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STORY or GRAPHICS...?

Anomaly1964

Platinum Member
Nov 21, 2010
2,460
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Which would you rather play, a game with a GREAT story and mediocre graphics or a game with a HORRIBLE story but great graphics?

I am asking seriously...

Think Borderlands style graphics over say...Witcher III Graphics...
 

HeXen

Diamond Member
Dec 13, 2009
7,818
30
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That would depend on the game or even the genre now wouldn't it?
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,793
825
126
Eh..bad examples. I can't stand borderlands, but its because of the gameplay..not the story or graphics. I like the graphics (and something tells me I'd like the story too), but I can't get past the very repetative gameplay.

Witcher 3 has good both AND gameplay.

Gameplay trumps all. Graphics/Story are just pluses.

FF13 is another example of a game with decent graphics, and OK story, and horrible gameplay as well.
 
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sweenish

Diamond Member
May 21, 2013
3,656
60
91
Still depends on the game.

I bought Ryse purely for the eye candy. The story was predictable, and the gameplay repetitive.

I play Diablo 3 for the gameplay, not the story or graphics.

I actually get most sandbox games for the story and not the freedom. I still mess around in them, but I'm talking about things like the Batman games and the like. Plenty of RPG's for the story.

But then again, lumping the two against each other is rather naive. Braid would be a very different game if it looked any other way. Graphics, gameplay, and narrative are all very tightly intertwined. Same for just about any other acclaimed indie game.

A game may lack in one or more of those areas, but the fact remains that they are all three very much a part of how all the other parts are perceived as a whole.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
11,921
1,207
126
i agree with hexen.

if we think, a shooter, or a racing game (why is it we don't have the term "racer"?), it doesn't even need a story.

I played SpecOps The Line but wasn't moved by the story, tbh. That famous "we killed a whole bunch of refugees with white phosporous, by mistake" thing, my reaction was just : "it was a mistake, and that kinda stuff happens in wars. oh well."

I like a nice story. I also like nice graphics. (i tend more towards design, rather than photorealism)

But neither of these is a prerequisite for enjoying the game. I put at the top of my list Game Mechanics, which i cannot do without - if the game plays badly, is too easy or too hard, exploitable, broken, or boring, no amount of eye candy, or even great writing, is going to distract me from the fact that under it all, the game sucks.
 

BSim500

Golden Member
Jun 5, 2013
1,480
214
106
Which would you rather play, a game with a GREAT story and mediocre graphics or a game with a HORRIBLE story but great graphics?

I am asking seriously...

Think Borderlands style graphics over say...Witcher III Graphics...
Given a strict choice, for me the former wins (story trumps graphics). Really though, there are at least 3 main variables, not just 2 : story, gameplay & GFX:-

- I can live with poor GFX if gameplay & story are solid.
- If story is weak but gameplay & GFX are good, then it's still solid. Some genre's (eg, racing or puzzle games) don't even need any back-story.
- But I cannot live with bad gameplay even if GFX, story and everything else are 110%.

Personally I've never liked Borderlands (both the "cell" art style and its "bullet sponge" gameplay), but there are a ton of games with "weak" or aged graphics that are still a joy to play (and replay), eg, Baldur's Gate, Deus Ex (original), System Shock 2, Thief trilogy, Torchlight, etc, even ScummVM MS-DOS games. The Talos Principle "played" like Portal, and was far better looking, but I found one no more or less fun than the other, ie, Portal's lack of "graphical awesomeness" didn't take anything away from the game and they both "scored the same" in my eyes. There's also those who will falsely label "art style I personally don't like" as "bad GFX". Eg, Dishonored will win no awards for photo-realism but the "bleak watercolor" art palette added hugely to the desperate atmosphere, far more than sticking pretty 4K textures of trees & flowers around the place would have done. It was "just right" for that game, as was Bioshock Infinite's own art style.

Overall, I don't think any of this stuff is like weights on a see-saw where being "heavy" in one automatically means being "light" in another. Some games have both good gameplay and great GFX. Other games flop in all of them. Other games that are weak in one area may also simply don't feel that "weakness" is important for that game, eg, Torchlight's "cartoony" look which during gameplay "felt" like it didn't need to be anything other than what it naturally was.

do you buy ANY genre of gameplay for the story or the graphics...?
Yes. Point & click adventure's are 99.9% story, 0.1% GFX for a lot of people. Conversely FPS's are widely "expected" to be the genre that constantly pushes graphical boundaries and for which people plan new GFX cards around.
 
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KeithTalent

Elite Member | Administrator | No Lifer
Administrator
Nov 30, 2005
50,235
114
116
I can't do Borderlands graphics, they give me a headache, so that option is out for me. Generally I do not care about graphics at all and would prefer story/gameplay.

KT
 

Stringjam

Golden Member
Jun 30, 2011
1,871
33
91
Story.

And the perception that FPS, which is nothing more than a mechanic, doesn't need a story, is something that has kept the genre in the dark ages since it first began.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. pretty much changed how I viewed what an FPS could be. Story and gameplay need not be mutually exclusive. We can have both.
 

Elcs

Diamond Member
Apr 27, 2002
6,278
6
81
Gameplay trumps both.

If it doesn't have gameplay it does not matter how good Graphics OR Story are.

I never bothered with anything past ME1 because the gameplay was horrific for me. It may have had a decent story but it was overshadowed by being completely unfun to play.
 

KeithTalent

Elite Member | Administrator | No Lifer
Administrator
Nov 30, 2005
50,235
114
116
Gameplay trumps both.

If it doesn't have gameplay it does not matter how good Graphics OR Story are.

I never bothered with anything past ME1 because the gameplay was horrific for me. It may have had a decent story but it was overshadowed by being completely unfun to play.
Heh, I am so opposite. I adored everything about ME1 and played it to 100% completion, which is rare for me. I did not make it very far into ME2 because it was boring and removed a lot of the gameplay elements I enjoyed from the first one.

KT
 

motsm

Golden Member
Jan 20, 2010
1,822
2
76
My favorite game is Planescape Torment, and I had never played it before a few years ago. That said, it's an exception that I liked the story in Torment, as I find most games childish in that regard, so I'm more often annoyed when a game tries to push some garbage plot on me, rather than entertained.

:Edit: As Elcs said, gameplay is really the important thing.
 

Zenoth

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
5,081
103
106
Both.

Something like... say... The Witcher 3.

But games like that happen maybe once every decade. So to be more realistic I'd have to go with graphics, not because I'm a "graphics whore", but because actual good story lines in video games aren't exactly what I'd call common, and certainly not an industry standard. The reality is I'd have more enjoyment out of well-done animations, catchy and memorable soundtracks, varied particle effects, dynamic shadows and lightning, high polygon count, overall breathtaking scenery... and heck even good A.I., than I would for a game giving me JUST a good story but with nothing else or little to no enjoyable actual game-play.

The best of both worlds do sometime fuse and we can have results like The Witcher 3, BioShock or Dragon Age: Origins, but we all know very well that enjoying graphics or general artistry from a game is way easier and more... say... "accessible". If I want an actual good story line I won't expect it from video gaming. I'd rather go out and buy a novel or watch a movie (or a series) with a known good plot with mind blowing twists rather than keeping my fingers crossed that the next BioWare, EA, Bethesda, Blizzard or Ubisoft game would end up having a story line and writing quality in the veins of Planescape: Torment.

I do certainly appreciate the rare gems we do have from time to time, but truly on this one I'd have to go with "just graphics", thank you (even though I know full well that a game "just" offering good graphics with an essentially non-existent story line would bore me to death in a matter of a week, if not earlier).
 
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Aug 11, 2008
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Well, obviously it takes both. Up to a certain point, graphics is probably the most important. For instance, Baldur's Gate, even the enhanced edition, is just too difficult for me to play because of the graphics and blurry interface. After a certain point though, graphics become "good enough" and gameplay and story take over. Witcher 3 has great graphics, even with my low end system, and to me OK, but not great storyline and gameplay. I like the game, and it would probably rate in my all time top 10, but if given the choice I would pick for instance Skyrim or KOTOR over W3, Skyrim for the more open world gameplay and KOTOR for the story and characters. Plus even though Skyrim did not have the graphical quality of Witcher 3, I like the more varied world better. I know W3 is supposed to be "open world", but it really seems to me to be more linear than Skyrim or some of the other Bethesda games. Plus I wish I could just kill random civilians!!
 

HeXen

Diamond Member
Dec 13, 2009
7,818
30
91
NO...

It's pretty simple, do you buy ANY genre of gameplay for the story or the graphics...?
Both because it depends on the game like I just said lol. I didn't buy Tesla Effect or Technobabylon for the graphics and it's pretty obvious that no one does.
Every gamer out there will buy a game because of gameplay, story or graphics and they prefer all 3 right? So it's kind of a stupid question so the choice often just depends on the game.
 

alcoholbob

Diamond Member
May 24, 2005
6,200
283
126
Both.

Something like... say... The Witcher 3.

But games like that happen maybe once every decade. So to be more realistic I'd have to go with graphics, not because I'm a "graphics whore", but because actual good story lines in video games aren't exactly what I'd call common, and certainly not an industry standard. The reality is I'd have more enjoyment out of well-done animations, catchy and memorable soundtracks, varied particle effects, dynamic shadows and lightning, high polygon count, overall breathtaking scenery... and heck even good A.I., than I would for a game giving me JUST a good story but with nothing else or little to no enjoyable actual game-play.

The best of both worlds do sometime fuse and we can have results like The Witcher 3, BioShock or Dragon Age: Origins, but we all know very well that enjoying graphics or general artistry from a game is way easier and more... say... "accessible". If I want an actual good story line I won't expect it from video gaming. I'd rather go out and buy a novel or watch a movie (or a series) with a known good plot with mind blowing twists rather than keeping my fingers crossed that the next BioWare, EA, Bethesda, Blizzard or Ubisoft game would end up having a story line and writing quality in the veins of Planescape: Torment.

I do certainly appreciate the rare gems we do have from time to time, but truly on this one I'd have to go with "just graphics", thank you (even though I know full well that a game "just" offering good graphics with an essentially non-existent story line would bore me to death in a matter of a week, if not earlier).
Witcher 3 was made in a Polish studio for $65 million dollars. But due to exchange rates and PPP the game has more like a $250 million dollar budget. Everything is ultimately about the amount of resources you input into the project.
 

Sulaco

Diamond Member
Mar 28, 2003
3,821
6
81
NO...

It's pretty simple, do you buy ANY genre of gameplay for the story or the graphics...?
No. It's still a silly question because each matters more to different genres. And comparing them like that is just apples and oranges.

If I'm playing an RPG, I'm going to be more focused on story and less interested in graphics.
If I'm playing a racing game, or a mindless shooter, story is pretty meanignless.

If you FORCED me to choose one and only one over the other, great story generally always trumps great graphics.
Because I'm not 12.
 

futurefields

Diamond Member
Jun 2, 2012
6,471
29
91
50% gameplay
50% graphics
50% physics
50% replay value
50% story
50% can i go inside the buildings
50% nope still can't
 

HitAnyKey

Senior member
Oct 4, 2013
648
13
81
100% Gameplay. An immersive and engaging storyline or scenario is my primary concern. It has to be fun and have some kind of hook to keep me interested.

A beautiful boring game holds no Candle to a fun game with dated graphics.
 

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