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Video game analysis

Video Game Story Analysis

Write a 2-3 page analysis (single-spaced) of one of the video games listed below, based on the handout from Evan Skolnick’s “Video Game Storytelling: What every Developer Should Know about Narrative Techniques” (2014).

That handout was based on Christopher Vogler’s summary of Joseph Campbell’s famous book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” (1949) %20-%20Writers%20Journey.pdf.  Campbell’s work influenced George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.

In Joseph Campbell’s book, he asserts that many myths (including motion picture screenplays and video game plots) contain the same types of characters and story structure. A summary of Campbell’s theory is listed below, and consists of the following archetypes: Hero, Mentor, Herald, Threshold Guardian, Trickster, Shapeshifter, Villain (Shadow), and the story structure: The Ordinary World,

The Call to Adventure, Refusal of the Call, Meeting with the Mentor, Crossing the First Threshold, Tests/Allies/Enemies, Approach to the Inmost Cave, The Supreme Ordeal, Reward, The Road Back, Resurrection, Return with the Elixir.


BIOSHOCK (2K Boston renamed Irrational Games, 2007)

In 1960, a lone survivor of a plane crash named Jack discovers an abandoned underwater utopia, only to find out that the mystery behind its creation is much more sinister than he first believed.

DESTINY 2: FORSAKEN (Bungie, 2018)

Take justice into your own hands as you venture into a new frontier filled with enemies, allies, untold mysteries, and treasures waiting to be uncovered.


A young man without a past discovers he’s actually the reincarnation of a heroic warrior that once stopped an impossibly evil being from destroying the entire world. With the help of some friends, he sets out to do it again.

FAR CRY 3 (Ubisoft Montreal, 2012)

Jason Brody wants to help his friends escape from a mysterious island, but they are being held by an army of thugs ruled by a pair of psychopathic warlords. While skydiving, Jason Brody and his friends land on an island overrun by pirates, where Jason is torn between fighting for the Rakyat resistance and rescuing his friends.

FINAL FANTASY X (Square, 2001)

A celebrated young athlete is drawn from his futuristic hometown and convenient lifestyle to a harsh and techno-phobic land by a mysterious force only known as Sin.




A young bank robber escapes from police custody and works his way up through the mafia ladder of crime-ridden Liberty City, USA.

HALF-LIFE (Valve, 1998)

You play a scientist who must make his way through a ruined underground scientific complex infested with danger.

HORIZON ZERO DOWN (Guerilla Games, 2017)

In a primitive tribal world where strange, monstrous, animalistic machines roam the wilderness, a brave young female warrior goes on a quest to learn the truth about her mysterious origin and the state the world is in.

KINDOM of HEARTS II (Square Enix, 2005)

Sora and friends face mysterious new enemies as they continue their journey to save all worlds, and find Riku and King Mickey.

LEFT 4 DEAD (Valve, 2008)

A multi player co-op in post-apocalyptic Pennsylvania, where four immune survivors, Francis, Bill, Zoey, and Louis fight through hordes of zombies and Special Infected as they make their way to extraction zones.

PERSONA 5 (P-Studio, 2016)

A group of students who secretly call themselves the Phantom Thieves are here to stop an evil conspiracy that is not only corrupting the city of Tokyo, but the entire world too.

PORTAL (Valve, 2007)

A test subject, Chell, wants to escape the dilapidated Aperture Science facility, but a sadistic, deranged AI is holding her captive and forcing her to solve bizarre, deadly puzzles. She must escape with the help of the only instrument she has–a gun that makes portals.

RUNESCAPE (Jagex, 2001)

Create a character, and set out on an adventure across a fantastical world battling powerful creatures with other players or alone.


STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC (BioWare Austin, 2008)

Set long before the Star Wars films, the Sith Empire returns to the galaxy to begin a war with the Galactic Republic. After some brutal battles, both sides stop fighting each other, but the peace is broken and the Empire and the Republic are soon at war again.

THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM (Bethesda Game Studios, 2011)

After escaping execution, the last living Dragonborn must grow in strength and power to defeat the dragons that have once again begun to plague the land of Skyrim.

TOMB RAIDER (Crystal Dynamics, 2013)

Lara Croft wants to help her friends escape from a mysterious island, but a bizarre militaristic cult has other plans for them, and supernatural forces prevent anyone from leaving. Armed with only the raw instincts and physical ability, experience Lara Croft’s intense origin story from a young woman to a hardened survivor.

UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES (Naughty Dog, 2009)

Nathan Drake wants to recover the long-lost Cintamani Stone, but it’s also being tracked by a madman who intends to use it to become superhumanly possible.

UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END (Naughty Dog, 2016)

Thrown back into the dangerous underworld he’d tried to leave behind, Nathan Drake must decide what he’s willing to sacrifice to save the ones he loves.

UNDERTALE (Toby Fox, 2015)

Enter the Underground, a massive subterranean cave to where monsters, who once lived harmoniously with humans on the surface, now have been banished after losing a war with humanity.

WITCHER III: WILD HUNT (CD Projekt Red, 2015)

Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter for hire, embarks on an epic journey to find his former apprentice, Ciri, before The Wild Hunt can capture her and bring about the destruction of the world.

WORLD OF WARCRAFT (Blizzard Entertainment, 2004)

Eight races vie for control of the world of Azeroth, only four years after they had stood together against the might of the Burning Legion. The lands of the world of Azeroth have once again become host to a World of Warcraft.




Last Updated on September 12, 2018

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