theres not much I can say here that hasnt already
been said. Lets face it, Half-Life brought storytelling
back with a vengeance. Amen.
Its been over a year since Grim Fandango was released,
and incredibly enough, there hasnt been a game this original
released since. There have been some interesting games, but not
a single one of them draws upon as many diverse sources to create
an original whole like Grim Fandango did. I dont
know what Tim Schaefer was thinking when he thought of mixing
Mexican mythology with film noir, but Ill be damned if he
didnt create a masterpiece in the process.
Fantasy VIII: I think this game deserves a mention, since
well, it sucked me in like few games can claim to do (I barely
did anything else for the week or so it took me to finish it)
but also since it has such a large, involving plot. In many ways,
the previous Final Fantasy games did too (most notably
VI and VII) but the characters didnt interact as well as
they do in this latest installment. Play this game, and youll
be clamoring for more.
loonygames pick for 1999 game of the year was more than
just another first person action title, it was a genuinely creepy,
creepy story, that sucked you in and refused to let you go. Considering
that 90% of the games cast is dead before the game even
starts, somehow the various crewmembers actually have their backstories
filled in, and by the time youre done with the game, you
find yourself knowing a great deal about them. Stop what youre
doing and pick this up. Now. Really. :)
Ahh...Oddworld. Its difficult to describe how Oddworld:
Abes Exoddus moves its story forward, because it does
it in such a unique way, that it comes across feeling natural.
Considering the game is a 2D side-scroller, you wouldnt
expect such a well thought out plot and universe, but boy is it
ever a great story. Like Grim Fandango it's also a truly
unique vision. Most games borrow heavily from science fiction
novels, or movies, or (heaven help us all) other games, but both
Oddworld and Grim Fandango are like nothing else
out there. Both obviously have their influences (heck, thats
part of the charm of Grim Fandango) but its still a genuinely
unique vision. Dont believe me? Go play em, and tell
me if youve ever seen anything like it.
you have it, seven, count em, seven games that have come
out since that article I wrote two years ago that feature genuine
storytelling. But the strange thing, is that theres lots
more than just the seven I listed above. Theres Outcast,
Nocturne and Omikron, not to mention Baldurs
Gate and Heretic II. And those are just a few that
Ive come up with off the top of my head! Believe me when
I say, that we are entering a real renaissance in game design.
As computers get more powerful (and consoles along with them)
designers get more and more freedom. And it looks like all that
technology is going to be in the right hands.
next week, stay loony!
Jason "loonyboi" Bergman is the editor in chief here