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Posted by colliderz (7 posts) 2 years, 11 months ago

Poll: Do you care about the story or lore of a game? (285 votes)

Yeah they make games better 91%
Unimportant misc. stuff 9%

I am not looking for a good story or lore in every game and there are games that doesn't needs but it makes some other games really good

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#1 Posted by Video_Game_King (36564 posts) -

Oh hell yes.

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#2 Posted by Shortbreadtom (1009 posts) -

Well, it depends obviously. I don't need deep lore in a puzzle game, but I do in an RPG. I don't need a great story and premise for a multiplayer focused FPS, but I do in an RPG. What's weird is that you make this point in the description, "there are games that doesn't needs" (whatever the hell that means), but then asked a question dealing in absolutes. Dumb poll is dumb.

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#3 Posted by Corevi (6795 posts) -

Well, it depends obviously. I don't need deep lore in a puzzle game, but I do in an RPG. I don't need a great story and premise for a multiplayer focused FPS, but I do in an RPG. What's weird is that you make this point in the description, "there are games that doesn't needs" (whatever the hell that means), but then asked a question dealing in absolutes. Dumb poll is dumb.

I agree with all of this.

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#4 Posted by falserelic (5769 posts) -

(I would elaborate, but I got to go to work soon.)

I liked the Resident Evil lore back in the day. Learning about this evil corporation that makes fucked up monsters were aswome.

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#5 Posted by Sterling (4134 posts) -

Story is a requirement. I don't play games that don't have lore/story. I find playing a game just for the mechanics boring. Could you imagine how dull games like Uncharted, The Last of Us, Spec Ops The Line, Red Dead Redemption, Bioshock, Tomb Raider, InFamous, every RPG ever made, etc ,etc, would be if there was no story. Those games would be mindless mechanics. You would just be a person killing people and walking around with no purpose. Who would play those.

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#6 Edited by theacidskull (1045 posts) -

That's like the most integral part. I mean, sure there are games like prototype which you play for the simple fun of hacking your enemies to bits but the whole background and story behind the game is what interests me the most. In fact, a game with a good story and lore can really boost the quality of the game for me in all honesty, even if the gameplay/visuals is mediocre.

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#7 Edited by Corevi (6795 posts) -

@sterling: Platinum has made a cult following on pure mechanics games since Viewtiful Joe, their only game where the story exists is Okami.

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#8 Posted by Hailinel (25787 posts) -

Of course. Why shouldn't I? Some of my favorite narratives of all-time have come from video games.

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#9 Posted by Rejizzle (737 posts) -

They don't make or break a game, but I do appreciated some good lore. Played Soul Sacrifice recently and that has some really cool lore.

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#10 Posted by Shortbreadtom (1009 posts) -

@corruptedevil: What? I mean, Viewtiful Joe is mechanics focused, but it has a story, named characters, (granted thin) motivations... That's not pure mechanics. Tetris is pure mechanics. Threes is pure mechanics.

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#11 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (7151 posts) -

In my opinion, story and lore can ascend a game far beyond what only gameplay can. Something like Skyrim hinges upon whether or not you're interested in the atmosphere, story and lore. All that stripped away, I'm sure most people wouldn't be as over the moon with it as they are. I know I wouldn't.

Take the Bioshock games as another example. They have pretty competent combat, but what makes those games what they are is the unison of the story, lore and combat. A game that can handle both gameplay and story together on equal footing tend to rise above the rest and resonate with us for far longer.

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#12 Edited by GrantHeaslip (1869 posts) -

I'm much more capable of enjoying games with bad narratives than games with bad gameplay, but narrative is still a huge factor for me. I'm genuinely baffled when people talk about skipping cutscenes in games.

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#13 Posted by Vanick (333 posts) -

It really depends on the game. For example the first Mass Effect is one of my favorite games because of the story, characters, and lore even though the gameplay itself wasn't great. On the other hand I really enjoy Super Meat Boy for the gameplay and don't care that much about the story.

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#14 Posted by me3639 (2006 posts) -

Absolutely. I was thinking this week about it is the one intangible that has yet to be mastered from a VG. Almost everything from controls, levels, design, new worlds can be made and done well but its making those 8-possibly 60+ hr experiences matter somehow. It doesnt have to be executed to a high level in every game, but for the most part, it is important. Do you think the industry would be thriving if it werent for games like Last of US, Uncharted, Mass Effect, or most recently Wolfenstein. They arent talking about the gameplay so much as the story.

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#15 Edited by Jazz_Bcaz (272 posts) -

It really depends. They tend not to be very good and often I find the mechanics evoke a greater empathy than the stuff around it. I get a better sense of a character from what the game actually lets me do, rather than what they tell me in between. Then it's down to the environments and the feel of the level design and just my general emotional response to playing through something.

There's still really good NPCs and set pieces and all that in some games, but I'd argue RPGs are possibly the last genre that needs massive amounts of traditional storytelling and flavour text.

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#16 Edited by HH (932 posts) -

out of all the stories i've played through multiple times in games i doubt i could even relate the narrative of one of them.

i just don't give a damn about that level of pulpy material, takes itself too seriously most of the time, and it's far too childish most of the time.

i liked Last of Us a lot, i think it was a huge jump, but the hook is a one-off, and it will be a while before something else has the same impact i'd say.

and besides i think the fact that the player controls the pace of a game makes it a lot harder to get stories in games to flow as smoothly as they can in movies or books.

because stories threaten the level of input the player has into the experience i think they're a poor match for games and in the future i would like to see a strong support for more worlds like Eve, where the players determine everything.

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#17 Posted by Encephalon (1728 posts) -

Story, yes. Lore, no.

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#18 Posted by Quarters (2609 posts) -

I care about that stuff infinitely more than anything else in the game.

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#19 Posted by Achaemenid (112 posts) -

Yeah, almost every game benefits from some sort of story, no matter how basic, just to give context and meaning to your actions. Plus lore is cool.

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#20 Edited by Jazz_Bcaz (272 posts) -

@hh said:

out of all the stories i've played through multiple times in games i doubt i could even relate the narrative of one of them.

i just don't give a damn about that level of pulpy material, takes itself too seriously most of the time, and it's far too childish most of the time.

i liked Last of Us a lot, i think it was a huge jump, but the hook is a one-off, and it will be a while before something else has the same impact i'd say.

because stories threaten the level of input the player has into the experience i think they're a poor match for games and in the future i would like to see a strong support for more worlds like Eve, where the players determine everything.

This touches on how I feel about games and story. A lot of games don't treat the player as a character even though every mechanic you can do is characterisation. Game stories tend to write themselves around it. For me, in an RPG the story is always one of a characters growth, but it's often not addressed whilst a load of end of the world stuff goes on.

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#21 Posted by CaLe (4757 posts) -

It's becoming increasingly important to me as I find myself less willing to play games just for the sake of it. But I also enjoy racing games, where any attempt at a story/narrative just gets in the way.

When I think of lore I think of MMOs and for the most part I never even read the quest text so yeah, I really don't care about it, or I didn't when I played them at least. There were some exceptions where I was genuinely interested in how the quest would pan out, but they were few and far between.

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#22 Posted by Aegon (7241 posts) -

My list of top 3 games from an earlier thread tells me that I find story very important.

  1. Okami
  2. Red Dead Redemption
  3. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

Probably why I hesitate to buy Mario Karts / Bros/ Smash, etc.

If I was still a kid that had friends come over often to play games, then I wouldn't have a problem getting those.

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#23 Posted by Wemibelle (2397 posts) -

For me, a game needs to (at least) either have engaging gameplay or an interesting story/premise. It's nice when games have both, but I can get by with one or the other if I'm intrigued enough. I don't personally think every game out there needs a great story, as some games are just meant to be fun to play.

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#24 Edited by MiniPato (2826 posts) -

It depends on how they handle lore. I like the way the Souls games handle lore. Or at least Demon's Souls. They pique your interest with these crazy environment and enemies and characters that you just want to find out as much as you can about them just to figure out why everything is so fucked up.

I fucking hate the way Skyrim handles lore though. So many fucking books. Sometimes I think some WRPGs are way too lore heavy for their own good. I know you want to make a believable, multifaceted world, but sometimes less is more. I know Brad loves codex in games that explain lore, but I usually can't stand them unless it's explaining weapon mechanics or something gameplay related in the context of the game's fiction. You know how people hated FFXIII for throwing around Falcie and L'cie around like people already know what it means and then explain it in a codex? That's how I feel about most RPGs that handle shit through a codex.

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#25 Posted by Glots (3060 posts) -

Depends, of course. If the game's really enjoyable to play, the story can be good or bad. It's of course unfortunate if it's really bad, but if the game itself is really good, I can let that slip.

Now people who play games and skip everything narrative-related whenever it's possible...those folks I don't understand.

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#26 Posted by dudeglove (12732 posts) -

Only if it can be explained by Vinny.

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#27 Posted by riostarwind (1238 posts) -

A good compelling story can make a so-so game into a good one. I can say the same thing about a game that has awesome gameplay yet doesn't have the best story ever. It's the mixture of the two that make some of the best games of all time.

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#28 Posted by Kaiserreich (908 posts) -

I find that I care more about lore than story. But it depends, duh.

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#29 Edited by noblenerf (516 posts) -

I enjoy the story and lore of almost all games, but there are some games that I just can't be bothered to get into. This doesn't happen to me very often, the last few I can think of are Dead Island and Guild Wars 2. I'm not sure what causes it; there's just something fundamentally boring about the stories they attempt to tell and the lore they present to me. When it happens I just click through the dialogue and skip as much of it as I can.

As a result of this, I lose interest in some games earlier than I would otherwise.

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#30 Posted by ZolRoyce (1654 posts) -

@noblenerf: I'm with you on losing interest in boring games. I'll sit through a bad video games storyline if it entertains me enough. But a predictable slog of a story will make me kick it to the curb really fast.

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#31 Edited by Vuud (2052 posts) -

Games are about gameplay, everything else is filler. In tabletop gaming, they call it "fluff".

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#32 Posted by theacidskull (1045 posts) -

@vuud said:

Games are about gameplay, everything else is filler. In tabletop gaming, they call it "fluff".

Interesting view, if you don't mind, could you elaborate? Just curious.

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#33 Edited by Jeust (11739 posts) -

I do, and I generally don't get much invested in games without an interesting story. If it has a good lore I like it even more. Games like Binary Domain with solid gameplay, are cool and all, but they feel barren.

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#34 Posted by afabs515 (1816 posts) -

Yes. I find it extremely difficult to care at all about games with no story (with the exception of couch multiplayer games). Lore, on the other hand, depending on how obscure it is, might not be strictly necessary for me.

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#35 Posted by lyisa (445 posts) -

I'm in the depends crowd (but ultimately voted that it makes it better). I think there are plenty of games where I completely ignore the story and world they built and play it as a game (binding of isaac comes to mind as a game that benefits to me ignoring its story and even presentation and thinking of everything as numbers). But there are enough games out there where story drives me to press on when I don't find gameplay as compelling as it should be or outshine the gameplay aspect entirely. The first Mass Effect comes to mind as a game with such great world building that the mediocre gameplay and RPG mechanics are ignorable or at least passable.

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#36 Edited by nasp (652 posts) -

not really i play games for the GAMEPLAY, not the story.if the story is good its a bonus.there really isnt any games in my top ten all time list that has a great story,but they are games that are so fun i wanna keep playing.a story can be amazing but i will get bored if the gameplay isnt good.so basically no i dont need a story,but i need good gameplay.

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#37 Posted by SneakyJB (51 posts) -

@afabs515 said:

Yes. I find it extremely difficult to care at all about games with no story (with the exception of couch multiplayer games). Lore, on the other hand, depending on how obscure it is, might not be strictly necessary for me.

I also found that lore is often irrelevant for multiplayer games, particularly couch co-op. I don't need any story or lore for Towerfall but if I am playing a new RPG then I like to have somewhat of a backstory and an intriguing story along the way. The thing that I am frustrated with however is this need to expand the "lore" for games that really don't need it. I guess the Gears of War novels are great for die-hard Gears fan but I don't want to have to read them to be clued into what is going on. Thankfully that wasn't the case but with the Dead Space series for instance I often found I was a bit confused on characters/storylines that were featured in the novels.

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#38 Edited by HerbieBug (4228 posts) -

My answer to this has changed over time. When I was younger I wanted lots of story from my games. Longer and more complicated the better. RPG's were my favorite genre. At some point I started to find all video game narratives to be lacking in comparison to books. -Now I should note that books are and always have been my primary hobby. I collect them. When I have to move between apartments that collection is the biggest liability on my list of difficult things to negotiate transportation of.- Anyway I stopped requiring games to have a satisfactory narrative component and switched over to playing genres that are pure gameplay over all else.

So no. I don't give a shit about story in games. Not anymore.

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#39 Posted by SethPhotopoulos (5777 posts) -

I prefer it but I don't need it. Depends on the game. There are times where I'd be disappointed or annoyed if a story isn't good and then there's times where I expect it.

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#40 Posted by ArbitraryWater (14782 posts) -

Most of the time, story and lore are icing on the cake, because to be entirely blunt: Most games don't have great stories. In games that place a little more emphasis on that stuff, like RPGs, they're probably a little more than that, but I can still stomach a bad story or annoying characters if the gameplay is good enough. The inverse can be true as well, but for me it takes something with Planescape-caliber writing to excuse sort of crummy gameplay.

As far as lore goes, while I appreciate some good worldbuilding, lore dumping only works if the world itself is interesting. Kingdoms of Amalur is a game that is in love with dumping its lore in an expository "Tell, don't show" manner, and outside of some side stuff that world could not be more generic. Bioware is usually a lot better on that front, but even they have a problem with using NPCs to explain everything, including stuff that might've been just fine being relegated to a codex or context clues.

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#41 Posted by ToTheNines (1454 posts) -

Absolutely in the top 3 of the most important thing I look for in games. If the story or the characters don't do it for me, I very rarely invest my time and money in a game. Unless it's a competitive game.

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#42 Posted by NTM (9930 posts) -

I prefer them, yes, but it doesn't mean it makes a game if everything else is bad. Which is, or should be obvious.

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#43 Edited by Aetheldod (3914 posts) -

That is what I go for in games , for all the extra stuff and behind the scenes lore etc. What can I say , being a person who loves getting to know stuff , from religious beliefs to history , the whys and hows in the real world , of course it would translate to the fictional ones as well.

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#44 Edited by NTM (9930 posts) -

@godzillasmash: What was it about Dead Space that confused you? (Hopefully you read that in the correct tone, because it's a real sincere question, not a snarky one.)

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#45 Edited by impartialgecko (1867 posts) -

I would if it wasn't so crap most of the time. Game developers LOVE lore because they're often white dudes who grew up loving D&D, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. The fact that every game needs pages and pages of lore and world-building stashed away in the game speaks to the lack of diverse ideas in games. I also distinguish lore from story. Lore is everything that is extraneous to the plot and characters.

Don't get me wrong, I like lore when it is well-written and integrated into the game, like in games like Bastion and Dark Souls. But at that point it almost stops being lore and starts being storytelling because it's so well integrated. Whenever any form of media feels it needs to stop telling its story to dump some fat lore about the world, it drives me up the wall. If it's not relevant to the story or characters and just set-dressing, then I probably don't care. I have never finished a Codex entry in a Mass Effect game if that's a better indication of how much I dislike the gaming industry's preoccupation will building universes rather than telling specific stories.

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#46 Posted by Nightriff (7157 posts) -

Personally to me it is the most important stuff. Years ago I used to just want a good playing game, story didn't matter but around 20ish and coming upon GB my position changed on what I look for in a game. I treat them now as films where something must engage me other than gameplay (action in movies) otherwise I'll loose interest quickly. Obvious exceptions like Bulletstorm, but for the most part, if the game has a great story, I'll put up with shitty gameplay, graphics, animation, etc.

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#47 Posted by EXTomar (5047 posts) -

Depends on the game. Sometimes a game is purely the excise in rules and mechanics where that is way more important than writing up a story. For other games the story is everything and shouldn't be ignored or skimped.

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#48 Edited by Hamst3r (5273 posts) -

Yes. That's what I'm the most interested in.

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#49 Posted by darkvare (990 posts) -

it depends on the game i always try to enjoy narrative in a game but if it gets boring then i just skip cutscenes or if the gameplay was bad then i just drop it

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#50 Posted by Random45 (1759 posts) -

Gonna have to go with the popular 'It Depends on the game' answer everyone is using.