Hacked Off: When the Lore in Some Video Games Is Hidden and Not Easy to Access

Two of the games I have come to love on the current generation of gaming are Destiny and Overwatch, and these are both contributors to this problem. While the Overwatch one is a mixed feeling of dislike and love, Destiny is mainly annoyance. While I appreciate what they tried, it’s just that it is awful.

Let’s forget the problem people have, including myself, that most of the in-depth story is in the Grimoire cards and not the game. They’ve seen their error and are using the Grimoire for extra detail or stories, which is fine. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start, and the as yet unannounced Destiny 2 can improve on it. I have no problem reading these texts. It’s the same in any game, where there is a journal and you can read background stories. An example, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, and getting the Xehanort reports.

The problem I have with the Grimoire is that you have to actually unlock it. Now, this isn’t just a case of finish this level; that only gets you a handful of them. In order to get everything, there are ridiculous tasks that need to be finished. Getting a certain number of kills, finding the exotics, etc. While this might seem as a logical way of implementing it into the system, it means you can’t read most of it. This means you have to grind out thousands of kills just to read about Fusion Riffles or Ogres. Not exactly the kind of tasks that make me rush to put the disc in.

Then there’s that added bonus of getting different pages first. A lot of them are down to finding dead ghost shells. This means you could have unlocked Grimoire pages two and four for a certain topic. This makes them useless for now, as you can’t read the whole thing. It’d be like reading every other chapter in a book. To make sense of it all, you then have to go search to try and find the rest. This means if I want to read the lore, which I do as they are filled with great stories and information which make the Destiny world a really interesting place, I have to look online. I haven’t got enough time to try to work out how to unlock them all. If I want to know about something about the game, surely the sensible thing is to have easy access.

Then comes Overwatch. The main problem I have with the lore so far is that it’s far too sparse. They have created 23 brilliant characters, yet a lot of their lives are mysteries. Obviously, they are getting around to releasing their stories in a wide range of formats, which is a fun way of doing it, but they’re few and far between. Maybe I’m just impatient, but I want to know more about the characters, not have to rely on assumptions. I know it takes a long time to create the brilliant videos they do or even create the comics. It’s just it would be nice if they expanded on the information they have about the characters in the game, then use this other media to explore the characters even further.

All of the characters are lovable, there isn’t one that everyone agrees on being boring. So why not provide more information about the characters? There is talk floating around for the chance of a TV series, but why must we have all of these various types of media to learn about the characters? It’s harder for Overwatch as there is no story campaign, but that means the need of more lore is even greater. I’m sure everything they have ready will be great, it’s just we need to start seeing it so we can love the characters even more. Make them more than a character I like because I can play well as them.

Lore in games is essential, but it confuses me why some developers like to hide it and make those who want it seek it. It just creates two kinds of people: those who play the games and hardly know anything about their worlds, then experts who could complete a degree on their universes.

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