Connect with us

Top 10 Best Games That Get Telekinesis Just Right

Telekinesis in Control game

Top 10 Best Games That Get Telekinesis Just Right

Use the Force Luke… Or the power of an eldritch space whale. Whatever works.

Atomic Heart has gotten a lot of buzz for its telekinetic glove, but there are other games that have stepped up to the home plate of that superpower and knocked in a home run with only their mind. Telekinesis is one of the most popular powers, up there with flight, super strength, and being obscenely rich. Video games let us play with all sorts of fantastical abilities and telekinesis is among the best refined. With the increased power of video games to render and simulate the behavior of physics objects, this ability has only grown with time.

Bioshock Series

Top 10 Best Games That Get Telekinesis Just Right
Image Source: 2K

Bioshock is among the first game you think of with a robust Telekenesis system that interacts with objects that have simulated physics. The Telekinesis is pretty basic by modern standards, allowing you to grab onto one or two items and then project them at force at an enemy, damaging them. Though you can do cool stuff lick picking bombs or rockets out of midair, it doesn’t have that much utility.

Despite the fact that it lacks the same complexity as its counterparts, it takes what makes Half-Life 2’s telekinesis work with its gravity gun and runs with it in a more grimy setting. You can propel things like corpses or bits of rubble. While it isn’t the flashiest plasmid, it makes the world feel a lot more tactile and involved by giving you a way to interface with the world directly. Critically in a resource-based action game like Bioshock, it let you absorb damage by having an object block for you and you could use telekinesis as an aid in looting.


Top 10 Best Games That Get Telekinesis Just Right
Image Source: Arkane Studios

Prey, as one of the inheritors of the legacy of System Shock alongside Bioshock, has a fittingly robust selection of powers like Bioshock. Once again, Telekinesis is less of a sole focus and more of a particular aspect of the overall makeup of the powers you can use in the game. Still, what Prey does is add more functionality to the overall base idea of physics-based telekinesis in Bioshock.

For one, if you get certain Nueromods, you can increase the effectiveness of Telekinesis, or Remote Manipulation as it’s called in the game, itself. When combined with the repair ability it allows you to repair machines at a distance, and you can enhance the things you can live with Prey’s Telekinesis with the Leverage Nueromod Ability. It’s also part of a suite of abilities you have that involve tacitly manipulating and using the environment to your advantage. While it may mostly be a damage-dealing option in Bioshock, in Prey it’s part of your toolbox to interface with the world in order to survive.

Dishonored Series

Top 10 Best Games That Get Telekinesis Just Right
Arcane Studios

Dishonored, being a stealth game, adds extra utility to a telekinesis power. In the first game, it took the form of the somewhat unsubtle Wind Blast, which could knock down enemies. However in the Brigmore Witches DLC Daud gained the ability to use Pull, which could lift key items from afar or entire bodies for hiding. It could even be used on enemies for a nonlethal kill. This power was further refined in Dishonored 2 with Emily’s Far Reach, a combo of Blink and Pull.

The benefit of Telekinesis in any stealth game is the ability to pull off more artful and sneaky distractions, pilfer things while unseen, or otherwise manipulate things so you don’t get spotted. Dishonored’s Wind Blast is not the best example of this, but its other two major telekinetic abilities are great examples of that finesse you can find in Telekinesis. Being able to use these abilities with precision feeds into the core appeal of a stealth game, where you feel like a genius for sneaking under the enemies’ noses.

Atomic Heart

Top 10 Best Games That Get Telekinesis Just Right
Image Source: Mundfish

Atomic Heart has shown off a lot of flashed telekinetic powers in its trailers, but when you get to grips with the game perhaps the most interesting thing it brings to the table is a unique utility of telekinesis touched on but not explored fully in previous entries. Yes, you can throw objects at enemies or stun them with telekinetic force, but more compelling is the ability to remotely loot containers with telekinetic power.

For everyone who’s ever fantasized about wanting the power to move objects with your mind, part of the whole appeal is the fantasy of convenience. Being able to throw boulders around like toys is appealing, but for some people, the wish for telekinesis occurs with the thought “I wish that object was closer.” There are few times in games that fully explore the convenience of mental manipulation. It makes sense to have this sort of feature in technology made in Atomic Heart, where the goal of the scientists was the elimination of manual “dumb” labor to free the mind to achieve loftier goals.

Marvel Midnight Suns

Top 10 Best Games That Get Telekinesis Just Right
Image Source: 2K

A bit of an unconventional take on Telekinesis in that it’s centered on a game that focuses on turn-based strategy over action. Marvel Midnight Suns puts its hero’s ability to interact with the environment front and center and the way many of these heroes do that is through telekinetic powers. From Doctor Strange to Scarlet Witch, there are many heroes capable of lobbing the environmental scenery without even touching what they’re throwing.

Marvel Midnight Suns has gameplay mechanics centering around the environment and environmental damage so the heroes you play feel superheroic. Throwing objects or enemies around is a key part of the gameplay and some characters interact with those terrain features remotely, able to use magic or various other powers to move things without touching them. It wouldn’t make sense for Doctor Strange to pick up a rock with his hands and toss it, he is above such worldly methods after all. The way characters throw things is often part of their identity in this game and telekinesis is part of how some characters express that identity.

Half-Life 2 and Alyx

Top 10 Best Games That Get Telekinesis Just Right
Image Source: Valve

Half-Life 2 revolutionized video games when it came out with its exceptional polish, masterful level design, and advanced (for the time) physics engine. One side effect of the game is the prevalence of telekinesis-like powers in order to interact with said robust physics engine. Things like the Gravity Gun begin to let you think of game levels as more than just shooter arenas and instead as spaces that you can meaningfully exploit to overcome obstacles.

The tactile immersion of physics systems shoots for the moon in Alyx, advancing that sense that you are interacting with a real-world and taking it to its current limits with Valve polish and cutting-edge technology. It makes it so that you feel as though you can levitate items off the ground rather than just feeling as though you are playing someone with that ability. It also solves a problem with VR whereas otherwise, you’d have to put everything conveniently within arms reach of the player.

Star Wars: Force Unleashed

Top 10 Best Games That Get Telekinesis Just Right
Image Source: Lucasarts

The force has always been a large part of the Star Wars Universe and one of the most iconic force powers is the ability to push, pull and generally manipulate objects remotely with the force. Jedi and Sith have all sorts of telekinetic tricks, from throwing and returning their lightsabers to choking enemies from afar using only the force. Star Wars: Force Unleashed takes these powers and kicks them into overdrive, with a very powerful force apprentice in the form of Starkiller.

The Force Unleashed lets you play with these iconic force powers. These powers themselves aren’t anything revolutionary, but the things you can do with them are genuinely so exciting. You can throw and toss things that games like Bioshock would never let you lift. You can access the whole gambit of evil sith powers, from force choke to force lightning. The Force Unleashed is very much trying to appeal to your inner Star Wars kid with these force powers more than anything, letting you play out being the badass from the movies.

Dead Space Series

Full Clearance
Image Source: Motive Studio/Electronic Arts

Dead Space as a series takes what this article has been talking about with tactility, physics, and immersion and applies it to an entirely new field: your enemies. Dead Space‘s unique selling point is the fact that the Necromorphs can’t be killed very easily with conventional weapons. Shooting their torso and head is rather ineffective, so you need to dismember them.

Where telekinesis comes in is in how you interact with both the environment and the enemy. Kenisis is a power in-game that allows you to pick up things remotely and launch them at enemies, similar to the classic Half-Life 2 gravity gun. You can pick up physics objects, bash an enemy with them, and that will knock their limbs off. You could even use their limbs as weapons against each other. It all adds to the almost slasher movie gore and horror of the game.

Gravity Rush 1 and 2

Gravity Rush Flying
Image Source: Sony

There may be a pedantic temptation to point out that technically Gravity Rush protagonist Kat has control over Gravity rather than telekinesis, as it is often stratified as a different power in comic books. As a counterargument, the way that power manifests in games is very similar to traditional video game telekinesis. Instead of flying, for example, it’s more that you’re flinging yourself with forces. You also have the ability to fling objects remotely.

Perhaps the unique spin on telekinesis also leads to a unique mechanical identity for the power. Gravity Control as Kat uses it still has that sense of tactile environmental control I mentioned throughout this list as a key point, but in addition to allowing you to control your environment, it also allows you to control yourself as a physics object. The sequel also grants additional control and influence by letting you modify your own density with “gravity styles” making you heavier or lighter.


Top 10 Best Games That Get Telekinesis Just Right
Image Source: Remedy Entertainment

Control’s basic telekinesis has a lot of oomph to it. From the start of the game, your remote influence over objects allows you to lift heavy objects and toss them at your opponents with the destructive force of the average trebuchet. To make your mind powers even meatier, the environments themselves are destructible, allowing you to do what few games actually let you do with Telekinesis and break stuff around you.

On top of a really solid telekinesis system is the ability of flight you get later, which in conjunction with each other make you feel like some sort of powerful wizard or Jean Grey from the X-Men. There’s something to be said about the conjunction of these two powers together in video games. Once you combo them together there’s a sense of power and control over your environment that you have that can be a really unique experience.

Related Posts
Continue Reading
To Top