Video Games, Movies, and the Likeness Between Them: Storytelling
Whether you're a gamer or non-gamer who wants games more focused on the storytelling, this is for you.
Today I'm going to point out some games that are mostly, if not entirely reliant on storytelling. This is for those of you who crave the same kind of story you might see in a movie or book. I believe that all forms are efficient in doing this, and that even if you dislike one particular form, there's a title for everyone and that you just may not have found it yet. Whether you play video games every day, or not at all, I hope that at least one of these will pique your interest.
The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead was released by Telltale Games in 2012 for all the major platforms, and has since then been ported to several others. It is an episodic adventure game that does not rely on puzzle solving, but instead focuses on character development and story. It takes place in the same world as the comic, however, most of the characters are original to the game. It is focused on a man named Lee, a convicted killer, who helps save and take care of a little girl named Clementine.
With five episodes to the season, it runs at around 10 hours long in total. The gameplay itself is somewhat similar to Heavy Rain. There are still QTEs, though they are significantly simpler in this one. This can either be a nice or unwanted thing, depending on how you look at it. There are still choices, reactions, and consequences. There aren't as many variables with the overall ending, but trust me when I say that it does make up for it with the story. If you enjoyed the show, I'm sure you'll like the game. There is also a second season out already. Although it isn't finished yet, there are only two more episodes to go.
Heavy Rain was released by Quantic Dream in 2010 for the PlayStation 3. It is an interactive story, a psychological crime/thriller, where you are trying to find the "Origami Killer", who received his nickname for leaving animal shaped origami pieces on the victim's body postmortem. Things quickly get intense when the Origami Killer's next victim is the son of one of the four playable characters.
Heavy Rain has been in my top 10 favorite games list since I finished it. With around 9 hours of gameplay, there is a lot of story, cutscenes, and time for you to get attached to the characters. What makes it different, is that it plays like a movie. Gameplay wise, you walk around and interact with objects; do everyday tasks, try to find things, etc. When talking to people, you often have multiple choices or reactions to choose from. These things alone can alter the game and how it plays out. You are essentially in the director's chair. Although sometimes it requires quick thinking, and occasionally you'll make a hasty decision which you'll later regret, this is why this particular game trumps a movie. You'll get to see the consequences of your actions, not somebody else's. Though there are some action sequences and intense moments which have Quick Time Events, even for someone who isn't used to a controller, it's not too challenging as they have multiple options to choose from to change the difficulty. And out of all the games I've played with QTEs, I think that Heavy Rain did it best. Need another reason to like it? I played this game with 6 other people, and we all got a different ending. Depending on what choices you make, there are 22 possible outcomes.
Really interested but have no way of ever playing it? That's okay. Someone created a movie of it, using the cutscenes and important gameplay moments. Of course, it won't be as good as playing it yourself due to the fact that you're not making the choices, but it's better than nothing if you still want to know the (possible) end of the story.
Also by Quantic Dream, a game called Beyond: Two Souls which was released in 2013 for the PS3. It plays similarly to Heavy Rain, but with a very different story, and features Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe. Still want to see more from these guys? Check out this tech trailer, released in 2012; a short 7 minute film called Kara. And finally, a speech by Quantic Dream founder, David Cage, at the PlayStation 4 reveal covering what he wants his games to be, and what they can achieve with the new console.
Also by Telltale Games is another episodic adventure called The Wolf Among Us, which was released in 2013. I haven't played it yet, but I heard it was good as well.
Gone Home was released by The Fullbright Company in 2013 for PC, Mac and Linux. It's an exploration based adventure game that focuses heavily on story. It is June 7th, 1995. You play as a girl named Katie who has just arrived home after a year abroad. During the time you were gone, your family inherited a close relative's house. You quickly realize that neither your parents or younger sister is home. What happened to them? Where did they go? Will they be back soon? These are the questions you'll likely be asking yourself.
There are no "skills" required to play this game. Just sit back, explore, and learn what happened by searching the house for notes, objects, or anything else left behind by your family. A rather short game compared to the previous two, as you can finish it in anywhere from 1-3 hours depending on how thorough you are.
People seem to be divided down the middle on this game, but I rather enjoyed it. It relies heavily on immersion, so if you have intentions of playing, I highly suggest playing at a time when there will be little to no distractions, play in a dark room with head phones on, and enjoy. Although people have uploaded their silent play-throughs for this game, I recommend either playing it for the experience or not at all. But regardless, here you go.
That concludes my list! Have I missed any games that you think qualify? Do you plan on playing any of these games, or have you already? Let me know!
- 19Yes.Click to answer
- 1Maybe, I haven't decided.Click to answer
- 3No.Click to answer