Lack of story: Nah or Yay?

#1 Posted by senorfuzzeh (385 posts) -

Dark souls is a great game for not having any story, and a lot of people actually prefer it this way. They like the "Create your own story" Sort of feel. And at first I was okay with no story to push Dark Souls, It had plenty to keep me involved, But now I can't help but feel like there's something lacking here. Its like having a cheese burger without any cheese. It could be the best Burger in the world but you won't enjoy it as much simply because it lacks that Dairy goodness.

I feel like Dark Souls had the perfect setting and back drop to carry out a great story, What with all the gods and factions and such. But in the end it turns out being very hollow. (No pun intended). And occasionally it leaves hints at a what could have been story with random NPC's talking about their masters and finding weapons that tell of their previous owner. Even some of the bosses could have had a story to them.

I am not complaining a bout darksouls at all, I love it, I was just curious if anyone else felt this way. Is Dark Souls perfect the way it is, or does it need something a little more to make you care?

#2 Posted by Turambar (6784 posts) -

It's not so much a "create your own story" as it is a "piece together our story" as all the lore, hidden and otherwise, come together to form a cohesive world.  I generally enjoy engaging narratives.  But the souls games are exceptions in which the ambiguity is actually a good thing because of how the lore is laid out.

#3 Posted by SuperWristBands (2266 posts) -

I really like the way that the story doesn't get in the way of the gameplay. It doesn't make me listen to it if I don't want to, but after finishing the game I really do want to know more about it. There is just so much in the game that is barely touched upon that could be fleshed out into, what I think, would be some really good fiction set in a world that is very interesting.

As for the thread title. Lack of Story? Yay as I play, but after that I just keep thinking about it and I want to know more. Also, I want a Dark Souls book.

#4 Posted by Nadril (528 posts) -

Eh, whatever. I play dark souls for the gameplay and the world, not really the story its self. I think that the world in general is so awesome that I am fine with a "lack" of a straight up narrative and I kind of think one would ruin it. 

#5 Posted by senorfuzzeh (385 posts) -

@SuperWristBands: That's how I felt. I was good until I started getting through Anor Londo. I wanted to know more about the city and the Lords.

But at the same time...

@Turambar: Something about its mystery is very alluring. And like you said, discovering the narrative like you said has its own appeal.

At this point I am "Nah", Although the game is still amazing and I have absolutely no regret in buying it.

#6 Posted by McQuinn (651 posts) -

I find the story to be quite fascinating. If you ever get bored and read certain item descriptions, you start seeing there is more story and world than you really see. Once you start notice like things, I think the plot opens up.

#7 Posted by Shirogane (3574 posts) -

There is a story though, it's just...it isn't apparant and is extremely subtle, and you have to look for and piece it together yourself. It's also a bit vague and open to interpretation.

#8 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

The story is in the action, monsters, and creepy/beautiful vistas. And then you come around a corner and meet some guy sitting there and he's obviously had a fucked up time of it. It's all about the atmosphere and Dark Souls would only get bogged down if it had tons of story. I have to really get into the zone to play this game and constant cut-scenes would mess that up.

#9 Posted by Nadril (528 posts) -
@McGhee_the_Insomniac said:

The story is in the action, monsters, and creepy/beautiful vistas. And then you come around a corner and meet some guy sitting there and he's obviously had a fucked up time of it. It's all about the atmosphere and Dark Souls would only get bogged down if it had tons of story. I have to really get into the zone to play this game and constant cut-scenes would mess that up.

I agree with this. I think dark souls does very well with the atmosphere of everything. Like I said earlier I think it is the world that is the most interesting part of dark souls. It is interesting thinking how such a thing came to be, especially because it is so densely populated by human kind and those that have lived are worn down and tired.  
 
It is just such a stark contrast from most other games and RPG's where you are a bad ass fucking hero saving the mother fucking day. Dark Souls is just so bleak. 
#10 Edited by Lady_of_the_patriots (73 posts) -

@Nadril said:

@McGhee_the_Insomniac said:

The story is in the action, monsters, and creepy/beautiful vistas. And then you come around a corner and meet some guy sitting there and he's obviously had a fucked up time of it. It's all about the atmosphere and Dark Souls would only get bogged down if it had tons of story. I have to really get into the zone to play this game and constant cut-scenes would mess that up.

I agree with this. I think dark souls does very well with the atmosphere of everything. Like I said earlier I think it is the world that is the most interesting part of dark souls. It is interesting thinking how such a thing came to be, especially because it is so densely populated by human kind and those that have lived are worn down and tired. It is just such a stark contrast from most other games and RPG's where you are a bad ass fucking hero saving the mother fucking day. Dark Souls is just so bleak.

Just because it has a great atmosphere and your not a hero doesn't mean the game could have pushed its bar a little higher. The game could have added in a few things, yeah theres nothing wrong with finding it all out on your own and enjoying the openess of it, I think theres alot they could of have done here in terms of narrative..

Still a good game. Just once I beat it I felt left un-filled and wanting more.

#11 Posted by EVO (3908 posts) -

@McGhee_the_Insomniac said:

The story is in the action, monsters, and creepy/beautiful vistas.

Exactly. The story is less about breaking the curse than it is getting there.

#12 Posted by TheHT (11262 posts) -
@Turambar said:
It's not so much a "create your own story" as it is a "piece together our story" as all the lore, hidden and otherwise, come together to form a cohesive world.  I generally enjoy engaging narratives.  But the souls games are exceptions in which the ambiguity is actually a good thing because of how the lore is laid out.
That.
 
It really fits the grim, bleak world(s) of Demon's and Dark Souls. Just this great notion of any sort of explicit narrative going "man, this world is fucked. You can figure out the story right? I'm just gonna go sit down or something. *sigh*"
#13 Posted by bkbroiler (1626 posts) -

I like it the way it is. I feel like I'm a tiny person in this giant world being pointed in the general direction of a much larger plan, with no real ability to grasp why I'm doing it. I'm obviously an important piece in it, but the beings in charge don't bother explaining it to me. Keeps very well with the feel of the game.

#14 Edited by JackSukeru (5912 posts) -

I like how it's laid out, but sometimes it feels a little too bleak. It feels like the world jumped straight from its creation to its end days without having any sort of "Golden Age" in between so everythings always, So.Damn.Dark.

Souls.

#15 Posted by AlisterCat (5566 posts) -

It has it's own story, but you put together you own narrative depending on how you do things.

#16 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

@RockmanBionics said:

I like how it's laid out, but sometimes it feels a little too bleak. It feels like the world jumped straight from its creation to its end days without having any sort of "Golden Age" in between so everythings always, So.Damn.Dark.

Souls.

Wouldn't the Golden Age been after Gwyn and everybody vanquished the dragons? It's not like the Darksigns immediately popped up and spread to signal the end of times.

Humanity has had more than enough time to build cities the like of Anor Londo and had adventures that spawned the many items, magics and pyromancies of the world.

Granted, I haven't finished it yet (Running around Anor Londo as we speak), butnormally I'd probably complain about the vague and at times feeling like it's non-existent narrative. But the atmosphere and the lore if you dig into this world is just so engaging.

One thing I've always wanted in an RPG is my party bumping into another party who are seemingly on the same quest or something of similar epic proprtions, just so I could get a sense of there being other people than just me trying to stop whatever abominable evil that is impending.

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door used that to great comedic effect whenever you met Luigi and he told you about his adventure (And his team mates telling you what REALLY happened) and I think one of the STar Ocean games tried something similar.

Anyhoo, in Dark Souls I get a feeling that something similar could happen.

#17 Edited by Z3RO180 (230 posts) -

@senorfuzzeh: well i hope your happy with your self now i want a cheese burger and since i live in scotland there is no where to supply me with the chessy meaty goodness...i hope your happy cause im not :(

#18 Posted by envane (1163 posts) -

nay .. plenty of story

#19 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3091 posts) -

I love that you sort of have to sleuth out the story, collect items and read their descriptions, talk to the right NPCs and such, and the whole story starts to come together for you. And when you think about all the work that Gwyndolin and Frampt went through to trick you into linking the fire at the end of the game, it makes sense that things would be so vague. I wonder how many people went up in flames without realizing it was a trick at all...

#20 Posted by Z3RO180 (230 posts) -

@TeflonBilly: i acadently atacked the unded merchent in the tunnel is there any way i can get the character in to forgive me so i can ues the shop again

#21 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

@Z3RO180: Go to the first Bell Tower (The one after the gargoyles) and ask for absolution from your sins from the NPC there. It's expensive though (Your Soul Level x 2000).

Also, I didn't really feel the female undead merchant in the tunnel had that much good stuff for sale. I've barely used Poison and Fire arrows and the anti-poison,-toxin and - bleeding weeds she sells pop up all the time by killing the treemen in the Darkroot Garden

#22 Posted by JackSukeru (5912 posts) -

@TeflonBilly said:

@RockmanBionics said:

I like how it's laid out, but sometimes it feels a little too bleak. It feels like the world jumped straight from its creation to its end days without having any sort of "Golden Age" in between so everythings always, So.Damn.Dark.

Souls.

Wouldn't the Golden Age been after Gwyn and everybody vanquished the dragons? It's not like the Darksigns immediately popped up and spread to signal the end of times.

Sure, but they never show you or talk about any of that stuff in the intro, they just go straight from "We defeated the Dragons" to "The end is coming" that's what I'm talking about. It makes the total time the world has existed seem miniscule even though it probably wasn't.

#23 Posted by ExplodeMode (852 posts) -

Most of my favorite games are really light on story.  I feel like, if you aren't good at it it's much better to just be use references or allusions and let the player build it on his own.  Almost all media that can have a story does a better job than video games do, so using the games interactivity is a good way to play to your strengths and to not bother people who don't care.

#24 Edited by CornBREDX (5285 posts) -

I like the mysterious nature to it. I feel there is a story, but like all things in Dark Souls, it just doesn't tell you. It leaves it for you to discover and interpret on your own.

The fact that it leaves you to do this, I feel, adds more tension to the world. People actually fear this game because of its reputation. I feel that way about bosses before fighting them as well. It's because you don't know what they're about- all you have is the vague mentions in the game and the stories from other people before you yourself experience it.

Its an interesting way of going about it and it adds a unique feel to the game. It's almost like going on an adventure to find something no one has found before and discovering the secrets. It's a feeling unlike any other game I've ever played.

#25 Posted by owl_of_minerva (1455 posts) -

Games have different ways of telling stories: the environment/setting can be one way of communicating the narrative. So even if it doesn't spend a lot of time in cutscene mode it can still tell a story, or imply one.

#26 Edited by supamon (1333 posts) -

I enjoyed the fact that the game doesn't use cut scenes to tell the player a story. The story is there for people who are interested to find out (like me). You choose what you want to do, how you want to. You travel across Lordran to survive, to explore, to get stronger, to piece together what happened.

You aren't told everything because you're playing from your perspective. Why would knight Lautrec of carim tell you why he murdered Anastacia? He had no need to justify his actions for you.

When you encounter Chaos witch Quelaag, you instantly assume she is evil and kill her. Only if you join the Chaos servant covenant, equip the witch ring and speak to Quelaag's sister do you realize that you might have made a mistake.

Having finished Dark Souls, I feel there is so much more they could have done. When I traveled to Ash Lake I was astounded by the sheer scale of the world. That the areas we had been exploring are just a tiny piece of the world.

The biggest question for me right now is Pygmy. The truth of the matter and how the pendant ties in to it. There are alot of rumors running around (some are plausible, others are downright outrageous! collect 99 humanity and speak to priscilla for secret covenant, I'm looking at you!) but I'm sure the collective effort of the internet will eventually solve this riddle eventually!

#27 Posted by Brendan (7809 posts) -

I don't like cheese on my burger. Discuss.

#28 Posted by supamon (1333 posts) -

@CornBREDX: I totally agree with you. There is nothing quite like Dark Souls out there. You really feel like you are exploring a vast unknown world.

#29 Posted by senorfuzzeh (385 posts) -

A lot of people are taking this topic the wrong way. I LIKE the way the games laid out. I like the atmosphere and I like uncovering the narrative. But I felt like a lot is left un-done. Hollow like I said in the first post.

I was more just curious if anyone else felt this way, and it seems like only a few other people do.

@Z3RO180: Scottland doesn't have cheeseburgers?

Only way to get him not to hate you is to give him a cheeseburger...

#30 Posted by Nux (2360 posts) -

@senorfuzzeh said:

Even some of the bosses could have had a story to them.

I agree with this. Some times as I'm fighting a boss I can't help wondering why I'm even fighting them in the first place, like with Ornstein and Smough. I know they are protecting the lordvessel or something but a little backround as to who they are would be nice.

#31 Posted by senorfuzzeh (385 posts) -

@Nux said:

@senorfuzzeh said:

Even some of the bosses could have had a story to them.

I agree with this. Some times as I'm fighting a boss I can't help wondering why I'm even fighting them in the first place, like with Ornstein and Smough. I know they are protecting the lordvessel or something but a little backround as to who they are would be nice.

I know a lot of people wanted to see more of Sif.

Anime fans always have a woody for talking Wolves.

#32 Posted by Nux (2360 posts) -

@senorfuzzeh said:

@Nux said:

@senorfuzzeh said:

Even some of the bosses could have had a story to them.

I agree with this. Some times as I'm fighting a boss I can't help wondering why I'm even fighting them in the first place, like with Ornstein and Smough. I know they are protecting the lordvessel or something but a little backround as to who they are would be nice.

I know a lot of people wanted to see more of Sif.

Anime fans always have a woody for talking Wolves.

I think she is a goddess but I see what you mean.

#33 Posted by imsh_pl (3295 posts) -

I absolutely love that you are literally one of many countless warriors in the world. All the npcs have their own individual stories and reasons for fighting. You are technically the chosen one but there's no people kneeling to you or anything.

#34 Posted by Koshka (187 posts) -

I prefer how this story is told over many other games. I would, like others before me have said, love a Dark Souls book... I would pay a good amount of money to read that.

#35 Posted by DeBurgo (70 posts) -

The game definitely has a story, it's just not entirely told through boring cutscenes, expository codex entries, and melodramatic dialogue/voice-overs (though, to be fair, it's not entirely bereft of those things)... and really, I'm of the opinion that most or even all game stories should be told this way. You can figure it out just by interacting with the game normally, thinking critically, and making observations. It's a good lesson on "showing vs. telling" in videogames (hint: like 99% of games tend to do the latter, and that's bad).

#36 Posted by Olivaw (1215 posts) -

I really enjoyed Demon's Souls story, but Dark Souls from what I've seen doesn't interest me nearly as much.

#37 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5827 posts) -

The lack of story isn't a bad thing in this case.
 
Although I was expecting more after seeing those prologue trailers.

#38 Posted by Tennmuerti (8101 posts) -

Can't speak for others.
But I would have enjoyed it more if it had a better story and ending.

#39 Posted by kingzetta (4307 posts) -

yeah there's not really a story, but there is so much lore it's incredibly fascinating. I would say there is more lore in dark souls than in mass effect.

#40 Posted by TheSeductiveMoose (3617 posts) -

I loved it, instead of being given the mediocre melodramatic shit that's so common in gaming you're given a very thin storyline with more than enough lore and atmosphere to make up for it. It's not like the story isn't there it's just that the game doesn't feel the need to throw it in your face constantly.

#41 Edited by Chop (1997 posts) -

I love the way the story and lore are presented in the Souls games. I'm sure someone will just call it lazy, which it might be, but having to interpret it through things like item descriptions, character drops, loot locations, etc...is something I highly enjoy.

Like Finding out that Petrus killed Rhea by looting his body and finding her item was fucking cool imo.

It wouldn't have been nearly as interesting if it had been in a cutscene.

Online
#42 Posted by TerraMantis (283 posts) -

I agree quite a bit with the hamburger statement. Lets face it, the game's story is drab literally and figuratively. From Software seemingly did this in essence and with intent.

The way i look at it though is that the game is simply fantastic to its core with its' mechanics in gaming. If the story of Dark Souls is hidden in the items, some obscure moment in the game with hidden NPC dialogue, or under some debris like an archaeologist clearing the settlement off of some bones to unravel a story that is in all intensive purposes intentionally bleak and can STILL be carried by this fantastic game through its gameplay. Just think of what a perplexing narrative could add. A fantastic story could make an amazing game even more amazinger. Or perhaps it could ruin an already great thing...you never know until it happens.

Personally though, if i finished the game and everything was the same with environments, battle mechanics, encounters, customizations and so-on i simply wouldn't care about the ending. If i got to the end and it ended with all of the black-horseteeth-snake neck-mustache' guys shaking maracas with their mustache's and doing lines of blow from the drop-off to the lordvessel i wouldn't care in the slightest. The game is simply amazing through and through with its gameplay and execution of the qualities it is trying to exemplify.

So, i guess in the end i could go either way. I am a Nah and a Yay.

#43 Posted by Matiaz_Tapia (268 posts) -

@senorfuzzeh: "Even some of the bosses could have had a story to them."

All of them do have a story. Not in a cutscene. If you ask around and pay attention ( whit in the gameworld) You'll find it.

I think everyone had exactly what they wanted, but don't see it because it's not presented in the traditional way. In my opinion, this is the best way to convey a story in a game. Games don't have to imitate movies to create narrative.

#44 Posted by Humanity (9251 posts) -

I'm more upset about how the game seems to have a ton of story that is incredibly hard (almost tedious) to piece together.

I like the way it doesn't spoon feed you with cutscenes and bosses talking to you for 5 minutes before engaging in a fight - but the absolute extreme of that is not a great alternative either.

Quelaag is a great example. Thats a pretty neat story, and I did ask myself "why was she attacking me? Why did I even kill this boss?" and you don't get those answers right away. In fact it could take a really long time before you get the answer to those questions. If you don't have that ring you might never find out on this playthrough unless you trade for it at the crow.

The whole Crow trading mechanic is honestly the stupidest thing ever. Thats one thing they took too far I think - mysterious and quizzical ok - drop and item and then exit out to the main menu and load back in? Ok whatever. If you never played Demons Souls then who on earth would figure something like that out?

But I digress. I think the story in the game is great and I love it - I just wish I didn't have to learn it piecemeal, one sentence at a time off random loot and NPCs.

#45 Edited by senorfuzzeh (385 posts) -

@Humanity: I agree with that statement completely. There is story in this game and I am GLAD they don't spoon feed it to you.

Alot of people seem to be comparing this game to Traditional Japanese RPGs, with 80 minute long cinimatix to explain why a boss wears his funny hat the way he does.

As much as you piece together this story it still feel a bit hollow, when I feel like it could have been something really really deep. I like the way the narrative is, thats not what the topic about, the topic was does it come up short and I feel like it does come up short.

@TerraMantis: I also agree with this statement, I don't a super indepth story to absolutely love this game, I've been playing it non-stop.

The world is enough, I agree, And I also agree that I am not even sure if an in-depth story would even help the game, might hurt it.

#46 Edited by Vashyron (204 posts) -

@supamon said:

When you encounter Chaos witch Quelaag, you instantly assume she is evil and kill her.

To be fair though, it isn't like she gave you much of a choice other than to kill her, unlike Pricilla.

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