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A video game isn't a movie.
The person playing the game is supposed to be You.
Games aren't about story, they're about action and choices
There are points to both sides of the argument, but there's still a level of interactivity that's simply not present in quite a handful of FPS games, such as MW3. Portal 2 played itself way more than the original, for instance.
Half-Life, FEAR, Crysis, etc. all give you agency over your actions well still working in well-crafted visual narratives and setpieces.
I won't say there aren't merits to the approach MW3 takes, but I don't think the story has enough substance to make up for the demerits.
Games aren't about story? It's true that games don't *have* to be about story, but they're just as valid a way to tell a story as any other medium.
The person playing the game is supposed to be You.... what? What rule is this? Usually a character that tries too hard to be the player is a silent, boring blank slate that ends up being preposterous instead of immersive. I'd much rather play a well-rounded character than a Gordon Freeman. Silent protagonists tend to blur into each other after I've played a hundred of them.
Games aren't about story, they're about action and choicesWhat weight do the action and choices have without a story? What's the payoff of choosing something you don't give a shit about? Most games have stories, and could be improved by having better stories, which is what will keep them unique throughout the years -- its features will be borrowed and improved by other games until the original has nothing but its story left to set it apart, and without a good one it'll be rendered obsolete.
I'd much rather play a well-rounded character than a Gordon Freeman
In what way does PORTAL 2 play itself any more than the original?
I'd say "serviceable", not "well-crafted". In my opinion, none of these games have memorable narratives. Especially FEAR. And while CRYSIS does offer you a wealth of options on how to tackle your enemies, HALF-LIFE and FEAR are not games I'd put on the same level. Hell, HALF-LIFE is one of the most famous examples of linear design, and the combat in FEAR gave you pretty much the same options MW3 gives you, plus slow-motion.
I didn't say story is unimportant, I said games aren't about story. I agree with what you said, but that doesn't mean that story is what video games are, just that it's something they can do. It's like salt. You know when it's not there, food is better when it's present, but it's not the star of the show.