Narrative Video Games

Hello everyone, my name is Lylou and I have been a video games addict since I was very young !

I’ve played a lot of games, with different style and topics, but my favorite ones are narrative video games.

What is a narrative video game?

It is a genre of video game, it is just as if you were watching a movie, and acting in it.

You are playing the main character, and you are guided through the script by some quests and missions that you have to achieve to progress in the game.

Sometimes, there are some cut scenes, it is a narrative device in which the game pauses play to deliver a short cinematic sequence.

These games are very gripping, you are going through the story with your character, you have to survive, fight, think and do it again, until the game is over, and you leave your best mate, the character you are playing, with who you travelled and finished the game with.

Therefore, if you wanna play these pieces of art, I have selected 4 games that you should appreciate !

The first one I’ve selected is the first one I played, my favorite of all times, “The Last Of Us”.

Released in 2013, The last of us is a dystopia, a jump in 2033.

On a fateful day, a fungal outbreak ravaged the planet, turning people into these zombies called “the infected” in the game. All the bells and whistles of your average zombie namely that one bite starts your irreversible transition into one of them. While the world develops quarantine zones to survive, a man named Joel Miller survived for years. He’d soon stumble onto a group known as the fireflies, a militia dedicated to put an end to the infection, even if it means opposing military rule. They tasked Joel with smuggling a teenage girl named Ellie into a safe zone. We understand that this young girl has been bitten but is immune to the infection, and the fireflies believe that her blood is the key to a cure. So, our two main characters travel across the US to get to their destination, fighting infected, gangs, and terrible people.

MY OPINION: It is a story full of action, fear and heartbreaking twists. This game is beautiful, the story and the characters are well written, I’ve played it multiple times because I fell in love with “The last of us”, and you will love this game as much as I love it, for sure !

Secondly, I’ve chose this masterpiece, “Detroit become human”. It was released in May 2018. It’s a choice dependent narrative game. There are three main characters, Kara, Connor and Markus. These people are actually not people but androids. In 2038, in the city of Detroit, one of the greatest historical landmarks has been brought to America, the invention of intellectual beings that surpass human intelligence, androids. Maids, waitresses, soldiers and construction workers are now replaced by the machines. But some of the androids, named “Deviants”, are conscious and would like to be free and independent. In this game, we are following three deviants, a housemaid android, a specialized police investigation model and an assistant and carer. While playing, you’ll have to choose through conflicting choices and experience a world who wants to stop you from being who you are, because you are a machine. The fate of your characters, Kara, Connor and Markus depends on your choice.

MY OPINION: This game is amazing, the storytelling is incredible and the fact that you have to make your own choices is so cool because it has impact on the story, so you’ll not have the same experience as another player. Moreover, you can start the game again and again, to experience all of the possibilities. I recommend this game with my whole heart!

For the third game, I chose a cute story about a little cat, STRAY. It was released in 2022 and it is a cyberpunk game about an orange cat who lost his family and fell in a confined city where robots and machines are living. You are playing as this kitten, and all along the story, you have to solve enigmas to find a way to get out of this mechanised city, and to see your family again! You’ll be helped by a little drone who will give you clues and support you in your adventure! In this weird city, the only living creatures besides the cat are Zurks, these creatures were originally trash eating bacteria before they mutated into little monsters, who are there to attack you and add stressful scenes in the game!

MY OPINION: Easy to play and very short, this game is perfect to start playing narrative video game, it introduces you to the genre, but with a simple story and an amusing gameplay. If you like narrative video games but you have struggles to finish it because it is too long, this game is for you ! I really enjoyed playing a little cat! You can jump everywhere, break everything and receive cuddles from the robots! How cute??

Finally, I’m going to introduce you to “Alan Wake II”. It is a survival horror video game (and narrative of course !). I chose to present this game at the end, because it is the most complicated one, with different worlds, different stories, related to each others, and all of that in ONE game.

Out in 2023, we are following (and playing) two characters here.

First, Saga Anderson, an accomplished FBI agent who is known for solving impossible cases.She arrives in a small town in Pacific Northwest to investigate a string of ritualistic murders. While investigating, she’ll find pages of horror story that start to came true, and these pages must be written by our second character:

ALAN WAKE, a famous writer who went missing in 2010. During holidays with his wife in the Pacific Northwest, he came face to face with something supernatural, Wake fought this dark presence and managed to send it back where it came from. Alan wrote about the dark place hidden under a lake not far from a little town where the supernatural creature came from. Unfortunately, Alan has trapped himself there for 13 years now…All along the game, you’ll switch between Saga who is investigating and tries to understand all of the mysteries of Alan and this weird town, and Wake (Alan) who tries to escape the alternate dimension by writing horror stories. This story has plenty of mysteries, the gameplay is really well developed and has a lot of details.

MY OPINION: Alan Wake II is a masterpiece, very long and difficult, but it is worth it. It is just like a movie, you have so many possibilities, you can investigate for real, you have to find your own clues and to make conclusions by yourself, it is so realistic, complicated sometimes, but so entertaining ! I really enjoyed playing as the two characters, they both are really interesting and pleasant to play with ! The narration is incredible, the fights are so terrifying and the suspense is really present. But I think this game is not enjoyable when you are not used to this type of gameplay. You have no help, you have to do everything by yourself and it can be discouraging !

Thank you so much to have read everything, I hope my article helped you, and if you play these games, I hope you’re gonna like them !

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