View Full Version : Can a shooter have a good story?

Uncle Leo
3rd Feb 2001, 05:18 PM
So far, from my limited experience, maybe not.

At the moment I'm playing Rune. Now and again the Great God Odin pops up and says something in a deep voice. There's a story going on, but I'm not interested. My mind is focused on jumping and well timed sword blows, not a storyline.

The Famous Half Life did it best by having an extremely simple and obvious story. You could tell the whole thing in under 30 seconds. It set the mood of the shooter, then got out of the way and let you kill things.

Unreal's Universal Translator messages..... Once again, set a mood, rather than actually tell a story. I don't know about others, but I found that after an extended period of racing about killing and dodging, my brain is fixed in a mode where it doesn't want to read. In caveman hunter-killer mode, rather than civilized novel reader.

Finally, so far every Shooter story I have seen is crap. Bad B-Grade Hollywood quality Sci-Fi.

So, can U2 have a Good, Complex Story?
And if it does, is it even desirable?

3rd Feb 2001, 05:56 PM
Go beat deus ex.
You'll feel better.

After you beat it, do it again finding TONS of stuff you missed.
Repeat untill you've seen every ending.

4th Feb 2001, 12:00 PM
Well, looks like Leech has bet me to it here with those 2 magic words (Deus Ex). Funny, always wondered where the "plot" idea came into Half-Life. Hmm, a big explosion doesn't exactly translate into a plot. It really just gave a reason for the aliens, troops etc to come in to the game. The plot for an FPS is usually just "escape from this place", "destroy this", or "kill this person". Unreal had a neat beginning though. Hearing all the screams of you fellow prisoners freaked me out. and was a much better way to start a game than Half-Life. If they can do something similar with the sequel I will be happy. No more Nali-a-likes though. It's annoying when I see something alive in an FPS that is meant to stay alive. Either that or give the NPC's a greater purpose (and some decent AI)

4th Feb 2001, 02:29 PM
I agree with the Deus Ex nominations above. :) Plot was laid out well, and keeps you in the game!

Nali WarCow
4th Feb 2001, 04:09 PM
I think the translator messaged were not that bad in Unreal. But it would be stupid to have to read all the time to get the story.
In Unreal 2 have to be NPC's (Not only shy Nalis) and some cut scenes (Return to Na Pali was a good beginning of cut scenes), but not only monologs.
And it would be good if there are several subplots, so that the player can find out a lot of details and infos about the world, people, etc. DeusEx was a very good game in this variety, but to the end there were less and less subplots, exploration.
It would be great if the player has several possibilities at some points, so that I can play the game several times and the "story" still is somewhat different.

4th Feb 2001, 04:18 PM
there's 3 endings to dues ex, and my second time through i found about 4 things a level that i missed before...

Uncle Leo
4th Feb 2001, 06:06 PM
Yeah, after I wrote it, I thought, "They're gonna kill me with Deus Ex and System Shock".
I'll just hafta buy the game and try it out.
Do you really follow the plot in that game? Or does someone mumble something at the start the which you then ignore and just look for the switches and exit? (The usual Shooter plot)

4th Feb 2001, 06:10 PM
oh there's a story all right.....
A large one too.
With more twists and turns than a bagel that's gone through a washing machine.

You're practically in contact with part of the story at all times....

5th Feb 2001, 07:48 AM
Yup, Deus Ex' story is unrivalled in the genre... so much so that it's as much an RPG as a shooter :)

Sam Brown
6th Feb 2001, 12:28 AM
er, Deus Ex IS an RPG, therefore, I should hope it has a great plot and character development. That's what it's all about. Could you imagine the Baldur's Gate games with a plot that involved a guy running around solo reading scrolls tacked to corpses? Wouldn't really make sense... Where am I going with this...

Oh, yeah, Deus Ex had a story and it was great, but it was an RPG, not a shooter...Can shooters have a story? Sure, it just has to be done right and it depends on what you consider a real story.

6th Feb 2001, 12:45 AM
Dues ex Was also a shooter.
Was it first person?
Did you shoot people?
Was it a first person shooter then?
Was it a fps with roleplaying in it?
Was it an rpg with first person shooter bits in it?

Uncle Leo
6th Feb 2001, 12:47 AM
After all the mucking about on these Forums, that is a fundamental thing I don't have a handle on yet.
What kind of game will U2 be?
Where does Unreal 2 on a scale of Deus Ex to Serious Sam.
Heavy RPG or Twitchy Shooter?

6th Feb 2001, 12:50 AM
Hmmm...interesting comparison....

Serios sam is shoot till ya stop,
where Dues is QUITE different.
hopefully a happy medium can be found...

Sam Brown
6th Feb 2001, 11:11 AM
Alright, yes, Deus Ex is an RPG with strong shooter elements, just as System Shock 2 is. There are many genre benders out there. Are the Thief games RPGs? Not in the traditional sense as they lack character stats and progression, but it's also not a traditional shooter in that you spend most of your time avoiding contact. On the reverse of all that you've got games like Diablo 2 that, though they have character stats, are more action game than roleplaying game.

So where will U2 fall? Now there's something I can't talk about. ;)

6th Feb 2001, 03:20 PM
I can`t hear it anymore!!

Sam, why don`t you put "I can`t say anything!" in your Signature??? :D
It will save time you can go on working on Unreal 2! ;)

8th Feb 2001, 05:52 AM
Man that's almost trolling, Sam! ;) haha just kidding.. Hopefully U2 will rule as much as the rest of the series =)

8th Feb 2001, 07:12 AM
if we all will it to, It will.

*concentrates and lifts his busted-ass X-Wing outta that damn swamp*

14th Feb 2001, 06:09 PM
Anyone who has ever played Marathon (and actually taken the time to read the terminals) would agree that FPSs can have good stories. That game has probably one of the greatest stories ever seen in a game. Not even Deus Ex comes close.


15th Feb 2001, 08:18 PM
I think the best stories are not ones that are read from books and so on.
Take De (again), You get all the good bits of the story just from playing the game. There are extra bits all over in the form of newspapers, email acounts, and so forth.
You don't have to read them, it's just flavour.

15th Feb 2001, 09:06 PM
i withdraw my last post.
I read the link.
Once again, bungie has made me thier bitch.
disturbed, I bow to your wiseness.


16th Feb 2001, 12:47 PM
A moot point here would be the replayability of the game. I somehow feel that the old-school kill-fest games are much easier to just load up and sink into. Most of the story-based shooters are pretty linear (HL was one big tram-ride all the way). You played it once, poof, don't really feel like playing it again. But I still load it Duke and Quake2 (and UT of course) pretty often.

16th Feb 2001, 03:57 PM
I'm Still playing Dues Ex.

For the third time through.

18th Feb 2001, 04:13 PM
Consider this: A good game is not in the storyline but in the way the story is told.

Uncle Leo
18th Feb 2001, 06:46 PM
Yup, I agree. The Marathon story is told in a similar way to Unreal 's..... now and again you come across a bit of text to read. In Marathon's case, it's on a computer terminal.
I really don't think that is the way to do it in a shooter because people aren't in a mindset to read things, and the story doesn't have much affect on the point of the game, which is to fight your way to the exit of the level.

20th Feb 2001, 07:56 AM
Deus Ex was way cool when it came to conveying a story.

I found STar-Trek Voyager: Elite Force to be pretty decent when it came to a sci-fi storyline.

20th Feb 2001, 10:00 PM
Marathon ain't all about killing. A great deal of it is, but not all. You just gotta be in the right mindset to play the game. Most people are incapable of being in that mindset. I think that's why Marathon attracted some extremely intelligent and talented people, which is why the game had such quality third party contributions. I've never seen so many TCs for any game.

21st Feb 2001, 08:07 AM
Good point Ixus, although you can still notice a bad storyline at times. I'll have to take back some of the stuff I said about HL. In that, the story was told better than it was in Unreal. It was easier to listen to the NPC's telling u what was happening than to read it out of a screen or some ancient tome or whatever. And while I'm on the subject of that particular game, did anyone else actually LIKE the Xen levels?

27th Feb 2001, 08:36 AM
absolutely nothin wrong with the xen levels...

27th Feb 2001, 11:04 AM
Why do many people think the Xen levels sucked? There are excellent, and provided a new way of gameplay. I was just tired of playing about 100 or so levels in which I ran and killed soldiers, headcrabs, or slaves, with an occasional monster here and there (at first it was good, the soldier encounters in "Surface Tension" rocked a$$!!!) . I was amazed when I enterd the first Xen world... jumping and calculating if you were gonna land in the righ place... it was really fun...

Well, about the topic, I have one game in mind: Deus Ex. The best storyline ever.


28th Feb 2001, 12:54 AM
Marathon's story is extremely detailed. Kind of like Unreal's story but
with more story interaction. If any one is familiar with the sequels,
there is a lot of mind games being played on you., quite interesting
for a FPS.
I am hoping that after Bungie gets over there upcoming flops that
they will bring out a new Marathon game using the Unreal engine.

28th Feb 2001, 04:15 AM
Halflife sucked. I played the They Hunger mod (more of a total conversion), which is way better. Thought there's no storyline of any kind int it, there is one hell (litteraly) of an atmosphere. It's makes up the lack of storyline more than enough. It's almost like it doesn't need one.
Perhaps it's more important to create a good atmosphere in a FPS. Quake sucked. Unreal did pretty well. Halflife was better.