The past century has seen tremendous technological advances, and with those advances has come something beautiful: innovation in the arts. From film to television, we’ve seen more and more forms of art popularized, and video games are no exception. The days of Pong or Pac-Man are long gone, and even some games that were the first signs that they were art, like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, are decades old.
Video games have come a long way and have repeatedly shown that they are a new interactive art form that can make a powerful statement, touch your heart, and stay with us for years to come. These are just a handful of games that showcase video games as an art form.
7 Shadow of the Colossus
At first glance, Shadow of the Colossus is straightforward. A noble warrior takes his dead love to a holy place in a shadowy, forgotten land, where he meets a god who will restore his love if he defeats the monsters that roam the land. These monsters are 16 colossi that you must track down and defeat. It almost reads like a fairy tale. But aren’t those stories the ones that have been with us for eons of time?
Shadow of the Colossus excels in its simplicity. Plot twists are predictable, but it’s the accumulation of these twists that helps sell the narrative. Players experience the labor of killing these monsters through the medium of video games, but the results cannot be stopped. It’s very clever, and may bring you closer to its protagonist than a mere allegory.
6 Telltale’s The Walking Dead
Imagine a television series. Now imagine a series where the story is changed by the choices the protagonists make and the choices they make. That’s the beauty of Telltale’s The Walking Dead. The game is presented as an episodic, optional adventure that puts you in the place of protagonist Lee Everett, a convicted felon who has been given a second chance in a zombie apocalypse. In the meantime, he takes care of a little girl named Clementine and tries to reunite with her parents.
This game is an interesting and wonderful way to emulate similar forms of art, such as television, through episodic and narrative storytelling. But the main difference is freedom of choice. Video games can offer far more interactivity than any other medium in terms of characters and narrative. This kind of transformation that allows you to get close to the characters and immerse yourself in the situation was unprecedented before games like this were created.
5 Disco Elysium
From fairy tales to television, what about novels? Well, if some games can become books, Disco Elysium would be considered an epic on the scale of Les Misérables. With over a million words in the script, the game follows an unnamed cop who develops amnesia after drinking too much while assigned to a criminal case.
As a player, it’s up to you to learn about the world, your past, and your designated partners as you investigate a murder case that reverberates through the community. It tells a fantastic and intriguing story of hope, addiction, sadness and more, with great gameplay design and great voice acting.
4 Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Some might argue that games are like toys and unlike art, there isn’t much to say. This is where games like Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice come from. Set in the Viking Age, the game follows Senua, a grieving warrior, as she travels through Hellheim to retrieve the soul of her lost lover.
The game is very focused on guiding the player through Senua’s point of view, and has received much critical praise for how it deals with mental illness. Players can see how Senua’s mental health affects her. Because they are affected too. You have to endure what she goes through while making her choices and playing her games and spending her time with her. What makes Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice special is that it gives players ample time to understand, digest, replay, and understand the terminology, like our protagonist, the effects of mental illness, while drawing attention to an important topic. And it’s all immersed in a uniquely crafted world.
three our last
The Last Of Us is another story that follows a man and a girl in the apocalypse, telling a tragic story of loss, sacrifice, and the choices they make when confronted to relive their traumas. The game excels in every way, from the brutal gameplay that allows players to live through how terrifying this apocalyptic world is than any dialogue or visual, to a well-done story. Joel and Ellie’s adventures work well in part because of the gameplay at hand.
When Ellie is in the role of taking down enemies for you or her dealing with the infected, it’s easy to tell how useful Ellie is to Joel and how much she needs him when he’s not around, indicating the great weight of his absence. Although the television show does wonders, the game truly allows players to experience these lessons for themselves, and this is always where the advantage is.
BioShock was one of the earliest video games to prove that stories can elevate a game and be remembered for years. Although the game isn’t very old in its gameplay, its story still holds at large as players are thrust into Rapture’s amazing underwater world.
The idea that someone can participate through art, not just by watching a great reveal, but by distributing information through environmental storytelling, audio logs, etc., is genius. Enchanted by the well-crafted world of Rapture and the story that haunts you like a ghost, you are free to interact and understand the city as much as you want while playing. This compelling form of storytelling isn’t unique to BioShock, but it’s certainly a precursor to BioShock.
One silent hill 2
It might be strange to pick a sequel over the original on a list of video games, but Silent Hill 2 seamlessly blends gameplay design, visuals, music and storytelling to create a completely unique experience. The main character can barely fight, so the combat in the game is poor. The fog is thick and it’s hard to see what’s going on in the town. The music can be dissonant and the story too heavy.
But Silent Hill 2 perfectly blends all of these forms of art into a mixture of pure atmospheric horror. So even decades after its release, it can still be remembered for inclusion on lists like this. The use of fog as a visual element, dated graphics and haunting soundtrack that allow the player’s mind to bridge the gaps of what could be out there create cocktails that will keep players sipping for hours as they play the game. elements can create profound storytelling experiences that haunt players for years.
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