What are the best PC games that through narrative or gameplay comment on the state of games themselves?
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NieR: Automata's outlook on storytelling is great: in order to get the full experience, you've got to do multiple playthroughs of the game. You unlock more chapters of the story as you complete the previous chapters more times: completing the first chapter twice will unlock the second chapter, then when you complete that you will unlock the third. When you begin, you play as an android known as YoRHA. However, subsequent playthroughs will allow you to choose different characters. This lets you experience the story from a different perspective. It's really interesting and certainly serves to make the game more fun overall. See More
The combat in NieR: Automata is incredible. It has a very hack-and-slash feel to it, with an emphasis on agility and acrobatics. You will have to switch from using small, quick jabs with your weapon, to devastatingly strong attacks. You also have to utilize ranged attacks, as well as the companion that follows you around if you want to have any hope of surviving every encounter. It can be very difficult to win battles sometimes, but it also feels equally rewarding when you finally achieve victory. See More
NieR: Automata is set in an apocalyptic time where Earth has been overrun by robots, and the artists really nailed what that would feel like. Abandoned and overgrown cities litter the landscape along with old refineries, graveyards, and eerie forests. When you add the beautiful soundtrack to the experience, it fills you with a bittersweet mix of loneliness and hope. See More
Certain items may have odd properties or work together with other items to create unexpected results. A list of combinations, where the only hint is the name of the combination, gives the game another puzzle-like layer that you are required to solve to progress further. For example, a somewhat vague sentence (such as Wooden Block Combo) will be given and the player must analyse and choose the correct materials in order to process further. See More
The gameplay mechanics in Little Inferno stay the same: you use the fireplace in order to burn materials and create combo's. Even when unlocking newer catalogs with new materials to burn, not much changes in terms of gameplay. The puzzle hints that are provided also are quite similar, which can make the game feel rather monotonous. See More
You spend most of your time throwing things in an ill-conceived invention for kids called the Little Inferno fireplace. By setting things on fire you get money that can be spent on more things to throw in the fireplace. There is a subtle plot that may make you re-evaluate your actions. See More
The game revolves around deliveries that take time to arrive to your fireplace. There are time constraints on these deliveries that force the player to wait, unless you purchase postage stamps by unlocking combo's. As such, most of the time played in the game will be in a more 'idle' situation waiting on the deliveries instead of actually using the deliveries to solve the puzzles. See More
One of the main themes of the game is the illusion of choice that's presented in games. While a player can make a vast number of decisions in the game, the narrator reminds the player he can only make decisions that the game allows him to and how the game manipulates the player into making them. The narrator points out that not just common choices such as what path to take to get from point A to point B, how to approach a certain situation or what ethical choices are available are limited to the game's designers having thought of and implemented those aspects of the game, but decisions such as purposeful suicide, not taking action, disobeying instructions and even turning off the game are only there if the game allows them to be there. See More
The game encourages players to explore decisions that would change the meaning of the presented story. What if you took a left turn where the game asked you to take a right? What if you decided not to push a big red button needed to continue playing because you didn't agree with pushing the big red button? What if you died in a boss battle? How would that affect the narrative of the game? The game rewards you for not following the "intended" narrative structure of the situation in order to point out how the structure is unavoidable in games as a whole. The process of attempting to break the structure can be highly satisfying in The Stanley Parable and can help you better notice limitations of narrative in other games. See More
Points out narrative limitations in games by encouraging breaking narrative structure through gameplay
Excellently crafted, hilarious writing delivered by a well spoken, charismatic British narrator. Kevan Brighting has become somewhat of a cult success since the game due to its cult like status which just shows how deserving he is due to how well done the narration of the game is done. See More
The game tackles topics such as ludonarrative dissonance, choice in games, narrative limitations, etc while mostly focusing on the relationship between the game and the player in terms of storytelling in a very meaningful, educated and entertaining way. See More
It is up to the user on how the take in the meaning of the content of the game. There are no cutscenes, everything is portrayed by gameplay, which makes the interpretation somewhat personal. This type of presentation also explores whether the player has any choice in what they are doing in the game, which can be liberating while also weirdly strict. See More
There are many ways to play the game, whether that's finding the location of secrets while you're a ghost, or using your resources to scam your way into them while you're alive. Good example? There's a cave across a lava river. You could either make a flat rock fireproof, give it the ability to walk and take orders, jump on it and command it to take you to the other side. OR You can just kill yourself, walk over the river while you're dead, and find a hidden spawn point while in the cave. You find these keys that look important but there's nothing to do with them, along with an old recording log from a former beta tester. You can either be perceptive and find where you need to put the blocks after looking everywhere worth looking, OR You can just read the logs, listening to this tester complain that players don't look up and the puzzle is freakin' stupid and it needs to be erased. After taking the hint, you'll find where you put the keys: Directly above your head. See More
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