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David Jaffe: Story Should Not Come 'At The Expense Of Gameplay'

Jonathan Lester
David Jaffe, Gameplay, God Of War, Rant

David Jaffe: Story Should Not Come 'At The Expense Of Gameplay'

Won't Return To God Of War Unless It's Gameplay-Driven

You can always rely on Twisted Metal and God Of War creator David Jaffe to deliver a frank and uncompromising opinion about game development, and his most recent blog post has shed new light on his hatred for linear and cinematic games that value style and set pieces over substance. As far as he's concerned, fully interactive gameplay is the most important thing our medium can offer, and he won't return to the God Of War franchise unless it focuses on gameplay over storytelling.

We've got the full story and quotes after the break.

On his official blog, Jaffe slams the current spate of linear cinematic games as being a "a false hope/desire (and a very real display of desperation) that AT LAST our geeky habit is now COOL and RELEVANT and MAINSTREAM" - and that even though games should set out to tell a story, it should never come at the expense of gameplay freedom.

Games can have story (and many should, such as God of War) and most games- even pure play games- should have strong world and IP. But working on God of War made it clear that- for me- if we have to cut a set piece or bit of spectacle because of our desire to put play first, then so be it. Ideally, the BEST games are those that do both.

But what is really interesting/telling, is that as much hype and fan love as the cinematic experiences get, it's the game-y games that sell and sell and sell. Look at Guitar Hero, MW3, Angry Birds, Farmville, Mario, Madden, Wii sports, and on and on and on. Hell, even GTA sells to MOST folks because they just like to fuck around in the world (the game part).

Jaffe's convictions are strong enough that he would refuse to make return to the God Of War series (now handled by Santa Monica) unless it integrates new and exciting gameplay elements that gives players scope for exploration and freedom.

A lot of people ask me if I'd ever make another GOD OF WAR (assuming that opportunity was offered) and I always say the same thing: if it were GOD OF WAR meets something like ZELDA (formula wise), then yes (aka Darksiders, right?)…But if it were GOD OF WAR using the current formula, I would not. For me- and this is just me PERSONALLY (I get and respect not everyone shares this same thinking)- directing GOD OF WAR made me realize that as a game designer (and certainly as game director) I want our games to serve the gods of GAMEPLAY first and foremost. My and then team's desire to tell a story/make a movie may or may not get to be fulfilled (depending on the game) but if we do tell a story, it will never come at the expense of the gameplay (the thing that makes our medium matter and special).

Good on you, Dave. [David Jaffe]

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