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Sorry if this has been asked before, but here we go.

After finishing Max Payne 3 yesterday, it struck to me that while I did understand the story, followed it and all, I was not fully blown away by it. I wasn't immersed, if that is the correct word. Story and the setting was just there. Maybe it's just me.

Then I started thinking, when was the last time I truly enjoyed a story told by a video game. I really enjoyed Witcher 2, the story there is excellent. Mass Effect, albeit only parts of it, more focused on Shepard's personal relationship with his crew. Dragon Age: Origins, pretty much the same.

Perhaps I am growing old and grumpy, maybe there is something wrong with me, I dunno.

So tell me, when was the last time a story took you by the, erm, "leg" and pulled you with it, not letting go until resolved and kept you thinking for long after finishing?
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KneeTheCap: Sorry if this has been asked before, but here we go.

After finishing Max Payne 3 yesterday, it struck to me that while I did understand the story, followed it and all, I was not fully blown away by it. I wasn't immersed, if that is the correct word. Story and the setting was just there. Maybe it's just me.

Then I started thinking, when was the last time I truly enjoyed a story told by a video game. I really enjoyed Witcher 2, the story there is excellent. Mass Effect, albeit only parts of it, more focused on Shepard's personal relationship with his crew. Dragon Age: Origins, pretty much the same.

Perhaps I am growing old and grumpy, maybe there is something wrong with me, I dunno.

So tell me, when was the last time a story took you by the, erm, "leg" and pulled you with it, not letting go until resolved and kept you thinking for long after finishing?
Sorry to once again repeat 'Torment and Outcast' again, like a parrot, but Torment and Outcast!

Actually, just to mix things up, I'll go ahead and add Half-Life to that list, just to annoy the Valve haters!
Post edited November 26, 2012 by Fever_Discordia
Most recent one? The Walking Dead. The ending is one of the saddest things I've seen in awhile probably since Grim Fandango.
Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots
Deus Ex: Human Revolution's story drew me in and captured my interest like no other game since. Despite some quibbles I would take issue with, the sum of its parts just worked really well.
tons of games come to mind but recently dishonored was awesome, if you really played the game as it was meant to be , it was a excellent game , thank god we could even decide the endings and they were good.
Treasure Adventure Game.
The Walking Dead. One could argue that was probably THE one game I've been the most immersed in EVER. Before that, probably Portal 2 which I only finished about six months ago.
The Walking Dead. The story was awesome.
I'll partially have to say Spec Ops: the Line. The game made me feel like I was "in" the game enough for me to feel really bad about what was going on in it.

I also thought that Mass Effect 1 & 2 did a pretty good job. I genuinely cared about the characters in it. The main story itself was a bit "meh" but all the side stories engaged me like few other games.

And finally To the Moon. It might look simple, but the storytelling is so good that I really began to care about the characters. I could almost feel their sadness and that almost made me cry (several times).


I suspect that part of the reason why so many games fail to engage and immerse us is partially due to the fact that the protagonists are so unlikeable. The original Max Payne might have been a dark, gloomy character who for the most part was a real downer, but he had enough depth of personality for you to actually be able to understand why he was like that, and feel some sympathy for him. From what I've gathered the new Max is just a downer without the depth. The new Max is just "maturity" as in "mature game" all the way (note: Not actually played the game, just an observation from what others have told me).
Another reason is the game worlds, or rather how the developers expects us to interact with them. Here is a picture edited by someone else that clearly illustrates my point. See that arrow? That arrow gives me tunnel vision. I focus on the arrow, not the game world. I don't immerse myself in the game world because that arrow gives me so much clearer information. And thus I don't take in the game world. And I can not not focus on the arrow if the arrow is there. Thus I get far less immersed in the game world.
Post edited November 26, 2012 by AFnord
Heavy Rain.

I finished it a couple of days ago and the narrative was so good I had to pause it for a while because I felt too exhausted by a life-threatening scene :).

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The most immersive games were Mass Effect 1 & 2 & LotSB. I cared for the protagonist and characters like never before or after. Mass Effect 3 was gripping for the most part (because of its predecessors' heritage) and it got me thinking for weeks (for all wrong reasons), so I don't really count it.
Post edited November 26, 2012 by Mivas
Probably Alan Wake.

Edit: Some games are good and mechanics are fine but usually the story is weak point and like other mentioned, main characters suck too often and are too you know white as in tasteless and have no own opinions which supposed to be my opinions. =) Well, Risens are good because at least there is pretty great dialogue options.
Post edited November 26, 2012 by Antimateria
Have to repeat game already mentioned = The Walking Dead. Especially the relationship between you and the other survivors with Clementine on top. Game dos really deliver on that emotional level and gets you immersed.
I second Spec-Ops The Line.
Hm, good question. Very few since Torment. The "Prophet" module series for Neverwinter Nights comes to mind immediately. Apart from that, dunno, I guess To the Moon would qualify, too, in a way; otherwise I wouldn't have been able to sit through it for four hours. And it did make me think a lot afterwards. Then there's Gemini Rue, and to a certain degree the Blackwell series.

There are also games with a little different kind of immersion, where I'm not all that interested in or fascinated with the general plot, but I really enjoy the funny dialogues or am curious as to what will happen next, I mean not in the main story but all the little things to discover on the side, the banter, the jokes, the weirdness, the horror, all those curious ideas. Of the more recent games I've played these would fit that category for me: Psychonauts, Time Gentlemen, Please!, Fortune Summoners, Bloodlines.