Video games now are huge set pieces where developers can tell magnificent stories. This year was a big year for those developers and we at BagoGames decided which stories stood out the most to us, and were told the best. There were a lot of great games to choose from. It seems that every single year, the AAA developers add more dramatic and mature storytelling and indie developers continue to push and inspire as well.
Uncharted 4: Thief’s End
I’m just going to say it because it needs to be said. The writers at Naughty Dog are better writers than anyone in Hollywood right now. I would prefer to skip out on movies and just buy a game. The stories are better, the characters are more believable and I get to keep the game– instead of just a ticket stub. A majority of games are written better than the movies, but Naughty Dog is absolutely the best. I cannot think of a game company that spins a better yarn right now than Naughty Dog. Uncharted 4 took ten years of lore and legacy and wrapped it up quite nicely, without any weird plot holes or time skips and I thank them for it. Nathan went out with a bang, and I glad that he found what he was looking for. I know I did.
Runner Up: Final Fantasy XV
This may be disliked by many and I completely understand why. It’s a very polarizing game. To be honest I’ve not played many games this year that really appealed to me by their narrative alone. Any good film, game or book should leave you asking questions and wanting more from the story. Inside is a simple, obscure tale of a boy finding a well-hidden secret. What comes at the end is something that divides gamers and can be rather too verge for most. It’s a bizarre and very art house format to deliver a story and with an ending that speaks more as a metaphor rather than a traditional tale of good vs evil. What Inside made me do which I’ve not done for any other game this year is question it’s purpose and what the narrative really meant. So much so I played it again and discovered a vastly complex world that haunting real to our own. There are echoes of the holocaust, science, Religion, life and death which all create something unforgettable. Just remember that the game in its simplest form of a narrative is about rebirth and it communicated emotion outside of death and carnage like most other games do.
Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma
This game was a long time coming for me. Probably the only game I’ve been completely looking forward to for the past few years since I got my hands on its predecessor, Virtue’s Last Reward. In the end, it came to me as a colossal disappointment, lugging an ending that was lacking and a reveal that fell with a thud. Yet, even in this state where it is at its worst as a series, it is way above the slurry that is typical to writing in most games. Zero Time Dilemma still makes for an enjoyable send-off for one of the best narrative-driven series about, and one I’ll be sure to replay. It may not be my favorite of the series but the story it told was still great and my favorite of the year.
I have long been a fan of supernatural adventures, especially those that can portray their world to be almost as normal as the real world, but with touches of the fantastic. Oxenfree was one that really caught my eye, and for someone that enjoys a good X-Files episode any time of day, this one really hit it out of the park for me. In the game you play as Alex, and are heading to an island with some old friends. The game is very much driven by dialogue, and there are constant interactions with characters, and your dialogue options affect the game as it progresses. On top of that, the supernatural and time-travelling angle really plays out well, and adds to the urgency felt in many conversations. The game is very much a paranormal, coming-of-age tale, but one with such a great cast of characters and writing, I always wanted to keep playing and see what would happen next.
Runner Up: Firewatch
Those are the best tales penned in 2016 as chosen by BagoGames staff. Did we miss an interesting yarn, please let us know in the comments or on Twitter by reaching us @BagoGames!