Complacency in Storytelling


New member
Dec 25, 2008
I love how the only time I ever see anything but slavering agreement and praise towards Yahtzee from his fans is when he takes a dig at Sony. You guys might want to at least try to obfuscate your true colors just a tiny bit. Mommy and Daddy aren't actually fighting.


New member
Jun 21, 2010
Don't see what Yahtzee's complaining about Arkham Origins for. The tutorials seemed sufficient to me (though I have played Arkham City) and if you didn't know who anyone was, there was a profile page available for them. Also, was it not pretty obvious from the start that Black Mask was a big crime boss?

The Rogue Wolf

Stealthy Carnivore
Nov 25, 2007
Stalking the Digital Tundra
V8 Ninja said:
While I agree that the "PC Gaming Master Race" can be extremely condescending and I can sympathize with feeling surrounded by pointless hate, I think Yahtzee's dig has more to do with how it's been proven that console launches always have bad/mediocre/Okay games at launch and that everybody should wait at least a year before buying a new console. Of course, that's only my guess as Yahtzee hasn't even discussed the new console launches in either Zero Punctuation or Extra Punctuation for the past several weeks.
I don't think this particular issue has been touched on enough, and I lay the blame for it pretty squarely at the feet of the consumer. An inherent problem with console gaming (which does crop up on occasion in PC gaming when some new class of technology like PhysX is made available) is that, when you have a new console come out, everybody aside from the console's creators is at Square One. This wasn't so much of a problem when console gamers were more excited about the hardware than the games, and first-party releases were enough to tide them over until third-party devs had a better handle on the hardware and could put out quality titles.

That's really not how it goes these days. It seems to me that now gamers expect and demand a full stable of AAA games (especially sequels to their favorite franchises) to be available right on Launch Day, and the console devs bend over backwards to help meet this demand- but the problem is that, with as tight as console development schedules have gotten and as complex and expensive AAA games are to make nowadays, it is nearly impossible for any game developer that doesn't have "most favored" status with the console makers to get the assistance needed to put together a quality game within that window. But the customers have their expectations, so game devs cut corners and hit launch date with incomplete or buggy games- a problem only made worse by the advent of the "release now, patch later" culture, long a PC gaming issue, into the console biosphere.

Unfortunately, there's something of a Catch-22 here. The ideal path would be to hold off, to allow the technology to be explored and for quality games to come out before buying the console- but releasing a next-gen console is ridiculously expensive, and if a company doesn't think they'll get their investment back within a short amount of time, they're either not going to bother at all, or take shortcuts themselves... shortcuts that would harm the console's release, meaning that it might not sell as well, and so therefore game developers wouldn't bother to make so many games for it. Yahtzee may pan those who rush out to buy at launch day, but if they didn't, how would the industry cope? Maybe there's a better way, but I can't see it from here.

V8 Ninja

New member
May 15, 2010
Loki_The_Good said:
V8 Ninja said:
Yahtzee Croshaw said:
[Yahtzee's PS4 Dig]
I hate to say it, but this dig seems extremely petty Mr. Croshaw. Not only does it have very little relation to the topic at hand, but it also fails to follow up on any significant topic that you brought up. Rather than getting the impression you're going in for another blow or trying to make the viewer laugh, I get the impression that you just wanted to throw the comment in to satisfy your own disdain for the more closely related topic that the comment relates to.
I think you guys might be missing the point or maybe I'm over reading into things. I don't think it was a direct dig at the PS4 but keeping in line with the theme about how many people have already bought the thing when there is so little worth playing on it yet. (not a dig just a temporary fact I'm sure ps4 will have plenty of good games in the future) The whole article talks about how game producers are getting complacent with games and a contributing factor would be some people's take my money attitude towards established brands. Honestly unless you need to be first buying a console day one instead of in say six months leaves you with a poorer experience for your money and that's assuming you don't get one of the broken ones. I think that's the point he's making. People are already willing to jump in so quickly why shouldn't they be complacent. We do nothing to protect ourselves from it. actually a pretty good explanation for Yahtzee's PS4 comment. I guess I just didn't get it because that's not the first parallel I would come up.


New member
Apr 10, 2009
The one thing to love about Killzone is how they actually painted the whole thing. The whole point is that Helghast are in the right and ISA is the villain, it's how it's all played is amusing. I mean, imagine a game where you play as a soldier in Nazi Germany army. You'd instantly know for a fact that main character is fighting on the evil side. But with Killzone you fully realize it only in second game.
The issue though is that this card is played so starting with Killzone 3 and forward players know that ISA is the villain, but they play it as a new thing every time.
oldtaku said:
Killzone: Shadow Fall lost me in the first 15 seconds because apparently (I don't think this is a spoiler, because it literally is the first 15 seconds of opening movie): The Vektans nuke the Helghast planet into a lifeless cinder, then invite all the remaining Soviet Nazi Space Empire back home and give them half their home planet. What could go wrong?

Now maybe there's some backstory or whatever that makes this less stupid than it sounds, but that just reinforces the main point of the article. I lost track of the Killzone lore long ago (first game) because it was so WoW-ishly bad I just gave up caring. So for I, or anyone else who has never played a Killzone before, you start out with the plot being completely asinine before you've even gotten into the game. And then, yes, it does seem to expect you to have played all the previous games to make sense of anything other than 'Okay, we need you to go here and do this Dead Space bit.'
Well, DUH. Have you played previous games? ISA officially fought against Visari's regime, you know, to supposedly save poor Helghast miners from oppressive dictatorship. Of course nobody asked the miners.
It makes perfect sense that they put surviving Helghast on Vekta.
But you are 100% right about one thing: you can only get into this game if you're well familiar with previous games. It is as Yahtzee wrote, complacent.


New member
Jul 29, 2013
A_Parked_Car said:
I must agree on the story-telling bit. Games such as Call of Duty seem to just assume that I care and immediately sympathize with America simply because it got attacked. I watched a walk-through of the CoD: Ghosts' campaign (I haven't actually enjoyed a CoD game since WaW.), and I was just baffled at how lazy the storytelling was. The basic premise of a South American Federation invading the US is interesting. Yet none of it was fleshed out beyond...well...the basic premise that I just outlined.

Why did the Federation form? How willing are all the South American countries to be included in such a Federation? Is there a clearly dominate member of the Federation (like Brazil or something)? Why is the Federation so expansionist? Why did the Federation invade the US? What were the terms of the truce that was eventually broken? I could go on, but I think I have made my point. CONTEXT and MOTIVATION. It isn't that hard, for Fuck's sake. It isn't like they couldn't hire a decent writer to come in and write some B-grade, schlock action plot for them. Even Pierce Brosnan-era Bond movies have villains with clearly-defined motivations (Tomorrow Never Dies is my favourite Bond movie :p), and those are the definition of schlock. They make enough money, and they sure aren't spending it on graphics, sound design or gameplay improvements.

Battlefield 4 is just as bad:

Who is the Admiral? Did he launch a coup? I would assume so, but why? When did he muster enough forces to invade Singapore and the Panama Canal? WHY? Who is the 'magical plot-device' man that you have to protect and why is he so damn important? Why did Admiral man attack the US? Why is Russia supporting Admiral man? WWWWHHHHYYYYYY?!
Ironically, the problem you're talking about is defended by several gaming journalists (not on this website, thankfully), because apparently the "geo-political gobbldygook" kept flying over the heads of players in previous COD/Battlefield games, especially with Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3. So the plots of Battlefield 4 and COD: Ghosts were straight up stated to have tossed out narrative focus on the geo-political mechanization of the villains, and would allegedly build up the interactions between the player and their squaddies instead.

That does sound like a reasonable trade-off in theory, but since the only thing I'm hearing about COD:Ghosts' and Battlefield 4's story is "jack-fucking shit outside of gamers and reviewers face-palming at how stupid they are", the only thing we got was subtracted context from the villains with no additional context to the heroes.

Ironically, I think pretty much every other Call of Duty game before Ghosts and even Battlefield 3, managed to balance out how much you needed to know about the player character, how much you needed to know about the bad guys, and how much you needed to know about the geo-politics. True, some of the geo-politics got more than a little sketchy (how did Russia get powerful enough to launch a full-scale invasion of East Coast America/all of Europe in MW2/MW3? What are the real motivations of the terrorists in Battlefield 3?), but all the important elements were there. All the bad guys establish their villainy with a certain atrocity, all the heroes establish themselves as guys who are willing to do anything to take them down for good, and even the overall politics are explained "just enough" so that it could seem somewhat plausible.

...Technically, they're still aren't very GOOD stories, but it's still better at explaining their stories more than COD:Ghosts or Battlefield 4 - hell, even "focusing on the player character", the parts of the stories COD:Ghosts and Battlefield 4 claimed to want to fix, were probably done better in all the other COD games and Battlefield 3 than COD:Ghosts and Battlefield 4! At least they didn't waste time with "relationship building" that doesn't work, and just kept to moving the story along.