Gaming is one of the most engaging activities ever. Why wouldn’t it be, with the experience of a whole new world and story apart from the present reality? You gotta admit though, games that rely only on visuals and power moves are fun at first, but soon lose their charm. A game that has no twists and turns in the story, or even worse, no story at all, becomes repetitive at best. That’s why game-makers are coming up with more creative and gripping plots that keep you hooked, not just for the playing part, but also leaving you curious about the lives of the characters you are playing. Here are some games that have very well thought-out and interesting stories!
Life is Strange 2
This game may not have terrifying battles or intense sequences, but it is on this list solely for the meaningful themes it is built on. It is in a road-movie story format, following the lives of two brothers, Sean (16) and Daniel (9) Diaz. You play as Sean, and you can interact with the environment, obtain objects, converse with non-playing characters, and each of the choices you make lead to a different consequence as well as impact other characters’ behavior. Seems simple enough, but the themes of brotherhood, education, and political tensions are woven into the narrative. With both of them facing trauma, and Daniel discovering some hidden powers, the older brother must teach his younger brother to get through it and learn control over his newfound identity. Some serious issues like racism and gun violence are also highlighted through the characters. This game reminds me of the Disney Pixar movie Onward, which makes it interesting enough!
This role-playing game with a Japanese origin looks and progresses very much like a thriller anime and I absolutely live for it. It follows a bunch of high-school students who realize the toxic nature of the world they’re living in, plagued by corruption, slavery, and oppression. With the desire for liberation, they lead dual lives as the rebels- The Phantom Thieves of Hearts- and use a strange app that lends them otherworldly powers to re-shape the hearts of those who are evil. Just like a good modern anime, this game reflects the problems that exist in the 21st century, and leads us through a wild-ride of emotions which ends in a sigh of satisfaction if the protagonist wins. Even the bad endings in the game are well-written and depict a complex story. The best part is that the characters are people like us who have seen the outer world, and we can relate with them.
The Wolf Among Us
From the same people who created The Walking Dead game, comes this decision-designed video game with visuals and gameplay very similar to The Walking Dead. What makes it unique, however, is its setting and plot. It is set in the fantasy world of Fabletown, where classic fairy-tale characters exist in the real world. But these characters are more realistic and complex than we knew, and this makes the protagonist’s – Sheriff ‘Bigby Wolf’s’- conversations with them that much more intriguing. Better yet, it is a murder-mystery game with intense puzzles and graphics, and a lot of mind-boggling choices to make. Now you probably understand why people can’t wait for a sequel of the game- it’s not just about playing, it’s about uncovering the fantastic story further.
God of War (2018)
You can expect blood and gore and WAR from a game named like that, sure. But its story is also very intricately designed. The starting point of the game is the protagonist, Kratos, and his young son, Atreus, grieving the death of the latter’s mother. The main aim of the story is to have you deposit her ashes upon the highest peak in all of the nine fantastical realms from Norse mythology, which surrounds the story. The large and impressively detailed layout is complimented by the mature themes of choice, responsibility, and most importantly, fatherly love. The giant Kratos struggles sometimes to protect and let his son grow, but their journey together gives them a lot of shared experiences and emotions. Even Atreus is seen trying hard to balance his sense of identity in a world that is falling apart. It pans out beautifully with a serious father and an excited son who face monsters and gods on their journey towards peace.
Final Fantasy VII
Oooof just reading about this game’s story gave me chills, so you can imagine just how captivating the playing experience would be. It is again a Japan-based role-playing game that follows the adventures of Cloud Strife, a mercenary who is hired by the eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE, to help fight a mega corporation that plans to drain the planet’s lifeblood. The discovery of a life-purpose other than personal profit is an important theme in the characters. The psychological underpinnings in the character of Cloud are a delicious twist in the story (i won’t spoil it for you, though) and the protagonists as well as the antagonists struggle with identity conflicts due to events of their mysterious, complicated pasts. The evil hands of capitalism are shown in the form of Shinra Company that exploits nature’s reserves, and environmentalists are seen to rise against them, accurately depicting real-world issues. Each character is given a meaningful story through which they reasonably develop to reach where they are. It comes as no surprise then that Final Fantasy 7 is a constant candidate for the list of the greatest games of all time, and is extremely well-received in popular culture as well as by critics.
Do you have any game that you play more for the story and characters than the gameplay itself? Tell us below!
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