Originally Posted by BlankCanvasDJ
If the story is the focus of the game, yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. Sand-box games ruin the pacing of a story.
Look at Rockstar's games. They usually have fantastic stories, but the style of gameplay kills it. Nothing ruins John Marston's desperate quest to complete his mission and get back to his family like spending four hours picking herbs and going on fetch quests for tangential characters. Quick, you're a cop in 1940's L.A. and you've just found out that a woman was murdered by her husband and you need to arrest him before he skips town! What a tense moment! ...except it takes you ten real-world minutes to drive across town to the guy's house and that's even if you don't stop to answer those three unrelated police calls that you get on the way.
This Jurassic Park game was all about telling a nice, tight, Jurassic Park story. A sand-box game would have ruined that.
Red Dead Redemption is one of my favorite games ever, but I completely agree that the story elements were mediocre to poor for various reasons. The solution is for Rockstar to let go of the idea of telling stories like that, not to change the gameplay.
The solution is basically the same for a Jurassic Park game. Have a bare-bones story about having to accomplish a bunch of things to fix the island, or escape the island, or whatever, and let us go wild. Dramatic tension and all that stuff you want would come naturally from moments during the gameplay (and there is probably room to script some things as well). The top priority of a game developer should not be story.
Originally Posted by thom-22
IGN is definitely biased. So is GameSpot, GameSpy, GameInformer, etc. and more than likely a majority of gamers who read those sites. And they're biased all in the same direction, to wit: modern video games (in stark contrast to movies) are judged on the extent to which they allow the player to define his or her own experience.
This is the ultimate root of just about every non-graphics-related criticism of JP:TG I've seen, whether coming from gamers who boil it down to the word "sandbox", or those who favor games with deeply-branching plots, and even those adventure gamers, such as myself, who relish the experience of exploring an environment rich with mysteries to solve -- rather than shit-easy, one-at-a-time, escape-the-room type puzzles -- no matter how good the story is.
Open-world environments and Heavy Rain-style non-linearity are not just fads or the province of the immature and shallow; they're the current pinnacles of the direction video gaming has been heading since its inception, the very thing that distinguishes video games from movies -- increasing the degrees of freedom players have to meet whatever challenges are embedded in the gameworld and thereby flesh out the story with their own actions.
Moreover there are plenty of games that don't go so far as open-world or branching plotlines yet still offer players opportunities to tailor their own experiences. The supposed dichotomy between "sandbox" and "story-driven" is not only false, it's absurd. You're kidding yourselves if you think that substantive, flexible gameplay has to be sacrificed in order for a Jurassic Park game to have a high-quality, true-to-the-franchise story. Anyone who says that sandbox games skew the "pacing" of a story could only be approaching gaming as an exercise in consumption. In contrast, most non-casual gamers see themselves as participants, not consumers, and as the source of all manner of details in the writing of the story, including its pacing. Who's to say that your or my telling-by-playing story would be less faithful to JP than Telltale's?
So to all of you casual gamers, JP fans who are happy to just "be there", and adventure gamers who believe story is more important than gameplay: Suck it up. Stop pretending that negative reviews are about genre or any other kind of bias rather than widely accepted standards. The gaming press knows when it sees a title that falls far short of what most non-casual gamers are looking for in games -- including so-called story-driven games -- these days.
Great couple of posts - at first I thought you were going in the opposite direction with your point.