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Best Video Game Stories & Narratives of 2018

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Best Video Game Stories & Narratives of 2018

Best Video Game Stories & Narratives of 2018

It’s award season here at Twinfinite! We’re taking a look at the best video game stories & narratives of 2018, honoring the titles that have shone brightest and crowning one the year’s best. Voted on by our editors, the following games stand tall as exemplary titles that pushed storytelling in the medium forward this year.

Honorable Mention: Celeste

celeste, best, story

Staff Writer Irwyn Diaz: At its core, Celeste is all about moving forward, as the protagonist, Madeline, sets off on a personal journey to climb the dangerous Celeste Mountain.

Just as she struggles death-defying jumps and treacherous stunts, we also learn more about how she wrestles with her emotional baggage and questionable past.

Her fears of anxiety and dread are always just a step behind her, and these moments when Madeline is left alone with her emotions can feel all too relatable.

Still, Celeste makes it a point to teach us that these things don’t define her, but rather complete her. Through its many clever cutscenes and level designs, the game teaches us the importance of acceptance.

There are plenty of times when we missed that ledge or couldn’t make that last jump, but Celeste tells us to stand tall and “be proud of your death count!

“The more you die, the more you’re learning.” In that same sense, Madeline learns to love all the parts she’s not proud of and finds that she’s become a better person because of it.

Best Video Game Stories & Narratives of 2018

Honorable Mention: God of War

Contributor Pjeter Juncaj: God of War accomplished something that few people thought was possible: it made people care about Kratos.

Removing Kratos from Greek mythology and saddling him with the responsibility of raising his son, Atreus, added dimensions that the character sorely lacked in the original trilogy.

Kratos is struggling with who he once was and who wants to be. This is exemplified in quiet story beats, where he wants to reach out to show love and affirmation to his son but decides to hold himself back because he still hasn’t forgiven himself for the mistakes of his past.

The heart of God of War’s narrative is in the father-son relationship between Kratos and Atreus. When you finally get to the moments where Kratos opens up to Atreus, it feels earned and like you’ve witnessed character growth that rarely done this well.

Best Video Game Stories & Narratives of 2018

Second Runner-up: Detroit: Become Human

detroit, detroit become human, ra9

Editor-in-Chief Ed McGlone: I’ll fully admit, I’m a total sucker for branching paths and choice-driven gameplay. I always have been ever since Tactics Orge for the PS1 asked me if I would “stain my hands.”

Never in my ten-year-old self’s wildest dreams could I concoct a game like Detroit: Become Human though with over 1000 possible ending combinations based on the choices that you pick throughout the game.

Detroit is a unique case where quantity, not necessarily quality, is what makes its story memorable. I’m not saying that the story is bad, but it’s definitely more character driven since its narrative can be a bit derivative at times.

However, the amount of freedom you have to explore so many different paths to see how the story branches out is just so damn impressive.

You can literally have your story your way in Detroit, like it’s Burger King. But it’s not Burger King, we’re not picking out hamburgers, it’s a game that had to be developed by people who had to think up, and code all of this.

It’s an incredibly impressive feat from Quantic Dream, worthy of high praise.

Best Video Game Stories & Narratives of 2018

First Runner-up: Marvel’s Spider-Man

spider-man ps4, switch gadgets, unlock map, tallest building, car chase, safely

News Editor Giuseppe Nelva: Marvel’s Spider-Man took the perfect approach to storytelling within a massively popular franchise: instead of getting bogged down by the million caveats which would have resulted from making a tie-in with an established movie or comic series, Insomniac created its own independent Spider-Man story.

While this may have seemed like an unsafe route, it allowed the game’s writers to explore aspects of the characters and the universe with a lot more creative agency, which is likely a primary element in their success in creating one of the best Spider-Man stories of all time.

Among all the Marvel properties released recently across all media, Insomniac’s Spider-Man is probably the most relevant, and a shining example of the fact that video games are surpassing film as the strongest audio-visual narrative experience.

Stan Lee would be proud.

Best Video Game Stories & Narratives of 2018

Winner: Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2, Realistic Gameplay Features

Editor-in-Chief Ed McGlone: Red Dead Redemption 2 is going to go down as not only one of the greatest video game stories ever told, it’s also an all-time western classic across any media too.

The tale of the demise of the Dutch van der Linde gang is a tragic one. Some Americans, like myself, may be drawn to Dutch’s romantic view of the promise of the west and more broadly, freedom. That we can just live off the land, free from any government “help”, and live in peace with fellow humans, animals, and the planet.

Of course as we play Red Dead Redemption 2, we learn that there are quite a few flaws with that “plan” as noble intended as it might be at the start. Dutch van der Linde, Arthur Morgan, and the rest of the gang need to kill a lot of people to get the capital needed to make this plan come to fruition.

Also, we know how the story ends for them. America gets less free and open, not more, as we hit the turn of the 19th century. The walls close in on the gang, and we get to see what kind of men they all are when things aren’t going according to the “plan.”

Arthur, our character and loyal to a fault, decides to repent when death stares him in the face, and attempts to do some good with what little time he has left. He knows it’s not enough, but he at least has realized the error of his ways, and it’s certainly a better path than the alternative he’s witnessing from his former compadres.

Dutch, Micah, and other members of the gang are doubling down on their evil, hoping that if they can get through this tough patch, they can come through on the other end with their soul still intact.

If you played the first game, you’ll know how this all ends. Seeing exactly how it unfolds though is an experience that no gamer should miss out on and that’s what makes it among the best video game stories and narratives of 2018.

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