How to create a great game storyline.
Ultimately, games stories are pretty pants. We're looking at you Red Faction Armageddon! So, what makes those games that everyone wants so great?
Apparently it isn't that hard to see. For example, though in a bit of brotherly love, in respects to most shooters, Gears of War, Call of Duty. A bit of revenge like Assassin's Creed 2 (okay most Assassin's Creed games), Prototype or even the under rated WET.
Some games are so diabolical that you almost forget the storyline entirely even thougg the game tried so hard to make you care.
Vampire Rain is one of those. So much so, people actively try to get out of admitting they played it at all.
Break down a successful game, like Bioshock, and you get a great idea of how your storyboard should look.
Bioshock begins with you trapped in a world you couldn't possibly underatand. A stranger saves your life and immediately seems to want to help you get out. If you help him. You become more and more powerful as you come to realise that you have been tricked and must compemplate what you've done, ultimately your character chooses revenge.
The clever part comes in when you get a tailored ending to your journey via what you did with the Little Sisters. Did you save or kill them? Save them and you give them a normal life and die in the process. Kill them and you become insane and take them to the mainland to potentially reek havok.
Breaking down a great story can often lead to you spotting flaws in others or even comparing them to better titles within the franchise.
Try doing this with Call of Duty 4 and Call of Duty Ghosts and you'll imediately see what I mean. It can sometimes be hard to see a good story althougg the game is poorly executed. Take Resident Evil 6. Probably the second worst Resident Evil game ever. The game is pretty poor gameplay and matchmaking wise, the entertwining stories, however, not so bad. In particular, Leon's fight for justice for the biochemical attack that caused the outbreak.
True, even the story had weak points but when a game just isn't what you expect, it can often lead to you being, what I call, Storyblind.
Head in to the world of RPGs. Shooters can be forgicen for having poor storylines as everyone really plays them to blow their friends heads off over PSN and Xbox Live.
The Witcher 3, regarded already as a huge contender for game of the year. The storlyine starts off so slowly, you almost don't care if he finds Yennefer or Ciri at all. Bit once it moves in to act two, the battles and subtle building of your freedom force, that most gamers didn't notice on their first playthrough, made it one of the best RPGs ever. Oblivion made a similar impact when it came out, the story involving sending demons back to wence they came ans actively helping out factions along the way. It's expansion was immense and offered even more gems of brilliance.
So what you need depends on your audience also.
If you're following CD projekt Red. Lots of blood, gore, sex and tits should cover your story as you descend into a state of twists and turns that only a mad politician could follow.
Then if you're an Ubisoft follower, just having a few historical figures thrown in, dash of revenge, intrigue and again blood and gore. Even in the case of Watch_Dogs Aiden, you're still on the path for revenge.
I've left these guys til last on purpose. Rockstar, you can't go wrong. Grand Theft Auto has very rarely disappointed in storyville. GTA V's story was ladden in pathos as well as the feeling of hubris you get at the end. Red Dead Redemption still holds the record as being the most awesome story ending and also the saddest ending of recent memory. Although, a couple of endings to Beyond: Two Souls come incredibly close. The beginning of The Last of Us also blows any opening act to any video game out of the window.
But Rockstar still somehow maintain that raw emotion you gain from playing their characters.