Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Top 10 Best story driven PC Games ever

Most games nowadays concentrate more on delivering bleeding edge graphics or highly realistic physics. They usually stick to tried and tested formulas when it comes to gameplay and storylines. Which is sad since it’s usually the latter factors that make a game memorable. When done right, games can be a more engaging storytelling medium than movies.

I suck at intros, no? Without further blabbering, here are my top 10 best story driven games ever.
10.) Max Payne 2 (3rd person shooter, date of release: 2001):
Most of max payne’s narrative is delivered through prose written by Sam lake which gives it a poetic flavor that is usually lacking in most games. Max payne 2 is marketed as a tragic film noire love story. It’s dark, it’s violent …and it’s sexy. Mona sax is, bar none, the hottest girl i've had the pleasure of controlling. Instead of hand sculpting the 3d models, they actually scanned the bodies of real life actors making the models anatomically accurate down to the areolas. Of course you’d have to know the “nude mona” cheat to appreciate 3d mona in her full glory
Also, the PC version has the best graphics. So if you have a geforce 5xxx series or above video card, get the PC version.
Of course the first thing you’d notice in this picture are the perfectly modeled collar bones
9.) Baldur’s gate 2: (RPG, date of release: 2000) Mix “dungeons and dragons” gameplay with an epic story that’s reminiscent of lord of the rings and you’ve got a concoction that’s certain to make the head of any geek explode. It’s 200+ hour length may be a bit daunting for normal people but this game was made for geeks and geeks aren’t normal people. 200 hours are inconsequential for a guy who spends 18 hours a day in front of his pc. I actually played all the way through it and I clocked more than 200 hours –A fact that I hope doesn’t suggest anything about the quality of my life
What mostly drives the story in BG2 is the main character’s interaction with his companions. You travel with a party of 5. Each party member has his/her own personality, backstory and sidequests. They’d flirt with you, fight with each other or even sleep with you. You must choose how to interact with your companions carefully though as your relationships with them affect gameplay. I tear up whenever I recall how aerie left me when I decided to rob her of her virginity
7.) Planescape torment (RPG, date of release: 1999): Torment is a 2d RPG set in the obscure dungeons and dragons planescape setting using AD&D 2nd edition rules. If that sounded like jargon to you then you probably are cool and have lots of friends. I therefore hate you
It’s like baldur’s gate in terms of gameplay, graphics and geekiness quotient but torment has a more tightly woven story. You play the “nameless one”. You wake up in a mortuary without any recollection of your past. As the game progresses, you find out that you are actually immortal. You don’t die, you just lose all your memories. Some of the best twists in the story involve finding out what your past incarnations were like and what they’ve done.
The story is deep, complex and philosophical. The riddle at the core of the game is “what can change the nature of a man”. It’s up to the player to decide how he’s going to solve that riddle by the choices that he makes in the game
This game is a cult classic. Some copies are selling on ebay for $130. Not bad considering that this game was released 9 years ago

8.) Silent hill 2 (survival horror, date of release: 2002): Think resident evil, only more mature and the focus is less on action and more on atmosphere.
Ghost stories don’t scare me anymore. The only horror genre that works for me is psychological horror. What I love about the silent hill series is that the stories are mostly figurative. You can interpret the game’s symbolisms in a variety of ways. One could interpret the ghastly apparitions in the game to be of psychological or supernatural nature. The best in the series so far is silent hill 2. Not because it’s scary, though it is that too, but because it tells an engaging personal story that has a really interesting twist at the end.
THe infamous scene where pyramid head rapes a mannequin. One of the most disturbing scenes in any game ever
6.) Star wars: Knights of the old republic (RPG; date of release: 2003): Knights of the old republic is an RPG developed by bioware and shares a lot of similarities with other games developed by bioware like baldur’s gate. The story takes place 4000 years before episode IV. Like baldur’s gate 2, a lot of the game’s appeal comes from your interaction with your companions.

5.) Metal gear solid(action/adventure, date of release: 2000): Some may consider metal gear solid’s story to be a bit too melodramatic and the script to be a bit too mushy and overbearing. But despite these unmanly factors, I actually loved the game. It appeals to my sensitive side. The side of me that liked my sassy girl and titanic also loves MGS1.

4.) Grim fandango (adventure, date of release: 1998): I’m getting tired of writing now so I’ll make this short and sweet. Grim fandango is an endearing piece of interactive art. The unique visuals, the intriguing story, the sense of humor and the endearing characters make this one memorable gem of a game.
3.) Gabriel knight 3 (adventure, date of release: 1999): Jesus Christ is in this game. But that didn’t stop me, a hardcore atheist, from loving it. Jane Jensen is a master at interactive storytelling. The pacing is good, the plot twists are right where they should be and the character development is first rate.

2.) Deus Ex (RPG/FPS, date of release: 2000): One of the most immersive games I’ve ever played.
Some RPGs give you too much freedom at the expense of narrative. Some RPGs sacrifice freedom for narrative making the game feel too linear What makes deus ex’s narrative especially engrossing is that it gives the player the illusion of freedom without actually giving him too much freedom. The game gives you a lot of choices. From minor ones like whether you should enter the women’s lavatory or not to more major ones like whether you should kill the leader of a major terrorist organization or not. The game makes you feel like your choices matter. Almost every choice has an effect on the game but it never affects it so much that it would affect the coherence of the story. Until you replay the game, you wouldn’t know that the story is actually quite linear. And you’d be surprised because it doesn’t feel linear at all.
1.) The longest journey (adventure, date of release: 1999): good stories get you interested. Great stories get you emotionally involved. Getting to the end of TLJ is like like getting to the last page of a really good book. You just don’t want it to end because you’ve gotten attached to the characters already.

tags: top 10 story driven games max payne 2 deus ex the longest journey grim fandango baldur's gate planescape torment knights of the old republic metal gear solid silent hill 2

10 comments:

joyfulchicken said...

Why the censored nipples? That's not very manly :-P Any thoughts on Mila Kunis getting the Mona Sax role in the upcoming Max Payne movie?

Deus Ex would be on the top of my list if I ever make one. But maybe that's only because I've never heard of The Longest Journey. I guess I'll have to go find a copy.

jaywalker said...

Sorry about the censored nipples. Didn't wanna get flagged as an adult blog. The areolas are still visible though

Mila kunis is hot and exotic enough for the role methinks. I'm not sure about mark wahlberg as max payne though. George clooney I think would fit the role better

The longest journey is a point and click adventure game. Not everyone's cup of tea but almost everyone i know who played it loved it so give it a try

joyfulchicken said...

Ah, yes, those old point-and-click adventure games... loved them. It's sad that the genre seems to have disappeared.

cyberpunk said...

I never got to play the game, I just saw the Silent Hill movie...and that Pyramid Head is so freaking amazing!!

So far, in my very limited exposure to games, only Pyramid Head and Iori Yagami have made me dizzy in their coolness...

Btw, George Clooney over Mark Wahlberg? Are you nuts?

jaywalker said...

@cyberpunk
Why what's wrong with george clooney? i find his manly charm maddeningly irresistible. Also, max payne looks and sounds almost exactly like him

@joyfulchicken
You play point and click adventure games? You sir are a true gamer

van said...

I love RPGs but you're going to hate me when I tell you that I am not above getting the help of walkthroughs *sheepish smile*

van said...

P.S. In my defense all I'm after is the story. If there's a book version, I'd go for the book version in a heartbeat.

e.g. Myst

jaywalker said...

ok you get 1 geek point for knowing about myst. You lose 2 geek points for using walkthroughs. What kind of gaming geek uses walkthroughs

van said...

i never said i am a gaming geek, dearest ;) I just enjoy a good story, that's all. That's why the only game genre I play are RPGs. If a strategy game promises a good background story, I'll let my brother finish the game and then I'll watch the cinematics afterwards. hehe.

Shantesh said...

I think Mafia also had a very good story as well as the Syberia series and Beyond Good and Evil. The recent Call of Juarez also had a very engaging wild west story