Stories in video games have come a long way over the past few years, from being a backdrop to the game environment, to being the basis on which a game is built. Nowadays, many titles are solely story-based, and the gameplay mechanic comes second in order to provide a cinematic blockbuster experience. Today we’ll be checking out what games our writers thought had their favourite stories in them!
This was a tough one to think about but ultimately, I think that I would have to go with Mass Effect 2. The game made the player believe that the galaxy was in peril. The characters also helped bring the story to life and opened up new story arcs, making you empathise with them during their times of need. It was really well crafted.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was a title that flew under the radar for some; however, those who played through this extraordinary titles storyline were captivated by the stories depth, maturity and emotional factors that ultimately made this game so amazing.
Here is a brief breakdown of the storyline from my review of this title: While out on an errand for his mother, Oliver is approached by his friend Philip who excitedly informs him that he has finally finished building his new race car. However, Oliver seems reluctant at first, due to the fact that he is concerned of what his mother may think. The boys then decide that it is best to sneak in a little night time driving, while Oliver’s mother is sleeping. This ultimately leads to a catastrophic event that will quite honestly bring tears to your eyes.
A few cut-scenes later, while you take the time to dry your eyes, a deeply depressed Oliver is told that he is “The Pure-Hearted One”, by a rather straightforward fairy named Mr Drippy. Oliver is now destined to save both his world and the parallel fantasy world from the evil clutches of Shadar, an evil wizard who has the power to steal a portion of a person’s heart.
To avoid any further spoilers, I will end off the story breakdown there.
For a slightly (barely) longer evaluation of the game, read Darryl’s review here!
Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead. Incredibly well scripted and immensely sad, even against the background of completely bizarre circumstances, the touching human drama and tense, heightened emotions makes this my favourite story. It’s so much more than a game, I feel it’s more of an interactive movie, but it’s a shining example of just how good plots in games can be, and should be.
In retrospect, I decided that my favourite story has to be Fallout 3’s all-encompassing narrative. Although Fallout 3’s narrative isn’t particularly striking while you’re playing through it, once you complete the main storyline, a cutscene plays, which explains all your actions and their effects on the Capital Wasteland from both the main mission and various side missions. In addition, the main story is quite touching, as it deals with a maladjusted young man in the Wasteland after having lived most his life in a sealed Vault trying to find his father, who has his own agenda in the outside world. Throughout your journey you meet many iconic characters and form a emotional connection to many of the reliable companion characters and friendly NPCs, and given the threat the Wasteland faces, your eventual quest is given extra meaning by these vibrant men, women, ghouls and trees.
Bioshock Infinite. A lot of other games have very compelling stories and well crafted characters, but Bioshock Infinite has a story that makes you think and that’s what’s important to me. You know that you are playing a Bioshock game and that therefore there is going to be a twist, but what that is is near impossible to predict. You are constantly led astray by hints in the narrative and in the end nothing can prepare you for what happens. Very satisfying.
Read William’s Bioshock Infinite Review here!
So what about our readers? Do you think Batman: Arkham City should glide into this list? Are you waiting impatiently for more of Half-Life protagonist Gordon Freeman’s other half (life) of story? Or did you think that Red Dead Redemption was a tale that was lost on the lone prairie? Let us know in the comments!