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With recent controversy regarding Assassin’s Creed Unity’s alleged technical missteps, it led us to ask the staff what the most important part of a game actually is, and what matters most to them when playing. Is it a silky smooth frame rate? Is it a captivating narrative? Perhaps the gameplay? Here are everyone’s answers to those questions.
Cameron Teague (@Cameron_PSLS)
[Naughty bits] and characters! I mean the story can be somewhat terrible but if the main character and those supporting characters are likable and fun and interesting, they can make up for the fact that the story might not be 100 percent awesome and the gameplay is slightly iffy. Same can be said if a game plays great but the characters are a joke, then it can kind of put you off playing it.
Chandler Wood (@FinchStrife)
Innovation, immersion, and experience. Innovation means that the game needs to be giving me new experiences, or at least delivering existing experiences in fresh and interesting ways. The overall experience is hard to pin down because it can be weighted differently depending on how well games do certain things. If it has interesting gameplay and keeps me hooked, technical hiccups tend to matter less as the experience drives immersion despite frame rates not being perfect or graphics being substandard. It’s all about balance of features lending to the final experience.
D’yani Wood (@Dyani)
I think emotions are most important. Besides story, emotions can be articulated through gameplay or visuals for me. I’m am a very visual person, so art and colors and things can fuel emotions quite easily, along with a great story. As long as those one or both of those things stirs up emotions, I overlook technical imperfections. Another emotion that may be overlooked is a sense of wonder — specifically from games like RPGs or simulation games. The vast possibilities of these captivate me just like narrative intrigue does.
Dan Oravasaari (@FoolsJoker)
I think that just about every aspect of a game is important, simply because each portion helps drive the experience and that is what matters. If the visuals, gameplay, story or sound is off in a game it can completely tear a user out of what the title is trying to do, so I try not to think of one aspect being of greater importance in a final product. But, with that said, I do love design and a good story.
Jason Dunning (@Jasonad21)
If you solely look at games I’m buying on day one (or going to buy on day one) this year, the most important aspect to me is whether or not it has Pokémon.
That aside, I’d say accessible gameplay is the most important aspect when buying a game, but with new console titles in Canada priced at $70 before taxes, it’s not enough of a factor for me to spend the money at launch. A Pokémon/God of War crossover might change this though…
Louis Edwards (@Ftwrthtx)
When I started gaming on the PC years ago, frame rate was a huge issue to me personally due to being susceptible to migraines. Quake and Doom were fun games, but I couldn’t play them very long. Once things started improving frame rate wise, gaming became more fun and I started focusing more on the story and actual game play. Now, with the exception of a few sub par games, framerate is a non-issue, so the story and gameplay is more what I game for.
Mark Labbe (@Markymark255)
The most important part of a game, for me, is the gameplay and the characters. While amazing graphics can sometimes woo me into buying a game, it doesn’t keep me hooked. Instead, it is lifelike and relatable characters that keep me playing a game, as well as fun, engaging gameplay. That is why I still frequently revisit old PC games, like Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights, despite them having clearly outdated graphics.
Paulmichael Contreras (@T3mpr1x)
Like most everyone here, I care most about a game’s story and its supporting gameplay. I’m pretty forgiving of minor technical issues, if they aren’t game-breaking. If a game is constantly crashing, or stuttering, however, it’s usually inexcusable and will cause me to stop playing the game no matter how fun it may be when the game behaves properly. I’ve never been a stickler for flashy graphics, as most games look pretty damn good these days. Just give me a consistent, fluid experience throughout (whether at 30, 60 or more fps), and I’ll be happy. At the end of the day, if I paid $60 for a game, I expect it to have very few issues.
I would say “gameplay” and story are most important. But I put gameplay in quotes, because if a game’s technical aspect (frame rate, resolution, input lag, network lag, etc.) break immersion, it is going to ruin the experience. It takes a pretty stellar game like Fallout or Skyrim to make me suffer through horrible technical issues and soldier on.
Zarmena Khan (@Zarmena)
Story and gameplay are the most important aspects of a game for me. I don’t care if a game has the shiniest presentation on the planet, if the story doesn’t interest me (especially since I’m a single-player person), I’m done. At the same time, gameplay matters too. When games are marred by poor gameplay and prominent technical errors, it makes you wonder why developers expect people to fork out $60 for a shoddy job. So yeah, a good story and gameplay are not too much to ask.
What is most important to you in a game? Remember to send us questions for Ask PSLS on Twitter, Facebook, the forums, and email. Be sure to check back next Wednesday to see what question the PSLS staff will be answering!