#1 Posted by BeachThunder (12086 posts) -

So, basically, nothing that's supernatural/magical/fantastical/etc... Something that's based on the real world as we know it.

Some of the best stories in games that I've encountered are the BioShocks, Grim Fandango, and Planescape: Torment. But those games - and most other great game stories - involve all manner on surreal things (not that it's a bad thing). However, I would like to find some good story-based games that try to tell an interesting story within the confines of reality (realistic people, realistic settings, realistic scenarios).

I am going to preempt people that are going to suggest Spec Ops: The Line by mentioning that I've already played it :P

#2 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5840 posts) -

Have you tried the Yakuza games?

The story can be a bit out there at times, but for the most part it's like a normal crime drama.

Granted I've only played the first game, so I don't if that's true for the whole series.

#3 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Katawa Shoujo.

#4 Posted by pizzalunchables (25 posts) -

Red Dead Redemption.

#5 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4690 posts) -

Katawa Shoujo.

BAM! That is the answer. In games it's hard to tell such a story as there needs to be gameplay.

#6 Edited by SlashDance (1827 posts) -

Heavy Rain ? Although they did cut the supernatural stuff and replaced it with plot holes.

#7 Edited by Dagbiker (6978 posts) -

A lot of the early WWII shooters (before the WWII crash), and Relic made Company of Heroes.

Other then that, i usually like the mind fuck games.

#8 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@video_game_king said:

Katawa Shoujo.

BAM! That is the answer. In games it's hard to tell such a story as there needs to be gameplay.

I can't tell if that's an insult or not.

I should also mention Famicom Tantei Club II.

#9 Posted by believer258 (11986 posts) -

Red Dead Redemption, Max Payne 3, and Sleeping Dogs come to mind. None of them are perfect but they're good.

#10 Edited by cloudnineboya (829 posts) -

mafia 1+2 diffidently the first one more so.

#11 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4690 posts) -

@immortalsaiyan said:

@video_game_king said:

Katawa Shoujo.

BAM! That is the answer. In games it's hard to tell such a story as there needs to be gameplay.

I can't tell if that's an insult or not.

I should also mention Famicom Tantei Club II.

it is not an insult. You seen my GOTY blog last year. I really like that game. That gameplay comment was not meant as a diss towards Katawa Shoujo. Just my reasoning why game story's have a more out there premise. Katawa Shoujo is a visual novel so it can be about more down to earth things.

#12 Posted by McLargepants (391 posts) -

One of my favorites from last year, Sleeping Dogs, has a great story and doesn't go into anything super natural!

#13 Posted by casper_ (907 posts) -

i heard l.a. noire had a good story.

#14 Edited by BillyTheKid (486 posts) -

Red Dead Redemption, Jon Marston is such an amazing character.

#15 Edited by Tajasaurus (895 posts) -
#16 Edited by Pepsiman (2485 posts) -

Have you tried the Yakuza games?

The story can be a bit out there at times, but for the most part it's like a normal crime drama.

Granted I've only played the first game, so I don't if that's true for the whole series.

That's more or less how the entire Yakuza series can be defined, yeah. They all have a few wonderfully ridiculous moments, so they're not always games that take themselves super seriously, but they're largely grounded in a really realistic rendition of Japan. Having lived there myself in some of the regions the series has covered, I'd say you'd be hard pressed for a rawer depiction of the country in a mainstream game in a lot of aspects both big and small.

Disaster Report and Raw Danger might be of interest to the OP as well. I only played them in Japanese, so I was spared their pretty hilarious awful localizations (all the Japanese characters have blonde hair!), but they're neat games about surviving natural disasters with down-to-earth plotlines that don't go into any bizarro supernatural directions per se. (They're realistic enough about the disaster aspects that some Tohoku survivors were known to have made it through that ordeal because of what they learned from those games!) Between the two, I'd say that if you don't speak Japanese, Raw Danger is probably the one whose localization is probably worth trudging through since the mechanics are a huge improvement over the first game and its implementation of choice and consequences in a game where you play as multiple protagonists with intersecting plotlines is just brilliant.

#17 Edited by bgdiner (280 posts) -

Like others have mentioned, Sleeping Dogs was really great (haven't played DLC, so I can't say anything about that). I was a little disappointed they didn't expand on the "caught between two loyalties, mental anguish and pain ensues" factor that seems to follow undercover stories, but maybe that's for the better. Still, the game has a great narrative, great gameplay, and doesn't seem to have any plotholes, besides girlfriends not having a steady presence throughout the game.

#18 Edited by BeachThunder (12086 posts) -

@casper_ said:

i heard l.a. noire had a good story.

I definitely should actually get onto that. Someone gifted it to me a while back and I haven't gotten around to it.

#19 Edited by TheGreatGuero (9130 posts) -

Grand Theft Auto, man.

#20 Edited by StarvingGamer (8371 posts) -

Cart Life

#21 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3882 posts) -

Red Dead Redemption, Max Payne (whole series but 2 in particular, amazing writing).

There are a lot of games with great story that are sci-fi, fantasy, or what have though.

#22 Posted by Demoskinos (15011 posts) -

@beachthunder: Alpha Protocol. That game is amazing on the story and decision making end of it. Shame the combat systems were kind of mucked up.

#23 Posted by TangoUp (313 posts) -

Since RDR has already been mentioned, I'll say Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Best FPS experience I've had this generation.

Sold the copy after my first PS3's BluRay drive died. I regret it because Activision manages to artificially keep their games' prices inflated.

#24 Posted by Redbullet685 (6054 posts) -

I was going to recommend Spec Ops: The Line, but that's out of the window. But as others have said, I too recommend Red Dead Redemption.

#25 Posted by audioBusting (1616 posts) -

@starvinggamer said:

Cart Life

Yes! Papers, Please seems to be promising too. I would recommend Sleeping Dogs as well but honestly HK-undercover-cop-movie-world is kinda fantastical in some ways.

I've heard some good things about Bully but I haven't played it.

#26 Edited by Humanity (9582 posts) -

Grand Theft Auto, man.

I agree with that sentiment. MAN GTA4 had a baaad story.

In all honesty I can't think of anything that stands out. Most plots in videogames are serviceable and help to keep you going from point A to point B but nothing to really write home about.

#27 Posted by OfficeGamer (1087 posts) -
  • Assassin's Creed 2
  • Alan Wake
  • Deus Ex Human Revolution
  • Portal 1 and 2
  • Witcher 2
  • ST.A.L.K.E.R Shadow of Chernobyl

Damn this is harder than I thought... OK let's see

  • Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood has a terrific story of two brothers IMO.
  • GTA Vice City, SA and IV
  • The Saboteur has a fantastic WW2 story and atmosphere, some likable characters too.
  • Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway is Saving Private Ryan: The Game
  • Mirror's Edge
  • Condemned: Criminal Origins
  • Indigo Prophecy
  • Total Overdose has a fun story
  • Freedom Fighters
  • Manhunt
#28 Edited by I_Stay_Puft (3565 posts) -

LA Noire, Heavy Rain, Indigo Prophecy, and Dance Central 3.

#29 Posted by Dagbiker (6978 posts) -

Cart Life.

#30 Edited by SirOptimusPrime (2025 posts) -

I'll go ahead and back Sleeping Dogs. It's not super revolutionary, but it's at least well told. Alpha Protocol's story itself isn't the greatest or most innovative, but the characters and the dialogue are generally above average.

I've got nothing else off the top of my head.

@officegamer said:
  • Condemned: Criminal Origins
  • Indigo Prophecy

I don't think you've gotten far enough in these two games. Condemned gets stupid only near the end (and remains incredibly stupid throughout 2), but Indigo Prophecy isn't really what I'd go to for a grounded storyline.

#31 Posted by NoobSauceG7 (1258 posts) -

Bully, Sleeping Dogs, Red Dead Redemption just to name a few.

#32 Posted by Icicle7x3 (1188 posts) -

I'll go ahead and back Sleeping Dogs. It's not super revolutionary, but it's at least well told. Alpha Protocol's story itself isn't the greatest or most innovative, but the characters and the dialogue are generally above average.

I've got nothing else off the top of my head.

@officegamer said:
  • Condemned: Criminal Origins
  • Indigo Prophecy

I don't think you've gotten far enough in these two games. Condemned gets stupid only near the end (and remains incredibly stupid throughout 2), but Indigo Prophecy isn't really what I'd go to for a grounded storyline.

Hell, Indigo Prophecy opens with a guy being possessed to murder a guy and in Condemned Agent Thomas is constantly having flashes of events of things he had no way of knowing in the 1st level of the game.

#33 Edited by Pie (7108 posts) -

I never got round to completing it but I was having a really good time with The Last Express.

Set entirely on a train in 1914 travelling across Europe

#34 Edited by oraknabo (1502 posts) -

It's kind of funny that the first DLCs from both Sleeping Dogs and Red Dead Redemption were full of supernatural stuff.

#35 Edited by Snail (8615 posts) -

Heavy Rain ? Although they did cut the supernatural stuff and replaced it with plot holes.

That's not a very good story. When it starts trying to explain itself it falls to pieces.

#36 Posted by SirOptimusPrime (2025 posts) -

Hell, Indigo Prophecy opens with a guy being possessed to murder a guy and in Condemned Agent Thomas is constantly having flashes of events of things he had no way of knowing in the 1st level of the game.

I don't remember you learning about that until later with the psychic or whatever? I haven't played the game in a while (I've only seen someone finish it anyways) but I don't remember being told he's possessed right away. As for Condemned well, that's uh... artistic something or other? I dunno. I ain't up on them there books.

#37 Posted by jacksmedulla (280 posts) -

Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire, and Deus Ex Human Revolution.

#38 Edited by Icicle7x3 (1188 posts) -

@icicle7x3 said:

Hell, Indigo Prophecy opens with a guy being possessed to murder a guy and in Condemned Agent Thomas is constantly having flashes of events of things he had no way of knowing in the 1st level of the game.

I don't remember you learning about that until later with the psychic or whatever? I haven't played the game in a while (I've only seen someone finish it anyways) but I don't remember being told he's possessed right away. As for Condemned well, that's uh... artistic something or other? I dunno. I ain't up on them there books.

#39 Edited by SirOptimusPrime (2025 posts) -

@siroptimusprime said:

@icicle7x3 said:

Hell, Indigo Prophecy opens with a guy being possessed to murder a guy and in Condemned Agent Thomas is constantly having flashes of events of things he had no way of knowing in the 1st level of the game.

I don't remember you learning about that until later with the psychic or whatever? I haven't played the game in a while (I've only seen someone finish it anyways) but I don't remember being told he's possessed right away. As for Condemned well, that's uh... artistic something or other? I dunno. I ain't up on them there books.

Okay, yeah. That game is dumb from the word go. I guess you learn who possesses him later.

#40 Edited by fetchfox (1289 posts) -

@beachthunder: It's a bit tedious, but the story is pretty good (in reference to L.A. Noire). The greatest part is definitely the atmosphere, and you should really try the black-and white mode. It's not just a filter, it really makes it look like an old movie. I also suggest the Yakuza series as @fancysoapsman did. It's a really interesting and fun organized crime series, though its quite the soap-opera at times.

#41 Edited by DarknessBear (1 posts) -

I'm not sure there is a perfect answer for this, I generally find that people complain about MOST games stories, yet it's a party w/ no hot girls. It's rare/nonexistant for a games story to be universally praised.