If normal life has you bored with the mundane, then we’ve got you covered with a list of games that will inject a much needed panacea of emotive goodness into your daily routine. They are sad. They are emotional. Here are 5 games that will have you bawling your eyes out in no time.
The Last of Us
The Last of Us is an all round tour de force and it earns this superlative not by excellent game play (which at times can be a little repetitive), but on the strength of the narrative genius coursing through every minute of the game. A man’s desire to fill a daughter-shaped hole in his being with the unexpected affection for an innocent young girl turns into a bond few games have managed to replicate. Instead of forcing the emotion on players, The Last of Us is all about subtle, gradual insights into characters that are endearing and intriguing. Just as we begin to really care for them they are taken from us. It starts from the opening scene through until the final moments. Probably the most emotionally challenging aspect of the game has to be Joel foregoing the possibility of a cure to rid the world of the zombie scourge for his own selfish reasons; not wanting to lose another ‘daughter’. It’s the age old question of sacrificing one for the good of many. We understand Joel’s decision, but in doing so he sentences the rest of humanity to all but guaranteed extinction and lies to Ellie in the process.
The Walking Dead Season 1
Telltale’s demise is a bitter reminded of how great the first season of The Walking Dead was and still is. An emotional roller coaster that has grown men shedding tears, multiple times. Players have to make heartbreaking choices with real, tangible consequences. Among these, Lee having to seal the fate of the emaciated zombie child is harrowing stuff. Then, the game culminates in innocent Clementine having to lodge a bullet in Lee’s head triggering everyone to bawl their eyes out in utter, unadulterated sadness. Even more upsetting was that the series never failed to reach those same lofty heights in future episodes, in a way sealing the fate of Telltale.
For a game devoid of any dialogue or guiding hand where the power of suggestion, metaphor, and self-created meaning reign king, Journey shines with the maturity of the emotions it conveys. To convey so much with so little is a feat in itself. The atmosphere, the music, the toil of a long journey with a vague purpose in mind, all weave together to create a vibe of longing, nostalgia, loneliness, and veiled purpose. If you happen to find another player and decide to play alongside them, then the game takes on a whole other meaning. Struggling to reach the mountain with a new friend, waiting for one another, experiencing the beauty together creates a silent bond that imbues the final screen where their name is revealed with a deeply emotional veneer. To share such a stellar game with a stranger is hands down among the most gratifying and beautiful gaming experience money can buy.
The Beginner’s Guide
At face value The Beginner’s Guide is a narrated analysis of a fictional developer’s portfolio of games, which in all honesty sounds incredibly drab. In reality, The Beginner’s guide is a confusing, complex, and powerful melting pot of meaning that tackles the subject of criticism, in this case critical appreciation of art, namely video games, and what motivates an artist to create. The emotive value of The Beginner’s Guide is hard to translate into words and is best experienced. You’d have to be a coldhearted reptile not to feel anything playing this game. It’s a journey of self-doubt, depression, artistic motivation, staying true to oneself, and how success isn’t all it’s made out to be. Personal and compelling, The Beginner’s Guide is a cerebral form of sad, but is all the more intense for it.
Red Dead Redemption
From creating a character in John Marston that is both flawed and endearing, Rockstar managed to weave a story oozing with humanity, which culminates in one of the sincerest tear-jerking endings in gaming history. As Marston fends off a battalion of feds out to get him, the player quite literally fights for John’s family. After downing wave after wave of government agents, the final stand off sees John emerge from a barn to what can only be described as a firing line. Whatever the player does, Marston is destined to fall. As his bullet-ridden body falls to the ground, we are hard pressed to find any gamer who wasn’t emotionally affected. His son’s revenge in the final mission of the game provides a sense of closure, but John’s death continues to ring as a cruel end to a troubled life. In many ways, Jack becomes the very thing his father worked hard to avoid by avenging his death with a further show of bloody violence.