Long gone are the days when video game plots consisted of nothing more than trying to kill a monkey who’s throwing barrels at you. Though various plotlines abound in today’s games, some stand out from the monotony of first person shooters and massive multiplayers. From their stunning effects and sound editing to a storyline that keeps you from skipping those usually tedious cutscenes, these three titles are more like interactive films than video games.
While all games in the BioShock trilogy offer their own merits, the original, released in 2007, is truly an impressive achievement in storytelling. From the moment you enter the underwater city of Rapture, you guide Jack deeper and deeper into a sinister plotline. The characters are exceedingly unique; the setting, a 1960 art deco dream, is a beautiful dystopia; and let’s not forget about the plot twist that would give M. Night Shyamalan a run for his money. Complete with an ending that hinges on key decisions you make throughout the game, BioShock will keep even non-gamers watching all the way up until the credits roll.
Creators drew heavily upon both John D. Rockefeller’s life and Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism from “Atlas Shrugged” to bring Rapture and its host of interesting characters to life. Pretty deep for a video game, right?
Though the storylines and timelines that weave through the 11 parts of the Metal Gear universe are a little convoluted, you can’t deny the excitement of these action-packed stealth games. Government corruption, cloning, faked deaths, mercenaries, and cyborg ninjas are just the tip of the iceberg in this series. Come for the cinema-quality cutscenes, stay for the political commentary and Hollywood references.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, released in 2008, is touted as one of the most cutting-edge games of the series (and all time) due to its advanced graphics and how it single-handedly boosted sales for the PlayStation 3 after the console debuted. The captivating plot doesn’t hurt either.
Silent Hill 2
There’s nothing like a horror game to keep you on the edge of your seat in a way horror movies simply can’t. Silent Hill 2 was released in 2001 and is an undeniable fan favorite from the series. Get to know the backstory of this forsaken town as you try to unravel a mystery and find your deceased letter-writing wife. Ghoulish, humanoid creatures greet you at every turn and the chilling Pyramid Head stalks you, while the setting switches from the Silent Hill you know to the terrifying wasteland of Otherworld.
Don’t expect a single, satisfying ending to this game either. Subtle behaviors and decisions you make will lead you to one of six possible endings, each one as dark and enigmatic as the next.
If you can’t decide between playing a game or watching a movie, these three titles provide the perfect middle ground. Whether you’re a dedicated gamer or someone who prefers to sit on the sidelines and watch, these games will keep you mesmerized right up until the end. Word of advice, don’t do yourself the disservice of skipping a single cutscene in these games.
Image via Flickr by Andrew*