Gameplay vs Storyline

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A video game may be judged based on many aspects of it, for instance, presentation, level design, sound effects, gameplay, and storyline are some of them. I particularly prefer games with great gameplay and storyline. I have been always thinking which one is more important to video game greatness. A particular video game I played last year, which holds one of the best storylines of all time, makes me consider the gameplay far more important to gamers. The video game I played was The Walking Dead: Season One from Telltale Games. In terms of storyline, there’s no doubt TWD: Season One is an amazing game. However, it’s not enough to make the game a masterpiece. That gameplay based on point-and-click games from the 90’s doesn’t make the game interesting as it story does. The gameplay is slow, and even broken at times. I played that game more interested in the storyline set pieces contained in the cut scenes than in the actual game. Controlling the main character, which is an amazing video game character, was boring when needed.

After coming back to the Resident Evil series, I remembered playing one of my favorite games of all time: Resident Evil 4. RE 4 is one of the best and funniest third-person shooters of all time. Such an amazing gameplay Capcom has managed to create on that game. I am still wondering how a game can be as fun as RE 4. The controls are fast and responsive, and the shooting mechanics are just wonderful. However, RE 4 holds one of the worst storylines in video game history. It doesn’t make any sense at all. The main character is in charge of rescuing the USA President’s daughter in a small village in Spain. If it had actually happened in real life, it could be the third Great War against Spain. Human beings have done worst in the first two wars for less than that. Even though, I played RE 4 several years ago, I felt like that game storyline was unappealing and laughable at times. But, the plot itself makes room for moments of enjoyment. At the end of the day, the storyline was forgettable, but the gameplay was incredible in a way that I was always coming for more RE 4 (and still want to play the remastered version coming out to PS4 at the end of 2016).

Comparing RE 4 to TWD: Season One is a tough task, but I am comfortable enough to affirm that RE 4 is far better that TWD: Season One. One game is great on the storyline department and the other one has an incredible gameplay. But, as I write, I wish I were playing RE 4. The bad storyline does not make the game any bad to me, while TWD: Season One isn’t one of my favorite games of all time. It’s a good game, nothing beyond that. A real masterpiece such as The Last of Us is able to mix a great gameplay and an amazing storyline altogether. But, such a few games can match that achievement. Out of my mind, I think maybe Bioshock could be considered close to TLoU in terms of matching a great story and gameplay. To sum up, a great gameplay is keen for a great game, and a well-written story is important as well, but not enough to make a game a masterpiece. RE 4 is closer to be considered a masterpiece than TWD: Season One does.

Resident Evil (the Main Series) Needs Depth Changes

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Resident Evil 6 is not a good game. Period. I was a fan enough to torture myself during the 20 chapters of that game. I think I did it because RE 6 is one of the few games that still allow couch co-op. It is a feature 8th console generation is missing out. So, what are the bad things about RE 6? First, the shooting mechanics are not well done. It’s not fun shooting and killing enemies in RE 6. Capcom realized it and improved it a lot in Resident Evil Revelations 2. Second, the storyline is fun at 2 or 3 chapters in Leon’s campaign, but in the rest of the game is painful, even laughable sometimes. Even a masterpiece like Resident Evil 4 does not have an amazing story, but that game is pretty fun overall, unfortunately there’s no much fun in RE 6.  Third and most important is how developers tried to throw a lot of mechanics in that game expecting they would work just fine. I’ll tell you they don’t work. I can’t remember a game with as many quick time events as RE 6. But, what annoys me the most is where the game uses QTEs. Pretty much every section of the game implements a bunch of QTEs. Some of the most mundane activities like starting a motorcycle engine are implemented using QTEs.

One classic section of almost every game is the boss fight. RE 6 has by far the worst boss fights I have faced in my gaming life. When you defeated a boss, you feel accomplished for that, and wish you didn’t have to do that again. I appreciate when a game has many bosses’ encounters; it’s just fine. However, RE 6 has the same bosses coming back from time to time. In Leon’s campaign, we faced the same boss in three chapters in a row. The problem was that every boss in each main chapter: Leon, Chris and Jake, has come back at least twice. At the end of Jake’s campaign (the last main campaign we played), when the boss came back again we were laughing out loud the situation. RE 6 is not a smart game either. A well-developed game as The Last of Us doesn’t change the camera view to show an event happening in other portion of the screen. Smart games require a press button, generally L3 or R3 to change the camera view and show the event that is happening somewhere else. Don’t be surprised RE 6 just changes the camera view while a dozen zombies are attacking you.

That being said, I really hope RE 7 will be more similar to the Revelations series than the main Resident Evil series. I think the series need a level design similar to the classic Resident Evil 4, but keeping the amazing shooting mechanics they developed to Revelations 2. Resident Evil is one of my favorite franchises of all time, and I really want to see Capcom turning things around.