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Recommend to me some good (but short) story driven games.

Dec 30, 2018
855
#1
Following on from my other thread, I am now wondering if I have missed out on any gems over the years.

I play on PC mainly but also have Xbox and Switch, so can anybody recommend me some really good story driven games that are anything from 8 to 20 hours long that follow a more linear experience?

(Max Payne being a good example.)
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,168
Finland
#2
Do they need to offer challenge? Do they need to have combat to begin with? Or is the story and being short the main point? Firewatch and What Remains of Edith Finch for really short games, with nice stories. No combat in either one, Firewatch has you doing dialogue choices as integral gameplay mechanic. In Edith Finch the gameplay mechanic differs for every story. These games are way under 8 hours though. Also some Telltale games are rather short with excellent stories, mainly Tales from the Borderlands, The Walking Dead series (first game is definitely the best) and The Wolf Among Us. These games have combat in form of QTE:s and have dialogue choices too. The Batman games by Telltale ain't bad either.

Edit: Spec Ops: The Line mentioned below is great recommendation, it's shooty bang bang with magnificent storytelling.
 
Apr 9, 2019
147
CLT
#3
There's quite a few I'm inclined to recommend but given you're using Max Payne as an example, I'm guessing you're looking for action-adjacent games in particular?

I'll give you some of my boilerplates though. A Night in the Woods, Firewatch, Tacoma, Spec Ops: The Line.
 
OP
OP
Thinkdifferent
Dec 30, 2018
855
#8
Do they need to offer challenge? Do they need to have combat to begin with? Or is the story and being short the main point? Firewatch and What Remains of Edith Finch for really short games, with nice stories. No combat in either one, Firewatch has you doing dialogue choices as integral gameplay mechanic. In Edith Finch the gameplay mechanic differs for every story. These games are way under 8 hours though. Also some Telltale games are rather short with excellent stories, mainly Tales from the Borderlands, The Walking Dead series (first game is definitely the best) and The Wolf Among Us. These games have combat in form of QTE:s and have dialogue choices too. The Batman games by Telltale ain't bad either.

Edit: Spec Ops: The Line mentioned below is great recommendation, it's shooty bang bang with magnificent storytelling.
They don't have to have combat, I loved SOMA and that had no combat, just shorter more story driven experiences.

I haven't played Edith Finch yet so will give that a go, have played all the others but I really appreciate the recommendations :).
 
OP
OP
Thinkdifferent
Dec 30, 2018
855
#11
There's quite a few I'm inclined to recommend but given you're using Max Payne as an example, I'm guessing you're looking for action-adjacent games in particular?

I'll give you some of my boilerplates though. A Night in the Woods, Firewatch, Tacoma, Spec Ops: The Line.
Not really in particular tbh, I picked Max Payne because I loved the story, story is really my main point of focus (gameplay obviously has to be enjoyable as well but that's a given really.)

A night in the woods and Tacoma both look really good, I wasn't aware of those, will have to give them a go, thanks for recommending them :).
 
Mar 21, 2018
351
Netherlands
#14
Definitely play Life is Strange. Also, Quantum Break has one of my favourite stories in video games, and it's on Steam (don't expect it to run at anywhere near 4k60 though, oof). I also liked the more minimalistic storytelling of The Swapper (puzzle game, pretty hard but I played through it and I'm not the best at finishing puzzle games FWIW) and Thomas Was Alone.
 
Apr 9, 2019
147
CLT
#15
Not really in particular tbh, I picked Max Payne because I loved the story, story is really my main point of focus (gameplay obviously has to be enjoyable as well but that's a given really.)

A night in the woods and Tacoma both look really good, I wasn't aware of those, will have to give them a go, thanks for recommending them :).
Don't miss Spec Ops: The Line if you haven't played it and are a fan of the kind of blisteringly honest and brutal story present in Max Payne. It may look like your typical war game, but it's really really not. It's probably one of the most challenging narratives I've seen in a game.

Check out What Remains of Edith Fitch as well, as everyone else has said. Hellblade is also fantastic.
 
OP
OP
Thinkdifferent
Dec 30, 2018
855
#16
OneShot has been one of my favorites recently.
Not tried this yet, thanks for recommending.

What remains of edith finch, the best story game.
Going to give this a shot, thanks.

Already played and own it but I do love this game.

Going to check this one out as well, thanks for recommending.

Resident Evil 7 and 2(Remake)
Have them both, like them both and Resi is my favourite game series of all time :p.

Haven't played this yet, the inventory management aspect seemed really overwhelming to me in the videos I have seen, is it like that throughout the game?
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,168
Finland
#19
They don't have to have combat, I loved SOMA and that had no combat, just shorter more story driven experiences.

I haven't played Edith Finch yet so will give that a go, have played all the others but I really appreciate the recommendations :).
Nice! Always good to see people open to many different kind of games (gives an opportunity for more recommendations too). I've only played the first reboot of Wolfenstein so far, but I really liked the story, world building and characters in that one. Also fairly short game, took me around 10 hours I think. If you're open to more old-school adventure games with item puzzles, definitely check out Grim Fandango and Full Throttle. There's intense crime thriller going on with both in addition to the humour and they've been recently remastered. How long they are of course depends a lot on how fast the player solves the puzzles, plenty of walkthroughs out there to help people who are stuck. But it's approximately 12 and 4 hours. Grim Fandango has a spot on my personal TOP 10 of all time, the atmosphere is excellent and Tony Plana gives one of the best voice over perfomances to this date.
 
Jul 25, 2018
3,711
#22
Metro Redux double pack, it's 2033 + Last Light, has been on sale for under $10 often. That's two linear campaign story based shooters. If you just want more of a linear gameplay experience and don't mind lack of story, Doom and the Wolfenstein games. Going back a gen, Vanquish and Bayonetta. There's the Telltale games, especially Tales from the Borderlands. Titanfall 2 has a great (and short) campaign, often $5 or so.
 
OP
OP
Thinkdifferent
Dec 30, 2018
855
#24
Bulletstorm
What Remains of Edith Finch
50 Cent: Blood on the Sand
Man I really loved Blood on the sand, that was a great game.

Hey you played Hellblade yet OP?
Can't say I have, is it worth a try? What's it about?

Definitely play Life is Strange. Also, Quantum Break has one of my favourite stories in video games, and it's on Steam (don't expect it to run at anywhere near 4k60 though, oof). I also liked the more minimalistic storytelling of The Swapper (puzzle game, pretty hard but I played through it and I'm not the best at finishing puzzle games FWIW) and Thomas Was Alone.
I enjoyed the swapper as well, haven't played Thomas was alone but will give that a try.

Loved Life Is Strange, haven't played the new one yet, Quantum Break looks interesting but worried about performance, do you think I would get 4k/60 on a 1080Ti?

Don't miss Spec Ops: The Line if you haven't played it and are a fan of the kind of blisteringly honest and brutal story present in Max Payne. It may look like your typical war game, but it's really really not. It's probably one of the most challenging narratives I've seen in a game.

Check out What Remains of Edith Fitch as well, as everyone else has said. Hellblade is also fantastic.
I loved Spec Ops The Line, I was actually in the closed alpha for that game because it had a multiplayer component initially (can’t remember if the full game even had MP) but what I DO remember is the full game was one of the rawest SP experiences I have ever had, one of the best gaming stories I have ever played through.

Everything published by Annapurna E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G
Do you have any examples of their games?
 
OP
OP
Thinkdifferent
Dec 30, 2018
855
#25
Nice! Always good to see people open to many different kind of games (gives an opportunity for more recommendations too). I've only played the first reboot of Wolfenstein so far, but I really liked the story, world building and characters in that one. Also fairly short game, took me around 10 hours I think. If you're open to more old-school adventure games with item puzzles, definitely check out Grim Fandango and Full Throttle. There's intense crime thriller going on with both in addition to the humour and they've been recently remastered. How long they are of course depends a lot on how fast the player solves the puzzles, plenty of walkthroughs out there to help people who are stuck. But it's approximately 12 and 4 hours. Grim Fandango has a spot on my personal TOP 10 of all time, the atmosphere is excellent.
Ah man, bringing back some nostalgia for me now!

I love point and click games, have you played Timbleweed Park yet? And if so would you recommend it?

(btw I own both of those and they are two of my favourite games alongside Monkey Island.)

I even remembered that old Beavis & Butthead game (virtual stupidity was it?) being a pretty good point and click game for the time, not sure how well that would have aged though lol.
 
#26
Man I really loved Blood on the sand, that was a great game.
Me too. I don't like rap music or 50 Cent, but I rented the game on a whim and loved it. So much so that my friend and I each bought copies when it was $10, and vowed to play through it together (I'd gone through it alone first, years before). However he didn't play much, and we only made it through less than half the game.

It was a lot like The Club, and was almost a clone in some ways, but I liked that. The Club was a fun game.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,135
#27
Can't say I have, is it worth a try? What's it about?
You play as a Celtic warrior who is traveling to helheim to rescue the soul of your dead lover. The character also suffers from psychosis, so you see and hear things that may not be there. Her condition also plays into the gameplay since the voices she hears can reveal tips or warn you of enemies coming from your blind sides.

The game is gorgeous no matter what you play it on and the audio makes headphones a must. The combat isn't the deepest around but it is satisfying. I thought the ending was perfect and it's only around 8 hours long. Excellent game all around and even better considering it's only $30.
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,168
Finland
#28
Ah man, bringing back some nostalgia for me now!

I love point and click games, have you played Timbleweed Park yet? And if so would you recommend it?

(btw I own both of those and they are two of my favourite games alongside Monkey Island.)

I even remembered that old Beavis & Butthead game (virtual stupidity was it?) being a pretty good point and click game for the time, not sure how well that would have aged though lol.
Haha yeah I remember that Beavis & Butthead game too, point & click was definitely among my favorite genres too while growing up. And I miss those games, Telltale didn't quite scratch the same itch and neither does Dontnod with LiS, even though I love those games too. Haven't yet played Thimbleweed Park unfortunately, I nabbed it for free when Epic store was offering it. I feel kinda bad for it and should probably buy it too. But I've heard only good things about it. And Ron Gilbert has been supporting the game even after it's release.
 
OP
OP
Thinkdifferent
Dec 30, 2018
855
#31
Me too. I don't like rap music or 50 Cent, but I rented the game on a whim and loved it. So much so that my friend and I each bought copies when it was $10, and vowed to play through it together (I'd gone through it alone first, years before). However he didn't play much, and we only made it through less than half the game.

It was a lot like The Club, and was almost a clone in some ways, but I liked that. The Club was a fun game.
I never played The Club but I always heard good things.

I played the hell out of that 50 cent game, I wanted to unlock all the music videos etc lol.
 
OP
OP
Thinkdifferent
Dec 30, 2018
855
#32
You play as a Celtic warrior who is traveling to helheim to rescue the soul of your dead lover. The character also suffers from psychosis, so you see and hear things that may not be there. Her condition also plays into the gameplay since the voices she hears can reveal tips or warn you of enemies coming from your blind sides.

The game is gorgeous no matter what you play it on and the audio makes headphones a must. The combat isn't the deepest around but it is satisfying. I thought the ending was perfect and it's only around 8 hours long. Excellent game all around and even better considering it's only $30.
That sounds incredible, I do suffer with bad OCD and intrusive thoughts though, wondering if playing that might trigger it, does the psychosis element play a huge part?
 
#33
That sounds incredible, I do suffer with bad OCD and intrusive thoughts though, wondering if playing that might trigger it, does the psychosis element play a huge part?
The game is built around her psychosis, and it plays a very large part. She hears voices, and suffers from other symptoms. It's very well done and also very tasteful, not to mention a great game overall.
 
OP
OP
Thinkdifferent
Dec 30, 2018
855
#35
Haha yeah I remember that Beavis & Butthead game too, point & click was definitely among my favorite genres too while growing up. And I miss those games, Telltale didn't quite scratch the same itch and neither does Dontnod with LiS, even though I love those games too. Haven't yet played Thimbleweed Park unfortunately, I nabbed it for free when Epic store was offering it. I feel kinda bad for it and should probably buy it too. But I've heard only good things about it. And Ron Gilbert has been supporting the game even after it's release.
Man point and click games and FMV games (like Phatasmagoria 2 LOL, classic) were the games I played growing up.

I agree with you about LiS, I enjoyed it but definitely isn't the same as the old P&C games but I still loved that and the telltale games nonetheless.

I really enjoyed both the costume quest games as well, I know they aren't for everyone but the story and gameplay was really fun to me tbh.

I have to give Timbleweed Park a try, been meaning to for ages now.
 
OP
OP
Thinkdifferent
Dec 30, 2018
855
#36
The game is built around her psychosis, and it plays a very large part. She hears voices, and suffers from other symptoms. It's very well done and also very tasteful, not to mention a great game overall.
I will have to give it a shot and see how I react to it, hopefully I can enjoy it without my damn brain making life difficult for me lol.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,734
#39
Since you've got an Xbox, I'd be picking up Game Pass if you haven't already (there's a deal on atm that's £1/$1 etc for three months) and just go to town.

There's the LiS games, What Remains Of Edith Finch, Hellblade, Oxenfree and loads more story-focused games.
 
OP
OP
Thinkdifferent
Dec 30, 2018
855
#40
Transistor is fantastic.
Heard good things about this, will give it a shot, thanks :).

Kona :)

A great style and light survival mechanics to serve the plot. Good gameplay and a great deal of exploration.
Thanks for reminding me about this, heard about it ages ago in early access and forgot about it, will pick it up now that you have reminded me :).
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,135
#42
I will have to give it a shot and see how I react to it, hopefully I can enjoy it without my damn brain making life difficult for me lol.
You can watch the first half hour on YouTube or something just to get a sense of how it's implemented in the game. The actual game uses binaural audio though and that adds a ton to the experience.
 
Oct 27, 2017
954
#43
Firewatch - Atmospheric, introspective adventure game with gorgeous visuals.
Hellblade - Very deep, unsettling action/puzzle game with great writing, art and sound design.
Her Story - Unconventional, very short puzzle/mystery game. Very fun.
Ryse: Son of Rome - Short, cinematic action game.

Would've recommended The Order but that's PS exclusive.
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,168
Finland
#47
Man point and click games and FMV games (like Phatasmagoria 2 LOL, classic) were the games I played growing up.

I agree with you about LiS, I enjoyed it but definitely isn't the same as the old P&C games but I still loved that and the telltale games nonetheless.

I really enjoyed both the costume quest games as well, I know they aren't for everyone but the story and gameplay was really fun to me tbh.

I have to give Timbleweed Park a try, been meaning to for ages now.
Phantasmagoria gave me nightmares for weeks when I was a kid. If you haven't, you might want to check out Broken Age too (you probably have). I've only played the first part myself, it definitely has charm even though the game doesn't reach the heights of Tim Schafer's best. For modern point & click goodness that's faithul to the old style are games by Wadjet Eye. Unavowed and Resonance to name a few. I have an inkling you might be familiar with these too already.

For a really touching while simple story without any eligible dialogue, I greatly recommend Brothers: Tale of Two Sons. It's playable in one night, controller is highly recommended.
 
Oct 28, 2017
4,070
#50
Haven't played this yet, the inventory management aspect seemed really overwhelming to me in the videos I have seen, is it like that throughout the game?
There really isn't a lot of inventory management (from my experience) but there is a lot of backtracking and interesting mechanics. It's not really a "story driven game," I don't know why that person recommended it, lol. It's more gameplay than anything else.
Night in the Woods
Excellent fucking choice.