Forgetting the story in a game can be demoralizing to continuing a game we haven't played for some time, so how interesting would it be (and open world games would especially benefit from this, due to the amount of exploration one can do and time spent between missions) if we could trigger an audio-based story recap, at anytime during gameplay, listening to it while we get our mind out of "scavenge-mode" and into the story again?
Totally Legit & Accurate Graphic
This would obviously be a much important tool for players who want to come back to a game they haven't played for a while, but it would also be a cool feature for a quick boost of "let's get back into it!".
I spend a lot of time exploring in games, to a fault. I like to look at every nook and cranny, look for every item, so it's no surprise that when i want to get back into the story i often have no idea of why i was going to do something, or even what i was supposed to do.(*)
So, how cool would it be to, at any point during a game, bring up the Story Recap Screen(**)? An audio-based story recap tool, that could build an audio summary, based on how much back into my progress i select, and allow me to listen to what i recently done, story-wise?
This screen could allow me to select a time window on a timeline (so i can select how back i want the recap to be, or even just an excerpt), from which i want to listen to the overall progress i've made in the game, up until current events. It could allow me to select only story-based progress or be able to let me include any important happenings during my roaming around (unlocked safe-zones, discovered areas, NPC deaths, NPC's helped, choices, missed opportunities due to player choices, etc). Anything that could be used to create an interesting story. Now that i've selected the time window and how detailed i want the recap to be, i close the screen and i listen to my passed actions, while getting back into the game.
"You did this and that, deciding this, and so on, affecting x and y. You now will go do this, but can also do that which would affect x".
Sure, there are text logs.
But we can move on from text based solutions at this point.
And we should move on from having to pause the game to go through text entries, finding and reading information that is scattered around several entries of texts, sometimes either too detailed, other times not detailed enough.
So, just putting this idea out there: Auto generated audio recaps.
(*) - This is another pet peeve; when games don't give you a breather in the story so you can scavenge or explore. Instead, there's always some earnest objective, so you have to pretend that the campaign quest doesn't require your immediate attention and that you have a natural break to scavenge or just explore.
(**) - Patent not pending. Feel free to steal.