Ewan Rants: Walking Simulators and Gaming Narrative

One thing I’ve never liked is games that try to portray a story through a series of puzzles, walking around long rooms or environments and in general just games that are so plot heavy you get bogged down in it. Walking Simulators and in those Visual Narrative games, well, lets just say I’m not a fan of them. I had to search for an image for this article and I think I’ve found the best game ever. Not sure what it is, but I’m betting it’s the reason Konami have shifted to mobile games only.

So what’s the problem with Walking Simulators? Well, it’s the exact same problem I have with all plots that are too in-depth. Now I’m not saying that an in-depth plot is a bad thing, it’s a very good thing. I mean, just look at Skyrim, that was a game I simply loved and adored, it had a rich story and an even richer backstory and on top of that, you had to walk everywhere. The exact same for Fallout. It’s a beautiful and atmospheric game wherein you spend a lot of your time walking about, experiencing and enjoying the environment.

But what’s the difference between Elder Scrolls and say, Gone Home or Three Fourths Home? Well, the Elder Scrolls is what I would consider “fun”, it has gameplay, fighting, a story, walking, it has so much. But these walking simulators rely on story and story alone. Most of the Walking Simulators I’ve played have extremely poor stories, most notoriously Three Fourths Home.

Three Fourths Home was a game I played on the Xbox One specifically for achievements, however a lot of people had praised the story, well, I say praised, I mean critically panned. So I decided to get the achievements and then play it through again to see what the story was like. One word describes the story of that game. Meaningless.

Now that’s not to say that all Walking Simulators have a horrible story, but I have yet to play one with a good story. And Three Fourths Home was more of an interactive narrative, but even then, why would I want to play a narrative? If I want a rich story that requires little to no effort, I’ll read a book, not play a game.

But what about the Walking Simulators that are meant to be there? DayZ, Rust and more survival zombie games have a sense of walking until you find something.

However when you talk about it like that it really unravels my argument, so piss off.

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