Game makers and gamers alike have debated how story can best integrate with a video game, and the relevance of a story in relation to gameplay.
UK-based Ninja Theory's Tameem Antoniades, who is the chief designer on the upcoming Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game Enslaved, argued in a new Gamasutra feature interview that story is of the utmost importance.
"...What we are creating is a story adventure," he said. "Every element of the game should support that. So, I actually see story as -- and I'm not embarrassed to say it -- the most important part of the game experience."
But that doesn't mean that other elements of a video game can lag behind -- a story must permeate through all aspects of a creation. "Everything, including the gameplay, which has to be solid -- the sounds, the cinematics, the cameras, and the action -- all of those things are part of the story," he said.
"And if you manage to integrate all of those layers together, you get this kind of transcendental experiences that you remember from gaming yore that you get in games like Ico, Out of this World, the games that you hold dear to your heart and that you never forget."
Ninja Theory's Enslaved is a third-person action game penned by Alex Garland, writer for the zombie film 28 Days Later. The game adapts the Chinese Journey to the West folk tale into a contemporary game story for a Western audience.
"I would never have read Journey to the West if it wasn't for the fact that we were doing [the 2007 PS3 exclusive] Heavenly Sword and I was doing research and finding out about the mythical Chinese world," said Antoniades. "Yeah, I loved the fresh perspective."
Ninja Theory is at work adapting another much more contemporary work for Western audiences. At Tokyo Game Show this week, Osaka-based Capcom revealed that it commissioned the external studio to re-imagine the Devil May Cry action series.
For more from Antoniades on Enslaved, the state of the independent studio and adapting Eastern themes for Western audiences, read the full Gamasutra feature interview.