Most well-written games ever?

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  • Syrette 16 Jul 2013 18:37:18 41,889 posts
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    Played through The Walking Dead's '400 Days' DLC recently and despite each character only getting a 20 minute episode to themselves, each segment was better written than many full titles.

    Basically a further continuation of the sublime script, plot and characterisation of the main game. Easily the most emotive, draining, touching title I've ever played too. Admittedly it's not the most interactive so has things easier in that respect, but still.

    So in answer to the question I posed in the thread title, my choice is obviously The Walking Dead although The Last of Us isn't far behind. I know they're both fairly recent titles which is a shame, it feels like it's taken this long for games as a whole to finally mature in terms of how they're written (with the odd exception).


    Yours?

  • Steve_Perry 16 Jul 2013 18:41:33 2,455 posts
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    The dream sequence things from Lost Odyssey are genuinely good little stories.

    VIVA STEFANSEN

  • GuiltySpark 16 Jul 2013 18:42:30 6,281 posts
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    Grim Fandango.

    Get bent.

  • kalel 16 Jul 2013 18:43:34 83,877 posts
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    The problem with most games is even when they're well written, they're still just heavily based on standard cinematic dialogue and such. Heavy Rain for example was brilliantly written by game standards, but was still a second rate rip-off od Seven or whatever.

    Witcher 2 was similar in that for a game it was good, but still pretty derivative fantasy novel type stuff. Even Walking Dead is really just a continuation of the writing style of the comics, which nobody would put among the best written comics.

    I think my point is that it's a pretty low bar. Yes, some games are now not terribly written relatively speaking, but I think we're still an extremely long way off these things being comparable to the kind of books and films or whatever that we'd consider well written.
  • GuiltySpark 16 Jul 2013 18:44:19 6,281 posts
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    And the first two Max Payne's are my second choice, if you see them as hyperbolic-noir ala Sin City, rather than a bad parody : )

    Get bent.

  • ElNino9 16 Jul 2013 18:50:37 13,141 posts
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    All the Modern Warfare games.

    Hated, adored, never ignored.

  • Aretak 16 Jul 2013 18:54:02 10,329 posts
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    Planescape: Torment.
  • Tomo 16 Jul 2013 18:55:21 13,841 posts
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    Dear Esther

    Grim Fandango is an amazing shout.
  • Tomo 16 Jul 2013 18:55:54 13,841 posts
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    I'll second Max Payne 1 and 2 as well. 3 has it's moments of interesting writing, but for the most part is a steaming turd.
  • Fatiguez 16 Jul 2013 19:00:16 8,655 posts
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    MGS2 lol
  • thedaveeyres 16 Jul 2013 19:04:25 9,746 posts
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    All terrible. The correct answer is To The Moon.

    D****** ******r

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  • Aretak 16 Jul 2013 19:04:51 10,329 posts
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    Graveland wrote:
    FF VII is another contender.
  • jonsaan 16 Jul 2013 19:05:41 25,254 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    The problem with most games is even when they're well written, they're still just heavily based on standard cinematic dialogue and such. Heavy Rain for example was brilliantly written by game standards, but was still a second rate rip-off od Seven or whatever.

    Witcher 2 was similar in that for a game it was good, but still pretty derivative fantasy novel type stuff. Even Walking Dead is really just a continuation of the writing style of the comics, which nobody would put among the best written comics.

    I think my point is that it's a pretty low bar. Yes, some games are now not terribly written relatively speaking, but I think we're still an extremely long way off these things being comparable to the kind of books and films or whatever that we'd consider well written.
    This.

    FCUTA!

  • RyanDS 16 Jul 2013 19:14:41 8,701 posts
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    Aretak wrote:
    Planescape: Torment.
    This.

    Thread over.
  • RyanDS 16 Jul 2013 19:22:42 8,701 posts
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    Actually, recently I though Thomas was alone did a fantastic job.

    Seriously.
  • quadfather 16 Jul 2013 19:23:13 10,549 posts
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    RyanDS wrote:
    Aretak wrote:
    Planescape: Torment.
    This.

    Thread over.
    High five

    psn quaddy456, Dark Souls tips

  • Derblington 16 Jul 2013 19:25:16 20,974 posts
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    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.
  • chrisno21 16 Jul 2013 19:28:54 1,352 posts
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    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.

    PSN/NNID: chrisno21
    twitter: @NumbersFox

  • GrandpaUlrira 16 Jul 2013 19:47:42 3,751 posts
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    Link's Awakening. A perfect example of economic story-telling for games, written with buckets of charm. The chat on the beach and the ending are two of my favourite moments in gaming.
  • wizbob 16 Jul 2013 19:50:21 762 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.
    This is a good argument, it's certainly less depressing than the idea that games aspire to being bad John Carpenter movies.

    Some simple plots just fit well around their game concepts. Atari's original APB had just the right amusing interludes to fit the gameplay, like the doughnut-eating cops and being chewed out by the lieutenant at the end of a mission.

    On a higher level, the interleaved scenes at the start of Fahrenheit by Quantic Dream where you are simultaneous covering your tracks and investigating the murder at the diner work very well.

    I found Bioshock Infinite very overwrought, the plot and game were too divergent - I guess that's what happens when the makers over-focus on the story.

    Characterisation is a tougher part of storytelling in games; most people seem to prefer sidekicks like Alyx in Half Life 2, but their constant presence means that scripting becomes very obvious. I found the NPCSs in Dishonored well sketched out for the small amount of time they appear. I was even a bit taken aback when the boatman turned around and said he was disappointed in me. The bad guys seemed sufficiently motivated and venal to be actually evil. The good guys are bad, it's all pleasantly complicated. The key is to draw a character in a situation and then make them disappear before they start to repeat themselves.
  • Anthony_UK 16 Jul 2013 19:52:53 2,395 posts
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    Alan Wake
    loved the story and the fact your character isn't your typical hero and can be quite unlikeable at times. Rather than put me off, it drew me in all the more.

    Spec Op's - The Line
    Slightly above average cover shooter, made all the more memorable because of the story and that ending. Might have been years in the making, but worth it, as it'll be a while before we see another dev  be so brave taking a story in that direction. Especially in a shooter and pull it off so well.
  • greg_wha 16 Jul 2013 20:02:32 164 posts
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    Monkey Island 2.
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