Video games are often power fantasies that see the player take on the role of superheroes or secret agents. Journalists may not be the first role people think of when figuring out what their game protagonists should do for a living, but there’s an argument to be made that they make for excellent main protagonists.
Journalists are often tasked with investigating dark or mysterious cases in which answers have yet to be found. Games have grown to a point where there’s room for experiences of all shapes and sizes, from indie games to AAA blockbusters. As it turns out, there are more than a handful of games that let players take on the role of a journalist.
9 Beyond Good & Evil (Jade)
With fans wondering what the current state of Beyond Good & Evil 2 is, there’s never been a better time to hop into the original game in the series. Beyond Good & Evil starred Jade, a self-employed freelancer who was tasked with figuring out the true motives of the Alpha Sections.
Most people assume journalists are academic individuals who avoid physical conflict, but Jade happens to be a skilled fighter who prefers the use of a staff. Jade is fueled by the opportunity to serve justice, whether that’s through pure journalism or simply with her fists.
8 Heavy Rain (Madison Paige)
Quantic Dreams heavy rain was an interesting attempt at delivering an interactive drama and focused on finding the murderer known as the Origami Killer. The game has players take on the role of several playable characters, one of whom is a woman by the name of Madison Paige.
As a journalist suffering from insomnia, she often finds herself sleeping in shady areas, as they’re often the only place that her mind can relax. heavy rain is a game that had mixed critical reactions, but most understood how unique of an experience it provided to gamers.
7 Uncharted (Elena Fisher)
these days, Elena Fisher is known as the beloved significant other of Nathan Drake, the snarky treasure hunter of the Uncharted series. Early in the series, however, she was presented as a reporter and journalist who worked alongside Drake before the two fell for one another.
Players actually played as Elena in small spurts during the first game. Sadly, this idea rarely returned in future installments in the series despite how much the fan base enjoyed her character and what she meant for the morality and decision-making of the wily Nathan Drake.
6 Marvel’s Spider-Man (Mary Jane)
Must Spider Man fans know Mary Jane as an investigative reporter whose information often helps Peter Parker take down some of the biggest threats to New York’s safety. During small portions of Marvel’s Spider-Man players take control of MJ and must use their smarts to avoid danger as she doesn’t possess the same super-powered abilities as her significant other.
Mary Jane does, however, have excellent skills when it comes to both problem-solving and deductive reasoning, each of which is invaluable to her journalistic endeavors. For that reason alone, playing as her remains interesting and adds a little more depth to the overall experience.
5 TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge (April O’Neil)
It’s hard to stand out among a group of super-powered anthropomorphic turtles, but April O’Neil has managed to hold her own. Despite being a news reporter, she often functions as the adult in the room and serves as a motherly figure for the group of shelled heroes.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is a 2022 release by developer DotEmu and was meant to bring back the feeling of playing classic TMNT games in the arcade. Players can choose to play as one of the turtles, or take on investigative journalism head-on with the microphone-wielding April O’Neil.
4 2064: Read Only Memories (The Protagonist)
2064: Read Only Memories is a game developed by MidBoss that was released in 2015. The game is described as an adventure game set in the world of cyberpunk and players create their characters, along with their preferred pronouns.
The main character is a journalist who’s looking to find answers in search of a friend that was kidnapped. The game was reviewed rather well and is considered a must-play for anyone who loves the vibe of the cyberpunk genre. A sequel to this game was announced in 2019 and is set to release in the coming years.
3 Dead Rising (Frank West)
Dead Rising received a lot of praise from gamers for providing one of the first and best zombie-killing sandboxes to ever grace the video game medium. The game caught people’s eyes thanks to a large number of zombies on screen and whacky comedic possibilities when it came to how players could kill them.
The main character of the game is a man by the name of Frank West who works as a photojournalist, a detail that’s apparent when considering that the game has an entire mechanic focused on the player taking pictures of his surroundings. Some of the series’ later installations were a bit hit and miss, but the original was a huge success.
2 Miles Upshur (Outlast)
It’s hard enough as a journalist to get scoops and effectively do the job, but add in the idea of running from a cult in order to survive and the whole process gets exponentially more difficult. output managed to build on the voyeuristic horror that unnerves the player in a world saturated by green light.
Players take on the role of Miles Upshur, a journalist investigating the weird events taking place at Mount Massive Asylum thanks to a type he received from a mysterious anonymous source. He quickly learns that maybe some things are better left unexplored.
1 Nameless Journalist (Bugsnax)
bugsnax initially presents itself as a wonderfully quirky take on the pokemon formula, but instead of fantastical animals, the world is full of food/animal hybrids that were both cute and creepy at the same time.
Those who begin the game take on the role of an unnamed journalist sent to Snaktooth Island to investigate the disappearance of Elizabert Megafig, a famed explorer and bugsnax scientist. Over the course of the game, the player interviews the residents of this island in an attempt to gather clues regarding the disappearance of Ms. mega figure.
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