Only played Bloodborne, will I get the story?

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Conker

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#1  Edited By Conker

Hey folks

My first and only souls style game was Bloodborne, which is absolutely adored. From seeing footage and the quick look, a lot of Bloodborne-y stuff seems to have been carried over, but a lot of stuff seems completely new to me.

Will I be able to grasp the story and lore from just playing the third game? How different is the shield mechanic from the party mechanic in Bloodborne?

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mike

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#2  Edited By mike

Yeah, you should be fine. I didn't play Bloodborne or Dark Souls 2 and the story is making sense to me. I barely even remember the story from Dark Souls, if you want to you can always watch some lore videos on YouTube or something, but I don't think it's necessary.

There are a lot of returning characters and nods here and there that you won't get, but those aren't critical.

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Fallen189

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Yes

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ThePhantomnaut

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#4  Edited By ThePhantomnaut

Are you asking if you will get the background of past Dark Souls storylines with DSIII? There will be nods. You can probably figure it out.

Gameplay-wise, expect less Bloodborne-esque mobility. Love your shield. You will be all right.

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deactivated-5fb7c684a3066

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The coolest stuff in DS3 is where it closes the loop on DS lore carrying over from two games. You'll get the gist of the narrative from just playing DS3, but will miss out on a lot of what made the game great for me.

I'll put it this way: it's worth playing the game regardless, but I'd recommend playing through DS1 or just watching some lore videos on that game. There's not much of DS2 in there, mostly small touches that don't matter. How deep you want to go in that lore depends on how much you value the story in these games, but I think Kotaku put up a story primer for people new to the series - worth checking that out, at least.

Shields make the game easier than Bloodborne, IMO; if you've gotten good at the dodging and parrying in that game, you'll be set for some of the harder fights here. There's a lot more variety in the combat in DS3 than Bloodborne - if you want to sword and board that's still viable, but you can totally spec to just dodge and parry a la Bb.

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Humanity

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#6  Edited By Humanity

@conker: No you will get very little out of the story part of the game. Heck I've played ALL of these starting from Demon's Souls and just like Jason I've let most of the narrative just wash over me. People are talking about the third son of this and the queen of that and despite having played them I have no clue. These games do a terrible job of telling any sort of story. This is partly intentional and partly bad game design but most fans have learned to just run with it. That said if you haven't played any of the Dark Souls games you will get absolutely nothing from the story in the third one. In fact even playing Demon's would have prepared you a little better for the plot part than Bloodborne which is similar in mechanics alone.

The good news is that you won't need to know anything about the story to enjoy it. There is enough of a cookie crumb trail in most of these to keep you going, and for those lore hounds out there the story tidbits are tucked away into their elusive dark corners as usual.

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Hunkulese

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I've played all the games and I'm still not even sure there is a story. Lighting fires, ringing bells, and talking snakes are important I think.

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mems1224

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There is a coherent story in Dark Souls?

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Conker

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I guess what I meant beyond narrative is core game play. From what I gather, for example, ds3 has like a million weapons, whereas Bloodborne was limited to a few key ones. How many major differences are there between the two?

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Humanity

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@conker: Mechanically you will be just fine. You will in fact recognize movesets from Bloodborne in Dark Souls 3. You get the thrusting weapons, the swinging weapons, the overhead weapons. They may look different but it's all stayed more or less the exact same since Demon's Souls.

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Mirado

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#11  Edited By Mirado

@conker: DS3 is the quickest of the DS games, but slower than Bloodborne by a good margin. It's designed around blocking hits or at the very least fighting strategically; you don't get missing health back by attacking, so trying to press your luck is often not worth it. The parry window is also not what you are going to be used to, so it's a good idea to get a feel for all damage avoidance mechanics (blocking, dodging and parrying) early, so you can decide what works best. Some people swear by the "Vinny" (aka super heavy armor and big shields to block hits, absorb damage and swing through enemy strikes), others go naked and roll around all over, looking for backstabs and parries at all times. Both are viable.

There's an absolute assload of weapons in DS3, but they group up into categories, which means most weapons have similar movesets as the others in their type, with allowances for some different special moves and the occasional outlier. Getting weapons in DS3 is less of an event than in BB, as it happens so often, and while they lack the transformations, you'll still find certain weapons that you swear by and others you think are useless.

Bloodeborne got its method of storytelling from the Souls series, so while you'll miss out on a lot of cool callbacks and references, the general idea (you're a dude/lady, go bop these things because reasons) is laid out enough that you won't be totally lost, and you'll learn as much about things new to DS3 as the rest of us while you play.

For what it's worth, I think it looks and plays fantastically, so if you are into BB and don't mind a slower version of that, I think it's worth your time to try it out.

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Conker

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@mirado: I mean that sounds awesome, but I personally kinda felt that Bloodborne played a teeny bit too slow for my liking so, slower than Bloodborne may be kinda not too fun?

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Humanity

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#13  Edited By Humanity

@conker: If you thought Bloodborne was slow then regular Dark Souls might be a real test of patience for you. Especially since as was mentioned above there is no way to get health back through attacking enemies (which was a really great system) and unlike the constant flow of blood vials your health refills are limited to the Estus flask (which is a really bad health system) so ultimately you're kind of pressured into a more defensive playstyle until you've either gotten a handle on the area layout or simply out leveled it to the point where enemies are no longer a threat. The more frenetic Bloodborne playstyle of rushing in and knowing that you can always get that health back either through aggressive tactics or drops is not really viable.

There were plenty of good things that Bloodborne did mechanically which would have been awesome to see iterated on. It's a bit of a shame that Dark Souls 3 went the Bethesda route of simply making more of the same with some minor tweaks along the way.

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Conker

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#14  Edited By Conker

@humanity: ah well that's a huge bummer. So disappointing that the health regen system was taken out!

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Counterclockwork87

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What's with anyone saying yes?? I have played all the Souls games and I'm pretty confident I won't know the story to 3. I would guess 95% of souls players wouldn't be able to tell you the plot of them if you asked them; in my experience you have to basically read a breakdown to get these games' cyptic plots.

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FrostyRyan

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@humanity said:

These games do a terrible job of telling any sort of story. This is partly intentional and partly bad game design but most fans have learned to just run with it.

It's really not true at all that it does a terrible job of telling a story.

The story being vague and obtuse is absolutely intentional. There are "stories" to be found by piecing together visuals, environments, item descriptions, enemy placements, dialogue, and more. These games are all about player discovery and the story is no exception. It doesn't do a "terrible" job because it's not trying to give you a coherent narrative. That was never the point.

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Sysyphus

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I think you will be fine, after coming off bloodborne myself I find I forget I have a shield at times and instead rely on the roll/dodge out the way of incoming attacks

As you've played bloodborne you know the story in from softwares games is usually told through item descriptions and the environments you explore. I say go for it! I was in the same situation and I've followed what has been going on so far and it would be a shame for you to miss out on such a great game!

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Jinoru

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Hahahaha. Well, you'll get the game just fine. But if younwant greater meaning and depth you're going to wamt to play 1.

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Humanity

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@humanity said:

These games do a terrible job of telling any sort of story. This is partly intentional and partly bad game design but most fans have learned to just run with it.

It's really not true at all that it does a terrible job of telling a story.

The story being vague and obtuse is absolutely intentional. There are "stories" to be found by piecing together visuals, environments, item descriptions, enemy placements, dialogue, and more. These games are all about player discovery and the story is no exception. It doesn't do a "terrible" job because it's not trying to give you a coherent narrative. That was never the point.

If the "point" is to do a bad job of conveying the overarching plot, and there obviously is an overarching plot to each game, then I agree they do a great job of that. Listen I really like these games as well, but there is no denying that their particular brand of narrative communication is very restrictive and not very effective. Simply saying their method of plot exposition is unconventional doesn't make it good. Plenty of people will finish a Souls game and have absolutely no clue what was going on. It's not a case of not getting some deeper nuance of the plot which would be perfectly fine - people are typically completely lost on the entirety of the experience from start to finish. Say what you will but that isn't good. Good storytelling, conventional or not, will present a coherent tale from beginning to end while retaining a greater depth hidden away in obscure messaging for the dedicated fanbase to unearth as a sort of bonus. This way the average player will get the satisfaction of completing the game with your typical A-to-B narrative of "Do this....this is what happened" while the more lore savvy gamers will get the juicy "..who, what, when, where and why".. that goes in between. The plot in every Souls game is obtuse, disjointed, esoteric and fragmented to the n-th degree, where it's nearly impossible for the average player to get anything out of it. Thats just a complete waste of all the great writing that goes into these games but is locked away behind layers of ridiculous obfuscation. I get why they do it, as by now they almost have an obligation to propagate the cult of mystery in the franchise, but thats doesn't make it good. Saying that it was never the point to convey "a coherent narrative" isn't exactly a great argument for why it doesn't do a terrible job of telling a story.

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OurSin_360

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Most the story i got from playing ds1 i got from google lol, the second game feels more conprehensible though but i hear it doesnt tie into 1 or 3 much. I feel like dark soul's for me is a lot like diablo at least in the fact that the story means nothing and the gameplay is what is important.

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#21  Edited By FrostyRyan

@humanity: Once again you're trying to apply this video game to your idea of what a coherent narrative should be. Your idea of a coherent narrative is obviously more effective in books or films, not video games. You keep saying it does a bad job of conveying the narrative to the player but it doesn't WANT to do the things you're saying it's doing a bad job of doing. It doesn't want to give you a clear cut plot. It doesn't give you a thoroughly explained narrative. It says "this is who you are and you may want to go do this ultimate goal." How is that terrible story telling for an experience as player driven and interactive as this?

How is it possible to fail at something you're not doing in the first place?

It's difficult for the average player to get much out of the story because the game treats you like an adult and lets you explore and discover the story yourself with just enough narrative push at the beginning for you to do that. This is a STRENGTH of video games as a medium. Discovery. Not getting the full picture unless YOU decide to explore and pay attention thoroughly

Dark Souls isn't trying to tell you a story. It's trying to SHOW you a story. It's up to YOU to see it for yourself. Dark Souls is IMPOSSIBLE as a movie or a book. As the type of narrative structure you seem to wish it had. And that's what's beautiful about it.

The way Dark Souls presents its story is something only the video game medium can do.

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Humanity

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@frostyryan: Most adults come away from the game not understanding a single thing. You have plenty people in this thread alone saying they got absolutely nothing out of it. Jason himself mentioned that the story just washed over him. Is Jason not an adult? Is Jason an idiot because he couldn't piece it together? Is he some sort of simpleton unable to put two and two together unless it's laid out in the most cliched hollywood cookie cutter format? Or is it that the information is so obfuscated that the typical "adult" will have a lot of problems piecing any of it together unless they are told explicitly where to look by the die-hard enthusiasts. This isn't even taking under account the whole situation where these so called adults you speak of that did "get it" are usually theorizing on about 50% of what they actually got because these games almost never make concrete assertions about anything which leads to situations where no one can ever say anything for certain.

I never mentioned movies once so I'm not sure why you are so hung up on that fact. I completely agree that the Souls games are telling stories in a way very unique to videogames alone. I also think they could do a much better job of it while still retaining this esoteric quality you appreciate so much. Maybe we are just getting our wires crossed here and you think I'm talking about something completely different.

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shivermetimbers

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It's the end of the world. The kings have left their thrones. Those that people have entrusted with their lives have abandoned them. People have gone insane and have journeyed for help, but failed. You're an undead and are tasked with finding and restoring what's left of order by killing a corruption of some sort.

Honestly, that's all you need to know going in. I'll be bludgeoned by DS fans telling me I got the story wrong, but I take what I see at face value and add my own imagination to it.

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lordrenrew

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Take everything you learned from Bloodborne and throw it out the window....just kidding. Bloodborne won't prepare you for Dark Souls 3 in any way a part from minor music, building structure deja vu. As far as gameplay mechanic I always felt that using a gun was vastly different from using a shield (I never played character builds based on parrying and dodging).

Story wise...I don't know I don't really pay too much attention during the first play through. During subsequent playthroughs when I try out different builds I pickup more of the story since I'm reading weapon descriptions where a lot of the story is told. Brad had mentioned a few times that DS3 is sorta a "Greatest Hits" and I agree. Play DS1 first and then play DS3 because there's a lot of strong deja vu whiich may peak your interest to see out the story in the game.

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davidh219

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#25  Edited By davidh219
@humanity said:
@frostyryan said:
@humanity said:

These games do a terrible job of telling any sort of story. This is partly intentional and partly bad game design but most fans have learned to just run with it.

It's really not true at all that it does a terrible job of telling a story.

The story being vague and obtuse is absolutely intentional. There are "stories" to be found by piecing together visuals, environments, item descriptions, enemy placements, dialogue, and more. These games are all about player discovery and the story is no exception. It doesn't do a "terrible" job because it's not trying to give you a coherent narrative. That was never the point.

If the "point" is to do a bad job of conveying the overarching plot, and there obviously is an overarching plot to each game, then I agree they do a great job of that. Listen I really like these games as well, but there is no denying that their particular brand of narrative communication is very restrictive and not very effective. Simply saying their method of plot exposition is unconventional doesn't make it good. Plenty of people will finish a Souls game and have absolutely no clue what was going on. It's not a case of not getting some deeper nuance of the plot which would be perfectly fine - people are typically completely lost on the entirety of the experience from start to finish. Say what you will but that isn't good. Good storytelling, conventional or not, will present a coherent tale from beginning to end while retaining a greater depth hidden away in obscure messaging for the dedicated fanbase to unearth as a sort of bonus. This way the average player will get the satisfaction of completing the game with your typical A-to-B narrative of "Do this....this is what happened" while the more lore savvy gamers will get the juicy "..who, what, when, where and why".. that goes in between. The plot in every Souls game is obtuse, disjointed, esoteric and fragmented to the n-th degree, where it's nearly impossible for the average player to get anything out of it. Thats just a complete waste of all the great writing that goes into these games but is locked away behind layers of ridiculous obfuscation. I get why they do it, as by now they almost have an obligation to propagate the cult of mystery in the franchise, but thats doesn't make it good. Saying that it was never the point to convey "a coherent narrative" isn't exactly a great argument for why it doesn't do a terrible job of telling a story.

As a writer, literature lover, and long-time student of storytelling and mythology I find your close-minded and rigid ideas of what a narrative is and should be hilarious. There are no rules that say a good story has to present a coherent tale from beginning to end, and many works of art will prove you very, very wrong. I've got plenty of well-regarded books over here that at least 80% of people will have little idea what they're about on a first read. Does that make them bad as well? Some of my favorite books literally have no plot. Sometimes the point of a story is to present a challenging archaeological dig for your brain rather than to entertain you, and some people find that far more satisfying and a huge breath of fresh air. If it means a large portion of the audience is left out, so be it. A work of art is under no obligation to be equally inclusive to everyone, regardless of how much (or how little) of their own energy and thought they're willing to put into it. You wouldn't say Dark Souls should be made easier just so more people could enjoy it, would you? Same principle. Some things are just niche and require intense, focused interest for intense satisfaction in return. For you to say that's an invalid approach, or bad design/writing, is quite presumptuous on your part considering you clearly have no idea what you're talking about in regards to storytelling.

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FrostyRyan

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#26  Edited By FrostyRyan

@humanity said:

@frostyryan: Most adults come away from the game not understanding a single thing. You have plenty people in this thread alone saying they got absolutely nothing out of it. Jason himself mentioned that the story just washed over him. Is Jason not an adult? Is Jason an idiot because he couldn't piece it together? Is he some sort of simpleton unable to put two and two together unless it's laid out in the most cliched hollywood cookie cutter format? Or is it that the information is so obfuscated that the typical "adult" will have a lot of problems piecing any of it together unless they are told explicitly where to look by the die-hard enthusiasts. This isn't even taking under account the whole situation where these so called adults you speak of that did "get it" are usually theorizing on about 50% of what they actually got because these games almost never make concrete assertions about anything which leads to situations where no one can ever say anything for certain.

I never mentioned movies once so I'm not sure why you are so hung up on that fact. I completely agree that the Souls games are telling stories in a way very unique to videogames alone. I also think they could do a much better job of it while still retaining this esoteric quality you appreciate so much. Maybe we are just getting our wires crossed here and you think I'm talking about something completely different.

Honestly you seem to be the one who thinks I'm saying something I'm clearly not. I said Dark Souls treats you like an adult and you blew that sentence out of proportion and thought I was saying only idiots don't "get it." You know why Jason and most players don't get it? Because they don't care to "get it" to the degree as those theorists you're talking about. Guess what? That's ok. That's fine. THIS is what I mean when I say the game treats you like an adult. It does not hold your hand. It gives you a game to play and says "Go ahead. Do this how you want. Pay close attention to the little details of this world we created if you want to, but you don't have to. Just play through our game. Just know you'll be immensely rewarded through your curiosity, as you can be with the video game medium"

But that's beside the point. The point is you're discrediting a certain technique of story telling in a medium that's built and waiting to tell stories in this method. You're calling it terrible. You're saying the games fail at it because "most players won't get it." So what if those players won't get it? The game isn't forcing you to deeply understand anything about this plot. It presents a world and story for you to discover yourself, with your brain. I'd say more but I'd be repeating what the user above me just stated.

Thank you @davidh219

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OurSin_360

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Actually i remember reading the main creator based his story telling off the western movies and fantasy things he watched when he didnt understand the language. So everything he understood was vague and he filled in the blanks himself. So i dont think its unintentional that most of us have no clue about half thd shit thats going on lol.

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From what I've played of ds3 there are callbacks to previous games in the series, so if that's something that matters to you Id say play the other games first.

Question: did you care about the story in bloodborne? If not then it won't matter here and you'll be fine jumping into ds3. You could watch a lore video and get the gist of the story if you want some background.

Besides general movement mechanics, bloodborne and dark Souls are pretty different. Dark Souls is more complex when it comes to items/building a character; Bloodborne is very streamlined in comparison. Shields are more for blocking than parrying, which isn't a big mechanic in DS unless you spec in that direction, and even then it's not the same (the gun parry timing is very tight, where shield parrying is pretty tough). There are a lot more weapons in dark Souls with less emphasis on uniqueness. 2 weapons of the same type will, usually, have the same attack animations; stats are what will set them apart.

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mordukai

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#29  Edited By mordukai

@rongalaxy: The whole game is nothing but callbacks to previous games, including Demon's Souls. The game is good but lacks it's own personality.

@conker You'll be fine. The game does a good enough job explaining how things got to this point. From had the good foresight to know people are going to come in at it fresh. Actually you are the a very unique position to go through the series backwards and actually see how it started. Would be a very interesting experience from a story to gameplay perspective.

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Conker

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@rongalaxy: I actually did care about the plot in Bloodborne quite a bit. Did a lot of extra curricular reading and I still feel like I don't totally know what's going on in that game.

@mordukai: that could actually be fun but if Bloodborne is any indication on length etc, that's would take me months of playing nothing but the souls game to really dig into. I'm really disappointed in the differences between souls and Bloodborne and I feel like Bloodborne is MECHANICALLY a better game. Maybe it's cause it's my first souls type game but it is what it is!

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Humanity

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@davidh219: @frostyryan: Ok well since tone is slowly shifting towards almost personal attacks I'll just back out of this for now. For what it's worth I'm glad both of you guys enjoy it the way it is, everyone has a right to their own opinion obviously.

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mordukai

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#32  Edited By mordukai

@conker: You're not wrong. Bloodborne is mechanically better game. Much more streamlined. Souls games are just different. Much more methodical and expanded as far as sheer ways of tackling it's gameplay.

Plot wise, the Dark Souls series has a far better explained plot and lore. You still need to piece it together but you are given way more information to work with. Bloodborne's plot is like a book a with half of it's pages very meticulously torn out. You had to do much more digging and filling out the blanks then previous games. Maybe that's why the usual Souls YouTube loresters were not as active with Bloodborne as they were with Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2.

Aside all those things. I think your biggest hurdle would be getting used to the combat system. Like other people mentioned. LOVE your shield. The combat is more about you absorbing the deflecting the blows then outright avoiding them like with BB.

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Conker

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@mordukai: I guess I will pick it up come the summer time, more free time I think

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davidh219

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#34  Edited By davidh219

@humanity: When somebody starts explaining what good storytelling is and isn't (all in absolute terms like "there's no denying this" and "good storytelling, coherent or not, has this and this"), while clearly having no idea what they're talking about, I can't help but jump at the chance to correct them. After all, this is a video game website, not a website for writers and literature enthusiasts. I very rarely get to talk about the subject which I know the most about here. I also get embarrassingly excited when any thread about books shows up on the front page, which is practically never.

Anyway, I apologize for making you feel attacked. That was not my intent, and I could've used softer language with more niceties, and probably would have if what you said hadn't made me feel like I had to defend literature itself, lol. I did take some offense, I admit, and that's 100% my failing. There's no reason to be so blunt when telling someone they're wrong. In fact, it behooves us not to be, since most people have an instinctive negative reaction to being corrected. You catch more flies with honey, and all that. Even so, I really don't see how anything either me or @frostyryan has written reads as a personal attack when viewed objectively. I certainly wouldn't have taken it personally, but such are the differences that make life interesting.

If you're ever interested in seeing the spirit of Dark Souls storytelling in book form, there are two fairly accessible and popular ones I would recommend. House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski and "S." by Doug Dorst. I think House of Leaves is by far the better book, but S. might be a safer bet for the average person. It's extremely gimmicky, but fun all the same, and a very literal example of this kind of storytelling. Probably the most literal that exists in book form, since you're reading through fake margin notes and pieces of scrap paper that have been inserted into the "book" for you to "find" and then interpret. There's also Gravity's Rainbow, but I feel like a hipster douche just for bringing it up, so I had to lead with some other recommendations first =P Obviously these are books and not games, so it's not a one-to-one comparison, but they share the same spirit of asking you to invest energy and thought to get the intended effect out of it, rather than just being along for the ride like in a traditional narrative.

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GStats

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You'll be fine. They're more or less independent installments. My typical approach with Souls games is to ignore the story completely in my first playthrough. Then I read through everything on my inevitable second playthrough.

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deactivated-57ec1020ef4eb

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@davidh219: You shouldn't feel like a hipster douche for bringing up a great book.

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#37  Edited By davidh219

@carcass427: You're right of course. Unfortunately, just like Infinite Jest, 1Q84, and The Master and Margarita, I've been conditioned to feel super weird bringing it up in any conversation that's not explicitly about it because lots of people will take it as you trying to be pompous and get super pissed.

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#38  Edited By aldo_q

So far I really like the stories of both Bloodborne and Dark Souls (only play(ed) 3). I do think I learned most of the story of both games from watching lore-video's and speculation video's. Bloodborne and Dark Souls are not connected storywise as far as I understand. I actually find watching good lore video's quite fun. Because it's all just hinted at watching a video of somebody who spend hours and hours researching and putting things together is sometimes causes a real 'ohyeah' moment. It suddenly makes much more sense. Like something you kinda knew, but never put together 100%.

So far Bloodborne has done more for me there. The details of the world and hints towards lovecraft are sometimes so obscure.. It's fun to 'figure them out' (== watch somebody else explain them to you). Dark Souls seems a bit more straight forward in that sense. But perhaps I just need to watch more video's ;)

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I've always liked the interpretation that Dark Souls is a reinterpretation of Valhalla/Ragnarok. It's the end of the world, the gods are dying, join in the fun you undead git.

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The i-frames on the dodge rolls are extremely generous in this one, they also cost very little stamina. Makes shields much less important than in previous games, I like it.

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#41  Edited By Sinusoidal

@loafsmooch said:

The i-frames on the dodge rolls are extremely generous in this one, they also cost very little stamina. Makes shields much less important than in previous games, I like it.

Yeah. This Souls seems to reward reckless play more. It's great. Fekkin 2-handing roll dodge stabby stabby!! I think I'm having the most fun I've had with Souls with this one.

To the OP: this game is loaded with references to past Souls games that you will not understand; however, they're 99% environmental stuff. Locations, enemies, NPCs. As far as understanding the story is concerned, I love Souls and I don't think I've ever really gotten the story out of any of them. To me, it's very tertiary to the traversal, exploration, upgrading and combat. I read some about the stories of the first two Dark Souls, and I have no idea how people gleaned most of that stuff. I guess it's there in the item descriptions and vague clues NPCs drop and stuff. I really wouldn't worry about 'getting' the story of this one.

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