With the beautiful games being released this past few weeks, we can’t help but wonder if they will also capture us with their innovative gameplay or detach us from the immersion that the game’s graphics or story gives us. Most of these upcoming video games are overly hyped and we don’t want another, for a lack of a better word, disappointment. No man wants to see a sky of unfulfilled promises – I know, not the best wordplay out there. Heads up! Minimal spoilers ahead. I did my best to keep all the spoilers to the least while keeping the integrity of the explanation about the video games with innovative gameplay. Here are video games that got us hooked with their innovative gameplay. These games are not rated on which is the best; this is an unsorted list. *wink* Enjoy!
Minimalist graphics? Check. Challenging levels? Check. Innovative and easy-to-learn gameplay? You guessed it – Check. Meet Piotr Iwanicki, the game designer of one of the best examples of indie-done-right video games. And, no, I will not try to pronounce his name. Superhot started out as an entry in a 7-Day First Person Shooter game jam back in August 2013. It was then greeted with a lot of praise from gamers and critics alike. Finally, released into a full-blown game back in 2016, thanks to crowd-funding and a lot of great publicity.
The gameplay can be explained in one sentence and the developers did just that stating that, “SUPERHOT is the first-person shooter where time moves only when you move.” – You can’t explain it any simpler than that. Yes, time stops when you do; you can see the bullets mid-air, you can stop playing and go do something else, and you can smack people in the head then take their weapons, which you can also see fly up in the air as the enemy falls to the ground. This unique gameplay truly makes you feel like Rambo or Jack Bauer, a hero to save the day. Well, not in 24 hours or less, because you will be playing this game for days just to get through the challenges.
Have you experienced traveling to another country? Did you ever wonder how the immigration officers do their jobs? If the thought crossed your mind, I suggest grabbing a copy of Papers, Please, a game made by Lucas Pope. He was a developer from Naughty Dog, the studio behind the award-winning video game series, Uncharted. He made this game with a thought in his mind that video games are a form of art.
In Papers, Please, you get to play as an immigration officer and you’ll get to experience how to stand on the other side of the window in the immigration office. The graphics for the game is simple, but the gameplay is unique. It starts simple, some basic rules will be laid out for you to follow. And these rules will be the basis of whether an applicant can pass through or not. Then as each day in the game progresses, new rules or requirements will be presented: additional paperwork will need to be verified, new tools will be introduced in order to assess the immigrant, and other additional actions which are very similar to how immigration really works. After playing this, you might think twice before unleashing your rage in the immigration office.
Puzzles, puzzles, puzzles. We all thought that video game puzzles will always be the same: you will encounter an obstacle, then you’ll be asked to find certain objects or pieces then place them in or on a specific place, you’ll be asked to draw a line going from a point around the obstacle and to a certain endpoint, et cetera. Then Monument Valley came into the picture and it came in with a bang. With multiple awards, citations, commendations, and praises, this video game sets a mark for the next generation of more challenging and innovative puzzle games.
I’m pretty sure you’ve seen or at least heard of impossible objects. Those objects that we perceive as physically impossible or, at least, bothering. Monument Valley used it as the main gameplay mechanic of the game. The players are asked to control a silent protagonist, a princess named Ida through various levels of optical illusions. You might be thinking that it’s simple, you just need to get through the whole “illusion” of the stage. Nope. There will also be tiny objectives like, activators, bridges, path walks, etc. that you need to activate and manipulate in order to get through the stage. If you’re the type of gamer who likes some excruciating mental challenge, you might want to give this one a shot. Thank me later.
Innovative Gameplay of ‘The Elegy for a Dead World’
Oh, writing. The act of materializing the wonders of the human mind – the adventures, wishes, dreams, visions, and other abstract or philosophical constructs of the human mind. This is what Dejobaan Games, the developers of the Elegy for a Dead World, used as their main gameplay mechanic.
This video game is one of the games I’ve played (and anime I’ve watched) that delivers a great story with astonishing twists, relatable characters, and innovative gameplay. Valkyria Chronicles is brought to you by the developers of Sonic. Yes, that’s right – Sega.
Like most RPG/JRPG, character development is embedded in the core gameplay of Valkyria Chronicles. But, what makes this game unique is its turn-based battle system called BLiTZ or Battle of Live Tactical Zones. I know, sounds awesome, right? Well, that’s because it is. This battle system is composed of three parts or modes. The Command Mode, the Action Mode, and the Target Mode.
The first one puts you in an overhead map of the battlefield. This is the time when you can learn of the enemies’ whereabouts and plan where to position your units and where to strike. Then, you can select a unit to control, which brings the player to Action Mode. While in the Action Mode, you can control your character like a normal third-person shooter. Movement costs Action Points which varies for each of your units on the field. Lastly, when you’re finished positioning your units, you can enter the Target Mode. In this mode, the player has control of the unit’s aim, but you can’t move. This allows for headshots and other awesome kills.
During the player’s turn, each action – whether the control of multiple units or the same unit consecutively – depletes his/her Command Points. There are also different classes of characters to experiment with. The environment also affects the flow of the combat. Snipers can take the higher grounds for a vantage point, tanks can knock down walls, and many more.
This game is truly worth the try. But, I suggest watching the anime first.
Other Video Games with innovative Gameplay
Patapon – because of using different notes and rhythms for the attack, defend, run, etc.
Her Story – because of using video footage of a real person
Portal – Handheld Portal Device
Eternal Darkness – due to the Sanity meter
Shadow of Mordor – Nemesis System, enemies remember you and yes – creepy.
Katamari – cute anarchy
These are just some of the games that I’ve played that I think have innovative gameplay. How about you? Have you played a video game with very unique gameplay that got you immersed for hours? Tell us in the comments down below. We like to hear more games that exhibit innovation.
The worst part about a great plot twist is that spoilers for it are bound to precede the story it appears in for anyone that was late to the party. Even if you’ve never seen a second of the films Psycho, Planet of the Apes, or The Sixth Sense, you probably already know all of their most famous surprises due to how ingrained they’ve become in popular culture. With video games often growing into franchises, spoilers are even harder to avoid as major twists of previous games can be played up in promotions for the newest one. The following spoilers are almost unavoidable now due to how much they’ve been brought up since in their respective franchises. If you follow games media even lightly, you already know all of these insides and out. However, for the sake of those that have managed to avoid learning these twists early, I’ll just be listing the titles of the specific games being spoiled so you can skip any entries that you’re worried about. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
7. Final Fantasy VII
This one doesn’t exactly fit the theme of the article given that the Final Fantasy franchise tends to reboot its lore with each numbered entry, but it’s hard not to call it one of the most famous and unavoidable plot twists in gaming history. Partway through the game, one of your party members, the kind-hearted Aerith, is fatally wounded by the villainous Sephiroth. Despite countless rumors of a way to revive her, her death is irreversible without hacking the game. While Final Fantasy VII has had plenty of spin-offs, the only one I can think of that made a point of Aerith’s death is the Advent Children film. However, it still belongs on the list just for being the one thing that is always the first to come up in any discussion of the game. It’s gotten to the point where most people don’t even recognize it as a spoiler and just assume it to be common knowledge. How many news outlets do you think mused about the possibility of resurrecting Aerith while reporting on the recently announced remake? Even the quirky competitive FPS Screencheat uses her name as one of its many analogies for killing an opponent. That’s the thing with big surprises; everyone starts to either analyze or satirize it endlessly.
6. Metal Gear Solid 2
The first thing that comes up with any conversation on Metal Gear Solid 2 is its infamous bait-and-switch that had regular protagonist Solid Snake built up as the lead in all demonstrations and marketing for the game, only to replace him with an entirely new character named Raiden. Where the big twist of Final Fantasy VII is one of the most discussed topics of the game, the bait-and-switch of Raiden is the only thing that ever receives any attention when discussing MGS2 or even just the character of Raiden. When Metal Gear Rising, a spin-0ff centered entirely around Raiden, was released years later, many were still so jaded by his appearance in MGS2 that they refused to give the spin-off a chance. It’s actually pretty ironic given that Raiden was actually built from the ground up as a parody of the very fanboys that hate him, spending most of the game whining right alongside the bitter players for the ‘real’ Snake to get involved in the mission. Typical Kojima.
5. Warcraft III
Prince Arthas Menethil, the main hero of Warcraft III, is pretty much your typical Prince Charming when the game starts out. That’s what makes it such a shock when he turns to the dark side and ultimately changes from being one of Azeroth’s most celebrated champions to one of its most repulsive monsters. His descent begins when an undead curse begins to spread across the land, turning people into mindless ghouls. Desperate to contain the curse, Arthas resorts to slaughtering an entire village that has been infected but has yet to fully turn. It’s a brutal choice that immediately turns both his mentor and his beloved against him. Eventually, his struggle against the forces of darkness leads him to not only embrace the undead curse himself, but to even become its leader as the infamous Lich King. From there, Arthas quickly became Warcraft‘s most iconic villain with an entire expansion in World of Warcraft centering around his final downfall and being made a playable character in Heroes of the Storm. If you haven’t been following Warcraft lore from the start, it’s likely too late to check out Warcraft III without already knowing who goes full Darth Vader in it.
4. Fire Emblem: Awakening
Here’s a tip: If you don’t want games spoiled for you, don’t even look at the Super Smash Bros games as you can find massive spoilers for other games just by looking at the character roster. For example, there’s the identity of the masked swordsman going by the name Marth from Fire Emblem: Awakening. This was built up as the big mystery for Awakening right from the game’s reveal and remained the focal point of its marketing all the way up to its release. How could the legendary hero king from the very first Fire Emblem game, whose reign was generations ago, be appearing in this era? Well, you could play the game yourself to discover the truth, or you could just take a glance at Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS. As it turns out, it’s not King Marth traveling from the past, but Prince Chrom’s daughter Lucina traveling from the future. While having Lucina appearing on the roster may not immediately give away that she’s the Marth impersonator, her using the mask from the disguise as one of her taunts and Kirby wearing the same mask after stealing her ability certainly make it obvious. At least they didn’t give away the time-travel part from tha… She mentions it in one of her victory quotes, doesn’t she?
Here’s one that’s become so ubiquitous that you’ve probably forgotten that it even is a plot twist: GLaDOS, the mastermind behind the first Portal game, is actually a psychotic computer out to kill you. Today, that just seems as obvious as the fact that you use portals, but this was actually a massive surprise when the game first came out. Remember that Portal was first released as a part of the Orange Box alongside the highly anticipated Half-Life 2: Episode 2 and Team Fortress 2 with little build-up for the tacked-on puzzle game. People started it up thinking it was just some simple bonus that was thrown in with the big releases because it wouldn’t sell on its own. Then it starts throwing around a dark sense of humor slowly enough for it to be cynically charming. As you dig deeper, it becomes more and more apparent that this facility is not what it seems and that everything has been designed to tear you apart physically and mentally. Finally, you meet with the mechanical mastermind to shut down her devious plans… And then GLaDOS became the most iconic character in the Portal franchise, being heavily promoted for the sequel, making cameos in Poker Night at the Inventory 2 and the film Pacific Rim, and generally made it impossible for anyone to enjoy the same mental trip that Portal once offered again.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Smash strikes again, but at least it’s not the only guilty party for this one. The fact that the mysterious ninja warrior named Sheik is actually the missing Princess Zelda in disguise has been made abundantly clear in anything and everything to feature Sheik since. First, Super Smash Bros Melee introduced both Zelda and Sheik as playable fighters with the unique ability to transform from one to the other during matches. This was carried over into Brawl before being cut with the 3DS and Wii U entries making the two completely separate characters, but the damage had already been done by that point. Even then, Hyrule Warriors came by to make sure nobody forgot the princess’s double-life by making it a plot point in its own campaign. At this point, expecting anyone to be surprised at Sheik’s true identity is a joke in and of itself.
1. Resident Evil
Capcom really couldn’t try harder to make the single biggest plot twist from the original Resident Evil known to everyone, regardless of whether or not they’ve ever even touched it game or any games in the series. One of the members of your team sent into the Spencer Mansion, Albert Wesker, is secretly a double-agent working to sabotage your operations from the inside. It’s shocking to discover that, after all of the horrors you’ve struggled to survive against, one of your own is actually complicit in it all and working to cover it up. Or, at least, it would be shocking if Wesker hadn’t been made into the main villain of the series and highly advertised his turn to the dark side in future titles. Not only did he reappear as the antagonist in several RE games, such as a major selling point for Resident Evil 5 being the chance to finally take revenge on him, he’s also appeared in two of the live-action films and as a playable character in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 and Lost Planet 2. Each time he’s appeared, it’s been readily apparent that he’s the baddest bad guy that the entire RE series has to offer. Honestly, it feels like he should have just been a low-level goon that died within the first game and have a new character take up the role of the mastermind if only to keep the surprise fresh for a lot more people late to the party. If you haven’t already picked up Resident Evil with any of the half-dozen rereleases that the game has had over the years, you’re going to have to go in already knowing who the surprise villain is right from the start.
What spoilers are you sick of seeing everywhere? Do you have any that should have been included on the list? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.
Nothing makes a game more enthralling than a blessing of a character stealing the spotlight. A game could have mesmerizing visuals, flawless gameplay but without a the appearance of a captivating character a game will never truly get the attention it aspires to have. Over the years, developers have presented us with countless fictitious wonders which leaves us wondering, which are the greatest. Well, here I will try to narrow down that mass of heroes, heroines and villains into a top 10.
10. Spyro The Dragon – Spyro Series (Insomniac Games, Vicarious Visions, Traveller’s Tales etc.)
”Yeah, whatever. You’re not so much of a challenge, I’m sure I can do it again.” – A Hero’s Tail (2004)
Spyro has been a long-loved video game character. Over a number of series there has been significant changes to his personality, none of which causing him to be any less of a lovable character. Spyro initially adopted a more cocky and hard-headed personality, winning players over with his witty and sarcastic sense of humour. However, in the reboot that took to the screens in 2006 , Spyro being portrayed as an orphan revealed a more sensitive side to his character, all the while still possessing his fine sense of humour. All of this made this purple dragon that much more of a great character.
Spyro’s relationship with Sparx, his dragonfly companion has always been a significant factor to the series, even more so in The Legend of Spyro in which the two become brothers upon Spyro’s adoption. The witty relationship between the pair evolved into a more brotherly one in The Legend of Spyro series, making the previous banter between the pair become more like bickering between siblings. This reflects exceptionally well on Spyro, making him appear more down to earth and allowing the players with annoying siblings to at least empathise in some respect – as far as relating to purple dragons go. The Legend of Spyro series really placed considerable focus on Spyro’s relationship with other characters aside from his dragonfly buddy and in doing so, Spyro has won over audiences further by taunting their heart strings.
Spyro has been a diverse character over generations. Whether you’re enjoying his endearing sense of humour in his more retro installments or brimming with sympathy as you play The Legend of Spyro series, the simple fact remains that this 4-legged bundle of joy will never cease to put at least a smirk on the players face and that is why he slots so easily into this top 10.
9. Sly Cooper – Sly Cooper Series (Suckerpunch Productions, Sanzaru Games)
”The name’s Sly. Sly Cooper. And I’m a thief, from a whole line of thieves. In fact, thieving is the family business, and business was good.” – Thieves In Time (2013)
Sly Cooper is what can only be described as the better of two evils throughout this series of games. Technically speaking, Sly is a bad guy, a thief, stealing an array of expensive goodies to profit himself and his gang. However, within the series, his initially selfish intentions always turn to defeating competing thieves with more sinister intentions and in becoming an unlikely – and unintentional hero, Sly manages to attain the love of players and also sneak his way into this top 10.
Straight off the mark players are enlightened as to Sly’s sad past of having his also thieving parents murdered and becoming orphaned as a result. This imposes a fundamental line of sympathy which proceeds to make every crime Sly commits acceptable to the player. Further love for this character is then derived from his loyalty to his two orphaned buddies, Bentley (a brainy tortoise) and Murray (a brawny, pink hippo). The trio began their thieving fellowship at the orphanage in which they all met. From then they had considered themselves family and Sly protects them like they are so. Sly has a killer sense of humour. This usually becomes more prominent to his personality when he is trying his luck with opposing cop Carmelita fox. Despite the obivous attraction between the two, Sly gets a kick out of tormenting her and well just generally making her work-driven lifestyle difficult to say the least. It really shines light on Sly’s winsome and charming personality.
Sly Cooper is a fine example of great development. He is sly as his name states, funny, loyal and truly captivating as a lead character, so much so that we forget in some respects he is actually the bad guy.
8. Vass – Far Cry Series (Ubisoft Montreal)
”Did I ever tell you what the definition of insanity is?” – Far Cry 3 (2012)
This savage nutter of a villain would be out of place if not in this top 10. Vaas Montenegro dominates the tropical setting (Rook Islands) of Far Cry 3 with his pirate troops. He is a mindless lunatic who doesn’t show the slightest bit of remorse for getting blood on his hands.
Within the first few minutes of gameplay, Vaas brutally murders the brother of protagonist, Jason Brody and in doing so sets the tone for the game, quite gruesomely displaying how barbaric this pirate lord truly is. This lack of guilt or regret for such evil acts makes Vaas a genuinely frightening villain as the reality is he will stop at nothing to get what he wants and as Far Cry 3’s proceedings play out, this becomes increasingly evident. Far Cry’s 3’s setting also contributes in a way which is not immediately noticeable. The Rook Islands are unpredictable and overwhelmed with danger and it really acts as a representation of Vaas’s personality. All in all the player will learn that despite the initial beauty of the vibrant tropical island, that they shouldn’t underestimate it, nor Vaas’s villainy.
Vaas is such a well developed character on Ubisoft’s part. Players will find themselves completely hooked on his sheer nastiness and no matter how many innocent people he slaughters, or shockingly horrid offences he commands, the player will remain just as disturbed each time.
7. Dr Nefarious – Ratchet And Clank Series (Insomniac Games)
”When I’m finished killing you, I think I’ll rewind time so I can do it again, and again, and again!” – Ratchet And Clank: A Crack In Time (2009)
Dr. Nefarious is the most renowned antagonist of the Ratchet And Clank series, he is power-hungry, dastardly and well, pretty comical. Nefarious’s intentions to rid the galaxy of organic life, leaving it to all robots always fall light-years short and leave him looking like a right royal nincompoop.
Dr. Nefarious isn’t a great character because of his evil acts, he is so because he’s absolutely hilarious. On top of all the drastic failure to his poorly planned atrocities, he has nasty habit of freezing and playing particular parts from his favourite films (Holovids). On many occasions he will lock up mid-scream, laugh or sentence and recite ”Oh, Janice”. Furthermore, Nefarious’s right hand man Lawrence is a complete moron and Nefarious rarely tolerates it. The witty master-slave insults are so well written and it truly makes Dr. Nefarious a great character to watch. He is just a lovable moron and the player will almost feel sorry for him despite his evilness.
Dr. Nefarious is a terrible villain. He can’t pull off anything remotely evil but it doesn’t deprive him of of place in this top 10.
6. GLaDOS- Portal Series (Valve Corporation)
”Here we are. The Incinerator Room. Be careful not to trip over any parts of me that didn’t get completely burned when you threw them down here.” – Portal 2 (2011)
GLaDOS is a great robotic video game character with a wickedly sinister sense of humour. She is one of the reasons the Portal series is so thoroughly indulgent.
Portal is driven by what can only be described as a very dark yet humorous story line, this is relfected on GLaDOS’s personality considering she spends the series more or less torturing Chell, the protagonist. As GLaDOS tests, Chell throughout the game within the puzzling chambers it is evident that her sick sense of humour has no boundaries. Within the second installment to the series she pretends to reunite Chell with her family, finding her own misleading lie hilarious. Although funny, her menacing behavior can be disconcerting and uncomfortable. Her ability to generate such feelings with ease is what makes her such a great character. Throughout GLaDOS’s endeavors, it is apparent she is a bit of a nut job and can at times be very scary. Her evil is seemingly unconfined to any boundaries and she has no trace of humanity. Her bad ways have no limits and it is very effective in making her a character to be feared.
Artificial intelligence can be frightening in respect to it possesses most human capabilities, lacking only the key element of emotion and empathy. GLaDOS is an ample example of this and you’ll be grateful it is you being tested as opposed to testing her and her patience.
5. Ratchet – Ratchet And Clank Series (Insomniac Games)
“So, you need me to go on a dangerous mission in another galaxy?” – Ratchet And Clank 2 (2003)
This furry cutie pie without a doubt earns his way into this top 10. Since 2002, this loyal Lombax has been stealing our hearts with his courage, sass and his truly touching friendship with his metal companion, Clank. Initially Ratchet didn’t have much of a back-story, he was simply a galactic citizen eager for a little action and adventure. However, as gaming generations progressed, Insomniac Games began to provide more insight into Ratchet’s origins, mainly in The Future Ratchet And Clank installments. This made Ratchet all the more lovable as it brought his headstrong persona back down to earth and pretty much gave him feelings. He was no longer just reckless, resilient and determined to get the bad guys, he had a purpose, something to fight for.
Ratchet’s relationship with Clank is incredibly significant to what makes him such a lovable protagonist. Not only is the back and forth banter between the pair thoroughly amusing, but the two were truly developed to bounce off of one another, compliment one another and ultimately it puts Ratchet in such a heart-warming light. He is portrayed as such a loyal and protective friend and it makes him such an endearing character that is impossible not to adore. Ratchet simply grows on you.
Heroes don’t have to be overwhelmingly muscular or almost superhuman, they can win us over in any shape, size or form and Ratchet is a fine display of just that.
4. Lightning Farron – Final Fantasy Series (Square Enix)
”You became a l’Cie, so now you’re gonna marry this idiot? And you think I’m gonna buy that. Full points for originality. But, don’t forget. If you really are a l’Cie, it’s my job to deal with you.” – Final Fantasy XIII (2009)
Lightning is a very complex character and she makes the top 10 on account of it. Initially, Lightning appears to be the hardy type and due to a rough childhood and having to raise her sister by herself, she has every reason to be so. However, the beauty in Lightning isn’t just her striking appearance but the fact she is so much more than just a hard-nut and when Final Fantasy’s proceedings pick apart that tough exterior, inside hides a young girl mourning the loss of her parents, just wanting to be loved.
A key element to Lightning’s character is her relationship with her sister, Serah. Due to the death of their parents, Lightning took it upon herself to raise Serah from a young age, a burden no one would wish upon a child so young. This being the case, Lightning often forgets she is her sister and more or less mothers her. This does subsequently affect their relationship a lot of the time, for instance when Snow (another playable character within Final Fantasy) proposes to Serah who agrees, Lightning treats the situation as mother would by forbidding it and deeming it preposterous whereas a sister would be more excited and encourage the relationship between the pair. Lightning is incredibly over protective and it makes her such a lovable character not only because she’d do anything for her little sister but also because the player will grow to pity her on account of the childhood she has missed.
Lightning’s sturdy and emotionless facade deteriorates as the game progresses and the player will grow to love Lightning increasingly as her more sentimental side is revealed.
3. Elizabeth Comstock – Bioshock series (2K Games)
”Time… time rots everything; even hope.” – Bioshock Infinite (2013)
Elizabeth Comstock, one of the leading roles in Bioshock Infinite is a character that will win over players within moments of meeting her. She possesses innocence, power and the player will no doubt be incredibly sympathetic for this very confused young girl.
Elizabeth has spent the entirety of her days confined to a tower, learning only of humanity and civilisation through a means of books. When Booker (protagonist also known as the False Shepard) finally rescues Elizabeth from her solitude in order to wipe away his debt, Elizabeth is introduced to the world for real. Her shock as she’s people dancing to music she hasn’t heard before, citizens of Columbia conversing with one another and the apparent beauty of the world in which she lives, it all contributes into putting into perspective her innocence and how she truly knows so little of the world. Elizabeth is vulnerable and depends on Booker, the player will no doubt grow protective over her and love her character accordingly. In the downloadable content for Bioshock Infinite (Burial At Sea) in which the protagonists revisit the setting of the previous installments to the series, Rapture, we see a different side to Elizabeth altogether. Over the duration of the proceedings of Bioshock Infinite, Elizabeth became stronger, more aware, however, in Burial at see she has developed even further becoming driven, confident and not nearly comparable to the fragile young lady that was rescued at the near beginning of Bioshock Infinite. She is still an amazing character nonetheless and the player will still strive to love her as they did before.
Elizabeth is a wonderful addition to Bioshock Infinite. She is so strong and confident yet oblivious and vulnerable all the same. She is a thoroughly lovely character not only throughout the game itself but also throughout it’s outstanding downloadable content.
2. Joel – The Last Of Us (Naughty Dog)
”I struggled for a long time with survivin’. And you- No matter what, you keep finding something to fight for. Now, I know that’s not what you want to hear right now, but it’s…” – The Last Of Us (2013)
Joel is one of the best male protagonists to date and the player will adore his every action and hand on his every word from the start right to the end of The Last Of Us.
Joel seizes admirers from the very start of the game in which his touching relationship with his daughter Sarah will tug ever so gently at the players heart strings. As events unfold, although at the expense of a few potential tears, Joel gets further admiration in his clutches which only continues to grow as the game plays out. Joel is a great character as it is exceptionally evident throughout that Joel is a gentle giant concealing a mass of emotion with a hard exterior he has had to develop. Joel will earn sympathy as the harshness of the post-apocalyptic setting takes it’s toll on him and even more so as he has to make some tough decisions. The Last Of Us is renowned for it’s focus on the relationship between the two main protagonists, the other being teenager, Ellie. Joel initially looks after Ellie for his own benefit, however as the game continues you watch him grow to care about Ellie and is this transition of feelings is no less than wonderful to witness.
Joel is a fantastically developed character. With Ellie complimenting his every part in the game he will no doubt become every players desired companion given the occurrence of an apocalypse.
1. Lara Croft – Tomb Raider Series (Square Enix)
”A famous explorer once said, that the extraordinary is in what we do, not who we are.” – Tomb Raider (2013)
This top spot is stolen by archaeological wonder, Miss Croft. Over a series consisting of over 10 games our world renowned Tomb Raider has secured a crazy fan base.
Lara Croft has transformed over the series from a sassy, invulnerable treasure hunter in the earlier installments to a young archaeologist attempting to put her name out there in the series reboot of 2013. Lara Croft is such an appealing character in her first installments due to her pure badassitude. Every guy wants to be with her and every girl would love to be her. She is simply incredibly awesome. In the reboot to the series we saw an exceedingly different side to Lara. Set before her prior encounters we saw how she came to be the tomb raiding legend she is to date. From start to near finish she is vulnerable and fragile, the absolute opposite from how we’ve learned to see her. Players then have the pleasure of watching her endure what few could, sculpting her slowly but surely into the hard-headed, driven archaeologist we know her as to date. Having to endure her suffering with her allows players to become emotionally intertwined with Lara. Tomb Raider defies every prejudice against female capabilities and in being so she is almost iconic for women. The reboot has made her character that much more believable and in being so players are captivated by her that bit more.
Tomb Raider possesses everything that is great about a character, she is strong, sassy and thanks to the new reboot she is realistic. Her journeys for ancient artifacts will be ones fans will engross in for time to come.
To (belatedly) celebrate the release of the film Maleficent, I thought it would be fun to have a look at a number of games and just consider what it would be like to play that game as the villain, rather than the hero. I mean, let’s face it, evil-doers are always so much more badass than heroes anyway, no wonder we’ve recently gotten so into anti-heroes.
So here are my top-five games I would love to play through as the villains, rather than the heroes.
GlaDOS is more of an omnipotent presence, than an in-game character. Just the voice of god that makes you giggle, and then die, as you proceed through her course. It might be boring for GlaDOS, having just Chel to look over and torture in the name of “science”. But let’s imagine when the entire facility was at its maximum potential, with dozens, if not hundreds of subjects to preside over. Create whacky levels for them to explore, or simply watch them fail hilariously. You could either design and test these levels, or simply run the facility from your lovely armchair. Making sure you get the most out of your subjects. Making sure they sit on them chairs without lead-lined underwear.
Team Rocket (Pokemon)
Let’s just forget Jesse and James for a moment (easier said than done), and think about the actual corporation that is Team Rocket. Why not Team Flare, who star in the new games? Heres why – Team Flares goal’s are to make money, and make the world more beautiful. Team Rocket’s goal; steal all the pokemon and take over the world! Much, much more awesome.
Now imagine you aren’t collecting Pokemon in the orthodox sense, you’re stealing the little monsters. You’re not playing through trying to get all 8 gym badges, you’re playing through to take over the world! Screw daycare centre and grinding. Screw the three starting Pokemon. You start out as a criminal underling, and you can steal whichever first pokemon you want. And if one of those damn whiny kids come walking past in some stupid adventure to beat some league, just challenge them and take all their money. Who wouldn’t rather play a Pokemon game where the aim is to take over the entire world of Pokemon? Or would you rather just bike along to the next gym leader?
A real outlaw (Red Read Redemption)
No matter how you look at it Red Dead Redemption is an awesome game. It follows ex-outlaw John Marston as he holds up banks….Wait…Robs trains…Shoot…Sleeps with….Nope….Kills everyone…He doesn’t do that either. Ok so the game is 50% staring at a horse’s arse, and little else besides. I don’t think anyone would disagree if the game allowed us to get a little Grand-Theft-Auto in the west, and it doesn’t do any of that! John Marston is a pure straight-shooter, which is about as boring as it get’s in a setting that has it’s own satire on the millions ways people die in the west. Ok, we knew he wasn’t an outlaw anymore, and we knew he was married, and was making atonement for his bandit-y ways, but damn did this game concentrate on the wrong section of his life. No one wants to be constrained in the west, we all wanted to go out shooting people, robbing banks and holding up trains for money. But no…. we don’t ge to do any of that.
Any of the Colossi (Shadow of the Colossus)
I’m going to assume you haven’t been living on an uninhabited island for the past decade, and have had access to a games console, rather than just a ball to keep you company, and that you have also played Shadow of the Colosus. If you have (and finished it) then you will know that at the ending you get the briefest most pathetic glimpse at what playing as a Colosus would have been like. Not that Dormin was anywhere near as tall as some of the actual Colossi you take down throughout the game. I’ll admit, just trying to thwart a single-player as he climbs your body and stabs your face might be a bit rubbish, but if it was more than one person? What if you were as large and as powerful and menacing as one of those Collossi, against an army. Let’s say those guys at the end finally get what they deserve, and they step out into the mainland, giving you the chance to utterly destroy them. Even better, imagine fighting another Colossus. Now that would be a fight we would all be happy to participate in.
If you’ve played Skyrim – and if you haven’t then your excuse better be you’ve been in a straightjacket for your whole life – you might vaguely remember one scene where you were invited onto the back of a dragon. But did you get to ride it – well yeah, I guess – but did you get to control it, did you get any sort of decent view? Hell no!
Alduin get’s top marks because Skyrim is a great land to explore on foot, but from the sky, as a hell-bent fire-breathing evil man-kind destroying black dragon, the game probably feels a bit more kickass. And the map is still big enough to give you a good sense of scale even when you’re whizzing past (stopping to incinerate farms because dragon) that it won’t feel restrictive.
Let’s face it, Bethesda missed out slightly here by not allowing you to control a mythical dragon (even for that second of gameplay they put in), because I don’t think anything would make Skyrim better other than being able to play as Alduin himself. Fighting giants and bears would be pretty awesome, but fighting other dragons, aerial combat as a dragon, against other dragons surrounded by giants, perhaps, would be unbeatable. The only person who could give you any trouble would be the dragon-born. But Alduin would have kicked-ass in that final fight if the dragonborn wasn’t accompanied by three other dead heroes.
My close runner-ups were Ganon from the Legend of Zelda, and Vaas from Far Cry 3. What games would you rather play through as the villain.