Books and video games have a lot more in common than most think. These two relaxing pastimes transport the reader or player into a different world, unlike the one we live in. Then they become someone else, meet new characters, and live a remarkable and unique story.
As today is National Video Games Day, there are many story-driven video games that often read like a novel. To celebrate, here are 3 video game storylines that could be a book.
Unpacking is exactly what you expect from the title. It is a serene game about unpacking the character’s life but with a good storyline woven throughout each level. As you unpack and move into eight different houses, you discover clues and learn more about the character by trying to figure out where belongings go in a block-fitting type puzzle.
And so you start growing attached to their story and experience a feeling of intimacy about a character you have never seen and a story you are never told with unique gameplay. The character’s growth shown by the constant moving and unpacking reminds me of a heartwarming coming-of-age story.
Valorant is a 5v5 FPS game where teams have 13 rounds to attack and defend by using gunplay and agents with abilities. Although the gameplay itself is not story-driven, there is interesting lore found online. It includes the origin of Valorant and each agent, such as each agent’s backstory and their place in Valorant Protocol.
The overall lore is complex. Valorant Protocol is a covert operation to prevent disasters by defusing a spike that contains Radianite, a dangerous element. However, the mirror world and mirror agents exist, which is the premise of the gameplay. It turns out their greatest foes are themselves, the mirror agents whose purpose is to plant a spike to steal Radianite from the original world.
Bits and pieces of the lore can be found through the voice lines in-game and in YouTube videos. Overall, the lore reflects an action-packed novel with extensive world-building, deep complexities of the characters, and the disastrous world they’re a part of. For a better explanation of the lore, read here.
Rime is a single-player puzzle adventure game about a young boy who wakes up on a mysterious island. Guided by a magical fox, he explores the island, interacts with wildlife, and solves puzzles. He also repeatedly encounters a man in a red cape. Then as the game progresses, the boy begins to discover recollections about himself and how he got on the island. To avoid spoilers, I won’t go into depth about the gameplay and story. It is a heart-wrenching storyline with an important revelation about life and an amazing plot twist.
If you want spoilers or you want a better understanding of it, here is an in-depth article about the game.
Honorable Mention: Undertale
Undertale is about a child exploring and solving puzzles in an underground world, the home of monsters. As you encounter monsters, you have options to either attack, flee, or befriend them. Every choice made will affect the plot and how the story progresses.
The dialogue is well-written, which makes the game more enjoyable. It is part of why I contemplated adding it to the list. However, I decided the gameplay works well more as an RPG with how the storyline unfolds based on the decisions the players make.
As both a book and video game lover, I hope these amazing story-rich video games allow you to live many adventures through your game characters just as books do!
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