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Old 04-10-2011, 07:47 PM   #1
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The Debate: Campaign

So, last week I asked "Does co-op make a game better", and , judging by the comments, it is something of a mixed opinion. Some like it, whereas some don't.

So, this week's debate is: What makes a good campaign?
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:32 PM   #2
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A good campaign is one that has a story I care about. The story can't get off track or confusing either.

Most games don't have campaigns that are worth a crap honestly. There's very few games I've played where I'm engaged in the story during, and only one or two that I thought about after I finished the game.

When it comes to staying on track, if I have to check Wikipedia to figure out what the hell was going on, then the writers didn't do their job properly.
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:49 PM   #3
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decent story - followable, not completely predictable

decent characters - no one is completely cliche, ability to avoid characters i find irritating

decent length - five hour campaign/story mode doesn't really cut it in my book. would prefer 30+ if at all possible
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:55 PM   #4
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Delivery is key, a game could have great characters and a great premise, but a horrible delivery (i.e. Homefront). Examples of great campaigns are Assassins Creed and Dragon Age.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:21 PM   #5
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Two great stories+ good campaign = Bioshock and Alan Wake
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:40 PM   #6
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A good campaign to me would be:
  • A game with a well written engaging storyline that really grabs you, along with good compelling and interesting characters.
  • Good game play with controls set out nicely and good camera angles.
  • A nice length, not short or long. (e.g. I felt mass effect was too long, even though it had a good story)
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:53 PM   #7
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For me it would have to be a good storyline, interesting characters and good game mechanics.

I can't stand games with a boring storyline, it just makes me sleepy and I end up turning the damn thing off. The characters have to be interesting, I want to connect with the in some way so putting them in to the storyline to fill and gap isn't wise. The game mechanics have to be good, I want to have fun 'playing' the game (no silly AI or driving mechanics please).
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:48 AM   #8
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The key thing for me is story. I can play a game with a good story over and over again (I still play Soul Reaver, Final Fantasy Tactics and Chrono Trigger on a regular basis)
Of course part of a good story is good characters, they must be very compelling.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:01 AM   #9
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I'd say a story line that pulls you in, characters you can build an emotional connection with, and just sucks you in
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:48 PM   #10
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Obviously as everyone has already said before, good story and full character development are vital to telling a good story.

The other part of a good campaign for me is variety in the gameplay and variety in the environments. I don't want to simply button mash or shoot the same enemies over and over again. I also don't want to look at the same boring backgrounds time and time again.

Give me a reason to play the story through to the end and then make it interesting to see the story develop through different gameplay mechanics and environments.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:56 PM   #11
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Pacing, the game is gradually introducing new elements so it never gets stale.
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:59 PM   #12
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The campaign needs to give a decent backstory so I at least know why I am doing what ever it is I am doing.

Mix things up where it makes sense. Don't make me run and gun the entire time, with nothing changing.

Decent variety of weapons.

Interesting characters.

And just being fun. It could have all those things and if it isn't fun, then what's the point of playing it?
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:01 PM   #13
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Everything I would say has been mentioned and completely agree, but one has been only noted once by DauntingLady that I'll reiterate:

Game controls and camera. Game mechanics can make or break the experience if you don't have the patience. Or it can redeem an absolute piece of crap.

Example on one side: Too Human: decent to good story, great graphics and voice work for the time, but play control and camera aneurysms made it a near broken disaster and difficult to play without patience and practice.

Example on the other: MorphX: pathetic bordering on non-existent story, terrible dated graphics would have better on the previous gen systems, sound effects blatantly ripped from Half Life 2. But the 3PS shooting mechanics were solid barring the jumping sections. The game, as awful as it was, is actually a decent bit of fun. If only once.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:45 PM   #14
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I believe to make a good campaign the game need a good involving story but not too deep, so the player will not get lost in a sea of information. It also need a good cast of characters that so the player can get immersed in to the feelings of said characters which will keep the player more involved in the story and want more.
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:04 PM   #15
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Wink big fan of campaign over MP

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyVersion1 View Post
A good campaign is one that has a story I care about. The story can't get off track or confusing either.

Most games don't have campaigns that are worth a crap honestly. There's very few games I've played where I'm engaged in the story during, and only one or two that I thought about after I finished the game.

When it comes to staying on track, if I have to check Wikipedia to figure out what the hell was going on, then the writers didn't do their job properly.
^^my thoughts exactly. most games arent that engaging, and i find myself bored with the storyline pretty quick. for me it needs to be action packed, with some twists, and great characters. its always awesome if you LOVE your main character, and feel like you are bonded somehow.

possibly my favorite campaign was from Assasins creed. of course it seems retarded and impossible, but that storyline caught my interest alot.
i was really into the whole history thing, and loved to sneak around stealth mode killing people.
SPOILER
the fact that they would lead you to believe you are an assasin from the past. then you find out its all a "matrix" type deal, and you are re-living memories. i remember going like, "wtf!!?" to my tv.

of course there are those games with allies/teamates you hate. weather they are saying terrible corny jokes, or just not helping in general. such as
Left 4 Dead = Luis
fable 3 = Walter
fable 3 = the dog (lol)
COD = any marine from any campaign of the series

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Old 04-14-2011, 12:27 AM   #16
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Like so many others have said, a story is there to introduce the game mechanics to the player. A story needs to give the player a reason to move through the obstacles and an emotional investment to the characters in that campaign.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:32 PM   #17
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emotional investment to the characters in that campaign.
Perfectly stated.

You have to give a damn LOL!
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:32 PM   #18
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I'd like to go in depth, but what makes a good campaign for me is escapism value. Playing the story, I want to be able play the game and be brought in by it, whether it be decision making, exploring or the visuals. A game that comes to mind would be Mass Effect. I stalled that game out to play FO3 until a friend encouraged me to play it. Ever since then, I have been the biggest fan of the Mass Effect series. The escapism value for me was amazing. I'd much prefer if games used their campaign to do so in a similar way. That for me would be a good campaign.

On a side note, a really good soundtrack helps too! (Mass Effect 1 & 2)
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Pacing, the game is gradually introducing new elements so it never gets stale.
This...and there needs to be at least one part of the story in which you're just better than everyone. What I mean by that is a level like the AC130 part from Modern Warfare. Most games nowadays make you feel like the enemies are just so insurmountable (when you play on the harder difficulties, at least), and it's a nice change of pace when the developer throws you a bone.

My favorite campaigns from this generation that I can remember are from the GRAWs (single player) and R6:V (awesome co-op).
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:54 AM   #20
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I think variety is something that's important. If you're doing the same thing over and over again, it doesn't matter how long or how good the story is. A campaign should be fun and engaging, not just something you have to 'get through to get to the multiplayer'.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:45 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyVersion1 View Post
A good campaign is one that has a story I care about. The story can't get off track or confusing either.

Most games don't have campaigns that are worth a crap honestly. There's very few games I've played where I'm engaged in the story during, and only one or two that I thought about after I finished the game.

When it comes to staying on track, if I have to check Wikipedia to figure out what the hell was going on, then the writers didn't do their job properly.
Perfectly put...

If i were to pick 2 examples of the same type of game, Modern Warfare 1 got its campaign spot on. Black Ops got it completely wrong.

As for co-op debate. if a good campaign has co-op, i tend to like it even more. Obviously some games arent suited to it. But for those that are, i love it when theres co-op campaigns

A few campaigns ive enjoyed...
Any Zelda Game
Red Dead Redemption
Gears of War 1 & 2
Resident Evil 4 & 5
Rainbow 6 Vegas 1 & 2
CoD: Mordern Warfare 1 & 2
Fallout 3 & NV
Splinter Cell: Conviction
The Darkness

A few campaigns ive not...
CoD: Black Ops
Left 4 Dead 1 & 2
Dead Rising
Army of Two: 40th Day
Kane and Lynch 1
Fable 2

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Old 04-15-2011, 02:12 AM   #22
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For me its the gameplay. I couldn't care less if the story is a little lacking or not as in depth as some, aslong as the gameplay is there.

I hate games that have a huge story without the gameplay to back it up, it just gets tiresome and boring because the story gets you sucked in but the gameplay is lacking and you find yourself putting yourself through the mediocre gameplay just to find what happens I much prefer storylines and plots that are gritty and straight to the piont XD
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:20 AM   #23
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For me its the gameplay. I couldn't care less if the story is a little lacking or not as in depth as some, aslong as the gameplay is there.

I hate games that have a huge story without the gameplay to back it up, it just gets tiresome and boring because the story gets you sucked in but the gameplay is lacking and you find yourself putting yourself through the mediocre gameplay just to find what happens I much prefer storylines and plots that are gritty and straight to the piont XD
Like BioShock gets right to the point
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:32 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daunting Lady View Post
A good campaign to me would be:
  • A game with a well written engaging storyline that really grabs you, along with good compelling and interesting characters.
  • Good game play with controls set out nicely and good camera angles.
  • A nice length, not short or long. (e.g. I felt mass effect was too long, even though it had a good story)
Mass Effect (I) can be ran thru in 7-8 hrs if you skip all the extra crap. Is that really too long? I love ME.......not too much for me!
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:44 AM   #25
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Like BioShock gets right to the point
Hence in my own words "Much Prefer" the key word being Prefer.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:52 AM   #26
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Hence in my own words "Much Prefer" the key word being Prefer.
i know man.. just teasing
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Old 04-15-2011, 03:03 AM   #27
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For me, it's all about gameplay. Pacing is important, in terms of introducing the player to new concepts/mechanics. This also extends to the game's challenge level, ramping up the difficulty as you get more experience playing or unlock new abilities, without pushing it into hair pulling, Call Of Duty levels of frustration.

Story can be very important, but is not essential if the game play is done right. I've played games where I couldn't follow the story (Alpha Protocol) or simply didn't care (Red Dead Redemption) and still had a lot of fun.
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Old 04-15-2011, 06:23 AM   #28
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Best campaign have a good amount of time (10 ours are ok), good controlls, good graphics, sound and controlls. If itīs a FPS i give a f.... about the story. After all you must destroy everything in anything anywhere.

Best storygame is Alan Wake on Xbox. Awesome game.
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