As prolific as violence is in videogames, it doesn’t meant that you’re going to be exposed to it in every game you play. There are varying degrees of violence in games, ranging from extreme to mild. Not every popular franchise relies on blood and gore as the selling point, so if you’re the kind of gamer that would prefer to steer away from an overexposure to violence, there are many titles you can check out that will probably still be enjoyable. While most of these are going to be indie titles, there are some other big name titles that may surprise you in regards to how little violence is in them.
Portal and Portal 2
While there is some violence in the Portal games, it’s nowhere near as explicit or gratuitous as what you’d find in other games. Portal is mainly a puzzle game and that’s where it shines. It’s not only about the puzzles, however; both games have a continuing storyline that is both engaging and mysterious. Playing as Chell, you’re forced by a malevolent robot named GlaDOS to proceed through level after level of zones meant to test the abilities of a tool/weapon known as the portal gun. The gun is capable of creating two different portals which link to each other, allowing Chell to solve puzzles in a way that she normally wouldn’t.
The violence in Portal and Portal 2 is mostly present in the nature of the puzzles that GlaDOS confronts Chell with. The robot makes a concentrated effort to make the testing zones deadlier than they were meant to be originally by introducing elements that are very hazardous to Chell’s health. The most direct aspect of actual violence in the first Portal game is when you confront GlaDOS at the end. In the second game, the most blatant example of direct violence is when you tackle Wheatley, the final boss. Even though these confrontations are mildly violent, they are nowhere near as bad as other confrontations you’d encounter in other games.
Journey is a unique game in a number of different ways. The indie title has won critical acclaim for its innovativeness, and that innovativeness has made it a very different type of game. For starters, Journey is a multiplayer game that pairs you at random with other players. However, you won’t be able to see the player’s identity until the end of the game. Additionally you have no method of communicating with these other players except through whatever movements you make and the ability to whistle.
Journey is unique in the fact that it’s an exploratory game that doesn’t have much in the way of violence. This isn’t to say that there isn’t any, because there is. However, the violence in Journey is mild and is limited to having to hide from machines that will do you harm. At no point in the game is there an actual confrontation that leads to a violent encounter. Add to this the fact that the game is truly one of a kind, and Journey becomes an excellent title for anyone who prefers creative gameplay over violence.
Never Alone is another interesting indie title that doesn’t focus solely on violence. This game, like Journey, is unique in a couple of different ways. For starters, you must control two characters in order to complete the game. Additionally, the game itself focuses on folktales from Alaskan indigenous culture. There are periodic cutscenes throughout the game that serve to enlighten the player more about the nature of the folktales and about certain aspects of the culture they come from.
The violence in Never Alone is limited to running away from and vanquishing certain foes that stand in your way. However, the violence is not graphic or bloody and does not serve as a focal point for the gameplay or story development. Never Alone is also a puzzle platformer, which makes it a great choice for people looking for a game based more on substance than shock factor.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
Another indie title that received widespread acclaim, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is another game that focuses more on providing players with a unique and moving story than giving people the opportunity to hack and slash their way to the end. With a beautiful setting and a very unique control system, the game does have violence but it is minimal compared to many other titles.