Everyone loves a good story.
Stories draw the audience in and captivate them. People become emotionally invested in well-developed characters. Love them or hate them, a character that’s well-developed in a well-written storyline can bring out all the feels. Think about the HBO original series, Game of Thrones based on the very detailed epic fantasy book series, A Song of Ice and Fire. Think of the character Joffrey Baratheon. He wasn’t just evil; people didn’t just dislike him; people felt a genuine hatred for his character.
These feelings of intense connection to a story is why story-driven games are making a comeback. Quite honestly, they never left. True, many gamers flocked to popular “looter shooters” like Playerunknown Battlegrounds (PUBG), Overwatch and the ever popular Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) for their multiplayer experience. But these multiplayer communities have become incredibly toxic, fostering an environment that breeds sexism, racism and people too afraid to speak up that they resolve that it’s best to simply ignore it. Not only that, but there’s no story to keep players intrigued, with the exception of Overwatch, that is. Perhaps, this is one of the many reasons why single-player story-driven games are on the rise again.
How do even you tell the difference between PUBG, Rust, H1Z1, Ark and DayZ?
For a brief period, it seemed as if developers were ditching single-player, store-driven games. One gamer tweeted how “single player games don’t keep you entertained anymore once the story has been completed!” That seemed to be true for many single-player games in recent years, like Destiny. Their storytelling fell way too short. But many platforms are offering story-driven, single-player games with the option to either play co-op or multiplayer as well. Far Cry offers both single-player story modes as well as competitive, multiplayer mode. But it’s the story of Far Cry 5 that will draw players in, allowing for character customization and tackling controversial topics that resonate with today’s issues.
Not only that, but FPS games that don’t have single-player, long campaigns are now being criticized. For a few years now, developers hadn’t been making single-player campaigns long enough, choosing instead to focus on multi-player, open world aspects of games. Destiny, for example, was one of those games where storytelling fell short. As John Butler from “Inquistr” put it, Destiny’s first campaign was a story of “short, uninspired writing”. But with Destiny 2, storytelling was improved immensely. Anthem looked to be incredibly promising when it was revealed at E3. But, like most other games it turned out to be another Destiny–literally.
So it’s no surprise that gamers are looking forward to games that have always had great storytelling like Mass Effect 3 and Wolfenstein II–a series that’s been kicking nazi ass since the ’80s.
Gamers want originality, great writing, storytelling; we want to be immersed in lore; we want to be inspired; we want to play a game and feel all the feels. It feels like a waste of time and money when we play a game that looks to have an exciting and promising story only to be left disappointed. We want the love stories in Mass Effect. We want the intrigue and badassery of Red Dead Redemption. We want to be entertained.