Boss Rush Banter: What is Your Favorite Way to Discover Lore in a Video Game?

Video games are a unique entertainment medium where information can be delivered to the end user in a variety of ways. While a fair share of gamers can care less about lore, but I think it’s safe so say that at least just as many do care. What’s your favorite way to discover lore in a video game?

A common way devs insert lore is via text hidden throughout the game, e.g. letters left by NPCs or other collectables. Games known for this include:

  • Metroid Prime Remastered: The remaster is rich in lore; however, it’s done all through scanning every single thing!
  • Subnautica
  • Walking sims like What Remains of Edith Finch, Gone Home, and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
  • Hollow Knight
  • Alan Wake
  • The Myst franchise

If voice acting is available and depending on the setting, voice recordings also inform the gamer about the world. Dead Space, Resident Evil 2, and SOMA are such examples.

Other games feed you its lore based on your interactions with the environment themselves, like in Disco Elysium. Then, of course, you have games that blend both options.

I prefer the latter, or a fair blend. There’s just something tedious about reading lengthy blocks of text in order to learn the lore of a fictional world in a media that is made to be interactive. If lore through text is used, it goes down easier in smaller chunks. For example, The Last of Us Part I has pamphlets and notes to read, but most are concise, and they also have voice recordings too to shake things up. Hogwarts Legacy has Field Guide pages, but they too, are bite-sized and are blended into the environment, which in itself, is chalk-full of lore.

Image Credit: Naughty Dog

How do you like to ingest video game lore, if you care about lore at all?

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