I have quite a strong view on story telling with games. A lot of games nowadays rely on graphics and gameplay to see them through. Killzone 2 comes to mind. I recently reviewed this game for my presentation. The graphics and gameplay are really something special. But where the game falls short is on its generic story line. You’re a hero saving the world, pretty much.
I think a strong storyline can easily make a game more compelling, and like Killzone, if the game has amazing graphics and gameplay, a good story can only make it better. A book, for example, can tell a story ten times better than a film adaptation. On that note, I just wonder why more games aren’t based on books, apart from Harry Potter, which is based more on the films that are derived from the books funnily enough.
In most games the story revolves around the player. As the player progresses through the game the story unfolds. In some cases the story can be changed by the players actions, which mostly happens toward the end of the game. In other games, like World of Warcraft, there is a general ‘story line’ but the player has the ability to make his own story, which is b******s. All a World of Warcraft player cares about is when the next epic sword that does two million DPS will pop up. Sad really.
To conclude, yes. I think a story does make or break a game sometimes. But when you just want to have a half an hour rampage on Killzone, who gives a shit.