Poll

What would you rather have in a game?

plot
39 (79.6%)
replayability
10 (20.4%)

Total Members Voted: 48

Author Topic: Replayability or plot?  (Read 5233 times)

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Offline Polpolion

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Replayability or plot?
You can only rarely seem to have excellent quantities of both in a game. Without replayability, the game gets old after the fist few playthroughs, unless it's a non-linear game or just really in-depth. But without plot, well, it just gets... tedious.

What would you prefer to have in a game?


Personally, I would like plot. I just can't seem to be able to play games that nothing really happens in (there are exceptions, though).

 

Offline IPAndrews

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Re: Replayability or plot?
I've done plot. Replayability next time. Oh wait wrong forum we're not talking FS campaigns. Well I'd still go with replayability, with a little bit of plot. I thiink you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned non-linear earlier. If something is non-linear but detailed enough then who needs a plot. May I present Rome Total War as exhibit A. Every game is different but no game progresses in a random fashion. Plot and replayability. Win, win scenario.
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Offline Ulala

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Re: Replayability or plot?
I think it depends on the person, really. I'm all about plot, and I'm all about replayability. However, I find that some of my friends, even my girlfriend, don't find replayability to be important, or even existant really. For example, say I beat Mario64 with 70-some stars. I play through it some more and eventually get all 120. Or Chrono Trigger. Or even Zelda for SNES. I've played through it multiple times now, but each time it's still decently challenging, yet fun, and just recently I finally acquired all of the hearts and beat all the little ruppee games, etc, something I hadn't done before. Even Twilight Princess, I burned through that game so fast.. I just had to know how the plot unfolded, so I didn't bother with fishing, mini games, etc.. I just beat it. I'm looking forward to playing through again and enjoying the great plot (granted, I know what happens now), but also doing things I haven't done before. Replayability. My friends on the other hand, they watched me finish Zelda, and now they're not even interested in finishing the games they've started and they're half way through! They don't feel like finishing it because they know what happens, and they say if they finished a game, they wouldn't bother playing it again. It's beyond me.  :confused:

Anyway, I voted for plot, because it truly is important. Otherwise, I can't really get into a game long-term.
I am a revolutionary.

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Replayability or plot?
Plot makes for replayability.
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Offline Polpolion

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Re: Replayability or plot?
I thiink you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned non-linear earlier. If something is non-linear but detailed enough then who needs a plot.

Non-linear games are the best. You can have a very immersive plot, and with multiple play paths, you can replay it with it being relatively fresh three or four times.

Of course, the trouble with those, is that is that you can't make a sequel. I mean, just look at Deus Ex: Invisible war. The first game was EXCELLENT, but my gosh, how they MURDERED it (even thought a good portions of the bad stuff was the UI and gameplay, not the plot, imho)!!!!

 
Re: Replayability or plot?
Re playability by far.  A replayable game, is by necessity, one that plays well the first time.  Plot, on the other hand, is just a justification tacked on to give me a reason to do cool stuff, and if the stuff I'm doing is fun, it's unnecessary.

 

Offline Eishtmo

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Re: Replayability or plot?
Non-linear games, however, often present a watered down quality over their more linear brothers.  Instead of the writers and developers focusing on the main plot and gameplay, they're scattered all over doing mini-quests and alternate paths.  It can weaken the game as a whole when you see some parts being more refined than others.  I'd rather a stronger central plot than a lot of weak lines you can follow.
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Offline Mars

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Re: Replayability or plot?
I find that plot is the basis for re-playability, Homesick is very re-playable for me for example.

 
Re: Replayability or plot?
I'd love a balance between the two, but if I had to go for one, I'd say a nice and twisty plot. One that, if you play back through again, you can clearly see all the hints and tips to the twists that you missed the first time around. Nice *facepalm* moments, those, like in KotOR and Jade Empire.

For me, at least. Maybe I'm a bit dull. *cough*

 

Offline Goober5000

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Re: Replayability or plot?
Non-linear games, however, often present a watered down quality over their more linear brothers.  Instead of the writers and developers focusing on the main plot and gameplay, they're scattered all over doing mini-quests and alternate paths.  It can weaken the game as a whole when you see some parts being more refined than others.  I'd rather a stronger central plot than a lot of weak lines you can follow.
QFT.  I never finished the first chapter of Baldur's Gate because I got annoyed at how many side quests there were.

 

Offline Deepblue

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I would have said plot makes replayability not too long ago. Then I got addicted to the Crackdown demo. There is no plot to speak of, only a huge world that you can do a bunch of awesome crap in.

 

Offline Polpolion

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By non-linear I didn't mean side quests, I meant stuff like multiple endings. I don't mean multiple endings where you can choose at the end no matter what your previous actions, I mean like the endings branch out in the middle of the game.

 

Offline redsniper

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Plot makes for replayability.
Seconded. I think the Metal Gear Solid games are a good example of this. Granted, they aren't completely linear; there are different ways to get through every area and fight every boss, but they certainly aren't open-ended games. You basically just sneak and fight your way from cutscene to cutscene and that's okay. I think just the story and atmosphere are enough to make them replayable.
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Offline Mongoose

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By non-linear I didn't mean side quests, I meant stuff like multiple endings. I don't mean multiple endings where you can choose at the end no matter what your previous actions, I mean like the endings branch out in the middle of the game.
I've always really disliked the concept of non-linear games for this very reason.  (As a kid, I completely despised those "choose your own adventure" books; I kept going back and reading every little possible option before trying to move on. :p)  I'd infinitely rather play through a carefully-crafted storyline, being led along by the writers, than just cast out on my own, trying to figure out which of twenty quests/story threads I want to follow.  (Incidentally, this is the same reason why I'd never consider playing a trading-based space game, but that's another story.)  I freely admit that I have nary a creative bone in my body, but that's fine by me; I'd much rather be told a story than help make it myself.

I also fully agree with ngtm1r; to me, knowing every detail of what happens in the plot of the game doesn't affect its replayability in the slightest.  Hell, every single time I restart FS1 or FS2, even though (at least for the first game) I can practically lay out exactly what happens in every mission, I still find that same old familiar excitement washing over me, and I'm still enthralled by the developing story.  The same goes for any of the newer Zelda titles, Resident Evil 4, or any other game that hooks you in from the beginning and takes you on an amazing ride.

 

Offline Sarafan

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I go for plot but its entirely possible to have both in one game. Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 is a example were you have both a great main plot and many good side quests (wich are there for a reason not just for being there to waste your time) wich ensure its replayability.

 
I think games should have excellent, innovative plot, but have some replayability. F.E.A.R. is a good example with its creepy, twisty plot. You could, however, go back and play the game on a harder difficulty level to have your butt kicked. Multiplayer adds a lot to replayability, especially when you get guys playing the game for a while who can totally pwn your sorry n00b butt. Also, open-source games like FS2 and Halo: Custom Edition also add a lot of replayability. But I digress. The best part, IMHO, of a game is the plot. If the game doesn't have a good plot it doesn't find its way onto my shelf. Halo has an excellent plot, FS2 has an excellent plot, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory has an excellent plot, etc. Overall, if a game's got good plot, it's a good game right there. But, what makes an excellent game is replayability. The three greatest things that make me want to play a game over and over again are:

1) An extremely hard difficulty level. Most of the reason I replay a game is to see if I can beat the game on the hardest difficulty level. Both Halo 2 and FS2 take the cake on difficulty.

2) Open-Source Engine. Gearbox and Bungie released Halo Custom Edition to the PC Gaming community. Dark Hunter and I both love to play the custom maps made for Halo because it adds to a game we already love and desire to play as much as we can. Freespace 2 was Open-Source as well, and you guys can see how well that did for Freespace's replayability.

3) Ironically, the plot. I love hearing, and as Dark Hunter will attest, memorizing game lines. And it's fun to see the characters go those cool moments we all know, love, and obsess over (at least I do, right Hunter?). A good plot will actually have me playing the game on easier levels, after I've beaten the hardest level, to try different tactics and see how the plot differs.

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"Take my love. Take my land. Take me where I cannot stand. I don't care, I'm still free. You can't take the sky from me. Take me out to the black, tell them I ain't comin' back. Burn the land boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me. There's no place I can be since I've found Serenity. But you can't take the sky from me." - Ballad of Serenity

 
Non-linear games, however, often present a watered down quality over their more linear brothers.  Instead of the writers and developers focusing on the main plot and gameplay, they're scattered all over doing mini-quests and alternate paths.  It can weaken the game as a whole when you see some parts being more refined than others.  I'd rather a stronger central plot than a lot of weak lines you can follow.

I'd rather they just make the core game system fun.  Even if every quest, side or non, comes to to 'go here, beat up dude, come back', if the underlying gameplay system is strong, it will be fun every time.  If that's not working very well......high drama ain't gonna make a math flash cards game replayable.



Do any of the plot people have games they've replayed just for the plot, even when actually disliking the core gameplay? 




 
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"Take my love. Take my land. Take me where I cannot stand. I don't care, I'm still free. You can't take the sky from me. Take me out to the black, tell them I ain't comin' back. Burn the land boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me. There's no place I can be since I've found Serenity. But you can't take the sky from me." - Ballad of Serenity

 
Which of those games do you propose had bad core gameplay?

 

Offline brandx0

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Part of the problem of most non-linear games is that the choices for different endings are so obvious "you can either do this or this..."

It feels somewhat forced when you play a game and hit those points.  I'm voting for plot myself, I can still go back and play my final fantasy games again because of the plot contained within.
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