Emotional Games Roundtable

Video Games are art in my eyes. For every gore-fest game out there you havean emotional game masterpiece: games like Gone Home and The Walking Dead games which initially started with Telltale and finished under Skybound Games. What I’m trying to get at is the interactive element of video games allows the player to connect with the world of whatever game they are playing and have it as a different interaction when compared to other mediums such as television, film, or other art forms.

With the growth of the games industry over the past twenty years, there has also come a leap in quality with games looking on par with films. That being said even when games were starting to make leaps in terms of narrative and storytelling, there were key games that paved the way. I’m just letting you know now, that there will be SPOILERS so be aware, cautious, and vigilant.

Allan Muir – Site Admin/EiC/Still Holding onto Those Hurricanes

Life is Strange (2015)

Credit: Square Enix and Dontnod Studios

I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I have an affinity for the Life is Strange series. I discovered it after the death of a family member and it tore my emotions apart. I had never experienced anything like it before and I was hooked. The pacific northwestern town of Arcadia Bay felt like a lived-in location and as the story unfolds the decision as to how the first game ends made me feel like I was the worst person in the world. Much like an iconic line from one of the greatest films ever made “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” in which Spock tells his good friend James T. Kirk that logically “the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few”.

The tragedy of Rachel Amber and if you end up making the choice; Chloe Price, messed me up. The discovery made by Max and Chloe in the penultimate episode of the five-game “season” had me choked up mainly due to the talents of Ashly Burch making me invested in the character of Rachel Amber who would not be fully fleshed out until 2017’s prequel to the first game aptly titled “Before the Storm”. Before the Storm ends on a particular horrifying note that takes all the feelings you had stored in yourself from the first game that gets built up and promptly explodes. This results in crying into a pillow in my case…

For those of you who haven’t experienced the game, you are missing out on a deep, layered world. Not only was Life is Strange a critical darling that would gain a dedicated fanbase, but it saved the studio that created it: Dontnod. Seven years after the first game was released on the major platforms the series is still going strong with last year’s third entry in the series; Life is Strange: True Colors. The only thing that still pains me emotionally is the fact that Dontnod will most likely never make another Life is Strange game considering Square-Enix, a company that was in a similar situation prior to the launch of Final Fantasy, ended up acquiring the IP rights to the series.

Credit: Square Enix and Dontnod Studios

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