If you are anything like me, you love a good game where the story really shines. I have formed a strong connection with many game characters, having had the pleasure to watch them grow, while experiencing heartbreak during their untimely deaths.
Story-driven games have become a personal favorite of mine. There is nothing more thrilling than having the power of things in your hands. With high stakes, one wrong move could mean the death of a character! Many choices have had me on the edge of my seat, watching on in anticipation as I see how events unfold.
Today, I will be going over my list of five story-driven games where your choices have an adverse impact on the gameplay and narrative. Sit back and buckle your seatbelts, because we are in for a wild ride.
Detroit Become Human
What can I really say about this game? It is undoubtedly a masterpiece. Detroit: Become Human is set in the year of 2038, where androids have become a popular ‘product’ for humans. Some are being treated well, while others are being misused for selfish needs… With this, comes the rise of deviant androids! Deviants are androids that have developed their own personalities, acting just like an ordinary human that has rights.
There are 3 main protagonists in the game, which you have the opportunity to play as during different chapters. Each one has their own journey, and by the end of the game, their stories all come together as a whole. I really like the dialogue and relationship system in this game. However you choose to respond to other characters influences their opinion of you. This can unlock new story paths and ultimately result in different endings. Believe me when I say that every single choice you make matters. Imagine my shock when I was being careless and actually got one of the protagonists killed early on!
Life is Strange
Life is Strange is a wonderfully written episodic game. Max finds out that she has the power to reverse time; with this knowledge, she decides to alter events and make crucial decisions. We have all probably thought about being in her shoes honestly!
I think the reversing time mechanic is really unique. This really gives us a sense of control, as we have to rely on our memory and strategy to make good decisions. The shy personality of Max contrasts really well with Chloe, her punk best friend that loves taking risks.
From uncovering a murder mystery to figuring out who is the mastermind behind it all, this game is a rollercoaster of emotions. A lot of thought goes into all these narrative branches and gameplay, so it is really refreshing to see how everything unfolds. Without spoiling anything, the ending decision had me crying my eyes out. Unfortunately, things aren’t that simple and we soon have a full-on natural disaster on our hands. Can you truly avoid fate?
Until Dawn is a horror interactive game. After a shocking incident where two sisters ended up dying, a group of friends stays at the same place sometime later, isolated from the rest of civilization as strange things begin happening. A masked killer is on the loose, tormenting the group by setting up traps and subjecting them to sick games.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, there are also Wendigos on the loose ‒ a ghastly creature that is attracted to movement, eating humans and tearing off limbs in the process. The game focuses on the ‘butterfly effect’, which is the concept behind how your decisions have a long-lasting impact.
Each chapter is focused on a main character respectively. Depending on the choices you make and whether you succeed at quicktime events, dictates whether or not any character will actually die! Your consequences are permanent, and the entire story changes as the group adapts with potential deaths and situations. Beware, nature believes in karmic justice here.
The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series
I’m pretty sure that everyone knows about The Walking Dead. It’s a great show based on how people learn to survive in a zombie apocalypse. Telltale is known to be a company that creates story-driven games, so this is no exception!
The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series has four seasons. You start off with Lee, a proclaimed ‘criminal’ that meets Clementine, who is a girl he starts to take care of. Along the way, you really feel as though you are part of this post-apocalyptic world and are faced with tough decisions. When you meet new groups of people, will you choose to trust them or cast them away?
It’s amazing to grow up with these characters and see how they develop in this harsh world. There are many infamous situations where you can save one character while sacrificing the other… Trust will be broken, hearts will be crushed and people will be killed. Remember, always aim for the zombie’s head!
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
To end things off, we have The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. This is probably the most ‘advanced’ game on the list, because it is actually considered an RPG fighting game. Geralt, the main character, is known as ‘the Witcher’. He is essentially a monster slayer that acts like a bounty hunter, having been trained from a young age to slaughter beasts.
The fighting in this game has such a nice combat system, with stamina and a variety of spells you can use to defeat enemies. The open world is full of quests, charming villages and treacherous terrain There are many companions you can choose to embark with, each having their own benefits and respective backgrounds.
There are so many side missions you can take during the main campaign as well. It is so nice to see a game’s story be driven. If you don’t really like the ‘interactive movie’ feeling of the other games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the perfect mix of combat gameplay and extensive lore.