I recently started playing Wolfenstein the New Order and the gunplay is good, but more than anything I love the world building: the lore covering each map giving pictures of this alternate universe.
This made me think: one of the things I love about games is when someone develops an interesting world and then gives you a lot of opportunities to dive into the background and learn about what's going on. Especially with stuff that's alternate history or dystopian sci fi.
Another game I played recently that did that was SOMA, the amount of detail they put into what happened with the world and how they slowly dripfeed you the horror is great.
Are there any other games which do this well? Failing that, Wolfenstein thread?
If you are patient and maybe a little bit crazy, you might want to check out a game called "Pathologic". It's a Russian game from 2005 that recently got a bit of a HD remaster. For most people, it's insufferably slow, and mechanically insanely clunky, but it's also perhaps the very best piece of videogame narrative ever made, and a lot of that lies in it's world-building, lore and settings in general.
The setting is fictional, but it's heavily inspired by late 19th/pre-revolutionary 20th century Russia, with a lot of magical realism and a lot of Kafka going on in the background.
Most of the game is spent either walking, or talking to people, the pace is incredibly slow, and aside surprisingly competent survival mechanics every other aspect of the game (thankfully mostly optional combat and stealth in general) are awful and clunky.
But if you want to explore a really strange, and really detailed fictional modern-ish settings, it still might be worth pirating for a try.
Aside from that, some games that always stuck me as having particularly good worldbuilding were:
I too enjoyed Wolfenstein: TNO. The game really rewards you for exploring both with gameplay upgrades and story bits. They really didn't have to add those little details about the world unless they really cared about telling a story, I mean, it's WOLFENSTEIN for fucks sake. The gunplay can keep me entertained for hours but it's nice to see they actually did something for the story.
>playing Wolfenstein for the story
RtCW and 09 did it best. Just you, Nazis, and occult shit, and barely anything more.
None of this
it was jew magic the entire timenonsense with MUH DEEP CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
I've heard lots of good things about Pathologic. I'll see if the HD remaster will run on my ancient PC: if not then I guess I'm due for an upgrade. Morrowind is great for this too, I'd agree, the sheer level of effort put into it is crazy. All those books.
I agree, it's impressive that they made a game with really nice gunplay, and then went to the trouble of also including a pretty decent backstory. I'm only midway at the moment, mind, but unless it shits itself in the last act it'll still have pleased me.
Playing the console version like the pleb I am also, it's good to note that they've not only made it feel tolerable to play (most fps on a gamepad is fairly garbage) but also that they've made it run at what seems to be a constant 60fps. And the dynamic lean system is great, it almost reminds me of the leaning in System Shock 1.
Given that it's a very old game that had low PC reqs. even at the time of release, it should run fine, but then again, there might be something fucked up with the optimization. Might really want to try a pirated version first (it's on GoG, so pirating it's a breeze), though as a MASSIVE fanboy for the game and the studio, I'd always recommend buying the thing if it works as it should and you know it's something you could get into.
Obligatory advice for people wanting to play the game in pic.
Deadly Premonition does this by doing side missions and stalking characters during the day. That's right, you can stalk story characters as they go about their daily routine. Their behavior changes depending on the weather and how far the story has progressed.
Is the game perfect? No, but what they accomplished with the budget they had is definitely intriguing. The story is everything you could possibly want from a Twin Peaks game. The gameplay is subpar
it plays like a cheap version of Resident Evil 4, graphics are garbage, and the game's performance is horrendous (even worse on the PC version) but for some reason the game is still an entertaining rollercoaster ride. The game has some serious charm with its characters, even with the eccentric ones. It's that intrigue that pushed me to finish the game in the first place.
Oh yeah, I've played DP.
That's immersive in a different way to the games I was thinking about, but yeah the way that the story continues without you and the characters have their own sub plots.