AAG Feature: Gamer Opinion - Story vs Style

7th May 2010 - In this era of instant information I still find myself reading magazines, I know that most of the articles and information is on-line but there is something for me about holding the glossy pages in my hand. Before you say anything, the irony that this article will appear online is not lost on me. Anyway reading the May edition of Empire Magazine I noticed a very well written article by Ben McEachen on the similarities of making a movie and making a game like Heavy Rain. It wasn’t until I got the last paragraph that I read something that resonated with me, that inspired me enough to write this article. To paraphrase it, I am getting older now and can’t find games for me, so I just watch movies and TV series.


It made me think about my gaming habits of late; due to my circumstances I have found myself having to be a lot more selective in the games I play, mainly due to the time constraints of having a family. No longer do I have the time to play a game that only mildly grabs me, I want my few hours of gaming to be fully entertaining. I don’t want to spend hours putting up with the crap in a multiplayer game that will end with me getting frustrated because some clown thought it was funny to start team killing or boosting with his mate so they can level up.


Cue a game like Heavy Rain, with an engaging story line that plays out like a movie. I am currently playing through this and really enjoying it. Is it the quick time events that prior to this game I loathed? Is it the mundane task of brushing my teeth and taking a shower? No. It is the fact that I care about the characters and what happens to them, I care about doing everything I can to find Shaun Mars. Why is this so? Plainly because the story is so damn good. It made me look at my favourite games of all time, well not so much my favourite games but the ones that have stayed with me. Bioshock when it was first released was a great game, the story is a great driver of that game and I enjoyed it immensely. Half Life was groundbreaking in the way it told its story during the game play and was one of the reasons I bought my first (and last) gaming PC.


And my most anticipated game of this year without a doubt is Alan Wake. Sure I still play stuff like Modern Warfare 2 but the story for me is now a big driver of buying and playing a game. I am looking forward to playing Halo Reach, but only to see the evolution of the Halo story, and maybe catch up with some old clan mates for some multiplayer. Is it a sign of me getting older? Is it a sign of me needing to be stimulated beyond a quick burst of adrenalin? More than likely.


Anyway I am off to play New Super Mario Bros Wii. What do you mean that story has been done before? ;)


Article by Michael Brennan