Sunday, 8 August 2010

When bad storytelling can be good

Allot of bad things have been said about the story of Starcraft 2 but I enjoyed it immensely.

Looking back at it after finishing the campaign i can see why people have problems with it. It's not exactly original, and to say the characters are broadly drawn would be a understatement.

I won't say people are 'missing the point' but i think part of what worked for me came from not the cut scenes themselves but from the way they sat in context with the game play itself.
Blizzard are perhaps the one company who better than any other can balance difficulty close to perfection, creating levels where failure rarely created frustration and victory allways brought a rush of adrenaline.
I played through the campaign on hard difficulty and just beating a mission felt like a genuine achievement.
Anyone who's ever played sport or even been a just avid fan knows that surge of chemicals and emotions which causes strangers to hug each other, shout like animals, and cry like babies.

Viewed through the context of the adrenaline high of a victory the story of Starcraft 2 works allot better than it does looking at it in isolation, or after beating a mission without being genuinely challenged.
I know what I'm saying basically amounts to 'you have to be on a adrenaline high to enjoy the story' but I'm not sure that's a invalid approach if the game is well crafted enough to consistently produce it.

Overall I feel the story was a good fit for the gameplay, and considering that one of the prime accusations levelled against many videogames is that they fail to achieve that I'm happy to say for me at least Blizzard did a good job.

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