Stories in videogames can go from garnering critical praise to being derided as the bane of the writing media, but one thing that has always remained constant is producers never really bashing the storyline from other franchises they are not related to.
Story producer Chuck Beaver worked on a variety of the James Bond games, including Everything or Nothing, From Russia with Love, and NightFire, but feels that Gears of War has "literally the worst writing in games". One thing he freely admitted, even so, was that Dead Space wasn't much better. During an official EA interview, Beaver was asked whether he felt story could ruin a game or not. His response follows:
Can story ruin a game?
Story can only ruin a game for those people who care about story, so it's a conditional answer. For instance, Gears of War. It contains atrocious, offensive violations of story basics. Yet it doesn't seem to ruin it for many, many people. It's literally the worst writing in games, but seems to have no ill effects.
On the other hand, you've got the Portal series, which, to me, succeeds at least as much on its writing as its masterful platformer level design.
He feels that Dead Space was a haunted house story, just with a personal aspect slapped on top of things. The Gears of War series has historically come under fire for the quality of its story, which is known for being something of a 'dude-bro' session.
It is very interesting to see Beaver's view on the gaming world. He feels that Valve's Portal games has proven masterful in its storytelling and level design. He does admit that story only ruins a gaming experience for those who invest themselves in the story, but I'd actually consider going further: the idea of a good story in gaming is completely subjective, much like in the world of literature.
In the world of literature, you could see plenty of people arguing The Brothers Karamazov is story telling at its finest, and they'll come up against the fans of authors like Dean Koontz. It's the kind of argument in which both parties are right, really, and Beaver himself can see this.
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