With a crop of new games (supposedly) just around the corner, I am wondering if their main plots will really be interesting. Because, for the most part, the main line in RPGs tends to be dull.

The story itself may be interesting, but getting through it is often a chore. When the story isn’t all that good, that only makes matters worse. Yet this is supposed to be the heart of the game, what separates it, really, from a shooter-type.

Perhaps it’s because the line is so straight, so much connect-the-dots. That was certainly the case in Neverwinter: The Movie, where the player was led by the nose (painfully) every step of the way.

Oblivion wasn’t much better. As I remarked elsewhere, you could probably finish the game in one day, just following the main line. And that was a pretty repetitive one, too.

We would think that, by now, developers could come up with some more interesting activities instead of having the player doing the same things over and over.

Some of the side quests in many games are more involving than following the plot. Why can’t designers put some of that creativity into the main line? They are obviously capable of it.

You know, really think about the story, instead of throwing in whatever “sounds cool”. And maybe finally getting away from those over-used cliches, like “the chosen of the emperor” or “the kid with the special secret history”.

Those are simply tiresome. Sometimes, I wonder if the story is really the last thing to go in, after all the whiz-bang graphics and animation and everything else.

Otherwise, how to explain the monotony of it? I could almost swear that, by the time they get to story, the designers are too tired to put in anything much beyond the “same-old, same-old”.

Of course, we know there are plenty of people who play these games for reasons other than story, and couldn’t care less about it. However, there are those to whom story is important (me, for instance). And I think it’s time that designers put some real work and thought into that aspect of their games.

Back up at the beginning, I mentioned the new games to come. Some of them do sound good….on paper (or electrons). Whether that holds up in the implementation remains to be seen. I certainly hope that’s the case. It might set a trend for real story instead of the “me-too” clones we’ve been getting.