The Witcher 3, Hellblade, Fallout 3 and other games that remove their hold on reality

As we spend so many time inside a heads of videogame protagonists we competence be underneath a sense that they have minds and imaginations. Sure, we competence understand whole worlds from behind their eyes yet these are not sentient beings with thoughts and feelings.

Related: a depiction of mental health in Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.

And yet, there are a array of games that contention to a suspicion that a mind of a impression is some-more than simply a interpretation of a 3D indication driven by lines of code. These are games that concede us to empathise on a new spin with a favourite characters, to get new discernment on their middle thoughts – or to fake that red lego bricks strewn all over a city are, in fact, lava.

The following titles underline stories that take place within a mind of a characters, to a larger or obtuse extent. Whether it is by technology, moving us into a past or fictitious environment, or unusual drugs and sorcery utilizing a minds, these games inspire us to be doubtful of a information presented to us, and, many importantly, have lots of fun with a leisure of imagination. Spoilers abound.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole

Like The Stick of Truth before it, South Park: The Fractured But Whole likes zero improved than to disaster around with notions of a hypothetical and a real. As a New Kid, we are evidently partial of organisation of eight-year-old miscreants, in a ideally normal Colorado town. Then, with a anticipation clothe from The Stick of Truth frequency cold on a bedroom floor, we have matched adult for a new superhero game, fighting dual enemies atop a fire-breathing dragon. Wait, what?

We are not unquestionably fighting a dragon – we can see it is a fast taped-together card construction – yet a gameplay of this superhero supplement helps us get swept adult in a prevalent imaginations of a favourite fourth graders. The line between South Park’s existence and a manners of a diversion fuzz with a combat, too, as enemies ask do-overs and inflict debuffs on we because, dems a rules. Fail to approve and ready for a carol of ‘I’m telling!’.


Often, it is unequivocally pleasing to be left alone with your thoughts. But sometimes, when we usually can’t get that memory of a past mortifying annoyance out of your head, it can feel a small stifling. With that (unavoidably) in mind, then, Double Fine’s classical immediately comes to, err, mind. 

Psychonauts does not take place in protagonist Razputin ‘Raz’ Aquato’s imagination, yet instead in a minds of a purchase of crazy ancillary characters. You see, Raz is a means psychic, who is spending his holidays during a Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp – a troops operation masquerading as a kids’ activity – many as we competence if we could invade brains.

Each mind we excavate into takes a form of a platforming plea with a singular demeanour and gameplay hooks. Your goal, altruistically, is to heal your proxy hosts’ psychological issues and generally make a universe a some-more loose place to inhabit. There’s a deeper poser to be solved in a supervision swindling during a centre of a Whispering Rock operation, yet especially this is an wholly picturesque make-believe of mental health

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

With The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, CD Projekt Red combined a universe that is unquestionably improved than a genuine one. Yes, notwithstanding a mass graves and fearsome monsters. But, Toussaint – from the smashing Blood and Wine enlargement – frequency indispensable an even some-more wealthy place to get mislaid in. Yes, I’m including a barbarous vampire.

Yet, us propitious things get one. Tucked divided in a playroom of a glowing Ducal Palace lies, like a anticipation Tardis, a dark world. The Land of a Thousand Fables, in a Beyond Hill and Dale quest, is a enchanting anticipation universe fake as a stadium for a dual ducal daughters. Now a jail for a brute Syanna, Geralt contingency ride himself into this extraordinary land and giveaway her.

A yellow section highway leads we along as we cut your witcher approach by a slew of fairytale favourites, from a churlish large bad wolf to a disagreeable witch. Essentially, it is a best anticipation universe we can find in a sideboard – this side of C.S. Lewis, during least.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is famous for a trailblazing description of mental health problems. Developers Ninja Theory even consulted neuroscientists and those influenced by psychoses to safeguard a believe would be as evocative and supportive as probable – and players desired it.

Senua is a uneasy Celtic soldier on a query to viking ruin to quarrel for a essence of her defunct lover. Over a march of her journey, Senua struggles to overcome her demons, both earthy and mental. Raised on a Norse tales of her childhood, Senua blurs existence and fable in her mind, withdrawal we to appreciate a pieces.

Binaural 3D sound pattern aims to communicate a prodigy of psychosis, contracting we to Senua with opposite voices cascading around her, cackling and cheering over any other. You are also threatened with permadeath during a game’s outset. It competence have actually been a bluff, yet it means we feel joined with Senua in fearing her foes. As Senua wrestles to heed anticipation from reality, we resolutely live her mind, as Senua does yours.

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Dr Jonathan Crane – Scarecrow to we and me – pops adult a few times to threaten we via Batman: Arkham Asylum. With his sinistar hallucinogen Fear Gas, Scarecrow amplifies a misfortune fears in his victims to expostulate them violent – or involuntarily promulgation them to a trippy puzzle-platformer world, if we are Batman.

Prior to these extra-dimensional excursions, we get to believe a impact of a gas on Brucie’s mind, many memorably promulgation him behind to where it all began: Crime Alley.

Entrusted with a goal to rescue a alloy from a many some-more dangerous alloy (Zsasz), we contingency transport by a prolonged mezzanine with a questionable sound of gas seeping in around us. The mezzanine morphs into an alley, sleet somehow lashing /inside/ a asylum. The voices of Bruce’s relatives relate around him from that fatal night as a gas does a work, shortening brooding Bats to that frightened small boy, once again.

We Happy Few

We Happy Few’s mid-1960s environment of Wellington Wells is a pleasing place. Everyone is overjoyed all a time. Streets hum with a gibberish of happy conversation. The splendid colours of rainbows and flowers move a universe to life – supposing we have taken your Joy.

The thing is, this paradise is unquestionably a dystopia, fuelled by an obsession to a hallucinogenic drug Joy, that keeps a denizens in a consistent state of blithe sedation. Refuse and we spin a ‘downer’, saying a universe in all a nightmarish decrepitude, and wanted by a total authorities for your disobedience.  

Fallout 3

In a destroyed wastes of a Capital Wasteland, we could be forgiven for meditative any reformation of a pre-apocalyptic American community would be preferable to a horrors of existence – even if it is not real. Do not get your hopes up: this is Fallout 3, after all.

Tranquility Lane is a practical existence make-believe of a common suburb in Vault 112 for a sadistic entertainment of Dr. Stanislaus Braun – or ‘Betty’ to her trapped digitised denizens. But, be warned: Betty’s submissive childlike extraneous belies an omnivorous ardour for prolonged woe and death.

From creation a small child cry and violation adult a matrimony – before putting a lot of them to a kibosh – we contingency order Betty’s will on these bad souls as we are probably lashed to a simulation. Unless we find a approach to clear a failsafe, that is, condemning everybody to genocide and putting them out of their misery. We told we not to get your hopes up.

Assassin’s Creed

Speaking of practical reality, a Animus from a Assassin’s Creed array analyses a genetic memories of name subjects to benefit information from a past, digest them in 3D. This information can possibly be used nefariously by a Templar-infested Abstergo Industries, or concede us to transport behind to a past yet time removing in a way, a annoying existential buzzkill.

Early versions of a animus saw murderer forerunner – and officious dullard – Desmond Miles recumbent on all from what looked like a sunbed to a unconventional loll chair. Thankfully, after entries – including a journey to Ancient Egypt in a very clever Assassin’s Creed Origins – mostly eschew a complicated day aspect.

It is usually ever an forgive for us to see a world, anyway. From a vast, wink oceans of a 18th-century Caribbean to a transformative universe of insubordinate France, a Animus allows us to see a universe as if it were a vital museum, to splash in a atmosphere of societies and peoples mislaid to a covetous ardour of time. All yet a walking and transport insurance, too.

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of a White Witch

Ok, we am going to lie here. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of a White Witch is not on PC, although it unequivocally should be with a sequel, Revenant Kingdom, out early subsequent year. Ni No Kuni’s universe is vibrant, desirable – interjection to a dictatorial work of Japanese animation dilettante Studio Ghibli – and brought to life by a tears of 13-year-old Oliver.

Oliver’s complacency and ardour for life in his home city of Motorville is infectious, yet this is cut brief after he plays with a new car with his crony – incidentally pushing it into a river. He would have drowned, too, if not for his mom Allie rescuing him. Unfortunately, a bid proves too many for her diseased heart. She dies shortly after.

Left alone for days with his favourite fondle his late silent made, Ollie’s tears move him to life. He is afterwards ecstatic to a anticipation universe to save Alicia – a good virtuoso that looks suspiciously like his silent – from a immorality wizard, Shadar. Over a march of 40-50 hours, though, your genuine goal is to assistance a small child comes to terms with a genocide of his mum.

Far Cry 4

Ajay Ghale unquestionably does have an engaging time of it in Far Cry 4. While he is travelling to Kyrat to lapse his mother’s remains a train he is travelling on is pounded by a Royal Army. It is during this indicate that a flamboyant, and officious berserk, King Pagan Min sashays onto a scene, gnawing a selfie with a freshly-stabbed victim. But things get weirder after on. Like, transdimensional weird.

Onto Shangri-La, then. This arresting, imaginary area is initial accessed during a pursuit for a brute span Yogi and Reggie, after we teleport into a physique of mythological soldier Kalinag. From there it is adult to we to urge Shangri-La from a wicked Rakshasa.

The colourful oranges and reds of Shangri-La feel immediately surreal as we use your blade and rechargeable, time-slowing crawl to throw with drifting bird demons. Also on a illusory channel are rideable elephants and telekinetically-manipulated sky tigers. We’ll have what Ajay’s having.

Rise of a Tomb Raider

In Rise of a Tomb Raider’s Baba Yaga: The Temple of a Witch DLC, things take a spin for a psychedelic. Lara competence have learnt a good understanding given her 2013 benediction of glow but, here, she learns that her mind can be a some-more manly barrier than any armed thug.

In a wintry wilds of Siberia, Lara is in hunt of a blank male in a extraordinary universe abundant with tales of risk and magic, one that has already swallowed adult a Soviet expedition. That unpromising lapse rate aside, a supposed magician Baba Yaga hold obliged reveals Lara’s innermost fears and anxieties, manifesting them in earthy form for us to fire in a face. 

This happens after a puzzling gas spews from a flora of a cave, that warps Lara’s mind and produces visions that crush a line between existence and myth. Or, to be some-more precise, move to life a walking residence with duck legs. The gas exacerbates a torture Lara feels over her dad’s self-murder and essentially manipulates her notice of a universe around her. Not accurately a best credentials for confronting a fabulous magician prowling in a shadows.


If we are going to be strict about it, sure, Soma doesn’t technically go in this list. But a game’s fascinating setup, in that protagonist Simon Jarrett struggles to tarry after waking adult in a low sea investigate trickery PATHOS-II, toys with what it means to be sentient, and to have a mind during all.

Some approach by a diversion Jarrett is forced into a nightmarish decision, and contingency send his mind to a new physique means to withstand a impassioned vigour of a abyss during that he finds himself trapped. The problem is that’s not accurately how it works – instead, as Jarrett shortly discovers, a new physique receives a duplicate of his alertness while his aged physique and self are sedated. Now personification as a clone, we contingency confirm either to finish a life of a genuine Jarrett, or let him arise adult prolonged after you’ve transient to learn his fate.

Later, after rising a high-tech ark that could digitally safety tellurian believe and personalities, Jarrett realises that even his duplicate can’t be transferred, usually repetitious again. He is left during a bottom of a ocean, examination a fast-dimming light from a ark’s launch, as all shuts down around him. The duplicate onboard will live on, yet a duplicate who set him giveaway contingency rot, considering a irony of his predestine alone.

Always go out on a high, they say. Which is because we suspicion we’d interpretation a underline on this upbeat entry.

So that is a list of games that, in many ways, are set within a mind of a protagonist. If we can consider of any more, let us know in a comments below.

  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

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  • Psychonauts

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  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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  • Batman: Arkham Asylum

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  • We Happy Few

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  • Fallout 3

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  • Assassin’s Creed

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  • Far Cry 4

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  • Rise of a Tomb Raider

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  • SOMA

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