Being wholly immersed in a video game provides for an experience quite like no other. The act of being swept up into a game’s living and breathing world, wrapped up in its lore, sound design, and gameplay is one that few games manage to create properly. The five games listed below are some of gaming’s crowning achievements in immersion.
5) Shadow of the Colossus:
One of the most unique video games of all time, Team Ico’s Shadow of the Colossus managed to create one of the most immersive worlds ever seen in a video game. The massive, yet strangely empty land in which players explored captured a sense of exploration and adventure in a way that few other games ever have. Players controlled Wander and his horse Agro, as they traversed the expansive world hunting down the ancient Colossi in hopes of resurrecting his lover. Noted for its minimilistic game design and epic battles against the Colossi, Shadow of the Colossus managed to immerse gamers – making Wander’s quest their own – and suck them into the world of the Forbidden Lands.
4) Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines:
A combination of brilliantly written dialogue and deep role-playing mechanics has forever etched VtM:B into the hearts of gamers. Featuring a well-realized view into the seedy underbelly of the Los Angeles area as well as a gripping plot and interesting characters, VtM:B has earned itself a place among RPG greats. Few titles have ever managed to create a world that feels as believable – even though vampires make up the majority of the game’s cast, each and every interaction, as well as the game’s locations feel very much alive.
3) Harvest Moon: Back to Nature:
Most people tend to thinks swords, guns and big explosions when they think of video games. The Harvest Moon games are the complete opposite, however, proving that even simple, slice-of-life titles have the potential to completely immerse and engross gamers. Farming, wooing potential wives, and raising livestock are all par for the course in Back to Nature, and these decidedly different gameplay elements come together perfectly to create an addicting and immersive experience. The charming visuals and entertaining townsfolk create a small town farming experience that, as oddly as it sounds, is immersive as hell.
2) Dark Souls:
Dark Souls is similar to Shadow of the Colossus in terms of it’s bleak world and minimalistic storytelling. The world of Lordran is a terifying one, where death awaits around every corner. Players must think carefully as they journey on their quest. With interestesting locations that draw the players in, fascinating NPC, and more challenge than players can shake a stick at, Dark Souls immerses with its rich atmosphere.
1) S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl:
S.T.A.L.K.E.R., arguably the most atmospheric video game ever created, is the standard of immersion by which other games should be held to. Set in the irradiated ‘Zone’, players are thrown to the elements and left to survive and scavenge. The Zone is anything but safe, horrors lay in hiding and bandits stalk the night. Even with its dated visuals, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., thanks largely to its terrifyingly great sound design, captures players’ minds and sucks them into the game’s twisted world. A game best played at night – with a bottle of vodka close at hand, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is not for the faint of heart. Those who do step into the Zone will surely find themselves not only lost to it, but also completely immersed by it.
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