Recent experience with non-linear narratives

My most recent experience with a non-linear narrative has been with a game I bought for my playstation called The Witcher 3. The reason I enjoy this game so much is because of the non-linear narrative as there are so many options within the narrative. There possibly 200 hours of gameplay, but the average gamer takes roughly around 75 hours to complete the game. To quickly summarize, there are two parts to the game – the main quests and the side quests. The main quests are obviously involved in the main storyline of the game and the side quests are somewhat insignificant quests. Mainly side quests are used to get money and find rare items. But what is most interesting is the decision making within the quests, which can dramatically effect what happens in the story. You can finish a side quest in a short amount of time depending on what decision you make, or you the same quest could lead you somewhere completely different doing the opposite of what you originally intended to do. It quite literally all depends upon the choices you make. Recently me and three of my friends were talking about a main quest that we all did. In this quest you have to go to a bar and find information on this person. When you get in the bar, a group of guys try to start a fight with you and you have the choice to fight them or suck up your pride and buy them a drink. Long story short one of my friends decided to fight the guys, while me and my other two friends decided to buy them a drink. Eventually when you find out where the person is that you need and you have to go there city to question them. When you get to the city you are confronted with the same guards you met in the bar. My friend who fought them wasn’t allowed in the city, whereas myself and my other two friends were able to walk in with ease because we had previously bought them a drink.

These types of decisions can alter the way the story goes completely. By having a non-linear narrative, the player feels further immersed in the world. Especially when you have to make big decisions in a short amount of time. This helps in keeping the game fresh and makes the experience of the game more personal than ever. I think non-linear narratives will be more used as times go on.


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