Life is Strange: Before the Storm
In 2006, I attended a conference in Scotland about viewing games as emotional experiences. Voice-over journalist (now game developer) Margaret Robertson gave an excellent talk on the titles that moved her.
Her talk raised the question of whether video games can make us cry. At that time, the idea of the game bringing players to tears was still a relatively new thing.
“I’m here to try to dispel the popular stereotype that games aren’t art because they can’t make you cry,” she said. That is a completely wrong thinking.”
A decade later, we live in a world where touching games are no longer a strange thing. Especially this year there is an abundant amount of games on this criterion.
If you’re looking for a game to play at the end of the year, one that has depth, story, and character, I’ll suggest you some of my favorite titles from the past 12 months. I won’t spoil your game experience in advance so don’t worry. In general, the emotional climax is usually at the end of these games, but there are a few exceptions.
At the top of my list is Blackwood Crossing. This is a story about sisterly love, about sadness, about the arduous road from childhood to adulthood. A small but beautifully drawn cast of characters travel through a dream world of memories. Simple puzzles form the structure of the game.
This is the product of a team that previously specialized in developing racing games but wanted to create a more immersive experience. A game like this would have been hard to come by in 2006, a time when publishing and sales concerns were manipulating the video game market. Modern development tools and electronic distribution portals make Blackwood Crossing development possible. But the most important factor is still the growing number of players who prefer to play games with narrators with stories that focus more on people and relationships than on conquest and individual skill.
Similar, What Remains of Edith Finch is a complex layered story about a cursed family. Although the main plot of the story revolves around death, it also often has many humorous details. The interactions between the characters are tempered by their perception of themselves, of their own existence as in the story they tell themselves.
Last Day of June is another family story in which a loving husband tries to create a perfect sequence of situations to change a tragic fate. It’s a puzzle game that relies on the player making small changes to events that link together to create different endings. In a world of paintings, the game’s characters perform familiar human actions without using dialogue.
Last Day of June
Rakuen is a top-down RPG game that looks like it was made in 1992. Behind the old graphic style lies a great story of teamwork and generosity. The game’s setting is in a medical station connected to a magical parallel universe. Players will perform tasks that cause parallel effects on the real world. Although I love the characters and their stories, the music of the game is what moves people.
The art of audio storytelling has also helped raise the bar Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice from the nature of the psychological horror game genre. This is a horrifying story of self-doubt and anxiety. The 3D sound makes the game more scary, but it is the constant whispers in our ears of decadence, failure and anxiety that really bring out the dark corners of our minds, helping us to discover ourselves. How to zone out despair.
Night in the Woods
Night in the Woods takes place in a mining town, heavily pressured by changes in the global economy. A college dropout named Mae returns to her hometown to see old friends – anthropomorphized animals – and to hear their stories. But the narration, read through the lens of Mae’s deteriorating mental health, helps us empathize with a young woman whose life is fraught with inner challenges.
Stories Untold is a creepy game that pays homage to ’80s technology and word adventures. This is a game of creativity, unbelievable surprises and blatant human cruelty.
Multi-part game Life is Strange returned this year, delving into the personal relationships of teenage girls. This is a dialogue/puzzle game about growing up. Life is Strange captures the emotions of love, tragedy and loyalty, thereby making the player feel the emotions of the character.
Butterfly Soup is a visual novel (visual novel) by a small studio, telling the story of four girls and how they find each other, their feelings for each other through their shared love for baseball.
And then we have Everything, a game that redefines storytelling. You have an interactive toy that allows you to transform into anything from the universe, from a galaxy to a seed. The game wants to highlight the meaning of life, while also showing amazement at the meaninglessness of everything.
Finally, I will say a few words about great games. If you’re looking for emotional depth in a shooter, it’s a bit difficult. But there are a few games that have created quite emotional situations.
I had a few fluttering moments while playing Assassin’s Creed Origins, the game takes place in a cruel, corrupt and unjust world. Many of the characters and quests are actually pretty silly, but there are a few quests that make me feel so heartbroken for the characters I meet.
Similar, Horizon Zero Dawn It may be a game about taking down robot monsters, but it also builds a story about the good and the bad of humanity.
Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus There are some touching scenes about the use of force and envy to confront violent and cruel people. Nier Automata There are also many scenes that will make you choke.
The above are just some of the many games of this year that bring strong emotions to players. Of course, among all of us, no one is the same but sharing those moments with each other and learning about the details that move others is also a good thing, isn’t it? Do not hesitate to comment below to share with everyone what moments in the game have made you emotional this year.
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