In all 4 games, the voice acting is amazing but I didn't want to repeat this all of them. I recommend all of these games and the stories are the best part of all of them but the gameplay is very good as well and complements the stories excellently. I teared up in all 4 games.
- Detroit: Become Human
The game is set in the future in Detroit where androids are made and sold to humans for their use in everything from lifelike android sex dolls to cleaners and investigators. It is a story based game where the gameplay involves quick time events, choosing what the 3 protagonists say as well as some investigation work on crime scenes. I played the game twice in 4 days and I love the stories of each character, the important ethical questions that really make you think whilst playing the game, the mind blowing graphics and the amount of choice and difficult ethical decisions you have to make. My problems with the game are small and are about the story so will be marked with a MAJOR spoiler warning.
The game is roughly 10 hours long with lots of replayability.
The 3 protagonists, Connor, Kara and Markus have different but interlinking stories. There aren't major story spoilers in this paragraph.
Kara's is much more of a surivival, stealth story with lots of ways to die but has a more fixed storyline compared to the others.
Connor is an "Android sent by Cyberlife" to investigate androids that have become deviant (have become conscious and are no longer following human instructions) and crimes they have committed. You investigate crimes and try to find out why androids are becoming deviants with a police lieutenant called Hank.
Markus has a slower start to his story but has an important role and is the public face of an android uprising that you will join in every single playthrough. You don't have much choice in his own personal proggression, but you use Markus to choose the proggression and choices of the entire android movement for freedom.
MAJOR spoilers: I loved the story and the different nature of the 3 protagonists' stories as well as how they interlinked and affected each other in the later stages of the story. The march with Markus where you walk along the street, all of the Connor investigation missions, all the missions with Kara in the 3rd act where you are fighting for survival and the final fight/ protest where my favourite parts of the game especially the way they did a battle in a game which is primarilly QTEs. The amount of choice to define what happens such as with Kamski and Chloe, becoming a deviant with Connor as well as every choice with Markus in the 2nd half has real implications for the story and was quite fantastic.
MAJOR spoilers: My few problems with the game come with moments I felt were forced. This includes the recycling centre and the machine Kara and Alice go into seemed to be trying to replicate a gas chamber too much when those where only used in the Holocaust several years in because of the emotional effect of murdering large amount of Jews had on SS soldiers. There would be no need for that in this universe as the humans didn't see the androids as human at all and it would be more efficient to gun down the androids. This broke the immersion for me. Also, because there is so much consequence in the game, sometimes if you accidentally pressed the wrong button in a conversation and got a character killed it felt more frustrating than deserved or sad (compared to getting them killed because of a mistake in your decision making). This happened with me and Luther and Connor in different playthroughs. My main other complaint is the amount of missions that are completely linear and have no influence on the story, such as Markus's first 4 missions and some of Kara's missions that have very little choice. Replaying these was dissapointing because it is the same thing each time.
Celeste is not a story based game, but a 2d platformer that has a story focused around anxiety and depression of the main character, Madeline. It follows her decision to climb Celeste mountain and you climb the mountain but it has rich and meaningful dialogue with characters you meet along the way as well as with Badeline, who is part of Madeline's personality that the mountain separates from her.
The game took me 13 hours on my first playthrough and 3,500 deaths whilst collecting half the collectibles and has an absurd amount of replayability.
The story was emotional, interesting and heartwarming. The use of side characters to emphasise the main themes was pretty incredible and I don't have any problems with the story. The actual dialogue is very well done and I was encapsulated in the story from the beginning to the end and felt that it kept getting better and better as you move along, plus all cutscenes are skippable.
There are very common checkpoints but there are a few areas that don't have enough where there are several diverse and difficult obstacles that should have a checkpoint between them but don't which makes for an occasionally frustrating experience. There also aren't indicators when you are leaving an area but won't be able to return without any indication which means I missed out on some conversations and exploring on my first playthrough. It has a good level of difficulty that scales throughout the game as well as loads of extra levels after completing the first 7 chapters as well as lots of collectibles that have fun platforming challenges to reach in levels you already completed.
- God of War
God of War is a 3rd person hack and slash that is a sequel to God of War 3 and I hadn't played any God of War games before this one, nor did I know anything about the story other than that Kratos is a Greek God who used the Blades of Chaos as a weapon in his previous games but I will include spoilers for God of War 3. The story follows Kratos and his son Atreus as they climb the tallest mountain in the 9 realms to spread their wife/ mother's ashes whilst Baldur and some Norse Gods try and kill Kratos and Atreus MAJOR spoiler: because they think that Kratos is a giant because his dead wife was (though Kratos doesn't know this until the end).
The whole game took me about 35-40 hours but I didn't count so that's a guesstimate.
The story mainly focuses on the theme of fatherhood and the relationship between Atreus and Kratos and the side missions and other characters in the game all build on this theme. Despite the plot being very simple, the relationship between Atreus and Kratos is expertly done with the dialogue being especially strong and constantly relating back to main themes as well as to the plot.
I won't do a story summary as it is way too long but talk about my highlights and problems.
MAJOR Spoilers: Atreus is unaware that he is a God and Kratos doesn't tell him until late on in the story. Atreus and Kratos's relationship is especially impacted by Freya, who helps them on their journey with her asking that Kratos, who is not open and is cold, to open up and be truthful with Atreus about Kratos's past and his God status. Freya, who is revealed to be the mother of Baldur, also relates to the story as Baldur is trying to kill Freya and they have a complicated relationship that can be contrasted with Kratos and Atreus, especially as Atreus attacks Atreus in the 3rd act. The characters of Brok and Sindri who are side characters and shop keepers not only interweave with the main story but their fractured relationship strengthens the family fallout relatinoship. Many of the side missions also relate to the God's killing their parents theme as well as the broken family theme and Kratos and Atreus's different reactions to these side quests show eccentuate their personalities.
MAJOR Spoilers: The character progression of Kratos is him coming a better father which is simply but engaging whilst Atreus feels disconnected from his father and becomes stubborn and rude later in the story and attacks Kratos but after is in denial about it. Overall, it was quite a stark change and it made sense but was done too quickly but I felt it was resolved well with Atreus denying that he did it but still changing his actions and listening to his father which gives him more depth than if it was fully resolved. The ending is especially good with the conversations between Atreus and Kratos, big plot reveals and the spreading of the ashes but the bit just before the ending was underwhelming with the Freya and Baldur relationship ending with Kratos killing Baldur, Freya has a whole speech about parading Kratos's body through the streets but then just walks off. She may have been talking about Baldur's body but it was difficult to tell and I was fully expecting to fight her and the dead giant she was controlling but then the game just gives you the final mission so it was anticlimactic.
The gameplay is great overall with a really good combat system that feels smooth and has a good skill curve. It is a responsive and defensive system that isn't usually my thing but you can be aggressive once you get the hang of the combat and there are many moves you can do that you learn so there is lots of variation and the combat never got boring for me.
Some of the enemies look very similar which makes it difficult to distinguish them from other enemies but you need to distinguish them as even enemies that look similar act very differently depending on their type. The bosses in the base game are okay with some being epic boss fights but there weren't any bosses in the base game that combined an epic feeling with great gameplay whilst the dark elf king boss was a massive difficulty spike and I found him siginficantly harder than any other boss in the game and his moveset was poorly designed.
There are 2 realms you can unlock that have challenges to do, Muspelheim and Nifleheim which are fun, difficult and I enjoyed Nifleheim especially and it provides fun, challenging and rewarding late game combat.
These fights were the pinnacle of the combat in this game. Each one has its own unique moveset as well as some valkyrie common moves and you fight 8 valkyries across the realms each at a similar level of difficulty before fighting Sigrun, the Valkyrie Queen. They were the best part of the game and had a nice mystery connecting them.
My main problem with the game overall and this only effects some people which is that the difficulty levels are too far apart and I struggled to find a difficulty that fitted me throughout the first 40% of the main story where medium was comically easy and hard was a bit too hard that it got frustrating. I got good enough to play the rest of the game on hard, but I would advise playing the game on hard (Give me a challenge) as the lower difficulties were too easy especially as you improve throughout the game at combat.
- Marvel's The Spider-man:
I played this game a year after release and again recently and the story follows Peter in his relationship struggles and his battle against the main villain, Mr Negative as well as the surprise (or not if you've watched Spider-man 2) villain Dr. Octopus. The story has a large focus on the struggles of being Peter Parker and Spider-man with an emphasis on the relationships between Peter, Dr Octavius, MJ, Miles and Aunt May. The emotional struggles with Peter and his relationships with the other characters is incredibly well done and is the backbone of the story despite there being many plots. I didn't just feel like Spider-man, I also felt for Spider-man as well.
I've probably spent about 60 hours on the game and DLC.
MAJOR spoiler: Peter fights Fisk in the first mission which causes a new gang called the Demons to rise up and the game focuses around them and their plot against Mayor Osborne. The plot further develops when Miles's father is killed by the Demons. The transition for Octavius to become a villain was obvious but was smoothly done and he comes out as a villain behind the scenes before he is revealed as one which gives his storyline some mystery. The 2 main villains had clear motivations and both added to the story. Unfortunately, the other big bosses did not and either had ok motivations like Shocker or Tombstone or just had kind of irrelevant ones like Rhino and Scorpion.
MAJOR spoiler: The storyline of Peter is the emotional heart of the story and follows his complicated relationship with MJ, trying to be a father/ older brother type figure to Miles as well as his admiration for Dr. Octavius on top of Aunt May who is much more of a Mary Sue but she is so nice and is really only there to give the game a more emotional ending and increase the stakes. The relationship with MJ is particularly well done and it feels like they are real people. There are many cutscenes, particularly in the 2nd half that were quite emotional and the ending of GIANT MAJOR ENDING SPOILER: Aunt May dying, Peter getting back with MJ and Dr Octavius's last conversation with Peter were all potent.
The game has some pacing issues, particularly with the middle of the game before the jailbreak and the game uses environmental storytelling well on the night of the jailbreak and until you make up with Sable where New York is incredibly hostile towards you with enemies everywhere. I didn't really have any problems with the story but I would have liked to see more of Miles's dad before he died . The story was near-perfect IMO.
The DLC was split into 3 parts and whilst the storyline in each chapter is good, it is nowhere near the level of the first story and the extra side content was in a separate world to the main game, so if you are doing all the dlc collectibles, you can't just do them at the same time as the main story ones, you have to do them all separately. This is a big turn off to doing them once you finished each chapter's main missions. The DLC features much harder enemies to fight against so I would say to play the DLC if you have the GOTY edition but only buy it if you have already played the game on Spectucular or Ultimate and want to have a larger challenge, as the 2nd and 3rd DLC have hard bases, as it isn't worth £16 for the story. The Heist was my favourite one storywise but the DLC story feels rushed and the side content being split over 4 separate worlds means you had to go way out of your way just to get some collectibles or do some challenges.
The gameplay features a combat system that is built around dealing with large groups of enemies and it works really well, is fun and has a good skill curve. In my 2nd playthrough I played the game on ultimate difficulty and it was a good level of difficult. There is lots of choice in combat of how to approach fights which makes it a joy to play and much less repetitive than other press square to attack games. There are also stealth missions which are ok but nothing special.
There are lots of collectibles to collect and each one has a nice story to it and especially the Heist and Silver Sable DLC if you have the GOTY edition. There are also crimes which act kind of like radiant quests in Bethesda Games where they are in random locations, are simple, samey but fun. The best part of the side content are the side missions that have a cute storyline but are about the quality of the dlc story, the bases, which have 6 waves of enemies you have to defeat in one go and there are 4 types of bases with the sable ones being the hardest, most unique and most fun. There are also the taskmaster challenges which are fun, challenging and worth your time doing them. The other side content includes taking pictures of buildings throughout the city which I did naturally during my traversal as well as chasing pigeons down and doing small activities in research stations. The side content often feels like filler content for a game that is jam packed with stuff to do but many of them are very fun and I have finished all of the side content in the base game other than the crimes.
The swinging around the city has a nice skill curve of easy to learn but you will find on the drone challenges, hard to master.
Mini-summary for all games.
All 4 games had great stories that are at least a 9/10 and all of them have enjoyable and interesting gameplay as well that has as a significant replayability value for them all so you can experience the story again. I encourage all of you to play them as you can find them all for less than £16 or some on PS Plus Collection.
If you have any suggestions for (PS4/5, PSVITA) games like these that you'd think I'd like, please share.
- God of War (2018)
- GOW script on Santa Monica Linkedin Page
- Speculation on Ragnarok, Folkvangr and Thor
More about Gaming NewsPost: "4 games with great stories that I’ve finished in the past 4 months. I will mark spoilers for you in blackout and story ruining spoilers marked too." specifically for the game Gaming News. Other useful information about this game:
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