Every AAA developer is busy making the next massively multiplayer online game. Usually a battlefield of either “historically accurate” or fantastical nature. And that’s fine, but sometimes you like to just disappear into an immersive experience, with a decent narrative. This is the list for you then. Take a look at our suggestions to see what will give you a fresh perspective and have you ready to go again after a quick break.
For the player who wants to keep teetotal, there is an After Party. Even if you don’t like that idea, you must be intrigued by the idea of a drinking console game?
After Party is witty as it is simple. Your two protagonists, college graduates and longtime friends Milo and Lola, have arrived in Hell after a mysterious death. But this is not Hell as you would imagine. There is its bureaucratic side, sure, but once 5pm hits, Hell is a rave for everyone to enjoy.
The two outcasts now find their mission: to get out of Hell. But Satan informs them that there’s only one loophole to damned eternity, and that is to beat all his boss cousins in a drinking competition.
This neon-themed game is part Euphoria meets Monsters University; with the dry humor you might see in Schitt’s Creek but delivered by the cast of Riverdale. There are no wrong answers in this branching narrative, which allows you to say exactly what is on your mind and keep carrying on, with the consequences of loosening your lips with booze chasing you through Hell.
Hades is something that will tickle your fancy if you like to measure success, like narrative-driven games, and have ever read a single panel of Lore Olympus and decided you need more.
Like Lore Olympus, Hades likes to recontextualize …well, Olympus lore. And sometimes restore it to its original meaning. Fans of Songs of Achilles will know what we mean.
You follow Zagreus on his mission to get out of the underworld, and under the thumb of his father, to reach his mother on Earth. Chat to NPCs of myth and Olympic gods who offer gifts to help you out and expand the narrative of this messy family affair.
Disclaimer: the point is to fail, but also improve. Like mobile casinos, you keep trying and keep getting a little better. You might get put off by repeatedly dying at the hands of Megara, the Hydra, and plenty of other creatures of Hell, but every advancement is enough to gain a cheer and keep you going, until you finally escape.
Disco Elysium isn’t as “pretty” as some of the options on this list, that manage to turn Hell into either a rave or a primary color-coded ancient Athens, but then it’s hard to make an apocalyptic wasteland look fun.
And yet, that is the aim of the grimy and dank land of Disco Elysium. A name like that might have you thinking you’ve got another Dance Dance Revolution to deal with, but instead you’ve got a groundbreaking role-playing game that everyone is talking about.
Following the same lines as the Fallout and Elder Scrolls franchises, when they were good, Disco Elysium sees you making decisions to create any character you feel like, putting the “role playing” back into RPGs. Sure, you have the vague outline of being a detective in this wasted city, much like the idea of a “courier” in New Vegas, but your choices through the path mold you into something different.
Create your skills from a system made up of useful characteristics and go on as a cult leader, a detective, a hero, a villain, whatever you fancy in this world that is rife with crime and severely lacking ethics.
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