Video Games: Graphics or Story Line?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Melon, Feb 3, 2015.

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  1. Do you pay more attention to the graphics of a video game, or the story line? Which is more important to YOU? I personally pay more attention to the story line than the graphics. Yeah good graphics are cool and all, but if it doesn't have a story line that catches my eyes, then it isn't for me.
  2. I dunno, I've fallen into the trap that is picky gamers. For me it's more about gameplay and story, but if the graphics are shit I won't play it either. A very pretty game draws my attention immediately though. Final Fantasy, Bioshock Infinite, Talos Principle, they caught my eye partly due to the pretty graphics. Oh, and the Last of Us, too.

    But I stayed because of the story. I mean gameplay in all of those games varies but I love them all. If the gameplay is absolutely horrible, the story doesn't matter though. I bought all of the Mass Effect games used because Gamestop was having some ridiculous "Buy two used and get one free!" (and they gave you a new voucher every single time you did this, for every game you bought) and I was like, hey, I can buy the entire game series (and somehow also bought Halo 4. Don't remember how that fit in with a buy 2 get one free sale, but it did)!

    Unfortunately the first game's gameplay is very... ugh.. It's that kind of gameplay where some people pick up on it straightaway and others are like "What the heck is this?" and go left whenever they try to go right. I can't even play Mass Effect 3 very well, so even though I love the series, I can't play the games, it seems.

    But that said I'm also weird. I'll obsess over games even if I can't play them myself. Like I'm not too first-person-shooty-shooty, but Bioshock Infinite is gorgeous is both gameplay and story and graphics.

    So I think conclusively, as a personal preference, it's graphics that draw my attention, good gameplay that keeps me sane, and a wonderful story line that keeps me there.
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  3. i look for gameplay

    ace combat managed to take out all the annoying parts of a flight simulator and make it fun, fast, and easy and makes you feel like a badass in a F 22 Raptor

    warcraft 3 took the RTS genre and changed it massively by focusing on hero/squadron scaled battle instead of army scaled battle

    assassin's creed was innovative for its puppeteering system which was both intuitive and surprisingly complex and versatile

    etc ect
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  4. for me, it's always story over graphics. Example: I like Morrowind better than Oblivion. I like the story of possibly being a reincarnated warrior over some random ass prisoner who becomes the new emperor's little errand boy (though I do like becoming the god of madness). Morrowind is very limited in terms of graphics (though to be fair with the overhaul mod I think it looks better, less flat) and the character creation is incredibly limited versus Oblivion's huge character creation possibilities. Gameplay is also important but that's not part of this question so I'll leave that out. But yeah, Story over graphics every time. Also, while I love slaying dragons I do like the story of Morrowind better.
  5. Story line for me. If it doesn't have a story I can get into, I get bored easily. That's the reason why there's only certain MMORPGs I can get into. Final Fantasy XI had a great storyline up until the most recent expansion when they fucked the game all to hell. Chains of Promathia was the best, by far, and if they would have stuck with expansions like that one I don't think people would have lost interest when 14 came out.

    I don't really play too many games for the graphics. Sure, a game can look good, but if there's no story it's just looks. I need a reason to push forward, and beating the next boss just isn't enough for me.
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  6. Gameplay.

    If I wanted graphics I'd watch a movie, if I wanted a story I'd read a book.

    Dwarf Fortress is the prime example of a pure video game. All game play. Make your own story. Graphics are simplistic but effective.
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  7. Minecraft is another good one. Primitive graphics, absolute zero story, but tons of fun to play.
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  8. Legos.

    'Nuff said.
  9. That said, I do love a game with a good story. Games like Portal and Bioshock come to mind. Though the key to those games is that along with a great story they had even better gameplay. It doesn't matter how good a game's story is, if the gameplay's no good, I won't play it. But if you reverse the situation I don't care nearly as much.
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  10. This implies that one is more valuable to another in an overall storytelling experience. It's a false dichotomy.

    If your "graphics" (I think the word you're looking for is aesthetics) hurt my eyes, I don't care how good the story is, I'll hate playing it. On the other hand, if you have a story-based game, and the story is garbage, again, I'll probably hate playing it.

    Games are about entertainment. You can use them as a medium to tell a good story with intricate themes, sure, but you can also use them to give me a sandbox to run over grandmas with explore. Take Elite Dangerous: I enjoy this game. It harkens back to days in Freelancer and other such space sim titles for me. It is a giant, 400 billion solar system sandbox. The plot? "The empire, alliance, and federation hate each other." That's it. There is no plot, it's just a premise. No overarching series of events beyond those arbitrarily made for fun or decided upon by the community. The graphics though? They make this game dammit. Sure, you could have made this in 2D Dwarf Fortress/Rogue-like graphical style. It would have been terrible though. Part of what makes this game fun to play is the visual spectacle of having 400 billion stars rendered at completely realistic 1:1 scaling: If I drop in by a super-massive star, it is a super-massive star. If I drop nearby a black hole, time and space itself start ripping apart at the seams while I try to cautiously navigate around it. If I'm fighting in an asteroid field, I am ducking and weaving through tens of thousands of space rocks. There is no real story in this game beyond what you make of it yourself, and that's part of what makes it great: No linear story that I'm forced to play. Just me, and 400 billion stars, and the other players to occasionally blow out of the sky or fly with.

    Then, you have a game like Dragon Age 2. Where it's entirely story-based and has more characters than Elite Dangerous does. (Namely because ED doesn't have any characters whatsoever.) Yet Dragon Age 2 was torture for me to play: The story was utterly retarded. Meanwhile, ED is fun to play, because there is no story to get in my way.

    So... Yeah. People answering with "always story", um, no, not always story. If you want better stories, go read books, or even just literature in general. That's what it's made for, that is how it entertains you: Through its stories. Yet I guarantee you, Captain Underpants and others like it ain't no Aristotle of storytelling, yet they were fun to read for the sheer novelty of it all.
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  11. Story.
    of course if it's utterly unplayable I'd have to give it a pass.
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  12. As others have said, gameplay is king. However that's not what this thread is about. Between the story and the graphics, I find that difficult. Most Mario games have zero stories, but are still a lot of fun. Meanwhile, nobody likes FF7 for it's graphics but it's still heralded as one of the greats. Both can shine without the other. Or better yet; enhance each other. Some games tell their story through their graphics, employing show don't tell methods (though that's more about design than fidelity). Some games are immersive solely because of the art direction. At their best, story and graphics aren't standalone elements. Story and graphics work together to create atmosphere.

    So, because I can't compare the two at their best, I'll have to compare the two at their worst. In which case, I'd rather deal with a bad storyline than bad graphics. A bad storyline may be annoying, but is less intrusive to someone who prefers a gameplay experience than bad graphics can be. If I can't differentiate between environments, of my attacks don't feel good because an animation sucks, if I'm supposed to feel like some epic explorer but all environments are bland... Well. That hampers gameplay.

    Though again, that's talking about graphical design rather than fidelity, but I still think that it's easier to ignore a story at it's worst than graphics at their worst.
  13. Storyline, storyline, storyline. It will always be storyline for me. If I wanted to look at pretty pictures, I'd go on DeviantArt and stare onto it for whole eternity. Sure, I will have a problem with a game if it hurts my eyes, but if it doesn't, I pretty much don't care for the graphics. Case in point: I actually enjoy The Elder Scrolls: Arena immensely and I think Silent Hill 1 and Silent Hill 2 are easily best games of its franchise. Now excuse me while I go cry in a corner for not being able to finish Arena yet. I like the game, but it's utterly evil.
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  14. I think it heavily depends on what genre you are playing. I'm obviously not going to go into a role playing game that has a shitty story. At the same time, whats a good story going to accomplish in a game where most people are going to play online and not care about it to begin with?

    Besides, people will defend a bad story with "you just don't get it / 2deep4u", and people will always defend bad graphics with "it's the artist making a statement / artistic choice."
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  15. How about a little thing called GAMEPLAY. Just a thought.

    To add to this. Games are unique experience, a very flexible medium. You can tell a limited story very well, incorporate it within the game play and make a Masterpiece like Transistor. A game who has simple but gorgeous graphics.
    #15 Hellis, Feb 3, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
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  16. Gameplay > story > graphics, but they do all have a part to play. There isn't really a universal answer to this question.
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  17. i like your order ofthings sir
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  18. Gameplay > Storyline > Graphics

    Always in that order.

    And that's how the trend is falling in the mass market, I think. Look at how popular Indiegaming is becoming, how there are always sales going on and with things like Kickstarter giving small game devs the time, money and opportunity. They're putting out FUN games with star-quality stories, and, check this--

    With shitty graphics.

    Quest for Infamy is an example that comes to mind. Awful graphics by anyone's measure, passing more for a Win 95 game from 1996. Yet the game has an insanely good rating, almost universal positive critiques, is insanely fun to play, and has sold a ton of "units"!

    If you want to get to the best example though, just look at Minecraft. The King, God-Father, Grand-Daddy, and Herald of the Indiegame circuit. This game hit the gaming world like a shitstorm on fire and revolutionized and upturned the idea that graphics = better game. That gameplay HAS to be complex.

    Nope, a game can be stupidly simple with hidden complexity, turd-graphics, but amazingly fun-- and make billions in dollars.
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  19. This is exactly why I can't play Deus Ex: Human Revolution. That black and gold colour palette is very hard to look at for long.

    For me it goes gameplay > art direction > story > graphics. I can and often do play older games with weaker game engines and I sometimes bust out my GameCube for some good old nostalgia, and as long as the game isn't blurry or the textures aren't atrocious I will have a good time.

    I rank art direction so highly because games that try to be photorealistic are a dime a dozen, but something that evokes vivid imagery that stays with you is something special. Look at the Rayman Origins and Legends series; the hand-drawn graphics are breathtaking. Even something like Starbound, made up entirely of pixel art, looks stellar even though it looks like something off the SNES.

    Stuff like that is timeless and will still look good in 10, 20 years. Hell, look at World of Warcraft; it went nearly 10 years before it got a graphics overhaul and its intentionally cartoony aesthetic has held up surprisingly well. As well, Team Fortress 2 is pretty ancient and it still has a strong, vibrant community that probably wouldn't have stayed nearly as long if they went with the realism they originally invisioned instead of the violent cartoon they ended up with.
  20. I'd actually argue well-crafted pixel art can make for some of the most charming and stylish visuals.

    Look at this;

    And tell me that's not beautiful.
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