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Games with, fucking, full-rounded plots?

Gamingtodaynews1e - Games with, fucking, full-rounded plots?
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Hi truegaming, this is a retread of my accidental post to r/Games which understandably was met by people going "Oh noo, my brain hurts, I can't think" and stuff, so I'm doing it again. It isn't strictly speaking a r/gamesuggestions prompt either, because as much as I ask, I also expect people to deliberate a little bit on some literary or critical commentary on why they suggested stuff, and why it fits the bill. This isn't really a "find out what I like!" thread either, I'm just narrowing down a box for you, and we can talk about a bunch of games and I might end up playing something new, if I'm lucky.

So the premise: I'm looking for a new game, started replaying Ocarina of Time but quit because I've seen it already; need something new. Something that also has a fully-rounded plot with beginnin, middle and end, and good dramatic structure (aka a change between act 1 and 2, and a clear focus, with good endings etc.)

Now, here is the thing, though! I don't want to play something too goofy, loop-driven or "story games" that don't have proper plots.

To quickly explain what this "full-rounded plot" refers to, think Ocarina of Time: A game that's better than even most Zeldas because it takes a complete narrative structure, one that starts with an inciting incident, has a clear end of an act 1 in which there's a major change to the tone and nature of the game, a second act that progressively evolves the gameplay and the story, and a climax that feels like a culmination of all those things combined.

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Too many games that are touted as narrative-heavy are games that to me frankly seem like vignettes or "character driven" slice of life tales, stories in which there's a lot of themes and examinations of issues, but it doesn't feel dynamic, or just as bad: It doesn't have a clearly plotted out structure.

Last criteria to hammer down is to avoid "loop" driven games. Loop refers to games in which regardless of where the story goes you're ultimately doing the same 30 second gameplay loop that you were taught at the very beginning. Just like prog. rock, I want a game that isn't stuck in a Verse->Chorus->Verse structure, I want it to feel like the game introduces new ideas to compliment its core when you're nearing the final parts of it, so it's not just "you shoot anything that moves in the face… 40 hours later." At the same time, it can't be Spider-Man The Animated Series where the plot just goes wherever the fuck it wants without a clue where it's headed. A game needs a core but it needs to have gone somewhere that it wasn't in the first hour, when you're reaching the finale.

Contenders I would list as the good examples are things like:

  • The Last of Us,
  • Half Life 2,
  • Nier Automata,
  • Resident Evil 2 (Weak plot but otherwise.)
  • Batman Arkham City

But I've already played these and I'm looking for something new. I hope you get a sense of what I'm talking about 🙂

Disclaimer: I've played most popular titles from last gen. Last-last gen, I mean. Best suggestions would be circa 2017+ and otherwise more niche titles.

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