Double Fine’s creative director talks the importance of story in the likes of Valiant Hearts, Inside, Until Dawn, The Last Guardian and more
There is more than one way to skin a cat (don’t ask me how I know that) and there’s also more than one way to tell a great story in games. You can do it with great dialogue, or no dialogue at all.
You can focus on the depth of the characters, or on the richness of the environment. You can bring your hero’s choices to life with game play mechanics that are complex, or extremely simple.
And that’s why this list of great PS4 story-telling games is so diverse – they all tackle the problem in their own style. Each one finds a unique way to bring its world, its characters, its story to life. And no cats are skinned in any of them. I’m sorry I even brought that up.
Came to this one for the art, but found some of my favourite writing in games recently. Really funny, nuanced, and surprising.
A beautiful platforming puzzle game with a story told through environments and photographic memories.
3. Gone Home
I admire this game for putting story front and centre and committing to that as their prime focus before other games were doing it.
A story about the war told in a way that war stories are rarely told in games.
Naturalistic dialogue that can be interrupted, redirected, and played with – still sounding pretty natural. Super hard to pull off, but they did it really well.
I thought I knew where this was going when it started, and then I was constantly surprised by where it took me. Very memorable.
Story told without words at all, just art and little comic strip memories. Beautiful!
This minimalistic story seemed to present more mysteries than it solved. It felt like anything could happen next. Bleak and harsh and constantly engaging.
A very unique way of telling a story while on a road trip. Make decisions in dialogue trees, but also in branching roads. Style and subject matter different from any game I could think of.
Mostly a platformer, with a very unique way of visually exploring memories.
11. Until Dawn
Recommend you play with a group of friends and not alone – not just because it’s scary, but because this game really invites you to cooperatively work through a story together, yelling and screaming and laughing the whole time.
A fighting game with many great, colourful characters, rich with personality.
Incredibly strong depiction of a character and a relationship, using very few words.