StarCraft 2 Writer: Cinematics Tell "Very Important" Stories

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BanicRhys:

SupahGamuh:
*sigh*... I wouldn't call SC2 as an example of storytelling. At best, it's a mess.

freakonaleash:
For me it is not getting enough hate.

freakonaleash:
SC2 writers huh? Blizzards current writers need to re-think the way they are writing stories ATM.

I keep seeing these vague statements about how the writing of Starcraft 2 was "cliched", "sloppy" and/or "incoherent" but I've yet to see anyone actually elaborate these statements into anything that could be considered an argument.

I've always enjoyed Starcraft as the "popcorny" space western (featuring morally ambiguous Tyranids and blue space Jedi) that it is.

Other people have replied to this and talked about what's actually bad about the story, but on top of that, it's just really contrived and cheesy. It's like someone went down the big checklist of sci-fi tropes and went "Ancient aliens returning to destroy the universe - check. Ancient powerful alien technology/artifacts - Check. Chosen one who for some arbitrary reason is the only one who can stop the ancient aliens - check." It's the same problem a lot of people had with Mass Effect.

Also, the cutscenes weren't so much storytelling as over the top dragonball Z fights. Seriously, look at this


They show us cutscenes of kerrigan riding a nydus worm that's eating fireball-throwing shapeshifter and then expect us to take the story seriously? The whole level preceeding that is basically the Harry Potter expelliarmus thing from Goblet of Fire.

There is exactly one good cutscene in heart of the swarm, and it's this one

inb4 "Durr hurr, Starcraft 2 story sucked, they don't know what they are talking about"...

*Looks at comments* To late....

Oh well, I really love the stories Blizzard tells with Starcraft. Their not master pieces by any stretch of the means, at most they kind of remind me of watching the Star Wars prequels, but hey....I liked the Star War prequels in their overall badness. Starcraft 2 HoTS is no different in that regard, it's fun, entertaining, and anyone looking for anything more than that in a Blizzard game should play something different or get off your high horse.

Gah, why am I typing this out anyways. People are still going to complain anyways. Oh well, I like the story, if given the chance, this would totally be something I do for like a "Game Defense Force" video, explaining why the story isn't as bad as some people make it out to be.

Blizzard writes good camp, but it's still camp. Characters are overwrought, the plot is clumsily tied together but they're trying so gosh-darned hard to be epic that it's hard not to think it's cute.

Considering, I'm not surprised Diablo III evacuates Leah as early as it does, because it's painfully obvious that they're going to push for some "damsel in distress" expansion-slash-DLC material.

Save Leah! A whole new Act! New suffixes and prefixes, new socketables, new skills, new classes! The same old rigmarole from Lord of Destruction, plus two new cinematics! Yay!

It doesn't change the fact that I'm not going back to D3 any time soon. I want to earn my freaking weapons and gear; not spend hours idling around after authenticating because I'm stuck waiting for some item or another Joe Blow assured me would best fit my Level 62 Monk.

As for HotS, I can't say I'm surprised. Raynor looses Kerrigan again and he has the sads, while she in turn gets her ass kicked and is potentially redeemed for good in Legacy of the Void. There just wouldn't be much in the way of campaign material if the fans were told you were going to play as some faceless Overmind. Ergo, Sarah has to turn coat for the sake of basic gameplay.

Even if I don't exactly consider star craft 2 or really any blizzard game to have a good story I still agree with what he said.
I kind of wish that blizzard went full self parody or at least realized there basically making a Big budget B movie(i know thats contradictory) and played all of the clichés for laughs.

You know what? No, Starcraft 2 doesn't have writing that'd make Stephen Fry be overcome with paroxyms of delight, but you can count the number of videogames that could on one hand. Its perfectly functional for the story it has to tell and Kerrigan does go through an arc. It may not be the arc you wanted from your fanfic of choice but it is, nevertheless an arc. And its a better arc than Blizzard needed to staple onto the side of the multiplayer upgrade they could have gotten away with and still sell a bazillion units in Korea. She's struggling with keeping regained humanity, grief makes her not care about losing regained humanity, love helps remind her that her humanity is worth keeping hold of. Its not Tolstoy, but know what else isn't? Star Wars, but thats still good. Bad writing is not a barrier to something being good.

I'm really not trying to be a Blizzard fanboy apologist (cause their only product I still enjoy is SC), and I found the whole section with the proto-Zerg frigging ridiculous, but I didn't care. The story and cinematics were fun, and it filled in the gaps between the fun missions of a fun game that I'm very glad I bought. Is it Bioshock Infinite? No. But its not trying to be, its trying to be Flash Gordon, so roll with it people. Think about the writing from the first game (SC1, not WoL) objectively without rose-tinted nostalgia, is it that polished? Nope. So why does it matter this time around? Let the fun dross be fun dross! Group hug! Hug it out!

Shodan1980:
You know what? No, Starcraft 2 doesn't have writing that'd make Stephen Fry be overcome with paroxyms of delight, but you can count the number of videogames that could on one hand. Its perfectly functional for the story it has to tell and Kerrigan does go through an arc. It may not be the arc you wanted from your fanfic of choice but it is, nevertheless an arc. And its a better arc than Blizzard needed to staple onto the side of the multiplayer upgrade they could have gotten away with and still sell a bazillion units in Korea. She's struggling with keeping regained humanity, grief makes her not care about losing regained humanity, love helps remind her that her humanity is worth keeping hold of. Its not Tolstoy, but know what else isn't? Star Wars, but thats still good. Bad writing is not a barrier to something being good.

I'm really not trying to be a Blizzard fanboy apologist (cause their only product I still enjoy is SC), and I found the whole section with the proto-Zerg frigging ridiculous, but I didn't care. The story and cinematics were fun, and it filled in the gaps between the fun missions of a fun game that I'm very glad I bought. Is it Bioshock Infinite? No. But its not trying to be, its trying to be Flash Gordon, so roll with it people. Think about the writing from the first game (SC1, not WoL) objectively without rose-tinted nostalgia, is it that polished? Nope. So why does it matter this time around? Let the fun dross be fun dross! Group hug! Hug it out!

I have yet to buy HotS, but I was of the mind that Wings of Liberty was a turd of a story, a turd I liked because I can always get into melodrama that's well acted (I do think they've got some good voice actors), no matter how cheesy, even with the plot dumping on the superior story of the first game (I went back and replayed recently, funny how Jim and her have no romantic interest in that game and Jim is only mad at what she's lost since been corrupted by the zerg and the betrayal she's suffered; gotta love when a writer is so terrible they have to try and crowbar in shit like that) and being riddled with plot holes and just bits of idiocy that made me go "Really? Even at the age of 8 I could tell you that's not how shit works" (like the scene where sun goes supernova but the planet that has been half-eaten by a fucking sun is perfectly fine instead of the atmosphere of the planet instantly combusting, thus leaving a hunk of the magic mcguffin behind, thus dooming the galaxy).

But then I saw what you put in bold. I wasn't even going to post until I saw it. That is fucking pathetic. No grown-ass fucking adult should be pulling that sort of shit EVER in a story that's for people over the age of 5. I don't know anyone past that age (nor have I, throughout my life, met someone that does) that does not audibly groan when they see that shit trotted out. Nothing should be solved "WIT' DA POWA O' WUUUUUB!". The mouth-breathing shitbiscuit who wrote that turd has the gall to try and inform others how the art of storytelling works? I hope someone at that panel walked up and sacked him in the nuts.

Oh, and have a pleasant day.

I don't think there's anything wrong in principle with cinematics. For the same reason I don't think there's anything wrong with music being used in film.

Yeah, they're different mediums, but a good piece of music can elevate a film into something special (see here). Likewise, a couple of well placed cutscenes can help break up the story, give the game a sense of pacing, and allow the player to take a breather. Something as intense as Devil May Cry 3 or Bayonetta wouldn't work without cutscenes, simply because you'd be demanding the player to do nothing but intense, fast paced gameplay for the entire length of the game. Players would just burn out trying to keep up.

That's not to say that cutscenes should be overused or abused. Square Enix need to sort out their Interactive Film ideology, and actually work out how to do gameplay again. But there's nothing wrong with cutscenes in principle, as long as they don't detract from player input.

Well, I like Starcraft quite a bit but, and taking Heart of the Swarm as the example- there's not exactly a lot of important story in "Kerrigan beats the shit out of characters in increasingly elaborate and hard to believe ways." Which was what that game's cut scenes were about.

The original had some very cool story beats, and they were largely portrayed during the story, not in cutscene (Kerrigan's betrayal, etc.)

Nothing wrong with a cut scene, and Blizzard makes them well, but they can't seem to see the forest for the highly rendered trees, and seem to believe they have to cram tons of gratuitous action into the cut scenes to justify their existence.

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