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Best Narrative of 2021

Best Narrative of 2021 - Article

by Taneli Palola , posted on 18 January 2022 / 1,394 Views

A mix of traditional and unusual narratives make up the list of top nominees for 2021. Halo Infinite and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy are more straightforward in their storytelling, while Psychonauts 2 and It Takes Two take some more unexpected routes with their narratives. The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles lands perhaps somewhere in the middle. Regardless of the methods used, all of these games weave their stories expertly and deserve their place among the best of 2021.

  

The Shortlist:

  

Halo Infinite

  

Psychonauts 2

  

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles

  

It Takes Two

  

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

  

  

  

  

The Winner:

It Takes Two

Runner-up: Psychonauts 2

The winner of this year's Best Narrative award is It Takes Two, which is quite an achievement considering its nature as primarily a co-op experience. Often co-op is an  active detriment to storytelling in video games, as the presence of another player can work as a distraction, but Hazelight Studios created a genuinely gripping narrative by leaning heavily into cooperative play and making it a part of the story itself. It was a wonderfully creative touch, and makes It Takes Two a worthy winner of our Best Narrative of 2021 award.


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11 Comments
Angelus (on 18 January 2022)

Hard disagree with this one. I love IT2. It's a wonderfully imaginative, mechanically diverse, charming game...but it is not even close to the best narrative of the year.

  • +5
Jaicee Angelus (on 18 January 2022)

Although It Takes Two was my choice for overall Game of the Year, honestly, I have to agree with you here. It Takes Two is extremely creative, consistently a joy to play, and nothing short of revolutionary in its handling of co-op game play and it has a Pixar sweet and sincere story that I couldn't help but find endearing, and the author here is right about how it was successfully integrated into the co-op game play itself (which is part of what makes it a revolutionary game, IMO)...BUT I connected better to Returnal's darker story and found it to be both more gripping and more thought-provoking, personally, and have to admit disappointment at not even seeing it on the shortlist in this category because it got my vote. Still, Psychonauts 2 is a strong consideration here for largely similar reasons.

  • +1
coolbeans (on 18 January 2022)

I'll be honest about one terrible shortcoming: The Forgotten City was not on the candidate list. I didn't notice it until I voted (Jan 1) and somehow I didn't see it missing on the staff forum extension before voting began. Even though it probably didn't have a chance of reaching the shortlist, that error really got to me.

So, I'm gonna give The Forgotten City a special Writer's Oopsie Award as penance and recommend everyone give my (current) fav. 2021 narrative a shot. As for It Takes Two, I'm genuinely surprised at it netting gold. I figured Antonio Bookdarus would've been too much of a red flag and voters would look elsewhere.

  • +3
ireadtabloids coolbeans (on 18 January 2022)

I don’t understand the Antonio Bookdarus reference. Is this something I should be aware of in the online games discussion space?

  • 0
coolbeans ireadtabloids (on 18 January 2022)

It's just who I call the Dr. Hakim book character in It Takes Two.

  • +2
shikamaru317 (on 19 January 2022)

Haven't played either the runner up or the winner as of yet, but I have played both Halo Infinite and Guardians of the Galaxy, and both had excellent narratives, with Halo slightly edging out Guardians imo.

  • +1
Leynos (on 18 January 2022)

Lost Judgment robbed wow.

  • +1
Loneken (on 18 January 2022)

I only played Halo., Psiconauts2 and it2. It takes 2 has the best narrative of the 3.

  • 0
Livewitharya (on 18 January 2022)

Deserving.

  • 0
AllfatherStarr (on 18 January 2022)

Has no one actually played Inscryption this year or what?

  • 0
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