“Journey” may be the most sincere game released this past year, but the video game industry has been cranking out genuinely affecting games for awhile. Here are a few games from a variety of generations and platforms.
“The Last of Us”
Another title that develops a core relationship with another character, “The Last of Us” puts players in the role of Joel. After the spread of a deadly disease, Joel must protect a young girl named Ellie. The two form a parent-child bond during an adventure where every bullet counts and survival is a constant concern.
“Spec Ops: The Line”
“Spec Ops” will make you think about the people you’ve virtually killed and why you have failed at a given mission. It is not necessarily a great game, but any game that makes you think seriously about violence in games is worth commending.
“Batman: Arkham City”
The hero-villain relationship is often taken for granted, but “Arkham City” really makes the point that one cannot exist without the other. Batman and the Joker have always been complicated characters, and this game takes their relationship to a tragic place.
“Mario Kart: Double Dash!!”
Any game that can ruin friendships certainly must be able to invoke some type of genuine emotion. You may think that banana you dropped was innocent, but it can have a huge affect outside of the Gamecube.
Later games in the “Pokemon” series have gone for the money-grab, but the original “Pokemon” games only wanted you to be the very best, like no one ever was.
Conveying as much sincere meaning as “Journey” did is no small order, and few games before it accomplished that task. Still, some of this year’s gaming options aim to follow in its footsteps on the road to genuine emotion.
Set in a city in the sky during the height of American exceptionalism, players control former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt on his mission to save a mysterious woman named Elizabeth. One of the game’s goals is to make players care for Elizabeth like no other virtual character before in the midst of a BioShock universe that is rife with social, economic and political turmoil.
While the amnesic protagonist is a far too familiar trope, “Remember Me” makes the search for your memories a harrowing, gripping part of gameplay. While trying to recollect their past, players will enter the memories of others and manipulate them.
“Beyond: Two Souls”
Featuring actress Ellen Page, “Beyond” is a deeply personal tale that retells 15 years in the life of Jodie, who is struggling with a strange presence in her life. In addition to exploring the afterlife, this dark title seeks to challenge the narrative norms most games follow.
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Wicy Wang is a freshman at Stern who was a grammar Nazi until she came to WSN and realized how little grammar she knew. She loves almost everything sci-fi or fantasy, but she doesn’t watch that many films, since she becomes way too emotionally invested.
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