Here’s the second part of our list of video games worth playing in your home theater. These innovative, artistic games will dazzle on your big, HD screen. The graphics and storytelling make them worthy of your home theater.
Use of an addictive substance, called ADAM, that grants superpowers while causing insanity has ruined the residents of Rapture. Once an underwater sanctuary that sheltered great thinkers from government oppression, the underwater city has fallen into shambles. Players take the role of a Big Daddy: a human spliced into a weaponized diving suit. Big Daddies are designed to protect Little Sisters: young girls bio-engineered to harvest and transport ADAM. Players traverse the spooky, derelict city in search of their Little Sister. A large HD home theater screen will do justice to the detailed graphics. Surround sound speakers add to the spookiness. Hear water dripping and the slow shuffle of an ADAM addict sneaking up behind you. The Bioshock games feature a unique blend of sci-fi, noir and Orwellian dystopia. Kind of like steampunk, the aesthetic is simultaneously futuristic and antiquated, designed and decayed.
Shadow of the Colossus
In the opening sequence of Shadow of the Colossus a young man named Wander carries a lovely dead woman into a temple. He listens to mystical instructions from a disembodied voice and sets off on his trusty steed, Argo. That’s about all the back story players get. Unlike other games with developed characters and explorable worlds, Wander’s motivations are vague and he is alone with his horse in a sparse world. Shadow of the Colossus feels more like a waking dream than a video game. The sound track and cut scenes are slow and languorous. Combat operates like a puzzle rather than a brawl. Instead of richly detailed scenery, the game offers hazy, minimalist landscapes. Shadow of the Colossus is playable modern art, worthy of a big screen. Imagine the satisfaction of seeing and hearing a colossus crash to the ground in defeat in your home theater.
The Final Fantasy series made its name with high-quality, frequent cutscenes and the 13th installment continues that tradition. The plot follows a resistance fighter named Lightning and her band of allies. Lightning’s hometown Cocoon floats over a mysterious underworld called Pulse. The government of Cocoon persecutes anyone who comes in contact with the underworld. When Lightning’s sister is marked as contaminated, she mounts a rescue effort. Lightning is rendered in the classic Final Fantasy style of gleaming, otherworldly pale skin, an elfin, doll-like face and wispy hair. This 13th game delivers the stunning graphics, beautiful androgynous characters and film-like cutscenes that gamers expect from the series.
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron
You have never played a game that looks like El Shaddai. You will have to see the graphics to appreciate the magic of the art work in this game. Some worlds have a minimalistic look of bright lights on a dark background, similar to Tron; others are equally beautiful, but more organic and reminiscent of stripped down Art Nouveau. Overall, the visual variety keeps you interested and makes you feel as if you are running through Fantasia 2000. El Shaddai blends classic hack-and-slash 3D combat with old-school, 2D side-scrolling. It’s an unusual game that’s definitely worth displaying in your home theater. I am so excited about the art in this game, I almost forgot to tell you about the plot, which is based on the apocryphal Book of Enoch. Enoch is searching for fallen angels to help him stop a flood that threatens to destroy mankind.
This futuristic horror game starts with a distress signal from a mining ship working on the planet Aegis. The rescue ship crash lands and the crew is attacked by gross creatures. The surviving crew members discover that the mining operation contracted an alien virus that reanimates corpses as grisly Necromorphs. This game is not for those with weak stomachs, but horror fans who like a good scare will love it. The Necromorphs are exceptionally gruesome.