There are good games out there, but you have to look hard.
It’s not the games with the spiffy Hollywood style trailers. It’s not the ones that usually involve shooting people in the face. Instead it’s the quieter ones that tend to be more interesting (heh.)
Anyway, I think I’ve been really impressed by a few games recently for the first time since… forever.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
This was made by a bigger developer/publisher, but it’s a quieter game all right. The two-person platforming and fascinating exploration are very nice, and the comicky style of the game is something different. It has great-looking outdoor landscapes (using Unreal 3). But the best part is the story. I won’t spoil it here, but it’s really quite touching.
First-person exploration game. You search an abandoned house for clues while piecing together the story. And again, the story is what really shines. It’s set in the nineties, and they executed that feeling really well. The game has no violence or shooting whatsoever, it manages to get by with just the story and exploration. Outstanding.
This unique game has you playing border control in the fictional totalitarian state of Arstotzka. You have to manage an increasing pile of paperwork with as little errors as possible while trying to keep your family fed with your meager earnings. I never thought this could be fun, but for some reason it’s actually hilarious. Glory to Arstotzka.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
Another first-person exploration game where you basically play the detective. Drop-dead beautiful outdoor landscape (Unreal again.) No shooting or guns on the screen as far as I could see.
Exploration / side-scrolling platformer game. It’s driven by a story about a girl from an Alaskan native tribe who sets out, together with an arctic fox, to find the source of a mysterious blizzard threatening her people. The visual style is gorgeous (using Unity), and the story includes spirits, polar bears, shamans and other awesome stuff like that. This game is almost so pretty that it hurts.
This feels like an incredible breath of fresh air. Very inspiring stuff.