I’m a sad gamer – It’s all guns, armors, graphics and no story
I’m currently struggling to decide if I’ll get Starcraft 2. I really liked the first installment but it seems that I’m not in the majority when it comes to please players in these high-value productions. Heavy focus is put on everything multiplayer and I understand that for a game to last it’s probably the way to go. For me however multiplayer is mostly that feature I never touch.
What is interesting me is the story and then getting in the action surrounded by that context. For example I’m a big fan of everything CoD. I really couldn’t care less about graphic/engine upgrades as I’m there to play a shooter in the context of a story. In fact I guess I’m an easy player to please as you can get me to do very repeating things over and over as long you keep the story interesting and evolving. The problem? These stories are always so short …
It took me about 3 days of casual playing to get done with CoD Modern Warfare 2. I enjoyed shooting the bad guys over and over in similar situations because I thought the story was nice. When the story is over then I will never look at that game again and then I have to wait several months to get a new story … that will be wrapped in yet another engine upgrade I couldn’t care less about …
Another good example to explain what kind of gamer I am is Mass Effect 2. I bought all DLC involving new stories (and haven’t touch any of the DLCs about new guns and armors) but I’ve been a bit disappointed about them. Why? Because one of the most amazing thing in ME2 IMO is the interaction with the crew and there’s nothing new in the DLCs about that. You get a bit of dialog with NPCs specific to the mission but your crew is still in the same “sleepy state” it was when you completed the main story. The romances are not evolving, there’s no new interaction between crew members and your crew has nothing new to say when you take them to complete a mission. Since this is the kind of things I enjoy then the missions are less enjoyable as more generic. If I wanted to just shoot bad guys again in ME2 without caring about story I could just start a new campaign …
I know adding new dialogs means more work and probably a higher cost for the DLCs. I wouldn’t mind to pay $20 for a DLC but I guess not everyone thinks like me so I’m left with content that has way less value then the original campaign which is just making the whole thing less enjoyable.
Now Bioware is probably busy working on ME3 and I guess they are still working on a new engine or at least upgrading the existing one just to keep up with graphics offered by other games or maybe even features (apparently there will be coop play in ME3 … bah). Just keeping the exact same code and adding another 30-40 hours of story content would be enough for me to drop another $60 on ME3 in the hope of not having to wait too long to play. But I guess I’m not in the majority so all I can do is for Bioware to complete their new toys to please the spoiled gamers that always want better techs.
So that brings me to Starcraft 2. I’m not a huge fan of RTS (and surely not a fan at all of multiplayer RTS) but I like playing an RTS with a nice story. I guess they can at least match what they have done with Starcraft 1 so I’d be having fun. But will I complete all the campaign in the same time it took me to complete the story for CoD MW2? If so that’s just meh … Is the story just a weak reason for me to buy a multiplayer game that I will end up not playing anyway? Probably. Will I have to wait a year or more before getting another part of the story?
My dream game? Any kind of game with a good story (preferably something like ME2) but all DLC. Each month or maybe faster than that you get a bit of new content but that is really new content. Not just some weak new missions using old assets and no dialogs in it. With something of the quality of the ME2 engine I could buy that kind of DLC for years without ever feeling that the graphics could be better!
But it seems that’s not happening. We’re probably not enough of this type of gamer for a company to take that route which is a shame. I guess that it’s also probably not something an indie studio could do if we’re not enough gamers to keep the studio going. I guess we’ll keep seeing many more DLCs with just new guns and armors. The kind of DLC I don’t care about since I don’t have a new story to use these gadgets.
I guess that’s one more motivation for me to develop games. Do things a bit differently. Do things a bit more the way I’d like them to be within my capacities and resources.