Right with this blog im going to dive right into the thick of it and say the best games are always the ones with the best storylines of course thats my opinion and maybe not yours but my order of priority for games it
1 - Storyline
2 - Game play
3 - Graphics
please feel free to post your order of preference but i wont take notice because im stubbern lol.
A few links im suppose to review... well i have had a read through the Maz Payne 2 link which is a review that it featured on Wikipedia so i presume its done by a normal user but any way the focus is primarily on its storyline which means that this is a classic example of what i said above graphics didnt even really come into the equation it even features a picture of 'Sam Lake' who wrote the plot which is rare though granted it was his face used in the original max payne but still he is a well known script writer himself.
It does seem to me now that the seriousness of a decent storyline has hit home with developers as they now hire professional novel writers and the other link i read reinforced this as the half life writer is in fact a graphic novel writer and was very well established before his involvement with Half Life 2 in which dare i say could possibly be one of the best games when it comes to story (along side final fantasy 7 of course ;) ) .
For the first question 'Does a strong storyline make a better game?', Of course it does! people like storys and think about games such as Half Life 2 without its story it would just be a run around and shoot enemys in a 3d world similar to the system using in Unreal Tournament. However not to say that games without a storyline cant be good as rewinding back to my list of three earlier.. crap storyline but excellent game play and graphics can swing a games popularity but a compelling storyline can easily carry both of them and make a game decent get all three of them and you have the same formula Max Payne had and it couldnt have failed.
Back in the days when consoles were primative most games followed what i would call a traintrack when it came to storyline and the player had no choice in what happen in the story in otherwords it was fate whatever happened to the character was always going to happen no matter what the player did this is best shown in final fantasy games which give the illusion of freedom but always follow a set path but these days with more powerful consoles and demand for more clever games the developers have delievered a choice system giving the player the control over the fate of the character usually involving a choice by either motion or dialogue.
A great example of this is in Fable 2 in which at many points of the game the story line direction is left to the player however in a sence its still on a rail its just like a track switch really. The most biggest choice in my opinion is where you are acting as a guard and you have the choice to feed the prisoners or not this leads the direction for your personality and the storyline the game also cleverly tells alot about a person as when i played it i genuinely took pity on the little sprites >_<.
Now this is what i hate is games like Second Life and World Of Warcraft... Second Life in particular as it serves no real purpose but to be a online get away for sad people wanting to escape reality... its graphics are poor and its game play is dier and the storyline is only really what the players play out so in other words there isnt any in fact more storylines come from second life in real life with all the divorves in the papers that have been caused by so called "cheating" in the game whcih i thinks pathetic and its typical that most of its happening in America them and their cultures *sighs*.
World of Warcraft is slightly more excusable but only because of the quests which follow story lines to a degree plus the game looks nice and the game plays pretty good.
I cant believe that question has been raised ' Is Call Of Duty a War Story'. Yes yes yes it is and even if it doesnt follow actually events it still lives out the same or similar lifestyle and storys of every soldier of that era however in the case of number 3 where it followed actually real historic events naturally the storyline was more like an interactive movie which made it quite good but 4 is very different bas its set in near enough the present day and since its made up i cant really call it a war story its more of a representation compared to 1,2 and 3 and now 5.
overall i hope i have got it across that at least im a passionate person about storylines in games and have increased awareness even slightly, if not next time you play a game like fable,COD,mass effect,Half life 2 etc. The list is endless think for just one minute what makes this game so dam good im sure you'll come to the same conclusion as me.