Most well-written games ever? Page 2

  • Deleted user 16 July 2013 20:04:34
    In an odd sort of way, Limbo.
  • b0rk 16 Jul 2013 20:11:44 7,655 posts
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    I've never ever played a game which I thought was particularly well written. Bioshock wasn't badly written and I understand some of the early LucasArts stuff was pretty great but I only ever played a demo of Full Throttle. :(
  • andytheadequate 16 Jul 2013 20:13:42 8,980 posts
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    thedaveeyres wrote:
    All terrible. The correct answer is To The Moon.
    I was just about to say this too. By far the best in game story I've played.

    My second choice is Portal, but mainly because I didn't expect there to be one

    Edited by andytheadequate at 20:14:40 16-07-2013
  • FrostPan 16 Jul 2013 20:14:28 1,454 posts
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    The Walking Dead, absolutely. Great thread, great first post answer.
  • Deleted user 16 July 2013 20:25:36
    chrisno21 wrote:
    Steve_Perry wrote:
    The dream sequence things from Lost Odyssey are genuinely good little stories.
    I'd agree with that, added a great amount of detail to a fairly generic JRPG narrative.

    Other than that I would say The Last Of Us, just so good.
    Loved the Thousand Years of Dreams. Especially considering you have all those little stories adding to a bigger one, makes it a bit more poignant.
  • JinTypeNoir 16 Jul 2013 20:29:39 4,392 posts
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    I'm going to interpret "writing" as the backbone of all the storytelling that goes on in a game -- i.e. somebody planning what to do with the event scenes, how the characters animate, what they say, how they react to different control stimulus, giving guidance to any voice actors there might be, deciding how areas look and what to show the player, how music is used at the different areas and so on.

    With that said,

    Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne - one of the very few games with a complicated storyline that uses a "less is more" approach and has a razor-sharp focus. Most RPGs are full of "The rats of the Umbrellican Sewers are a ferocious breed due to the wanton mistreatment by the Umbrellican Guild and their experiments there yada yada yada shoot me now." World building is an okay concept when the world you're building is special or humorous (like Harry Potter), but when its just fantasy stream-of-conscious bullshit I usually can't stand it. Everyone usually copies Tolkien's approach without understanding why it was effective at all.

    This is not Nocturne's approach. It is completely unique to itself. The "world," as it is, is effectively gone and the only hints at the context of what it could be now or once was is in the dialogue of various seriously unreliable characters and demons. This is surrounded by people involved in conflicts that make reference to real life by what mythology they were taken from, but deliberately changed in-game to something altogether more confused and twisted. When you compare this to the rather abstract, geometrical environments and destructive-sounding music the combination is enthralling.

    Nocturne is about chaos and endings being beginnings and one of the only games I can think of that pulls off being philosophical without including overt references to any standard philosophy. It's not even close to pretentious and filled with a variety of interpretations. But best of all, this is all only enhanced and improved by any interactions the player does in the game.

    Grey Matter - This story is a marriage of effective character portrayal (protective housekeeper, distant man still butthurt over his wife's death, rebellious misfit and so on) with melancholy vistas and music. It creates an atmosphere and a mystery and then dips the characters and scenarios into it and it all comes out rich, smooth and enchanting.

    It also tends to be thought provoking because it used incongruity so well. There's the illusory stage magic and the supernatural mystery of course, but beyond that there's a constant shift between twee university misunderstandings and a haunted man and his mansion. There's snooping in a university hall that feels like a hospital, a basement that feels like the combination of a mad scientist's laboratory and a D&D dungeon, dorm rooms that feel like they were cut from scenes of a dime store mystery novel taking inspiration from Law & Order, dinosaur exhibits that feel like alien exhibits and so on and so forth.

    This game also benefits from economy. Compared to the writer's other work, there's less dialogue and description, but that suits the central ghost story very well, especially because the whys and whats of the mystery are revealed only as hints as to what was going through the perpetrator's minds, which I find, are the best.

    The way it all ties in to the psychology of the two main characters and Jane Jensen's real world research, again, cycles back to fleshing out the psyche of the protagonist is slightly genius.

    Ghost Trick - Here we have not only an example of a comedy with a more meaningful story than many dramas, but of a game where plot twists aren't eye-rolling excess by writers who haven't matured their craft yet, but thoroughly planned from start to finish to be entertaining as story cogs themselves and enhance the whole. It is fun from start to finish, while also being thought-provoking.

    It also has excellent character portrayal, including one of the best portrayals of what it must be like to be a dog in any medium. I really shouldn't spoil the other one. But there are so many. Much like Shu Takumi's other works, even small side characters suggest vibrant lives that were happening before and after you got to peak into them. Characters aren't just there to be gears in a plot clock, the plot is there to show you what the characters are.

    Also, this game has a very effective use of the one-dimensional villain. So many writers seem to think that writing a three-dimensional villain is a requirement of good storytelling, when nothing could be further from the truth. Ghost Trick uses cartoon villains to show how a callous attitude toward morality and mortality affects the more realistic characters. That it is never quite revealed what their motives are is brilliant because it keeps the mystery storyline focused on the important stuff -- the interaction and understanding of the way that people's hearts work when confronted with death. That's always a lot more important than the workings of the umpteenth world domination plot.
  • mal 16 Jul 2013 20:47:20 29,326 posts
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    I think I enjoyed Alan Wake more for its story than its gameplay, and its gameplay wasn't terrible. Granted, the twist was fairly obvious (especially if you're a fan of a certain barely disguised american author), and probably would've been more obvious if I wasn't distracted by the interactivity of the game, and to my mind the exposition didn't quite make sense in the end, but still overall I enjoyed it a lot.

    I also quite enjoyed the obfuscated plot of Rez. Seems to me better played out than it is in Child of Eden.

    I liked the first three day cycle of Majora's Mask too. Excellent building of tension using pseudo-occult iconography and effective music. After that it became a bit more conventional of course, although while it still maintained a few unusual traits it lost the overarching tension it gathered in that opening stanza.
  • Rhaegyr 16 Jul 2013 20:47:33 4,308 posts
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    Metal Gear Solid
  • Br0ken_Engli5h 16 Jul 2013 21:02:00 1,367 posts
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    La Li Lu Le Lo?

  • RichieTenenbaum 16 Jul 2013 21:03:04 2,736 posts
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    I think the Persona games have some neat dialogue, and Deadly Premonition made me care in a way few games do.

    But the best STORIES are my victories on FIFA etc. The ones I've CREATING using the game.
  • Rhaegyr 16 Jul 2013 21:07:58 4,308 posts
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    Br0ken_Engli5h wrote:
    La Li Lu Le Lo?

    I'm strictly talking the original Metal Gear Solid - before all the Patriot bullshit and GW and Arsenal Gear and S3 and all the other crap.

    I've never been as interested in a story as I have been with MGS. The characters, the dialogue, the delivery, the plot twists - loved everything about it.
  • JinTypeNoir 16 Jul 2013 21:21:24 4,392 posts
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    FiReTiGeR2K wrote:
    @JinTypeNoir If were going to go in that direction why not discuss Gabriel Knight? or Broken Sword?
    Because I don't find them as well-written? The Gabriel Knight games always had a little too much of the end game wrapped up in villain plot shenanigans and while more detailed than Grey Matter, Grey Matter's details are lot more enticing and full of depth.

    Broken Sword is fun for what it is, but it's all pulpy second-rate ancient mystery stories with two charming leads. It isn't written very well at all.

    Edited by JinTypeNoir at 21:21:53 16-07-2013
  • King_Edward 16 Jul 2013 21:30:56 11,470 posts
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    -MGS 1,2,3 (seriously. I have no issue with the phantom arm thing. I actually have more of an issue with MGS4 retconning it).
    -The Walking Dead
    -The Last of Us
    -Planescape Torment
    -Grim Fandango
    -Portal 1,2
    Yakuza 2 (again, crazy, but I love it)
  • Deleted user 16 July 2013 21:35:46
    I prefer the story of Gabriel Knight 2 over 1, but it's also telling that Jensen also wrote 2 as a novel before writing it as a game (the novel of 2 has loads of stuff that was cut from the game, for instance, whereas the novelisation of 1 is basically just a dramatic walkthrough).

  • faux-C 16 Jul 2013 21:38:26 11,204 posts
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    Dwarf Fortress, clearly.
  • RobAnybody 16 Jul 2013 21:38:56 1,541 posts
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    thedaveeyres wrote:
    All terrible. The correct answer is To The Moon.
    Damn right.

    And as some others have already mentioned:

    The Last Of Us
    Link's Awakening
    Thomas Was Alone
  • Deleted user 16 July 2013 21:40:20
    Tetris, all the pieces just come together nicely and fall into place.

    Edited by cheeky_prawnking at 21:41:26 16-07-2013
  • monkehhh 16 Jul 2013 21:40:58 4,819 posts
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    RichieTenenbaum wrote:
    I think the Persona games have some neat dialogue, and Deadly Premonition made me care in a way few games do.

    But the best STORIES are my victories on FIFA etc. The ones I've CREATING using the game.
    +1, stuff like DayZ gets my vote for this - open world with some systems in place, with a load of horrible humans dumped in it.
  • munki83 16 Jul 2013 21:58:58 1,846 posts
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    +1 for planescape its a fantastically written game. Also the walking dead....and mass effect for pulp scifi shenanigans. Also the Sims 2.....I got too attached to my character that when he died I stopped playing
  • Syrette 16 Jul 2013 22:17:02 49,801 posts
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    Derblington wrote:
    I would argue that "written" is the wrong term. Storytelling in games is more than just the writing, as per film.

    In terms of storytelling, we have some amazing examples, such as Journey. The gameplay limitations and art are focused to support the direction, and results in an emotion from the player that is unique within the medium. The Last of Us uses cinematic techniques (character performances, direction, camera angles) along with the written script to do the same. GTAs are written brilliantly, for the most part. WoW too, if you take the time to read and experience the story - though its hard when you have so many pelts to harvest.

    Even badly written games can be successful in their narration, providing the pieces all fall into place, and vice versa.
    I'm not against a mod changing the thread title to "best examples of storytelling in games", or something.

    Edited by Syrette at 22:19:22 16-07-2013
  • joeymoto108 16 Jul 2013 22:20:07 686 posts
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    Another +1 for planescape.
    Bioshock Infinite had a convoluted piece of shit of a story. They should have kept it simple and focussed on the underlying racism and corruption in Colombia. Instead we got some bullshit overambitious Donnie Darko-esque bullshit which tried to be clever but went into Kojima levels of convolution. What a shame.
  • munki83 16 Jul 2013 22:24:54 1,846 posts
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    Can we have gears of war in the list a trillogy about two men falling in love and don't care who knows
  • Nanocrystal 16 Jul 2013 22:28:06 1,675 posts
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    Fallout: New Vegas for me. A heap of choices that genuinely affect the world and the how the main storyline turns out, dozens of factions interacting with each other, some truly funny odd-ball characters, plenty of poignant moments, and side quests with detailed and interesting backstories to dig into if you're so inclined. Even the DLCs were tied together nicely with characters from one add-on being referenced in the others, and the whole thing felt impressively coherent.

    I guess it depends how much you invest yourself in the world though. Minimalist story-telling it aint.
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