Four elements make up a good video game: gameplay, graphics, challenge, and story. Our focus for this article is the story. Some video games go above and beyond to deliver an emotionally-charged narrative that will make you shed a tear. Such compelling storylines capture the hearts of many. Regardless of how challenging the game may be, the story motivates you to determine if the character gets a happy ending. So get your tissues ready. Here are the five emotional games of 2022.
5. Life is Strange
Deck Nine doesn't spare emotions with its graphic adventure Life is Strange series. However, the fifth installment, Life is Strange: True Colors, is one for the books. Aside from the bright and colorful graphic display, the empathic narrative feels more like a movie than a game.
You play Alex Chen, a young woman who moved to Haven Springs to live with her brother, Gabe. Previously, Alex lived in a foster home, which played a massive role in her troubled past. Once in Haven, Gabe shows Alex around the town, where she meets the people employed by the mining corporation Typhon. As you'll later discover, Typhon is pivotal in influencing the emotional events in the game. Your role is to navigate the fictional town of Haven and interact with NPCs with compelling storylines. Communication in the game is done through dialogue trees. Since you possess psychic powers, you'll be able to read other people's emotions and help them get to the bottom of their troubles.
If the storyline fails to move you, you'll be in awe of the game's beautiful backdrop, which is gushing with life. From a distance, you can spot the snowy mountains, the jewel-blue river stream, and the blossoming colorful flowers that make the game's background a sight to behold.
4. God of War Ragnarök
God of War Ragnarök is arguably a masterpiece of its time. After bagging “Game of the Year” at the Titanium Awards in 2022, the game won “Best Narrative” at the Game Awards in 2022, among other accolades. Moreover, the third-person action-adventure game by Santa Monica Studios raised the bar in PlayStation history by selling 5.1 million copies in its first week.
The game follows Kratos and his son, Atreus, on their treacherous journey of letting go. In the previous title, God of War (2018), the father-son duo were on an emotional quest to fulfill Kratos' wife's dying wish. However, the new title sees them embrace the uphill task of letting go. Surprisingly, every character in the game also endures the same emotional path of turning a new page, which seems to cause devastation in their lives if they refuse to.
With a pile of emotions on his back, we see Kratos transform into a rageful invincible beast. This helps him overcome powerful enemies in the game since he cannot let go of the trauma. The ultimate tear-shedding moment is when the former Greek God realizes he needs to let his son carve out his own path. Kratos finally appreciates the compassion his son shows to other characters, which becomes helpful in their journey. Aside from its impeccable gameplay, God of War Ragnarök is a tear-jerker that will encapsulate you fully.
3. As Dusk Falls
Explore the intricate relationship between two families in Very Positive's narrative adventure game. The game showcases the ups and downs of the entangled families after an awry robbery in fictional Arizona. The crime thriller narrative gives you a front seat to the drama, where your choices are vital to the game's outcome.
The game's story is told in two books that follow a deep and complicated relationship between the two families that spans decades. Undeniably, it's not easy to go against family. Heck, the old saying goes, “Blood is thicker than water.” But this game will force you to make difficult decisions with dire consequences. The best part is that you can re-live the tale with different choices and see how it plays out.
Are you brave enough to turn on your family? Explore what blood ties mean in yet another emotional video game of 2022.
2. Red Dead Redemption 2
In gaming history, the Wild West is the premise of brutal gunslinger action. The action-adventure game by Rockstar San Diego, Red Dead Redemption 2, excels at delivering just that from a third-person shooter perspective. However, what fans relate to most are the heartbreaking moments in the game, from unfathomable betrayals to the loss of loved ones and incidences of bullying. You need a bunch of tissues for this.
You play as John Marston, a vengeful outlaw on a mission to rescue his family. This is after the government abducts them to force John to work as a hired gun for them. The premise of the plot is already dripping with emotions. John then gathers his gang members to retrieve his family and deal a shot of justice to the unfair regime.
The ultimate heartbreaking moment is the loss of Hosea and Lenny. Undeniably, the loss deals a major blow to the gang. Consequently, we see the gang fall apart after the deaths of its two influential members. Moreover, we also witness Arthur's vulnerable side when he discloses his illness. It gets you thinking that beyond the tough persona that Arthur portrays; there's a part of him scared of his inevitable demise.
1. The Walking Dead
If you've watched the TV series, word of caution, the game is no different. Busting with emotions and heart-gripping tales, The Walking Dead is a story of loyalty, love, betrayal, and, most of all, survival. When your survival is on the line, you have to make serial decisions that will either make or break bonds.
You play as Lee Everett, who finds himself in a group of bickering rag-tag survivors amidst a zombie apocalypse. Moreover, you land the unexpected role of being a father figure to a nine-year-old girl. The graphic adventure game gives you control of the emotional roller coaster narrative, where your decisions determine the game's outcome. The decisions are challenging. Most times, you'll end up choosing the lesser of two evils, since sacrifice is a core element of the narrative. Furthermore, the game also features timed responses, which add immense pressure to the player.
So do you have what it takes to grapple with The Walking Dead's tough emotional decisions?
So, what's your take on our picks for the five emotional video games of 2022? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.