If you're interested in seeing how the narrative focused side of games is developing Fahrenheit
(aka Indigo Prophecy
) is an excellent example with a lot to teach. It's also pretty enjoyable in it's own right too.
You find yourself in a bathroom with a man stabbed to death on the floor with a wound through each artery connecting the heart. You were aware of yourself but seemed to be under the control of another being as you did it. There's a policeman outside and he's about to take a leak. What do you do?
After a frantic panic to hide the evidence and escape, your control switches over to a detective whose just been called in on a particularly unusual murder...
This is the strength of this game it's a story that you can look around and examine. Spiritually it's similar to Quintessence The Blighted Venom
or To The Moon
where the gameplay mechanics are there to focus you and the advantage of the interaction comes from the grounding that being able to walk around gives. It hasn't quite reached Heavy Rain
or The Walking Dead
levels yet where the mechanics mentally place you in the position of the protagonist and give you an understanding of what being there feels
like, but there are signs of it. There's also little control over the outcome which emphasises that the mechanics are somewhat ancillary. The story is stronger than Heavy Rain's with a fairly interesting premise, but Heavy Rain
was still better because of the strength of that gameplay induced understanding. For the most part all 3 characters you control are likeable with their own unique perspectives. The female detective was particularly strong. Some people feel the supernatural elements ramped up too fast and there's an ill-advised romance plot towards the end that wasn't well established.
As a minor note, I wish fictional characters would stop denying the possibility that they might be sick because the voices in their heads are real
darn it. We're meant to support the protagonist, but we really don't have a good reason to.
The game is incredibly innovative, it practically invented a new way of making games. Dual cameras, multiple protagonists. It was released in the same year as God Of War
popularised the QTE, yet they were doing things here that games made now need to learn to do. The QTE's aren't instantly fatal and mimic the actions they're representing.