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I've been reminiscing over Tell-Tale Games and the like they influenced and I've come to the conclusion that the "story" as we think of it in video games is the most disposable part of the entire experience.
The most important part of a video game has and likely always will be how the user interacts with it, aka, "The Gameplay".

The trap that most story-focused games fall into is limiting gameplay for the sake of the story, and I believe that that's a false dichotomy.
A game can have the over the top spectacle of a Devil May Cry game and still have an engaging, dare I say it, artistic story.

In fact, we already do! Devil May Cry 3 and 5 still tell much stronger stories than many give credit for.
But when it comes to games that actively seek out to tell artistic stories, they often fail (Later Tell-Tale titles, Life Is Strange, anything made by Tale of Tales, etc). But why?

I think it's because they assumed that the gameplay was disposable and not the story.
Video games stories have often been compared to the plot in porn, and I think that happens for a good reason.

A game with a bad/nonexistent story can still be great through its gameplay, but a game with a good story can still be brought low by its terrible gameplay loop.
Rather than focus on one or the other, however, if you truly want to make a game with a befitting story, you need to realize that the way a person experiences a game can also be used to tell a story.

For example, let's take a look back at Devil May Cry 3.
In Devil May Cry 3, especially in the original western release, the game is ball bustingly hard.

Just getting past the first boss, WHO LATER BECOMES A REGULAR ENEMY TYPE, is a struggle.

And then there's Vergil.
Vergil exemplifies what I've been saying by not only being difficult for the player to overcome but for Dante as well.

The game puts you into Dante's shoes but making you feel what HE feels.
This is also why I'm against the idea of skipping gameplay for "accessibility" because like skipping to the end of a movie, you miss out on the experience.

(Also because it's not really for accessibility, it's because of game journalists who want every game to be a cakewalk).
By the end of DMC3, you really feel like you've accomplished what Dante set out to do and that you did it on your own.

It's kinda like the feeling after you've run a marathon or climbed a mountain, and that's what the game built towards with its gameplay and storytelling!
This isn't even mentioning stuff like how the style meter encourages you to fight like how Dante would fight, stylishly combo-ing and taunting enemies.

This before ranking you at the end of each mission, DARING you to better next time.
Going right back Devil May Cry 3 after God of War 2016 really highlights just how the gameplay in that game is nothing more than a formality.

It HAS to have gameplay because it's game. Nothing in God of War harmonizes with the gameplay. Absolutely nothing.
The fact that the game now has an RPG style leveling system with loot compounds this issue further.

A grotesque parody of game design by Frankensteining current trends that modern games found successful.
It reminds me far too much of how new Assassin's Creed games have desperately tried and failed at to emulate what made The Witcher 3 popular, functionally becoming a AAA bootleg.
The connection between games like Assassin's Creed, God of War, and games that forgo gameplay in favor of story is that they have no heart.

No heart for the medium they inhabit, which translates to no heart in their gameplay or story.
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