Forbes: Is gaming its own reward, or do games suffer from a lack of deeper meaning?
This article is a response to a review of dark souls by someone who hates gaming. Get someone not interested in gaming to play a hard game which you will die alot and the only out come will be a shitty and bitter review.
Short and sweet. The long answer... Is Skyrim a waste of time? It too lacks a deep, meaningful narrative. But the game is focussed on its openness and non-linearity, where player choice and player-driven narrative is paramount, as opposed to a tight, director-driven narrative. I'm not a huge Dark Souls fan but even I know this argument is ignorant of what it is that makes so many games so great: player interaction. It's what separates games from movies and almost every other art form. Not every game needs a big story with cinematic presentation. IMO, very few games need that (but too many think they need it). For example, Madden doesn't need an over-arcing narrative about robots and the nature of existence. It just needs to look and play like football. Dark Souls isn't about its story. The story, like Skyrim, emerges from the player's own interaction. It's YOUR story. Like how it took 22 deaths to finally put down that boss. Or how you had to remove all your clothing so you could run through a particularly tough area to get a powerful item early on. Yes, Dark Souls is a lot more linear than Skyrim, but it's in a similar locus with regards to it's approach: gameplay first. Too many people seem to be using these same arguments lately, i.e. story is as important or more important than gameplay and graphics. This is simply not true. It's perhaps true in the few genres that are almost entirely story oriented (JRPGs, mostly), but in the grand scheme of things, it just isn't.
FACT: Dark/Demon Souls > Skyrim
aren't all games supposed to be "time wasters"? edit: lots of guys beat me to it already
Hell no,its one of best rpgs made in this era of gaming.
Comparing every video-game to something like Tolstoy? That's like saying The Simpsons is a bad show because it doesn't have the depth of a Shakespearean play. Ah gaming reviewers never fail to amaze me nowadays, I can't see why someone could actually be interested in video-games at all if they expect that from every title they play.
The Simpsons doesn't have the depth of a Shakespearean play. How did I not notice this before. That means that the Simpsons is crap and by default every other show on television. What have I done with my life? So many wasted hours.... In all seriousness though, I will never understand people like this. I mean sure, games aren't always as deep as books can be but that doesn't mean that they can't be. I think that if a dev put the work into a game script they could produce a game that surpasses a lot of books in depth.
I find this funny: “In roughly 40 hours of reading,” Thomsen writes, “Tolstoy covers the range of human existence: love, premature death, villainy, class, the limits of friendship, the crucible of debt, the idea of humans as helplessly caught in the tidal forces of history. Dark Souls leaves you with the intimate knowledge of when to roll out of the way of an ogre’s club swing.” Except when you really think about it, like, really really think about it, you can find most of the themes mentioned above in Dark Souls with the various interactions you have with NPCs, bosses, and villains. The principle difference, the one which makes gaming such a great place for heavy emotional experience (though yes, there aren't many which do this), is that it's not you reading or watching some other character do this stuff. It's *you* who feels the loss, betrayal, love, the limits of friendship, the anguish of death. Yes, not everyone experiences the same thing or even bothers to do more than just play the game, but it doesn't make the experience any less valuable.
I agree with the criticism of Dark Souls and am appalled by the article's defense of shallow storytelling in video games. The article defends games that lack stories by saying that they're not supposed to or that "gaming is its own reward." I think that there are a few games out there that have proven you can have a good game that tells a good story. Dark Souls is a brutal game that is supposed to teach you how to play. It's like Demon's Souls, right? The story is a throwaway, but you're supposed to feel really accomplished because you finally beat that one level or killed that one boss that you thought would be impossible to kill. So? Why can't you have a good story paired with that? The writer of the article makes analogies to pizza and chocolate cake in an attempt to move the goalposts and divert your attention from the key fact that both literature and video games are mediums of telling a story. Most video games have stories. Super Mario Brothers has a story, Call of Duty has a story, Halo has a story, even Twisted Metal has a story. And yes, Demon's Souls and Dark Souls tell stories. I've played a bit of Demon's Souls and from perhaps 30 hours of play the only time a story was conveyed to me was during the intro. It's a good thing to criticize games for not telling compelling stories because it encourages developers to work harder on that aspect of their game. It's a bad idea to look for excuses to discourage developers from working on good stories because that doesn't benefit anybody. If you have a problem with a studio working on both gameplay and story, keep your mouth shut because you're not going to do anybody any favors by saying you don't care.
i don't know maybe im reading your comment wrong but it sounds that you don't think dark souls has a good story? the story is full of so much lore and history but very well hidden at the same time. everything in that game has purpose and is there for a reason.
As has been said already, Dark Souls actually has some great lore, you just have to actually find it. The story of the game is not thrust in your face you have to actually seek it out. The whole game is one of trial and error and learning as you go, after you escape the asylum and land at firelink shrine its up to you pretty much to decide what area you go to, and what parts of the lore you want to learn about. It comes off as vague because people are used to the story in games being told to them rather than them having to engage their brain to work it out. personally I like the lore in dark souls, it gave the game some extra meaning and gave me some extra gameplay seeking it out.
I was criticizing the author for defending video games in general that have bad stories. I haven't played Dark Souls. In the article the writer uses the criticism of Dark Souls as a jumping off point to defend games for not being as in-depth as literature like "War and Peace." I think it's a terrible idea to defend video games in that regard. The criticism is valid. No one is asking for video games to tell a completely original story, just to tell a good one that has some depth and theme exploration. Games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, Halo, Gears of War, Mario Brothers, Zelda, Borderlands, and more, all have pretty simple, shallow stories. From my experience of Demon's Souls, the story was pretty familiar, a generic good versus darkness type affair. The world is cast into darkness, and you have to save it. There could be a whole lot more. See Bioshock as a decent example.
It's interesting because both Bioshock and Demon's/Dark Souls have a fairly similar method by which they describe the world to the player. Pretty much every piece of scenery in both games is designed with the specific purpose of establishing the situation, atmosphere and narrative of the world. Whereas Bioshock takes this and uses it with a detailed script and characters to tell a more focused story, Demon's/Dark Souls has the player explore around more, having chance meetings with the varied NPCs to give more depth to the world. It's less about telling a fantasy epic than it is immersing a person within a detailed realm. Neither approach is invalid; what you might like boils down to mood and preference.
Games don't have to be as in-depth as "War and Piece." Games are, first and foremost, about enjoyment. I don't need a deep, engaging story to play Mario or Pac Man or Street Fighter. I don't need plot twists and turns to play Forza or GT. I don't need well-written characters to play Super Stardust. Granted, when a story is present at all, it still needs to be executed well. But that's fundamentally different from having a massively deep story. And even a "bad" story, when executed well, can still be enjoyable. Your entire position rests on the assumption that Dark Souls has a bad story; yet, at the same time, you acknowledge that you haven't even played it. Given this lack of interaction with the title- and its spiritual predecessor- how can you say you have an accurate description of what the story is like? A general understanding doesn't equate to true knowledge. I think most people have general understanding of how a plane flies or a combustion engine runs. That wouldn't necessarily translate into keeping an F-22 in the air, or fixing a lawnmower's 2-stroke diesel. If you want to discuss these things- if you want to say the games have a bad story- you need to know more than you currently do.
I don't remember any of the character backstories in Street Fighters 4. I just pressed X to skip the cut scenes to get to the next round. I still find it an enjoyable game regardless of whatever stories it has.
dark souls does have a good story all he lore and iformation is there bu just like every other part of the game it doesnt hold your hand and tell you, you have to want to find out, andtalk to the npcs look at the achitecture and find everything out yourself
That's part of what I love about the game. The information and lore aren't given to you. You have to uncover and come up with your own answers. For example, many believe lighting the bone fire is the good ending, but for me it's the bad. This as a result of reading item descriptions, observing, and talking to npcs. god I love this game.
That is the "bad" ending. It'd be like if Kratos surrendered to the Gods and let them continue their rule of humanity.
go fuck yourself
Dark Souls is highly @#%&rated
I thought being a time waster was meant to be the best quality of gaming?
Actually, there is a story in dark souls. One must listen to every NPC to grasp the story behind it. However, its not deep as linear games.
spending all my time looking for the "Dragon Shield" ?? no thx to each his own i guess.
Name a game or movie or book or play that is not a "waste of time"? Any leisure activity is a waste of time, you aren't working, you aren't saving the world. So is sleeping a waste of time too?
Movie: One flew over the cuckoos nest (used as a case study and adaption for ideas) Book: Julius Caesar (school exams yrs ago) Play: Mikado (I acted in it) Nothing is a waste of time if it means something to you
Thats my point though, Dark Souls means something to someone that played it and the people that made it.
The only problem I have with this game is the difficulty. This game is great, really I love it, but I think the developers should allow the less skilled players to finish the game without so many efforts. I finished Demon' s Souls, it took a lot of efforts and time. I loved it but it took a lot of time and efforts, however I don' t regret the time I spent with this game. But this is my limit, I can' t afford to play something more difficult, Dark Souls is too much for me, and after many and many attempts I had to abandon it. Forever. I paid full price ( 70 Euros ) but I can' t play it fully. This is not very fair in my humble opinion. I understand that this game is made for players who wants a huge challenge, but I have a proposition: Developers could make a patch to allow people like me who can not or does not have the time (we talk about hundreds of hours!), at least to play the game until the end. A lower level of difficulty but that does not allow you to access online features to be fair to other more talented players who had allegedly put a lot of efforts. So everyone would be happy and the game would sell even more. This does not detract anything for the most talented players and allows all customers ( even if it does have limitations, we can say that without the online component you can not get the most satisfaction ) to get to finish the game.
The game doesn't require that you be skillfull it requires patience and the ability to learn from your mistakes
Im planning to use a trainer and finish the game in 1 hr or less :D
Poor article. The game is awesome and doesn't need a story.
games fail these days cause devs want to achive "deeper meaning" and always make something "michael bay like". japanese developers know that by focusing on gameplay and pure style u can make great gaming experience,even some western devs like valve and blizzard basically focus only on those 2 things and it works !
i am still on the first/second section of Dark Soul. i can not beat the wing beast.(dragon/dog/monster). i do not know if i should run passed it or kill it. there is a badass knight downstairs from the dragon dog monster. i am just having fun taking my time to figure things out. lol it might take sometime into next year before i finish Dark Soul. lol it is cool though. i am at level 22. i have the big sword but not the level yet to use it effectively. i am still having fun. in the first game; i need the break through moment to help me beat the game. i am sure this moment will come again.
This game is so boring and too long
This game was awesome i had alot of good times and frustrating times with this game but it was not a waste of time when you rent a dvd and it was crap thats wasting your time but this game is something else skyrim has got nothing on it.
Demon's Souls is superior in everyway. Agree if you agree Disagree if you agree
dark souls is a game, enough said. So many games are completely ruined by "cinematic" experience. Video game stories usually feel disjointed and take away much more than they give.
no. developers who develop rpgs should learn from dark souls hours of gameplay and for some the potential a lot games had but didn’t have as well.
If you can't handle it, don't play it. There are a ton of other games for people to play.
There's only one problem: those who can not finish it, however, have paid in full. I see no reason to prevent anyone from being able to finish such a good game. After all, there are many similar games on the market? The Only one is Demon 's Souls, which I already finished twice. What else should I play? It would be sufficient to allow those who can not (because we're not all Superman after all) to use a lower level of difficulty ( example: 80% of Demon' s Souls difficulty ), putting the limit of the ability of playing online with players who play at normal difficulty ( because otherwise it would not be fair, it would be like cheating, and I don' t want to deny the merit of the most talented players ). But from what I see for you supermen is a matter of honor, you are opposed to such a solution because you think you lose something like that but it is not true. You like to go around and brag about you beat a game that a lot of other people can' t. It is so evident that for you it' s like a medal to show around. You more skilled players are so full of yourself ... you are really childish. It' s a game, it' s just a game, let all the people play.
Like I said above this game requires patience and the ability to learn from your mistakes not skill
if people want an easier game then they should play an easier game. The game wouldnt be the same if it didnt provide some challenge... and its not even that hard really. Most games are just stupidly easy these days. Its not like its battletoads...
I literally cannot pass the Capra Demon. And I beat Demon's Souls 6 times...
Dark souls was the best 100 hours of gaming I have ever had in my 30 years of gaming , I did not care much for the story when it is all about progression and achievement when that massive demon disappears in a cloud of dust.
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