Dear Dragon, games with a story that only works on the very superficial level do not have any kind of staying power. We do not remember Wing Commander for its great characterization, or the way it discussed war and the people in it, we remember it for its gameplay and production values.
I disagree. I found characters in Wing Commander, especially in 3 and 4, to be very good. Sure, there wasn't much philosophy in there (though WC4 had a few moments), those were mostly WWII stories in space. But they were well told, with good characters and a very immersive environment. Even if the story itself wasn't too good, the presentation was great. FS2 might've had good story, but TBH, it didn't tell it that well, being nearly devoid of characters and nearly everything not related to actual missions. Cutscenes were extremely detached from the actual player "character" (contrast WC3, where in nearly every case, you only saw what your character did). Those little, background things do matter, they create an immerisve environment that makes it possible to enjoy even a medicore story. FS2 is pretty lifeless and hard to immerse in (notice, all the best mods added plenty of worldbuilding and background), unlike Wing Commander, for example.
Now, the greatest of the great, of course, have both a great world and a great story in it, but in a game like Star Citizen, the world is IMHO more important. It's an MMO, which will span a massive universe. The "main campaign" will not be the only story told, so the game should focus on developing a world people would enjoy being in, characters people would enjoy interacting with. Considering the immense scale of Star Citizen, I believe there will be a lot of stories told in this universe. Their quality may vary, but the game itself will have to stand on the world it's creating, not on any single story. Spec Ops: The Line was great, but I finished it and put it away (will probably replay someday, if I dare
). It didn't create a world (not that it had to, I'm not criticizing it here) and thus there aren't really more stories to be told there. Star Citizen can't afford that if it wants to "live" like Roberts wants it to.