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February 5th, 2008, 19:23
Originally Posted by VDweller View Post
It was a linear game, that's for sure, but not every linear game is story-driven.
Quite. I just finished playing Half-Life 2 (plus Episodes 1 and 2) again. Calling them story-driven would be a pretty big stretch indeed.

The way I see it, story-driven games focus on the story. They are more interested in telling a good story and forcing you to play a cool character (Baalspawn, Geralt, Revan, the spirit-eater, etc), than in letting you do what *you* want to do. That to me is a key difference between The Witcher and Bloodlines. While the sarcophagus is in the center of Bloodlines events, the game doesn't really have a story.
I see what you mean, but I still disagree. I'd call that "character-driven," a subset of "story-driven." And while the story in Bloodlines isn't really about *you* -- it's about the various factions using you to get at what they want, namely, the sarcophagus --, that doesn't mean it isn't there.

It's this design characteristic -- linear, funneled, and a pre-written story arc with twists, turns, and surprises, but a very limited amount of "plot freedom" and possible outcomes -- that defines that particular sub-genre IMO, much more than the decision to make the story about the protagonist rather than about the supporting characters. This is qualitatively different from the "consequence-driven" design in e.g. Fallout, where, as you so aptly put it, you have a pretty vague goal and are free to pursue it however you see fit, thereby (having the illusion of) making your own story.
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