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July 27th, 2014, 18:39
Forgive me if we've already had a thread about this.

In your opinion, which game - of all time - has had the best writing, and why?

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July 27th, 2014, 18:43
Of all time? Plot or prose? Because for prose, I have a hard time thinking of anything better than Spiderweb games. As for plot, I imagine the general opinion will likely be Torment.
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July 27th, 2014, 18:49
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
Of all time? Plot or prose? Because for prose, I have a hard time thinking of anything better than Spiderweb games. As for plot, I imagine the general opinion will likely be Torment.
Well, I was thinking overall - as in a combination of plot and prose, but feel free to split them up.

Never actually paid much attention to Spiderweb writing. Sounds interesting.

I've never played Torment much either, so I can't comment except that it felt way too verbose and pretentious to me - but I have a feeling you're right that it's a popular choice.

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July 27th, 2014, 18:54
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
verbose and pretentious
Doesn't verbose and pretentious pretty much sum up the entire concept of 'good' writing?

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
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July 27th, 2014, 18:56
Originally Posted by MinorityReport View Post
Doesn't verbose and pretentious pretty much sum up the entire concept of 'good' writing?

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
Do you have a favorite or not?

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July 27th, 2014, 18:58
I don't think I can narrow it down to one game. So I'll name a couple which have been my favorites.

The most intricate, elaborate and mind-bending storyline of all time has been the one presented in the Legacy of Kain series. Because of the subject matter, time-travel, paradoxes, the existance of free-will, etc. they managed to put together a very complex storyline.

My first contact with the series, I seriously did not understand most of what was happening. I just knew that I liked it a lot. And I could not put my finger on it, as to why. Since normally, a storyline of this type could easily become a huge mess. But somehow, they really made it work. As I said, I did not understand most of it on my first playthroughs, so multiple ones were required. Also, storyline guids from various hardcore fansites were also required. I seriously missed stuff, that I could not believe.

And I think the second reason I liked the story, even though I did not understand half of it at first, was the great characters and the amazing voice-actors they managed to get. My all-time favorite is still Raziel. And second, of course, Kain himself. Michael Bell and Simon Templeman were just amazing. They're talks and verbal disputes were amazing to watch. I could seriously hear them talking philosophical issues forever. To this day, I can recite, from memory, most of the intro discussion they have at the start of Soul Reaver 2.

Spoiler


After LoK, I'd have to name, Planescape: Torment, for the engrossing storyline and tragic tale of the main character. I've not read so much in a video game, and had so much enjoyment out of it.

Recently I've played The Last of Us, which also, imo, had great writing. They didn't exactly dive into philosophical issues or study man's behavior in great detail, in such extreme post-apocalyptic conditions. But it was a very intimate tale, very nicely written characters, that I really got attached to.

Bioshock Infinite I also found very nicely written, and would really recommend that.

One game that most people have probably never played, but which I found to have amazingly funny writing, was Giants: Citizen Kabuto. It's an older title, but that game will always have a special place in my heart.


EDIT: Seeing as I have to choose one, I's going to have to be the Legacy of Kain series. It might be cheating a bit, since they're 5 games in total, in the series. But I can't choose just one of them.
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July 27th, 2014, 19:01
I can't pick 1 so here are 4 from my narrow list.

Planescape:Torment-There is already been said everything about this game so I win't repeat it but it is the best.
Dreamfall:The longst jouney-From gameplay standpoint it's just plain bad but writing is very good even better than first game.Both worlds are well disigned and all 3 protagonist are well written especially Zoe.She is very relatable character which is rarely the case in video games
Spec ops:The line-Disturbing anti war story with great amount of C&C.Just great overall.
Edit: NWN :Mask of the betrayer: while original campaign is mediocre it's expansion is just great.Very interesting story and unusal and well written companions.
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July 27th, 2014, 19:07
I'm not a great fan of literature in my games. I much prefer the doing to the why I'm doing it. Having said that, Planescape Torment made it work, but you do have to prepare your mind properly before the play. If your not fully ready for word-fest it can hit like brick.

It's not an RPG but The game Broken Sword II, that I played recently, had absolutely awesome dialogue. So much so that I bought part one yesterday.
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July 27th, 2014, 19:34
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines had the greatest writing I can recall seeing in a game. Every conversation had you on the edge of your seat wanting to see what was said next, and it was all very natural and believable, yet still very stylistic.

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July 27th, 2014, 20:33
Many are already mentioned and I'll agree on most.
Instead of pointing a finger on rumored to be a minivan size plotholes game above, and instead of mentioning well written DLC of an utter or semicrap games, I'll just add as an awsome writing in a game case:
FO1/FO2/F:NV.
Not FO:T and FO3 though. FO:BoS… Didn't play it. Nor will.

One adventure was already mentioned, I'll add two more. Sanitarium and Grim Fandango.

And just when you thought I'll forget about it, I'm bringing it back up.
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July 27th, 2014, 20:44
Hmmm … Realms of the Haunting is my favorite game of all times, and its writing was pretty good IMO, if not perfect for the haunted house and beyond setting.

Missionforce: Cyberstorm had really good writing (yes, I know it was a small unit tactics game). I mean, they did it all in the in-between-mission text snippets, and the result was nothing but chilling in a good way. That's art, baby … that's art.

Zork: Nemesis also was exceedingly well-written, I think. Perhaps it was not a very typical Zork game, but it was a great game due to a great script.

Oh yes, and I'm with the PS:T and Legacy of Kain crowd as well.
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July 27th, 2014, 21:11
The writing in BG 2 and Final Fantasy Tactics really stands out to me, though I've played them so much they probably have an advantage over other games in that sense. I really liked Fallout: New Vegas too as well as Of Orcs and Men (too bad the rest of the game wasn't on the same level).
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July 27th, 2014, 22:55
Loom.
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July 28th, 2014, 01:06
For me it BG2 and PS:T. I didn't enjoy playing PS:T but sure enjoyed reading through the "novel"/PDF version. Still haven't finished, it's a bit hard to digest sometimes as it's so bloody philosophical

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July 28th, 2014, 02:16
I like the Witcher, BG1 and 2. I'm really digging the 3d adaption of BG1 that someone recommended here. Of course, 3d has not much to do with writing.

If someone could put Dostoyevsky's writing's into a game, I would buy the stock because he was one of my favorite writers.
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July 28th, 2014, 03:51
I can't go past Torment and U7!!
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July 31st, 2014, 01:43
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
I imagine the general opinion will likely be Torment.
Contrarianism alert!

I love Planescape: Torment, but on a recent replay after a gap of many years I was a little embarrassed by how hokey and melodramatic much of the dialogue is.

All-caps for emphasis, over-the-top monologues about doomed love, etc. etc.

The game has wonderful characters, wonderful situations, and it expanded the boundaries of what can be done in a RPG in a number of ways. But, taken line by line, the language is maybe not of the very highest quality.
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July 31st, 2014, 01:48
Torment's plot is original, at least more original than 95% of the Sword and magic rubbish that we typically get. So people naturally enjoy it because it's something different, something not so damn cliche. The writing itself is a bit hokey though. And the philosophical questions posed are high school'ish at best.

But again, that same stuff is more original than the majority of trash always recycled again and again and gobbled up by gamers everywhere because of its familiarity. Pillars of Eternity, I'm looking at you.
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July 31st, 2014, 02:47
I would go with Gabriel Knight series, all three of them. That is some A level of writing right there. Actually, I consider GK series to be the best example of writing by a female author, even considering literary works.
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July 31st, 2014, 14:37
I've been constantly pleased with how well written the LOTR Online quests are. In alot of quests you can also go to the relevant characters and get well thought out comments on the quest.

Enslaved Odyssey to the West also surprised me as to how well it was written. They made me care about the characters.

I still need to play The Last of Us.

I also greatly enjoyed the story and writing in the first Dragons Age. For me, this is the best game made in the last 10 years. You can imagine my disappointment with the 2nd one.

Torment was an ok game with a very well written storyline. I had a hard time finishing it as the story just wasn't the type of book I generally read.

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