Ninja Theory co-founder Tameem Antoniades has said he feels story is more important than gameplay, and “if you get it right, both story and gameplay can be elevated”.
Speaking with Videogamer, Antoniades said during the development of Kung Fu Chaos he didn’t think storytelling was needed in games, but changed his mind when Heavenly Sword was being planned.
“In Heavenly Sword I thought, ‘Actually, let’s try and do a story’. Working with Andy and everyone else, working with Weta and having people talk about story as something serious – not something throwaway like we do in games – was quite eye-opening to me,” he said.
“I still see a prejudice, actually. I still come across a lot of people who say, ‘It’s a game and it doesn’t need a story’. You’re trying to make a particular point of storytelling, trying to refine it, and somebody says ‘It’s just a game, it doesn’t matter’.
“What’s more important – the gameplay or the story? If you’re doing a game, it’s got to be the story, actually [and] I’ll give you an example of where that’s true – Resident Evil 4.
“I played it from start to finish, I didn’t want to let go of the controller and I was driven through it. I just wanted to know what happened next. As soon as I completed it, you get those mini-missions, ‘Kill x zombies in an amount of time’.
“So there’s no story, it’s stripped out of all that and it’s just shoot however many zombies in however much time. And you realize – have I been doing this for the last 10 hours? Because it didn’t feel like it, as I’m bored within about a minute of doing that.
“So there is something, there is an importance. There is a symbiosis where, if you get it right, both story and gameplay can be elevated. But it’s really hard to know when you get it right or not.”
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West releases for PS3 and Xbox 360 on October 5 and 8 in the US and Europe, respectively, and you can check out our latest chat with Antoniades though here.