Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West News for Xbox 360

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Enslaved: Odyssey to the West screenshot
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West screenshot

Story can be more important than gameplay. That's the opinion of Ninja Theory co-founder Tameem Antoniades who recently spoke to VideoGamer.com about his studio's upcoming action adventure title, Enslaved.

Antoniades talked about his time working on Xbox party title Kung Fu Chaos for Microsoft. At the time MS wanted a story shoehorned into the game and Antoniades wasn't convinced storytelling had a place in video games.

This changed when Ninja Theory began to plan for Heavenly Sword

"In Heavenly Sword I thought, "Actually, let's try and do a story." Working with Andy and everyone else, working with Weta and having people talk about story as something serious - not something throwaway like we do in games - was quite eye-opening to me," he explained.

"I still see a prejudice, actually. I still come across a lot of people who say, "it's a game and it doesn't need a story." You're trying to make a particular point of storytelling, trying to refine it, and somebody says "it's just a game, it doesn't matter." What's more important - the gameplay or the story? If you're doing a [story-based] game, it's got to be the story, actually."

Antoniades backed up his opinion by citing Resident Evil 4's Mercenaries mode.

"I'll give you an example of where that's true," he said. "Resident Evil 4. I played it from start to finish, I didn't want to let go of the controller and I was driven through it. I just wanted to know what happened next. As soon as I completed it, you get those mini-missions, "kill x zombies in an amount of time." So there's no story, it's stripped out of all that and it's just shoot however many zombies in however much time. And you realise - have I been doing this for the last 10 hours? Because it didn't feel like it, as I'm bored within about a minute of doing that.

"So there is something, there is an importance. There is a symbiosis where, if you get it right, both story and gameplay can be elevated. But it's really hard to know when you get it right or not."

Enslaved is scheduled for release October 8 for Xbox 360 and PS3. You'll find the full interview with Tameem Antoniades right here.

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User Comments

Wido's Avatar


As long as the game is balanced then I will be happy. If they are too 'story-driven' then the gameplay could suffer and it will get harsh reviews which will no doubt end a promising title which Ninja Theory have got there hands on here.
Posted 08:20 on 28 July 2010
CheekyLee's Avatar


Story has its place, but a game should NEVER get bogged down with telling the tale over being playable. The 5 minute rule* should apply at all times. Also, Mercenaries has been the best part of Resident Evil since it appeared in 3!

*If you haven't killed something in the last 5 minutes, turn the game off.
Posted 23:50 on 27 July 2010
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu@ rbevanx

But you loved Alan Wake right?
Posted 23:38 on 27 July 2010
rbevanx's Avatar


Well I sort of agree/disagree on this one. If I want something that is story driven, then that would be a film, tv show or a film for me.
But a video game is gameplay driven to me with a story to support it if anything not the main factor in it.
Posted 22:23 on 27 July 2010
thompo555's Avatar


I'd completely disagree to be honest, I like a good story driven game but there is a point that I get bored of shoddy gameplay and just turn it off. A story can't keep me as interested in a game as the gameplay can, IPhone games are a prime example of this. I've been playing an excellent game called "finger physics", I think it is, this has absolutely no story to it yet I want t complete it because its physics based puzzles challenge me and I want that Denver of achievement when I've essentially beaten physics.

Story doesn't give that sence of achievement to me and in most cases I couldn't care less about the characters. This is, of course, different if the game is written very well. Metal Gear solid, for me, highlights a brilliant standard of story telling. I got attached to some of the characters and could relate to akiba (or whatever ray patrol 01 dude was called) as well it's obvious there is more going on behind the scenes with him and Meryl. I also felt a bit upset that Snake had topped himself. (trying to avoid spoilers).

I don't think I would have carried on with those games if the gameplay was no good. A game is a game for a reason and I can live without a story in a game, I agree it gives purpose to the character your controlling and motives etc but it's not needed. It is after all a game which you PLAY not a story orientated film which you WATCH.
Posted 21:32 on 27 July 2010
Stegosaurus-Guy-II's Avatar


Antoniades backed up his opinion by citing Resident Evil 4's Mercenaries mode.

That was the worst way to back up his point he possibly could have chosen.
Posted 21:13 on 27 July 2010
Woffls's Avatar


wow. umm, guess I wont be buying my first Team Ninja game any time soon if they think the story is more important. For some genres he might be right, but as a blanket statement? nah. Not buying it.
Posted 20:57 on 27 July 2010
El-Dev's Avatar


I think they can be equally important, I'd be more forgiving when the gameplay is good but the story is rubbish than when the story is good but the gameplay is rubbish.

Some games have got it spot on, the Uncharted series springs to mind, while others haven't. I do like a good story in a game though.
Posted 20:12 on 27 July 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 08/10/2010
Developer: Ninja Theory
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Genre: Action
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 15,861 22
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