Games are a great escape from reality creating intricate and incredible worlds for us to explore and have fun in, and most of them feature some absolutely gorgeous graphics and scenes, using amazing ranges of colour and lovely musical accompaniment some games though completely take your mind on a journey that you never expected and will stay with you for a long time after you have finished it. here are some of them that had a real impact on me personally.

Abzu

From the first moment you hit the water you are immersed in a colourful and vibrant underwater world, filled with all manner of sea creatures, all of the creatures in Abzu are based on real-life animals, as you dive deeper down you unlock more exotic creatures, even ancient and extinct prehistoric fish that you can interacted with and swim with and they will swarm past you in almost a dance display.

Playing through this game you get the actual feeling that you are bringing life back to the ocean and you free different species and unlock huge coral structures, each time you do it flows life back into the water and brings a huge flow of life and colour into the area, it is simply breathtaking.

Life isn’t the only thing in the sea though as you explore further down you will discover a metal world built by some long-dead civilization, that which is being powered by the life force of the ocean, it’s your job to free the captured sea creatures and put a stop the obvious damage that has been done and bring life and colour back to the sea.

Journey

From sliding down a huge hill of sand in the desert to trudging through the snow in a wind-whipped mountain pass, Journey is full of scenic and beautiful environments to explore, you start your titular journey moving across a sun-scorched desert, alongside your companion you explore and interact with the world around you to progress toward a light at the top of a mountain in the distance.

With the aid of a fellow player, you will discover what became of the previous civilization unlocking more beautiful areas and meeting new mystical creatures, with their help you will reactivate long-dormant machines and free the captured wildlife inside of them, each time you do this you release a flood of colour and energy that surges across the environment in a beautiful display, also charging you and the wildlife around you.

As you progress it you will discover that your character will uncover dark secrets about the life forms that came before them and where the power of the ancient machines come from, using the graceful movement and singing to power machines and your companion, you will hopefully achieve your goal and finally, get to the journey’s end.

Night in the Woods

Returning home after a long time away Mae Borowski finds that everything in her home town has changed, from the stores and restaurants that have gone out of business to her friends who now have jobs and homes of their own, Night in the Woods is all about growing up, or in the case of Mae trying not to grow up.

As you play through the game you are faced with very serious issues from poverty and money problems to darker problems that are haunting the town, but it is all told through the childlike view of Mae, paired with the simple almost paper-like animation style it gives the player a real feeling of the juxtaposition between the issues that are plaguing people and the fun animation and platforming aspect of the game.

The animation is just lovely to experience as you hop from rooftop to rooftop you will find hidden areas and secret little interactions you didn’t expect, and even down the simple aspect of walking and kicking up the leaves and branches on the ground leaves the player with a sense of childlike wonder, the real beauty of the game comes from the interactions you have with other characters and experiencing the small differences in each of their lives. every person draws you in with the feeling of the individuals’ different quirks and personal issues.

Limbo

From the very moment you start Limbo you feel the oppressive feel of the lack of colour, the entire game’s story is told contextually with no textboxes or voice clips, you wake in the middle of the woods with no knowledge of how you got there or where to go, so you trudge forwards scrambling up cliffs and rappelling into caves the player’s lack of light and colour is a constant challenge as every step or movement feels it could be their last.

The lack of colour in the game adds to the feeling of unease and the feeling of the loss, paired with the near-constant dangers that you will face, the character, a young boy must find his way through the perils and fight the dangers that lie ahead, from other children to giant arachnids you will only ever see a silhouette which leaves the player to fill in the gaps and use their imagination to make opponents feel more personally horrifying.

Adding to the oppressive feel of the game the music (or background sounds as it is not melodic in any way) is more grating and droning to make the very air around you feel as if it will take you away, the grinding of gears and the dull hum of a neon light these noises leave the player feeling abandoned as there are no musical triggers to tell them how to feel in each situation.

Leave a Reply