose thing I liked most about the game was the atmosphere. I loved the eerie, haunting qualities which are captured in the scenery and the soundtrack and the characters. The overall theme is probably my favourite of any game I've ever played. So, so good, I really just get lost in it...

Paul J. Andrew
07-06-2009, 12:18 PM
Portal. There's a lot of good humor, and the way that GlaDOS shifts from a cheerful, if not a bit zany, AI to a passive-aggressive and outright violent one.

Lost Odyssey. Not only is the opening cinematic one of the coolest openings I've seen in a video game, but when you're dealing with a main character who has lived thousands of years longer than anyone around him, you've got all sorts of potential for good stories. And they really deliver. Maybe I'm a wuss, but I was on the verge of tears 4 times in the course of about 30 minutes of gameplay as I came across the new memories.


Agreed on both points. Bioshock, Mass Effect, Fallout 3 and The Force Unleashed are some of my other favorite game stories from recent years. Not so recent would be Final Fantasy 4 and 6. The story in 5 was rubbish and nearly incomprehensible in 7 (but that didn't keep me from completing them both).


I adored Marvel Ultimate Alliance because I did not expect where they were going at all with that game. If you like comic book characters and have a basic knowledge of the characters, I would play the game. I haven't played the second and I know they just did it off of the Civil War story, so I have no idea how Marvel can compare to the greatness of the first. Marvel UA is a game that I wish never, ever ended.
This also!

WWWWolf
07-06-2009, 10:08 PM
I'll post a few off the top of my head...

Ultima series: Ultima VII in particular. Massive, massive, massive amounts of dialogue and tons people with unique tasks and personalities. Great thinking in regards to worldbuilding.

Metroid Prime series and Thief series: Both basically for the same reason. You have a mission, yet in both series, you learn everything interesting through looking at the documents in the game world (and listening to people, in Thief). I think these are good contenders if you want to answer the question "how can computer games be storytelling medium in a way that's different from other media?" A lot of games these days are game sequences sandwiched between cutscenes that tell the story, but these games show how you can put the relevant story bits in the gameplay sequences.
Also, the Thief series has just plain awesome gameworld.

Halo series: Okay, so the game mechanics and level design is largely mediocre, and the plot is rather confusing and somewhat irrelevant (but then again, no one ever has any idea how the situation is going to develop next in real wars either). However, I mainly appreciate Halo series for the world-building effort. Everything in the game screams that the folks put a lot of thought in the backstory. This is futuristic military stuff that's done in a way that it feels like futuristic military stuff, and not just like "we built a 3D shooter engine, now we'll make the story - hm, let's make up something about people in the future who've got futuristic weapons and stuff. Ship it."

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: Not always the greatest plotlines or acting, but there are some brilliant quests here. I just love the Dark Brotherhood quests: we've got butt-kicking creepy evil stuff and great dark humour here...

Portal: Not only it's a great game, but the GLaDOS chatter is absolutely brilliant. It's the first game in long time where I've really paid attention to every word and found all of it just pure gold.

Kathleen42
07-06-2009, 10:33 PM
American McGee's Alice. Largely, I'll admit, for the Cherise Cat's lines.

JimmyB27
07-07-2009, 03:15 AM
That reminds me of another game...

You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.
There is a small mailbox here.
Oh man, those text games were awesome. This (http://www.worldofspectrum.org/infoseekplay.cgi?title=Case+of+the+Mixed-Up+Shymer%2c+The&pub=Atlas+Adventure+Software&year=1987&id=0009583&game=/games/c/CaseOfTheMixed-UpShymerThe.tzx.zip&emu=3) is the only one I can really remember though. Except I had it on the C64.
Oh, and check this (http://www.xkcd.com/91) out. :D

Pepper
07-07-2009, 04:26 AM
American McGee's Alice. Largely, I'll admit, for the Cherise Cat's lines.

I forgot about that game. :D That was a wonderful take on the old story. I can't wait until the second installment is released!

JimmyB27
07-07-2009, 02:21 PM
Did anyone mention the Monkey Island games yet? They were hilarious.

cethklein
07-15-2009, 09:36 PM
I also enjoyed the first two Fallout titles andthe way they were written even if a lot of it was lbierally taken from EA's Wasteland.) Yes, believe it or not, EA once made good games.

I also found that Planescape game (Torment, I believe it was.) was well written.

Silent Hill also had some great writing, especially in the latter parts of the first game.

Suikoden 2 also comes to mind. Japanese RPGs are pretty bad about cliche plots, and Suikoden 2 violates many of those things, but the villain was fantastic as was his dialog.

The Legacy of Kain series also had some great plots. Too bad the series went downhill after about the second game. I just watched the FMVs on youtube to avoid playing the awful games.

A lot of old adventure games, like LucasArts' stuff and Westwood's titles had terrific writing. (the first Monkey Island just got re-made, and it's amazing even to this day.) You saw a lot of great humor writing in those games. Anyone remember Rex Nebular? classic.

Toejam and Earl 3. This isn't one you'd expect, but the third title had some great humor to it. Greg Johnson, one of the series' creators, has an eye for comedy.

I actually thought Halo, of all things, for an FPS, had some good writing behind it.

And yes, the Ultimas definitely deserve credit.

I do have to disagree with StarCraft though. The writing seemed just a little TOO similar to Warhammer 40k (GW apparently thought so too.) But the game was successful.

I'm afraid good plots are going by the wayside. It's nothing but bland shooters and sports titles nowadays.

cethklein
07-15-2009, 09:38 PM
I actually loved KOTOR2 slightly more, if only for the Kreia character.

She managed to be so neutral that it actually became a kind of passive evil that gets under your skin and makes you second guess everything you do.

Its awesome.

THANK YOU. Everyone knocks me for thinking the second game had a better plot. (although the first one was good too. That plot twist was definitely cool.

Zoombie
07-15-2009, 10:41 PM
Yes, believe it or not, EA once made good games.


Oh hells yeah!

how could I forget...

http://www.mobygames.com/images/covers/large/927770267-00.jpg


See down there at the bottom right corner? Electronic Arts.

EA!

This game kicked ASS!

kaybee2
07-17-2009, 05:57 PM
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Wind Waker. I love the whole series, but those two have great stories.

Shoeless
07-24-2009, 11:58 PM
The Longest Journey has, to my mind, the best story (and writing) of any game I've played. :)

Finally decided to venture out of Bewares & Background Checks into the rest of the forum proper. Hey folks.

Hardcore gamer dating back to the Atari 2600, just so you know my "street credentials."

I have to agree with this right here. The Longest Journey, and Grim Fandango are probably two of my all time favorite games in terms of just sucking me in with the writing and keeping me thinking long after the game is over. It's also my great pleasure to say that over the last few years, as a result of work, I actually managed to become friends with Ragnar Tornquist, creator of The Longest Journey and Dreamfall, and it's pretty amazing how much depth he's put into the game, more amazing still to be sitting at a table with a couple of drinks and spending a few hours talking to him about it.

TLJ is not dead. I'm not going to disclose anything more than what you could find by reading a Funcom press release, or reading Ragnar's own blog, but rest assured, he has very definite ideas about the future of the series and although most of his time now is being spent on his new MMO "The Secret World" (think World of Warcraft meets H.P. Lovecraft) he's still very committed to trying to finish the story of April and Zoe.

Zoombie
07-25-2009, 12:51 AM
Yesssssssssssssssssssss

Good!

Good!

GOOD!

I can't wait for a continuation of TLJ. Cause, basically, the ending of Dreamfall was me going, "No...no no no it can't be over argh no ardaiasndsandksl."

And then I exploded.

Shoeless
07-25-2009, 12:57 AM
I can't wait for a continuation of TLJ. Cause, basically, the ending of Dreamfall was me going, "No...no no no it can't be over argh no ardaiasndsandksl."

And then I exploded.

Yeah. Ragnar, like Joss Whedon, has this nasty habit of playing evil mind games with his audience.

jodiodi
07-25-2009, 03:38 AM
I love you guys!

My favorites are no secret. I've mentioned them enough on these boards:

Silent Hill (2 is best, but I love 'em all)
Fatal Frame (again, love 'em all)
Doom 3
Rule of Rose
The Suffering
Manhunt (what can I say, I'm psycho)
Obscure
Alone in the Dark

Pretty much any game that makes me afraid to get up to go to the bathroom in another part of the house. I play in the dark with headphones so I hear every sound, especially in the Silent Hill and Fatal Frame games.

I'd never played any games until I got married and my husband and brotherinlaw told me I'd probably like Silent Hill. It was the first console game I played and fell in love. My husband won't play the games I like; he says they freak him out.

Zoombie
07-25-2009, 04:33 AM
If you like creepy games, Jodi, check out System Shock 2. Its the original freaky game.

Shoeless
07-25-2009, 10:05 AM
I love you guys!

My favorites are no secret. I've mentioned them enough on these boards:

Silent Hill (2 is best, but I love 'em all)
Fatal Frame (again, love 'em all)
Doom 3
Rule of Rose
The Suffering
Manhunt (what can I say, I'm psycho)
Obscure
Alone in the Dark

Damn. That one is hard to find. You're the only other person I've ever seen that's actually played that game.

I've played all those games. The Fatal Frame series takes my personal award for scariest of the bunch. I also got a kick out of Siren on the Playstation 3, but that was done by the same guy who did the original Silent Hill, so it had the same creepy vibe. The part in the hospital in that game was just... unpleasant. In that good way.

jodiodi
07-25-2009, 11:03 AM
If you like creepy games, Jodi, check out System Shock 2. Its the original freaky game.

I think I've seen that somewhere. Haven't played it though it looked good. Another one I enjoyed was something I can't recall the name of, but it was on a space station and Lance Henrickson did one of the voices. Brad Dourif did another of the voices. I can almost remember, but it slips away. I could go look through the games, but I'm too lazy.

I enjoyed Shadowman and Castlevania to an extent, but they weren't my favs. I loved the Onimusha games, though.

Still nothing's as good as Silent Hill with Fatal Frame a close second. In fact, in Fatal Frame you only have a camera as a weapon. And those girls! They can't run for crap.

Shoeless
07-25-2009, 11:10 AM
I think I've seen that somewhere. Haven't played it though it looked good. Another one I enjoyed was something I can't recall the name of, but it was on a space station and Lance Henrickson did one of the voices. Brad Dourif did another of the voices. I can almost remember, but it slips away. I could go look through the games, but I'm too lazy.

System Shock 2 is by Kevin Levine, Bioshock is considered a spiritual sequel of sorts, at least in tone, sophistication, and use of recorded logs to impart narrative on the player.

The Lance Henrikson game you're thinking of is probably Run Like Hell. That also had Brad Dourif and Kate Mulgrew doing some voice work.

jodiodi
07-25-2009, 11:29 AM
You're right. Run Like Hell was a lot of fun. Reminded me of Doom in a way, but easier in that everything wasn't in total darknessd.

I played Doom III on the computer and my husband said he could hear me yelling obscenities every few minutes. I played in the dark with headphones (the only way to play scarey games).

Shoeless
07-26-2009, 11:06 PM
Even though Shadow of the Colossus doesn't actually have much in the way of writing, I think I'd still nominate it for this thread based on the themes and flow of its overall story. It's quite a striking game that tackles a lot issues most games never even consider.

Grand_Maester
07-27-2009, 10:58 PM
Final Fantasy X's story is seriously amazing. The dialogue could have used a little work, but the plot and characters were just incredible. I mean, Auron is the completely cliche, stereotypical stoic, badass mentor type, and yet he's still so awesome.
Zelda Wind Waker also had an excellent story (and an excellent final boss battle. Ganon with dual katanas surrounded by crashing water is just epic).

Shoeless
07-27-2009, 11:12 PM
Final Fantasy X's story is seriously amazing. The dialogue could have used a little work, but the plot and characters were just incredible.

For their first attempt at a JRPG using voice work, Squenos did okay with FFX. I'm still partial to Final Fantasy VI as my favorite in the series in terms of plot. They did a lot crazy, ambitious things in there that few developers were willing to tackle at that time. At this time, even. I still have yet to see another game even broach the question of "Is it worth having a child in a world that's basically wrecked?"

Granted, such an issue would be a lot more powerful today with high-poly characters and fully voiced dialog, but for a bunch of sprites on the Super Nintendo, there was some pretty deep stuff going on in that game.

Zoombie
07-27-2009, 11:36 PM
The best JRPG continues to be Anachronox, and here is why: It was made by Canadians.

Shoeless
07-27-2009, 11:58 PM
The best JRPG continues to be Anachronox, and here is why: It was made by Canadians.

I thought Ion Storm was an American developer? Or did I just imagine that?

Zoombie
07-28-2009, 12:05 AM
I think they may have moved...but I think, at the time, they were Canadians.

Shoeless
07-28-2009, 12:07 AM
I think they may have moved...but I think, at the time, they were Canadians.

So we have a proud Canuck in the house? Any thoughts on Bioware or Silicon Knights?

LOG
07-28-2009, 12:49 AM
Kingdom Hearts series.

Zoombie
07-28-2009, 01:18 AM
So we have a proud Canuck in the house? Any thoughts on Bioware or Silicon Knights?

Bioware's game quality varies greatly on their writing staff at the time.

Also, I'm not Canadian, just so you know. I'm a sentient computer virus that's currently trying to destroy the global economy.

Shoeless
07-28-2009, 01:28 AM
Bioware's game quality varies greatly on their writing staff at the time.

Also, I'm not Canadian, just so you know. I'm a sentient computer virus that's currently trying to destroy the global economy.

You did some good work last year. Props.

Zoombie
07-28-2009, 02:22 AM
MuahahahahaHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

LOG
07-28-2009, 04:52 AM
I'm a sentient computer virus that's currently trying to destroy the global economy.
Youtube or it didn't happen.

JoshW
08-01-2009, 05:56 AM
Why all the hate for FF7? Man, I loved the story in that game.

The original Metal Gear: Solid was phenomenal. Even if you didn't like the story, there were so many groundbreaking ideas through the entire game. Back in the 90s, my jaw was on the floor. I have yet to play a game with THAT MANY "Holy crap, that was cool" moments in it. Seriously, that game was genius. Of course, "Stealth games" became a genre after that, and a lot of the concepts eventually lost there luster. But back in the 90s, oh man...

The ToeJam and Earl games had dialogue that left you going "WTF?" and scratching your head. Not in a bad way, though, in more of a falling-off-the-couch-laughing-so-hard kind of way.

Agonyzer
08-19-2009, 11:53 AM
Did anyone mention the Gabriel Knight series? Best stuff ever.

Bartholomew
08-19-2009, 12:33 PM
I thought the writing in Age of Wonders was OK.

Delhomeboy
08-19-2009, 04:37 PM
The original Metal Gear: Solid was phenomenal. Even if you didn't like the story, there were so many groundbreaking ideas through the entire game. Back in the 90s, my jaw was on the floor. I have yet to play a game with THAT MANY "Holy crap, that was cool" moments in it. Seriously, that game was genius. Of course, "Stealth games" became a genre after that, and a lot of the concepts eventually lost there luster. But back in the 90s, oh man...



Damn straight. I first played the game in 2003 or 04, and even so much later, with all the technological advances and graphical changes, I STILL couldn't believe how good it was. I've probably finished the thing like 20 times.

I second those who says FF7 and FF10 too. Someone mentioned Auron was a cliche, and maybe he is, but damn, sometimes cliches are good things.

And I dunno if Max Payne's been mentioned or not, but that game has one of the best stories I've ever seen...which is why the movie's butchering of it was all the more painful.

Straka
08-19-2009, 04:41 PM
Warcraft 3, Anacrhonox, DemiGod (a new one!) The Witcher, Planescape: Torment, Mass Effect, Overlord, Psychonaughts, Fallout 3 (despite some mistakes and a crappy ending, still a good one).

Baulder's Gate, Baulder's Gate 2, Gaulder's Gate 2: Shadows of Amnh (or however you spell that)

Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2.

Planescape: Torment...again. For being f***ing awesome.


I agree with you on all most all points. Torment is one of my favorite games. Baulder's gate is a RPG everyone should play before they die, great characters. Psychonaughts is clever with a sharp humor to it.

I would also add Grim Fandango. Funny dialogue with great style.

Straka
08-19-2009, 04:43 PM
Did anyone mention the Gabriel Knight series? Best stuff ever.

Crap I forget that! GK blew me away. I read the first book too which she mistakenly wrote more like a walk through for the game than a novel. I think she corrected that for the Beast Within.

SPMiller
08-19-2009, 08:45 PM
The original Metal Gear: Solid was phenomenal. Even if you didn't like the story, there were so many groundbreaking ideas through the entire game. Back in the 90s, my jaw was on the floor. I have yet to play a game with THAT MANY "Holy crap, that was cool" moments in it. Seriously, that game was genius. Of course, "Stealth games" became a genre after that, and a lot of the concepts eventually lost there luster. But back in the 90s, oh man...There's some debate about that. Thief: The Dark Project (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thief:_The_Dark_Project) came out about a month later and was arguably a better game (and Thief 2 even better than that).

Straka
08-20-2009, 07:39 AM
Thief was amazing. Thief Deadly Shadows is one of my favorite. I never played the original MGS. I play sons of liberty and that drove me nuts. Though I've heard that's an oddity in the series.

MGraybosch
08-21-2009, 06:20 PM
What would be the top of your well-written video games lists in terms of story, characters and plot?

I was impressed by Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions. The plot was wall-to-wall backstabbing and dirty deeds, and the hero is the only one who isn't tainted by any of the politics or conspiracies tearing apart Ivalice. He just wants to protect his sister, and if he has to kill a cabal of twelve demons bent on resurrecting their leader in order to do it, then that's just tough for the demons. :)

I also enjoyed Final Fantasy XII, even though a lot of people claim that it's too political. I was impressed by Ashe's character development. She starts out by wanting to restore her kingdom's independence by any means necessary, and constantly grasps at any opportunity to obtain the power she needs to successfully defy the empire that conquered her people. But as the story continues, she realizes that she's playing for much higher stakes, and that the power she hoped would save Dalmasca is the same power that keeps the fate of humanity in the hands of the gods.

I also recommend Atlus' line of Shin Megami Tensei games. They all blend mythology with science fiction or urban fantasy and unforgiving gameplay to create challenging occult adventures. The Persona series is urban fantasy; Digital Devil Saga is sci-fi with heavy Hindu overtones, the Raidou Kuzunoha games are detective stories set in 1920s Japan, and SMT: Nocturne is just plain heavy; the apocalypse happens in the first half hour, and it's up to the player to decide what shape the new world will take.

Elegy
08-28-2009, 10:36 AM
Max Payne was the best. The second one, not so good, but still better than most video games.

When people say Silent Hill, I laugh. Okay, it was a good game series, but the dialogue was scarier than the game itself. VERY poorly written.

Zoombie
08-28-2009, 11:42 AM
I actually liked the second Max Payn more than the first, both in terms of gameplay and in storyline.

Salis
08-30-2009, 11:26 PM
Man, I'm guessing most people didn't start playing games until 2000.

A few:

Betrayal at Krondor

Daggerfall

Torment was good, but I wouldn't list Baldur's Gate, the writing really wasn't that good, although the gameplay was fantastic.

jodiodi
08-31-2009, 03:28 AM
Man, I'm guessing most people didn't start playing games until 2000.


You're right about me. I didn't start until March 2000, when my husband and I got married. I played my first game on our honeymoon. Silent Hill.

BigWords
08-31-2009, 03:57 AM
I'm only 31, so I guess I missed out on a lot of games first time round. Can't say that I'm that bothered at not playing games which came out before I was born though.

The mid-eighties games which I have collected (Bravestarr, Batman (Amstrad), Super Mario Bros. and the like) haven't got the kind of stories I would classify as being either deep or profound, though I did enjoy Bomberman. Daley Thompson's Olympics (whatever you may have read online) is utter crud.

I was so disappointed by the late-eighties Popeye title that I didn't touch the Amstrad for nearly a year.

Newer games, by virtue of bigger memory, seem to be better written on the whole. There are still clunkers out there (Spider-Man: Friend Or Foe), but recent titles are much more rounded.

Zoombie
08-31-2009, 04:09 AM
Ya know what, I'm gonna say something heretical...

I went back and replayed Fallout 1...and...um...

The dialog is not all that good. I mean, there are only a few characters I can actually remember, most of them cause they have either A) voices and animated talking heads, or B) They were memorable.

And that B list...is...kinda short.

In fact, I'd say that I remember MORE characters from Fallout 3 than I do from Fallout 1, and the dialog drew me in better in Fallout 3 than Fallout 1...

Salis
08-31-2009, 07:08 AM
Newer games, by virtue of bigger memory, seem to be better written on the whole. There are still clunkers out there (Spider-Man: Friend Or Foe), but recent titles are much more rounded.

Don't agree at all. Writing has nothing to do with memory, why would it be better now? If anything, the state of writing in videogames has atrophied and developers substitute flash for storyline. There was a time when you were *required* to write engaging text because text was a huge part of how you immersed the player in the world, even if you had good art.

Planescape : Torment is also a fantastic example of a game that had pretty good tech/art but used text to immerse the player in ways that graphics just can't.

If you look at the MS DOS era, almost every game was about storytelling. I can't say anything close to the same for our current time.

Zoombie
08-31-2009, 08:35 AM
As I've said before, there will come a time where graphics are perfect and cheap, and game devs will have to focus on story and gameplay first.

efkelley
09-01-2009, 03:30 AM
The new Batman: Arkham Asylum has some excellent writing.

JimmyB27
09-01-2009, 02:22 PM
Don't agree at all. Writing has nothing to do with memory, why would it be better now? If anything, the state of writing in videogames has atrophied and developers substitute flash for storyline. There was a time when you were *required* to write engaging text because text was a huge part of how you immersed the player in the world, even if you had good art.

Planescape : Torment is also a fantastic example of a game that had pretty good tech/art but used text to immerse the player in ways that graphics just can't.

If you look at the MS DOS era, almost every game was about storytelling. I can't say anything close to the same for our current time.
Oh yes, who can forget the touching story of one Pac's ongoing war against the evil ghosts? ;)
The thing about early games is that they were churning them out nineteen to the dozen. They didn't need good writing in most of them, because people were still wowed by the very idea of computer games in themselves - like very early cinema, when a mere train moving on the screen was amazing. There were those text adventure games, and they were awesome, but there was a definite period where the majority of games had little or no plot/writing involved at all.

jodiodi
09-01-2009, 09:34 PM
Oh yes, who can forget the touching story of one Pac's ongoing war against the evil ghosts? ;)


My personal early favorite was the existential struggle between a centipede's urge for self-preservation and its desire to grow to self-destructive lengths as it battled drug use (mushrooms) and the oppression of society (spiders and scorpions).

Salis
09-02-2009, 05:20 AM
Oh yes, who can forget the touching story of one Pac's ongoing war against the evil ghosts? ;)
The thing about early games is that they were churning them out nineteen to the dozen. They didn't need good writing in most of them, because people were still wowed by the very idea of computer games in themselves - like very early cinema, when a mere train moving on the screen was amazing. There were those text adventure games, and they were awesome, but there was a definite period where the majority of games had little or no plot/writing involved at all.

Let me compare two games:

http://kurakdev.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/the_elder_scrolls_daggerfall_vorne.jpg

vs

http://media.strategywiki.org/images/thumb/1/10/Oblivion-Boxart.jpg/250px-Oblivion-Boxart.jpg

Go ahead and guess which has better writing. I can do this all day, by the way, there are so many examples, writing in videogames has been in a constant decline for a while, the only games in the modern era that have good writing are from dev houses that looked to the past for inspiration, and with those dev houses you can see the inevitable decline even there, from one game to the next (ex: Baldur's Gate 2 to NWN, Planescape : Torment to NWN 2).

SPMiller
09-08-2009, 11:40 AM
It is telling that game credits rarely if ever specifically identify anyone as being a "writer". Instead, people with the job of writing seem to be labeled "designers". Trying to figure out the writers for NWN2 is like pulling teeth: try it yourself (http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/neverwinter-nights-2/credits). I'm guessing the writers are under the heading "Additional Design".

Now, compare those eight names (counting the leads) to the 33 names working on various visual-art assets, and compare that to the 8:13 ratio for PS:T.

There you have the reason why things are the way they are: ballooning art budgets. With dev tools generally being more complex than in the past, the same number of writers can't put out the same amount of story they used to, nor to the same standards.