THQ core games boss Danny Bilson has expressed his praise for the “story delivery system” implemented in Bioware’s Mass Effect series.
Bilson told Edge issue 226 that, whilst he’s a big BioWare fan, he thinks the ME games feature “every single sci-fi movie cliché mashed together” and that the studio “hasn’t told a good story since Knights of the Old Republic on Xbox 1”.
“I drove straight through Mass Effect 1 and 2 back to back. The first one I started, and I thought, God damn it, they have the best story-delivery system. But for me, I loved Knights Of The Old Republic, and they have not told a good story since then.
He added: “Those Mass Effect games are just every single sci-fi movie cliché mashed together. I enjoy the progression through the games, and I had ownership over a couple of characters I liked, but there’s nothing in there I remember.
“Honestly, I can barely recall the story. I’ve seen every beat of those games in sci-fi movies hundreds of times before. But don’t get me wrong, I’m a big BioWare fan – I will play every game they release.”
On narrative in gaming Bilson said that “that’s a place we have not cracked yet, as an industry. There have been fantastic story moments in games, there are stories that I think are better than others. But if I try to think of a game in which the story has blown my mind. I don’t think I’ve had that experience. ”
“Games aren’t about story first,” he added. “They’re about interactive experience – the story is there to make you care about the mechanics, to make it more emotional. There have been some cool examples. Ico, I think, is art. But if I separate the story from the experience it doesn’t blow my mind like, say, one of Stephen Hunter’s thriller novels. But it’s not impossible.”