One the more interesting games I played recently is called Valley. While one of the Steam tags is marking it as a Walking Simulator, I consider it closer to Portal in some of its core mechanics (mostly in the amount of running and flying around you do). And it does include an element of combat, however small it may be. But the interesting mechanic I’ve been harping about to folks is the very Altruistic style of play the game has.
Its no spoiler to say that one of the notable points of the game is to save the valley you end up in. The source of the threat is not either, if you’re seen the trailer. But the idea of moving around the valley’s ‘life’ in order to save it has some interesting implications down the game’s core story. Regardless of how you interpret its ending, you’ll likely enjoy the game if you’re a fan of Portal.
So where is this leading? Turns out, there’s a Wikipedia article that explains some of the main drivers I’ve had for being Altruistic. In short, there are two: 1) doing so out of empathy with the target, and 2) doing so to make the target feel better. And, as is typical with me and driving Sociologists nuts, I’m triggered by both. :-) For Valley in particular, one of these options are not available, which I’ll have to leave vague since its possibly a spoiler. Still, very well done in that aspect, and can’t say enough about it.
(Note to self, though – do the article on being a Social Producer during my SL and Uru days, really piss off the Sociologists…)
And circling back to the subject I’m pondering recently, I went and did a search regarding other games that are like this. Not surprising, Guild Wars 2 is still top of that list (which was somewhat recent, so still have relevance). So, it may still be worth another shot there, but more on my terms. I’m still hesitant, though, as I’m honestly done with negativity of any form in online discussions – I do this to relax, and would prefer to find a like-minded group who is willing to toss out folks like that immediately.