Coming up on a year ago I got an Xbox 360. This was a new one for me, I haven’t really gamed much in many years. I had a Playstation 2 which held my interest for a couple SOCOM games, but not much more jumped out at me, before that, think back to the Duke 3D/Shadow Warrior and even the glory of the DOOM days.
Since buying the Xbox 360 I’ve been gaming more then I expected.
For me, I play games for the (and I know this will be a shocker) gameplay. I’m not generally there for the storyline; I mostly just play games that involve killing things, if I wanted a story I’d go find a book or watch TV (okay, bad example) or watch a movie (okay, worse example, but you get my point)
Sure, there might be some underlying “rescue the hostage” or “save the world” or “kill the terrorist” plotline around some good gaming, but it’s usually as well thought out a plot as goes into most porn. Porn generally has better acting too, incidentally.
I don’t get emotionally involved enough in the hostage’s well-being to care whether I rescue said hostage or not, my only real motivation to not shoot the hostage is that it usually ends the game if you do.
Now don’t get me wrong, story isn’t all bad. I enjoyed BioShock which had more of a storyline then most of the games I’ve played in the past, I really enjoyed Fallout 3 too so I’m not entirely story-adverse, but when it comes to brainless shooters, the story just isn’t usually a focus.
What ruins a game for me is when a game makes me sit through multiple cut scenes or witless dialog (I’m looking at you Gears of War) over and over without offering a way to skip them after failing and restarting a difficult mission. I get it, I screwed up the mission and now I have to try it again, but do I really need to be punished by watching the damn cutscene again and again?
I can live with a game making me sit through the story once, but especially for “boss-levels”, put the damn checkpoint AFTER the cut-scene; I don’t need to see my AI(*) companions peeing their pants and discussing how the upcoming enemy probably smells as bad as he looks cheesy.
Is that so much to ask?
* I use the “I” in AI only for clarity since their intelligence is usually lacking.