Walking Simulators, are a game you either really enjoy or completely avoid. I don’t think it’s a genre with a middle ground. I’m in the first camp, I find them enjoying. One game on this upcoming list saw the plot and location and it’s why I was partially sold on getting a PlayStation 4. It was a game that held a place dear to my heart.
So why are Walking Simulators a different experience? Most aren’t usually long. Some can be a couple of hours long or maybe half a dozen. However, what is missing in heavy action we see replaced with atmosphere and story. For me, it is a genre so hugely underrated. Some of these are in their own right simply incredible games. Therefore I decided to look at what is a good example of the genre and worth a look at. Who knows you may love them.
Walking Simulators – A Look At Some Of The Best
When I say the best this is just my opinion. So I’ll start with probably my favorite on the list and also a game that’s one of my all-time favorites.
Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture
This is by a UK-based studio The Chinese Room. The game places you exploring the fictional village of Yaughton where all the people have vanished and you are left following the story. For a game very early on the life of the PlayStation 4, its visuals at times are mind-blowing. It’s set in 1984. It’s a year that has significance for me and the Summer of 84 and the following Summer I spent a lot of time in a village that was fairly close to this in terms of architecture and the world. It brought me back to the last Summer I spent with my father. It also contains a well-written story and very easy to lose time and be sucked into the world. It’s one I revisited last year.
This is one of the most memorable games you can experience. We have an unknown robed figure as our character and can meet other players. Though for this co-op aspect, we can aid them but not talk to them. We don’t even know who they are until the game ends. The visuals are fantastic as is the musical score. It’s a must-play game for anyone who has the hardware to play it. For some, it’s deemed one of the best games ever.
The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter
Before working on Witchfire, the Polish studio The Astronauts gave us The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter. You play a detective searching for Ethan and can explore the town he’s from. Though you find everywhere deserted and with some supernatural events and puzzle solving, piece together the events before your arrival. Visually they crafted a stunning open world. Very much another fine example of the genre
This is developed by Campo Santo. You play a fire lookout called Henry. The game is set in the Shoshone National Forest in 1989. This is a year after the Yellowstone fires of 1988. As you learn about your boss and fellow lookout Delilah, things become strange. It’s a well-written story and a powerful tale. Visually it looks incredible as well with a striking art style.
What Remains Of Edith Finch
I don’t think you can have any list of the genre without including this. For many, this is the top title in the genre and it’s a solid claim. It’s one of the best games in recent times. We play as Edith Finch. She’s come back to revisit her childhood home after several years away. She eventually learns the story behind the deaths of her family members. We get to experience the story through their eyes as well. All in all, this is a story packed full of emotion.
There are many lists out there to try to say the best of the genre. One has What Remains Of Edith Finch second with some other games which are fantastic. I could look at so many more. Games like The Stanley Parable, Dear Esther, Gone Home, and The Unfinished Swan.