The other day I was trying to explain to my wife that I really only play a certain type of video game. I like to play games that are deeply immersive, flexible in their playing style and most of all, have a good story. I like to live in these worlds a couple of hours at a time, letting myself fully digest the landscapes, the characters and whatever missions lay in front of me. I think she understood what I was saying, but it’s hard to describe what this really means.
For me, games are less about experiencing a playable movie and more about being fully transported. I like to get lost in a game where I have weird dreams about it, where I can disconnect fully from the real world and live somewhere else for a time. My character’s priorities become my priorities. To me, a good game is, yes, a soup of mechanics and visuals that work together nicely, but it’s also a really good-ass story.
The last year or so has been pretty bitchin’ for games like this. I felt real, genuine protective father instincts playing GOD OF WAR. SPIDER-MAN had me looking at New York City in a way I hadn’t in years. FAR CRY 5 had me asking questions about faith and sacrifice that were thought-provoking and scary. Even ASSASSIN’S CREED ODYSSEY, a series whose story I usually Hold B To Skip, pulled me in in a way that had me invest almost 90 hours into it. When I first heard about DAYS GONE, and the level of open world goodies it was said to provide, I was pretty excited, but for entirely different reasons. At long last, there was a game that had elements of who I actually am, but in an immersive, sensational world. It was, quite literally, a dream come true.
If you were to make a checklist of the things I want out of a video game, they’re pretty easy to identify. I like simple upgrade systems. I like to be able to add health, mag capacity, etc. I actually like grinding for upgrades. Second, I like third-person shooters. Nothing against the first person, but for me, it feels more immersive to be able to see my character. That’s entirely backward…