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Debate, Gameplay vs. Story

  • March 6

    So, I was spurred on by the recent release of Torment: Tides of Numenera, one of the most highly raved about RPG's that I've been keeping half an eye out for recently (the others being Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Pillars of Eternity 2) and while I haven't been able to play it yet (I'm pretty much broke and need to finished D: OS and PoE) but from what I've been able to tell it's been facing some really heavy criticsm for one particular feature, or perhaps a lack of a feature.

    Tides of Numenera is pitched as an RPG and one of the largest complaints I've seen so far is that the game is pretty much all story, with no focus on gameplay or combat with some people saying the story is only mediocre. I can't personally comment on the creativity behind the game or how good the story is, but it raises an interesting point. Is story more important than combat in an RPG? 

    For me, I think I prefer the idea of a story-based RPG more than I enjoy playing it. For example, out of any RPG that has been released (other than Skyrim SE) within the last couple of years I'd have to say I've enjoyed Divinity: Original Sin more than anything else. The Witcher 3 is what I'd arguably call the greatest modern RPG (that I've played, Tyranny seems like it might beat it out). But the reason that Divinity: OS is the most enjoyable for me is that it does something kind of new with the genre, or should I say it is the only game I've played to date that perfects the blend of Turn-Based Strategy and the Roleplaying genre, and makes environmental effects more of a part of the gameplay than anything else that's recently been released (Except perhaps Breath of the Wild). 

    However, if you ask me what my favourite RPG is, I'm going to say either Skyrim, Neverwinter Nights, Morrowind or the Witcher 3. You won't get another answer out of me unless I'm drunk as shit (which is unlikely to say the least). Divinity is the most enjoyable for me, but not the best. 

    Anyway, where am I going with this (I usually lose people when my discussions get this long :P). I have a complex little question to wrap this all up in a tight little bow and call it a day.

    Do you prefer your RPG's to have a focus on Story, Gameplay or Something Else (Graphics...or whatever) and why?