Everything starts off fine and dandy when Alex and his group of friends hang out on an abandoned island to have an overnight party. I mean, what could possibly go wrong? As it turns out, everything. The group of young adults quickly open up a supernatural rift, and Alex must find a way to overcome the threat of new ominous creatures, while also deciding how to interact with his peers.
That Dragon, Cancer
That Dragon, Cancer saw its release on PC this January, and it served as one of the more powerful stories we’ve seen in video games in recent years. It follows the story of Ryan and Amy, two parents who struggle to cope with the hardships that comes with their son’s terminal cancer. Through small vignettes presented with interactive art, players go through the emotional highs and lows of this family’s experience.
Yes, it’s one of those walking simulator type games. However, Firewatch also happens to tell one of the most intriguing and realistic gaming stories we’ve seen in 2016 thus far. Firewatch follows the story of Hank and his decision to take up a summer job in the Wyoming wilderness. Hank soon finds himself wrapped up in a missing person mystery, and increasingly tangled by the charms of his co-worker, Delilah.
Quantum Break is a sci-fi action-adventure third-person shooter. However, it also happens to be an interactive story where players can make decisions as the protagonist James Joyce, and watch the consequences of their actions unfold in subsequent ‘episodes’ of Quantum Break. It’s an entertaining story about two time travelers, and how they choose to use their powers for good and evil.
Hyper Light Drifter
Hyper Light Drifter doesn’t like beating you over the head with its story. Instead, it chooses to present its narrative to players in the form of gorgeous pixelated art and alien languages. The core story concept is primarily based on the developer’s heart disease, and he conveys his experiences through the story of our unnamed ‘drifting’ protagonist who struggles to find a cure for his own mysterious illness.
Dark Souls III
Hidetaka Miyazaki closes out one of the best stories we’ve seen in modern video games by delivering an epic conclusion in Dark Souls III. After countless cycles of the various Chosen Undead linking the fire, the Lords of Cinder are neglecting their duty in this latest cycle, and refuse to return to their thrones. It’s up to the Champion of Ash to collect their cinders, and ultimately decide the conclusion of the firelinking curse.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Nathan Drake returns for one last adventure in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, and closes out his story in spectacular fashion. This time, Nate has to decide which is more important to him: his family, or his lust for adventure. Uncharted 4 has never looked this good, and Naughty Dog has outdone themselves once again by giving fans an emotional, but fitting, end to our favorite thief.
The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine
If you love vampires, this one’s for you. The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine expands upon Geralt’s story by bringing players to the new, gorgeous, and lush region of Touissant. Everything seems peaceful at first glance, but upon further investigation, Geralt realizes that there’s something much more sinister going on. The Witcher 3 managed to tell one of the most compelling and exciting RPG stories when it was released last year, and the Blood and Wine expansion adds on to that.
Imagine the dystopian sci-fi worlds of Ghost in the Shell and Blade Runner. Now, imagine that you’re not actually a hero like Deckard or Major Kusanagi. Instead, you’re just a simple bartender hanging out in the underbelly of a run-down technological society. VA-11 HALL-A excels in conveying the lore of its rich world to the players by having them mix and serve drinks to the bar’s dysfunctional customers. It might not seem like much at first, but you’ll soon find yourself wrapped up and invested in the drama and emotional rollercoasters of your regular patrons’ lives.
Zero Time Dilemma
The Zero Escape series has always had two major elements going for it: the puzzle rooms, and its unbelievably mind-blowing stories. Zero Time Dilemma picks up the story from where it was left off in Virtue’s Last Reward, and presents longtime fans with an equally mind-blowing conclusion full of twists and turns. Zero Time Dilemma is a delightful rollercoaster ride from start to finish, and provides a satisfying end to an incredible visual novel series.