Gameplay is King

I read this yesterday: Gameplay is King: Story is Distant Second.  It’s an interesting read and one which I almost completely agree with.  For games, gameplay is the most important aspect and should always be so.  If it’s not then it likely stops being a game and becomes something else with gameplay elements.  That isn’t to say those other things aren’t valid or equally enjoyable for what they are.

My main gripe is with the idea that story is a distant second place to gameplay.  If the story and gameplay are as closely intertwined as the author suggests in the Uncharted game, it seems to me that, although story is second to gameplay, it’s a close second.

Also, the idea of having the player do everything rather than just allowing things to happen to move the story along, such as cut scenes, is a great idea in principle.  However, the article doesn’t take into account the needs and wants of the player.

Some years ago, when I worked at Revolution Software, we created a GBA version of Broken Sword and loved the way the direct control of the character gave a better connection to the main character, George.  This is exactly what the Gameplay is King article is getting at.  When we then created the third Broken Sword game, The Sleeping Dragon, we went for direct control on all platforms.  Unfortunately, this didn’t work out so well on the PC as many of the PC players would have preferred the old point-and-click interface over the direct control we implemented.