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#1 Edited by AmateurWriter (6 posts) -

Heavy Rain was memorable for me in a unique way. I know Heavy Rain is a love it or hate it game, but the way I experienced it was unlike many games I had before and very similar to the way many others did according to David Cage.

rant

My brother (let's call him John) used to live in town, but moved out in his twenties with his band in order to try to make it big in Los Angeles. That didn't work out, so he ended up staying out there with a ton of debt and got a programming job for a website to pay off the debt and make a get his life back on track. In the past seven years or so, I've probably only visited him four or five times and it seems like the trips are becoming shorter and less common every year.

I visited him two years during spring break when Heavy Rain had just released. John and I used to play video games all the time before his jobs and marriage took up all his time, but recently he left gaming behind because he simply didn't have the time. Usually when I visit him I'm lucky if we get an hour or two to watch a movie together or play a video game. However, this time, he asked if there were any good games out on the PS3. I told him about Heavy Rain. He was a little skeptical, but trusted my judgment.

We drove down to Best Buy that day and bought it. He knew since that morning that his mother-in-law was coming over for dinner and he would have to help grill burgers on a grill he had never used since they moved in, but he didn't seem to care. He was playing with Ethan's kids and couldn't be bothered to play with his own daughter outside or help with the burgers. It was hilarious.

This was the brother I knew. The one who cracked jokes, passed the controller back and forth, and carried on a conversation about what he did and didn't like about the game as we played. It felt just like the time we spent back when he lived in town. Over the next few days, we played through the rest of the game. We would pass off the controller every time the game switched to a different character (or sometimes when we died after a long period.) We speculated about who the Origami Killer was as we ate breakfast and wondering what was going to happen next when we turned the PS3 off at night.

Yes, maybe John put some extra stress on his wife and the rest of the family by getting so immersed in the game that he ignored some of his responsibilities around the house. But having this experience with him showed me that this part of him that I loved had not died. He had introduced me to Goldeneye when I was in first grade and now I was a junior in college introducing him to one of my favorite games.

end of rant

So what game immersed you the most? Which game made you forget you were playing a game and took you into another world?

PS: I think Journey, while I did not love the "story," is one of the most well crafted games I have played.

#2 Posted by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

Journey was moving in ways unrelated to the story. Shadow of the Colossus was pretty moving, and I've been playing through Twilight Princess again and there are some reasonably emotional parts in that game too.

#3 Edited by Mrsignerman44 (1100 posts) -

Well, it used to be Shadow of the Colossus for me, but the Walking Dead affected me in a way that no game had done before. I became heavily invested in the story and characters, I eagerly awaited the next chapter every time and I was moved to tears by the ending. In fact, I'm still reeling from the fact that it ended the way it did well after it's conclusion back in November. It was such a surprise to me when I played it, I actually thought it was going to be some stupid cash grab. I'm so glad that I was wrong...

#4 Edited by JadeGL (825 posts) -

While some of the beats were cliche, I was moved by parts of Ni No Kuni's story. I would say that there is a bit about 3/4 of the way through that hit me. I was watching my husband play through it, so I wasn't sure how I felt versus how he felt. As a viewer, it was powerful. The ending, in comparison, did not have the "oomph" of that earlier moment.

I would say that there were two or three big moments in Mass Effect 3 that were quite powerful as someone who has played all three games to completion. The ending fell flat, but the fate of Mordin and Legion were fantastic. I also really was moved by the character moments at the end in London, especially with Liara. Mind you, Liara wasn't my SO in the game, so it was a friend to a friend moment, but it was still beautifully executed. It was certainly better executed than my final conversation with SO Kaidan.

As for games that gave me a powerful emotional reaction, but didn't move me in the sense that I am thinking the question implies, I would say that one of the most emotionally powerful games I have played has been Amnesia: The Dark Descent. That game created a powerful overarching fear and tension that didn't relent until the game ended. On top of that, some of the story beats caused a pretty palpable feeling of revulsion in me. So that game moved me, but in a completely different way than a game like Mass Effect did.

I would add Walking Dead as well, but the most powerful emotions I felt in the game were in chapter 2, mainly with losing Mark who I liked for the short amount of time I knew him in the game, plus the more horrifying events that took place. The final chapter was certainly moving, but I found myself more upset with the fate of Kenny and Ben than with what happened to Lee. I think I was more prepared for Lee having a bad ending, but Kenny and Ben were two people that I fought so hard for, and that felt like a failure.

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#5 Edited by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

That one porn game where your sister dies at the end. Man, that was sad.

#6 Posted by Mrsignerman44 (1100 posts) -

@jadegl said:

I would say that there were two or three big moments in Mass Effect 3 that were quite powerful as someone who has played all three games to completion. The ending fell flat, but the fate of Mordin and Legion were fantastic. I also really was moved by the character moments at the end in London, especially with Liara. Mind you, Liara wasn't my SO in the game, so it was a friend to a friend moment, but it was still beautifully executed. It was certainly better executed than my final conversation with SO Kaidan.

Mass Effect 3 has so many great moments that wrap up the series that it made up for the ending in every way. A lot of people calling it the worst of the 3 games solely based on their disappointment at the ending seemed really childish in my opinion. While it has some flaws, sure, it's far from the worst game in the trilogy. How can any fan of Mass Effect say that they didn't like the mission on Rannoch(Legion and Tali's mission) or how the Genophage crisis was resolved?

#7 Posted by JadeGL (825 posts) -

@mrsignerman44: I liked the game. I didn't like the ending although I thought the EC really improved it. I think if the EC had been in the game from the beginning, there would be many less complaints. I know I wouldn't have had nearly any. I think Brad playing the game so much later, and giving it his GOY, certainly points to that perhaps being the case. I have no idea about the other DLC since I have not gone back to the game since playing the EC ending, and enjoying it.

However, in my opinion, the story in the first game is still the best. I really love the epic scifi feel of that game as a whole, while I completely agree that for pure gameplay, it is certainly worse than the second or third installments. Mass Effect 2 was fantastic, especially that ending mission, but had a smaller scope than the first game. Perhaps that's why it's ending and character moments were so successful. I think the third game would have been my GOY if it had shipped with the EC, but playing it with that first ending was rough as a fan. I understand how hard it is to finish a trilogy well and we have many examples of developers dropping the ball especially this past year, but I hadn't had one happen to a game series that I adored. So it soured the overall feeling to the game. However, I think the third game's high points (Mordin, Legion, Rannoch, genophage, reuniting with Kaidan after staying loyal throughout all 3 games) beat the most high points of the other two games.

It's a hard thing to quantify and describe. All 3 games have their ups and downs and I think all three have amazing moments that moved me.

Moderator
#8 Edited by DarthOrange (3858 posts) -

Heavy Rain as well, but not for any external factors like you had. The story was just great and I think a big part of what made me invested in the scenes was the fantastic score.

inFamous 2 also had a moving story seeing things continue to be awkward between Zeke and Cole after the events of the first game, and the arc of their relationship when playing as good or bad.

#9 Edited by notdavid (837 posts) -

Might as well get the obvious one out of the way. Metal Gear Solid 3. The Boss. Hitting the square button. I haven't seen gameplay mechanics used for emotional impact like that again until Walking Dead.

#10 Posted by SlashDance (1814 posts) -

@notdavid: Yup. Doesn't help that The Boss is one of the best characters to ever appear in a video game.

Man, this game !

#11 Posted by Animasta (14675 posts) -

Nier because it's amazingly written, super interesting, and depressing, and it hates you.

#12 Edited by uniform (1835 posts) -

The short stories detailing Kaim's past in the game Lost Odyssey. However, those chronicle the past, long before the game takes place. Aside from that, I can't recall a single game story that moved me.

#13 Posted by Mrsignerman44 (1100 posts) -

@jadegl: Yeah, I agree with your last statement completely. There's always been something holding the Mass Effect games back in every installment but at the end of the day, they're all great games. I haven't seen the EC content or any of the DLC content(besides From Ashes) for that matter and after talking about it, I want to revisit it to see how they improve that ending.

#14 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (3671 posts) -

Minor spoilers here, but I'm going to phrase things with the intention of reminding people who have finished each game, but not ruining the experience for others.

Red Dead Redemption, after the credits roll, and the hour or two that leads up to it. Without a doubt the most amazingly original and fully realized ending to a video game that I've ever seen.

Braid was also fantastic, especially since I personally feel that the nuclear bomb was an analogy for the relationship, not the other way around.

BioShock - the ending before the ending. That audio recording that you can find right before that point is still one of the darkest and most disturbing things I've ever witnessed in a video game, and sets you up perfectly for what I like to think is the true ending of that game. Everything that follows is a poor excuse for an actual conclusion.

Lastly, Prince of Persia 2008 also impressed me quite a lot, even if I know that some people hated the ending. The epilogue DLC ruined the amazing twist at the end, but the real game ended brilliantly. It was perhaps the ultimate "how far would you go" scene in a game, and the perfect payoff for the hours of gameplay that came before it.

#15 Posted by mrfluke (5131 posts) -

lost odyssey

Mgs3 and 4 (especially at the end of 3, god damm)

Walking Dead,

Asuras wrath. (especially with the nirvana dlc, bittersweet, but fucking awesome)

#16 Edited by JCTango (1361 posts) -

@amateurwriter: Glad to hear you and your brother reconnecting!

I, too, was immersed into Heavy Rain's story. The story surrounding the loss of loved ones got to me, to be specific. Quantic Dream really knows how to make some cinematic games - I was pretty invested in all their characters, especially Shelby.

I have seen some gameplay of The Walking Dead as well, and can already tell that game's story will move me to tears :(.

#17 Posted by EquitasInvictus (2026 posts) -

To the Moon

It has some extremely touching moments and the end was especially bittersweet and even before that around the climax there's like a long chain of particularly devastating moments.

#18 Posted by dcgc (878 posts) -

None.

#19 Edited by JadeGL (825 posts) -


BioShock - the ending before the ending. That audio recording that you can find right before that point is still one of the darkest and most disturbing things I've ever witnessed in a video game, and sets you up perfectly for what I like to think is the true ending of that game. Everything that follows is a poor excuse for an actual conclusion.

I had forgotten about BioShock but I completely agree. That moment that you describe hit me in much the same way. I really loved the audio logs in that game, and that specific one stands out, especially with the weight of what it means.

In fact, the only other audio log I can think of, off the top of my head, that really disturbed me, was probably J. S Steinman's "Not What She Wanted" log in the Medical Pavilion. I really did love finding all of those logs just for those moments.

Moderator
#20 Posted by Devise22 (213 posts) -

From an immersion stand point I'd have to say Mass Effect 1. All the technical and gameplay issues aside I really felt like I was in control of my character. A stand out moment to me was being able to make that speech when you first board the Normandy. It was something so simple as picking between choices on a dialogue tree but I was just as inspired as I was trying to make my crew. I think all the story elements of that first game really worked, and helped set a standard for why that series had such high hopes and expectations and was as well liked as it was. That first game sucked you into the world and made you believe this was not just a setting for a game, but a universe that existed. Every thing from the mission structure, the conversations and options, the codex.

On another note, am I the only one who feels weird by Skyrim/Oblion/Elder Scrolls in this conversation? The amount of scope and the environment in those games always suck me in, they make me feel like it is a world. But once I start actually playing, interacting with the characters and doing quests I instantly fall out of the world and recognize it as a game. I start going into RPG tropes of knowing where to turn, where the building is here and there, when to talk to what character to advance my things. But if you load into a game and just go dungeon crawling and don't activate any quests it can do a good job of feeling like a world.

#21 Edited by Jimbo (9804 posts) -

Prince of Persia '08 for me.

@uniform said:

The short stories detailing Kaim's past in the game Lost Odyssey. However, those chronicle the past, long before the game takes place. Aside from that, I can't recall a single game story that moved me.

I really liked 'The Upstreamers'.

#22 Edited by Ghostiet (5251 posts) -

Mother 3, Planescape Torment and Nier were the ones that moved me the most.

#23 Edited by Hunter5024 (5639 posts) -

That part in Final Fantasy 8 where Rinoa is suffocating to death gets me every time.

#24 Posted by mtcantor (947 posts) -

That one porn game where your sister dies at the end. Man, that was sad.

God help me, you are talking about Kana: Little Sister, and you aren't wrong.

So I've heard.

Also, To The Moon.

#25 Posted by NiKva (128 posts) -

I got really sad while playing a game a few weeks ago.

Too bad I don't remember which game that was :|

#26 Posted by mtcantor (947 posts) -
#27 Posted by Marcsman (3180 posts) -

Heavy Rain

#28 Posted by Nottle (1912 posts) -

Mother 3 and MGS3, AKA games about how fucking sad it is/ will be when your mom dies.

#29 Posted by Animasta (14675 posts) -

@nottle said:

Mother 3 and MGS3, AKA games about how fucking sad it is/ will be when your mom dies.

mom dying in mother 3 is hardly the saddest part of that game

I mean that final battle with masked man is the most emotional battle I've ever bore witness to (many tears were had)

#30 Posted by EarlessShrimp (1633 posts) -

I'm just going to say Work Time Fun. I'll let you try and figure out why.

#31 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@mtcantor said:

@ravenlight said:

That one porn game where your sister dies at the end. Man, that was sad.

God help me, you are talking about Kana: Little Sister, and you aren't wrong.

So I've heard.

Not sure if I should be embarrassed or stoked that you know what I'm talking about.

#32 Edited by mtcantor (947 posts) -

@ravenlight: We should both feel very, VERY, embarrassed.

#33 Posted by Nottle (1912 posts) -

@animasta said:

@nottle said:

Mother 3 and MGS3, AKA games about how fucking sad it is/ will be when your mom dies.

mom dying in mother 3 is hardly the saddest part of that game

I mean that final battle with masked man is the most emotional battle I've ever bore witness to (many tears were had)

Yes, it's by no means the saddest part. But her death certainly has an impact on the family, it puts Flint in jail and it's what causes Claus to go out and become the masked man.

#34 Posted by gunninkr (139 posts) -

"Don't Shit Your Pants" <---- This game is so "moving"...

#35 Edited by pyromagnestir (4300 posts) -

@equitasinvictus said:

To the Moon

It has some extremely touching moments and the end was especially bittersweet and even before that around the climax there's like a long chain of particularly devastating moments.

Yup.

Others are Mass Effect 3 is another one. The moments already mentioned, mostly. And Journey. Surprisingly I can only think of games I've played in the last year. I'm having trouble thinking of any older games at the moment. Okay I'm going to go check my backloggery.

SotC and Ico. Half Life 2 episode 2. Some quests from Skyrim. Final Fantasy X was oddly moving for a game that made no damn sense whatsoever. Metal Gear Solid 3.

Oh fuck fuck fuck fuck Persona 3 and 4! Damn, how could I forget? There's no fictional character I wish I could give a reassuring hug to more than Nanako.

Uh... Dreamfall. Silent Hill Shattered Memories, maybe? I don't know that moved is really the right way to describe my reaction to that game, ditto Spec Ops The Line.

I'm probably leaving some stuff off, but that's a pretty good list for now.

Online
#36 Posted by BeachThunder (11854 posts) -
#37 Edited by joshthebear (2700 posts) -
#38 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

Dead Or Alive: Extreme Volleyball.

#39 Posted by mrcool11 (469 posts) -

The ending of Red Dead Redemption moved me to go smoke a cigar on a park bench early the morning after I beat it, and I'm not even a smoker.

#40 Posted by FLStyle (4667 posts) -

MGS1's bad ending, MGS3, parts of MGS4, Persona 3 & 4 and the Mass Effect trilogy.

#41 Edited by rolanthas (242 posts) -

Infamous 2's bad ending just utterly destroyed me back then. I really wasn't expecting to mourn Zeke after how the 1st game went down.

Especially at the "Half as long, twice as bright" part, and the music cue. FUCK !

#42 Posted by espm400 (106 posts) -

Well, the past had a few; the first Silent Hill scared the bejesus out of me and my buddy when we played through that over night in a windowless basement. A bit before that I thought FFIX had some great moments (I can't really be more specific as it's been almost 15 years since I played that, god I'm getting old). The ones more in recent memory are pretty much the entirety of the MGS series and the whole latter half of Spec Ops: The Line (I can't believe that no one has mentioned that one).

#43 Edited by ProfessorEss (7324 posts) -

I know I'll catch shit for this one but I found myself surprisingly invested in the Dom n' Maria situation and was quite moved by the climax of that sub-plot.

#44 Edited by ProfessorEss (7324 posts) -

I was sure this was going to be a link to "Tango Down in Section One Alpha" and I was all ready to give a hells yeah.

Turns out it was just a typo :P

#45 Posted by Miketakon (514 posts) -

@notdavid said:

Might as well get the obvious one out of the way. Metal Gear Solid 3. The Boss. Hitting the square button. I haven't seen gameplay mechanics used for emotional impact like that again until Walking Dead.

Oh god yes!

#46 Edited by smashed_pumpkins (42 posts) -

Just a game that I have finished recently.

Assassins Creed Revelations. I think this is the point that I realised that the Desmond story was going to turn to shit. I like Ezio as a character. Good to know that He was as tired of this shit as I was after playing that game. I think Ezio and Altair both got a great send off in the ending.

But that is just the ending.Trying to think of others

#47 Posted by MrT (162 posts) -

Asteroids

#48 Posted by rentacop (107 posts) -

AC: Brotherhood. The ending was pretty intense.

#49 Edited by DaMisterChief (628 posts) -

Halo 4 Spartan ops cinematics, not moved but somewhat giddy for it. Since it was recent why not.

#50 Posted by Zebracal (74 posts) -

Fox McCloud and Slippy toad, now that's a story.