[Feature] Understanding Our Gaming Past Part 1: Evolution Of Story

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I’ve always viewed history as an important aspect of life. And as I’ve been digging around the gaming past in my Overdue Reviews it’s starting to become an important aspect in my gaming as well.

For those of you who have kept up with what my writing here on NF Gaming you know I’ve been trying to catch up on some of video games most important titles. I’ve been playing my way through games like the original Half-Life, Painkiller and in my spare time Elder Scrolls: Morrowind. By playing these older games we can see how gameplay, engines and story have all developed into the games we have today.

After playing all of these games I had a different sense of satisfaction, than merely getting to witness gaming history. Much like history itself, I found my understanding of video games come full circle. Half-Life introduced to me to the kind of immersion I thought was only recently available in today’s generation.

The slow opening scene on the tram car is still one of the most memorable scenes in a games story line. Players are immediately drawn into Gordon’s perspective and story as you take a ride on the tram car into what seems like a normal day of work. The slow opening scene has since been copied (in concept) since then in several triple-A video games.

Other games had already created a greater sense of lore. Morrowind helped to expand my view on the history of Tamriel. My limited view from Skyrim only gave a slim taste of the that massive continent (although it is pretty big on its own). The ability to fit all of this history into a single country, and even more so, an entire continent full of ruins, artifacts and other worldly creatures. Bethesda found away to take all of their events and tie them together.

Games like Max Payne have developed a lore of its own. The titular character has changed drastically from each game. Max has developed from the amateur revenge man to the down, but wiser Max in the last installment. In an odd way he’s become a drunken legend, but instead with a pair of 9mm pistols.

And lastly the use of choice in a game wouldn’t have grown if it weren’t for a few key games. The original Deus Ex gave players a wide variety of options to approach a situation before games like the upcoming Dishonored demonstrated the ability to choose your own playing methods. Let’s be honest though that game does look badass. Creating your own story has since in a game has become a repeated mechanic ever since.

Games have come long way since the time of giving a basic background story for an 8-bit character being our entire motivation. Stories now have become far more in-depth, improving on the already immersive qualities that video games have. And I’m looking forward to the next great story to come.

 

Next week I’ll explore how gaming engines have developed over the past few years and where some of the best ones got their start. So long readers!

Senior Stiv would love to rant at you on all things gaming, follow him on Twitter here. For more Stiv articles check out 5 Games Where Streamlining Went Wrong.