Enslaved Dev: Storyline In Games Is Important

July 30, 2010Written by Ray Conley

Ninja Theory has already proven how possible it is to weave an intricate story while maintaining gameplay with their PS3 exclusive Heavenly Sword.  It turns out, however, that they weren’t so focused on story elements when they first began game developing with Kung Fu Chaos.  Now, they have matured to realize that the background story to gaming is very integral to making it compelling.

In an interview with VideoGamer.com, Co-founder of Ninja Theory, Tameem Antoniades confessed that the he didn’t believe story telling played any significance when developing Kung Fu Chaos.  However, when they started tempering out Heavenly Sword, his view on that changed significantly.

“In Heavenly Sword I thought, “Actually, let’s try and do a story.” Working with Andy and everyone else, working with Weta and having people talk about story as something serious – not something throwaway like we do in games – was quite eye-opening to me.

“I still see a prejudice, actually. I still come across a lot of people who say, ‘it’s a game and it doesn’t need a story.’ You’re trying to make a particular point of storytelling, trying to refine it, and somebody says “it’s just a game, it doesn’t matter.” What’s more important – the gameplay or the story? If you’re doing a [story-based] game, it’s got to be the story, actually.”

Tameem continued to give an example of title that he played, Resident Evil 4, and how the game elements changed once the story was removed from the gameplay.

“I’ll give you an example of where that’s true.  Resident Evil 4. I played it from start to finish, I didn’t want to let go of the controller and I was driven through it. I just wanted to know what happened next. As soon as I completed it, you get those mini-missions, “kill x zombies in an amount of time.” So there’s no story, it’s stripped out of all that and it’s just shoot however many zombies in however much time. And you realise – have I been doing this for the last 10 hours? Because it didn’t feel like it, as I’m bored within about a minute of doing that.

“So there is something, there is an importance. There is a symbiosis where, if you get it right, both story and gameplay can be elevated. But it’s really hard to know when you get it right or not.”

From Tameem’s strong stance on the matter, that leaves us with a strong confidence that the story in their upcoming title, Enslaved, will deliver a strong performance.  Start putting your summer savings aside to get this title when it hits retailers this October 8th.  In the meantime, check out our preview of the game, and then get a preorder in with these select stores.