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Does too much story, or backstory, ruin books, films, TV series & games?

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I used to be of the opinion that backstory added so much to character development and dramatic build. But I've changed my mind...

If you play something like Resident Evil ReMake, which just plonks you in a horrible mansion and leaves you to get on with it, it feels more immersive, and better, than the later games in the series (notably 5 & 6) which almost drown in their own history.

Another example - I've just been playing a platform game called Monochroma which was criticised for its lack of story - but personally I think it's better because it creates an atmosphere and leaves it up to your imagination.

Discuss (with examples from games or other media)!

Mott


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It's not so much the amount of backstory that concerns me - although a complete absence seems odd - but how they spread it out. The recent Evil Dead remake did a horrible exposition dump that went on too long, delayed the story, and then it's just blood and guts till the end. I suppose the explanation of the Necronomicon highlights the narrative logic and I think that aids suspension of disbelief. I also reckon a 'less is more approach' aids suspense.

I am not really a gamer but Assassin's Creed 4 had long cuts scenes that really killed the momentum. Honestly, I don't play games for the story and prefer to just skip them if I could.

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Yes. Just recently Ridley Scott has made the Xenomorph into a complete joke, apparently.
What a bunch of useless cunts.

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I am just watching the '86' version and the Special Edition of Aliens back to back, and the extra footage at the beginning that shows a couple of colony members discover the wrecked ship and the people of the colony gives it a bit more depth and makes it feel less claustrophobic.

The story works fine without it, but the original version feels abridged after watching the Special Edition. We only ever see metal interiors in the beginning.



Last edited by Rawkuss on Sun May 28, 2017 8:13 pm; edited 1 time in total

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I think Alien & Aliens were the best. Didn't much care for the odd tone of the 3rd one, the 4th one was only partly redeemed by Weaver's performance and a good cast.

Also reckon the romantic / political bit added in to Apocalypse Now just before the Kurtz showdown doesn't really fit either.


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"To disagree with three-fourths of the British public is one of the first requisites of sanity."

Oscar Wilde
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