Whenever I think of the word “cult”, I always think of horror films. Sci Fi and horror films tend to have the most devout followings, in which a majority of people may or may not know about the movie, but the minority would give their souls to see new content on the movie or to simply hold the tradition of watching the film once a year…or month…or week. I find the same to be true of video games and other media. There are games out there that may be known by the public, were likely less accepted than other titles, or may have very well been dismissed altogether, that you swear your life upon. Drama can be a very broad category, especially when it comes to video games, because few titles are primarily of the drama genre, but there are tons of titles with dramatic elements. I’m going to have to stretch to these gray areas to make a respectable list. Here are my five cult drama video games of the year, and I will be cheating and including titles from 2013.
5. Limbo – Like number 2 on this list, I was able to sneak Limbo onto this list despite its initial release being way back in 2010 because it was ported to Playstation Vita and iOS in June 2013. I first played this little gem on the XBOX 360 (again, dating the game, to my detriment…) and it was just enthralling, even as just a demo. Limbo has developed a substantial cult following with its unique visual style and gameplay. And, a young boy trying to save his missing sister from the pits of Hell is anything short of dramatic.
4. The Last of Us – As with number 3 on the list, The Last of Us is definitely bending the rules on the word “cult”, but I think few games, even with its ever-increasing popularity, have developed a cult following quite as strong as this one. Like a bridge between Hard Rain and Resident Evil, The Last of Us immerses the player into the game with cinematic gameplay and engaging, character-driven story. It has opened up avenues to all-new concepts of gaming and will be remembered in a cult capacity years from now when similar titles emerge. The rumors of a movie on this title trying to get the green light upsets me. The video game was so well written and flawlessly conveyed that I find it difficult for a film to show us what we haven’t already seen at the highest of calibers.
3. BioShock Infinite – I love video games, but I simply can’t afford to keep up with the latest systems and games, and therefore have missed out on titles I would love to play. The entire BioShock franchise, sadly, is one victim of my ruthlessly enforced reduction of gameplay time and money. Though it received excellent reviews, the feedback I have heard personally is mixed on the third installment in the BioShock franchise. The little I have played and seen, the game appears to hold its own, both in entertaining gameplay and engaging story. The century-spanning social commentary alone is enough to award the game a place on this list, and due to BioShock’s strong cult following, despite its overall popularity, I thought I could argue a place for it.
2. Don’t Kill Her – While a demo for this game is all that has been released, Don’t Kill Her is an on-the-verge-of-being-cult sidescroller game with a unique style that looks like a black-and-white Alien Hominid (as far as style) with a bit of Braid (as far as story and content). The full game will hopefully be coming out soon, but I thought since there is some content on the game out I could cheat a little bit. I’m pretty sure we have a “most anticipated” category, so I might be cheating more than Kyle would like, but oh well, I thought this game deserved some recognition now so the cult following can really get going.
1. Thomas Was Alone – This very unique puzzle title first came out in 2010, was remade in 2012, and then further tweaked and expanded in 2013, allowing it the convenient opportunity to end up on this list. In the vein of titles such as Braid, Limbo, and Loved, Thomas Was Alone is a fairly simple puzzle game involving shapes that happen to represent self-aware AI that develop names and personalities all their own. It is a very well-constructed concept that has by its success through various media developed a strong cult following.
So this list was more-or-less on par with the other topics as far as researching difficulty for me. I’m still crossing my fingers for a list in which I must simply recall upon my already expansive bank of information on the topic to which the only difficult part is picking the right titles. Here’s to hoping…