Peaception: Games, Y U Make Me So Emotional??
I don’t think it’s an easy thing extracting emotion from gamers and when a developer can manage to do that and make you, the gamer, emotionally invested in the characters and the story, then you have experienced one of those rare gems called a great game. This is not just a list of games that made me cry but also of games that made me care. To make this list a little bit more manageable I’m sticking to current gen games. No spoilers included so don’t be scared and read on.
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Dragon Age: Origins
I love the Tolkien era maybe because I have this on-going fantasy that I’m an elf doing, you know, elf stuff, in an elvish forest. In this game you are part of this ancient order of Grey Wardens that are tasked with protecting the people against the dreaded darkspawn who, in rare occasions, organise themselves (like all evil things) to cause The Blight. The premise of the story just screams EPIC and it did feel epic walking around Ferelden and now and again revealing to people that I’m one of the few surviving Grey Wardens. What made this game memorable for me were the companions and during those brief respites from fighting I would walk around the camp talking to them and trying to find out more about their motivations and backgrounds. I couldn’t help but get a little emotional when Alistair presented me with a rose or when Morrigan tried to explain what our friendship meant to her or even better, when Leliana sang.
Mass Effect 1 and 2
“My name is Commander Shepard”, that simple intro alone is enough to make some waves in the galaxy. What I loved about the ME series was that most of the decisions and fights that the player was involved in, were what built the name and the legend of Shepard as the series progressed. You have relationships with some of your team that spans the entire trilogy and you can’t help but invest so much emotion in them. I will never forget that awesome feeling I felt when watching the launch trailer for Mass Effect 2 and being so pumped to fight for the lost. Mass Effect has perfected the art of creating characters that make you care. Even though I hate the third instalment in the series, I lost so many hours and hours of my life playing the previous games.
When it comes to stories in games, I find some are very predictable, but then you get those games that surprise you and this is one of them. Just when you thought you have figured out the story, it throws a twist that leaves you wondering what the hell just happened. If you enjoy your games with a twist then this is the one for you. Ken Levine played with my mind and I loved it; maybe I should get a t-shirt with that written on it.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, 3 and Black Ops II
This is one of the most hated series at the moment and I do agree that some of the criticism is warranted, but the single player for these games have affected me on so many levels. I have never been a fan of FPS since Half-Life as I felt that it’s the one genre that lacks good stories and characters until I played Modern Warfare. It would have been so easy for the developers to neglect the single player and just focus on making a good multiplayer but they didn’t and they have my respect for that. It had some really emotional scenes that made me bawl my eyes out and for being able to do that, especially for an FPS title, it’s beyond impressive.
Far Cry 3
This game might have had one of the laziest endings but that did not detract from how much fun I had playing this game. You are stuck on an island trying to save your friends from a crazy man by the name of Vaas, who has by far the best voice acting of this current generation of games. It’s very rare where the villain outshines the protagonist but I found myself enjoying the very few scenes that Vaas was in. I also enjoyed the various tasks you could do like hunting and liberating outposts and it also tied in with the story of the game why you would be doing such things, unlike Assassin’s Creed 3, which is so sad because even though it comes from different divisions of Ubisoft, it’s still a Ubisoft game and it’s mind boggling how it does open world much better than its AC counterpart.
What would you do for the one you love? It’s such a thought provoking question and Quantic Dream gave us gamers a chance to actually test out how far you would go for the one you loved, as a father tries to find his son after he is abducted by the Origami killer. I have talked about this game a lot but it’s one of those games where even after you play it you feel that you have been on quite an emotional journey and it even had a good twist thrown in to make it an even better game. The only gripe I had with this game is that it was just too short.
The Last of Us
What can I say about this game; it was both emotionally draining and satisfying at the same time. There is this virus that has mutated people and the survivors that are left battle the creatures as well as each other, as you well know it seems such dire situations bring out the worst in human nature. It’s a very familiar plot line but Naughty Dog did it very well in that they didn’t focus on the virus or the creatures but the relationship between Joel and Ellie as they travel together in this human wasteland.
What the Last of Us does well is that it doesn’t leave the character development to the cutscenes but it happens even when the characters are just walking or sneaking around. One example of this is when Ellie is learning how to whistle. It was such an innocent but touching thing and you can’t help but crack a smile later on in the game while you’re busy scavenging and you hear her whistle a tune and the excitement in her voice is so infectious. The soundtrack, as well, enhances the story on so many levels and if you are a gamer who loves a good story and memorable characters, this is the game for you. I will go so far as to say this is one of the best games of this generation; actually, it is the best of this generation because this game affected me on so many levels, even when I played it on easy. (Yes that’s for you, Zhameer Hashim.)
Games can be more than just something you play just to pass the time as evidenced by some of these articles. It’s losing yourself in a world and meeting these characters that leave a lasting impression long after you finish the game; it’s what gaming is all about for me and hopefully to some of you as well.