Video games exist in their own universes, telling a story, inviting you into an adventure. I wanted to list my favorites of all the in-game adventures we’ve had. My husband and I played all but one of these and more together. Typically he “drove” or moved us around, while I wielded guns and wrenches against an onslaught of bad guys and monsters. I always take it personally when my character is attacked, so in addition to providing all the screams, my self-preservation instincts kicked in plenty and got us out of tight spots. These games formed us both as gamers.
These are my personal favorites:
The adventure of any lifetime in rambling trap filled tombs. Wild leaps to safety or death, enemies galore, and something I always love, endless ammo.
System Shock 2
We weren’t familiar with the first game, so we trusted The Good Doctor Polito, and were shocked indeed by Shodan. I think we played more than once and tortured over the stats we should pick, making this unlike anything else we had played. I loved hacking those doors, under considerable pressure as The Many crept up behind you. The whispers of those creatures, heard in advance of their getting to where you were (insert screams here). It was so scary I remember us trying to hide on a bunk bed once, holding our breath, hoping they wouldn’t notice us.
Alone in the Dark
Apparently we wanted to be scared more, scream more (truthfully it was always me) so we picked up this haunted house exploration story. The graphics seem very blocky today, and I’d loved to see them modernize the game. The story, the music, and a couple of sequences of things crashing through windows were almost too much. A mystery to be solved, finding of clues and objects as you went.
One I played on my own. I really could have used my husband in the Ayleid tombs, which just were too scary, again ambient noises being the thing. I had to listen to cheery, upbeat music any time I went in one. This was my introduction to the Elder Scrolls, I hadn’t played Morrowind or any others then. I found the world to be rich and life like, just incredible. I loved going in bandit lairs to loot their goodies. I eventually had all the houses and they were filled with weapons and armor and alchemy ingredients. Except for the initial shack, those places were beautiful. I had favorite npcs to sell loot to. I’d wander all over the countryside exploring and picking flowers. I didn’t want to close all of the Oblivion Gates or finish the main storyline because it was such fun to loot those. I had a crush on Martin so I wouldn’t finish the main story line and leave him to his fate. I know many like Skyrim best, but Oblivion is still my favorite. Another game that needs to be remastered for modern computers.
Star Wars Dark Forces
This we played together. What a great game for being immersed in a Star Wars adventure. We developed all kinds of strategies for creeping out quick to draw fire then pulling back and making the bad guys come to us. That’s one thing about a single player game, you can save often and re-do a fight or move, learning as you go. With this one, I recall we’d just go around the next corner to see what was there, let’s just look at the next level, then go to bed. One a.m. blam! blam! blam!