There are all sorts of video games available right now. Some of them draw inspiration from modern while some find it in mythology. Mythical themes have been explored a lot in video games, both throughout the history of gaming and now. Adding real mythology in games gives them an additional layer of meaning and takes storytelling to the next level. Whether we’re talking about modern twists on tales from history or blends of numerous stories, mythology makes video games more fun. With that said, we’ve come up with a list of seven awesome games belonging to this genre.
God of War
God of War is probably the ultimate mythology-driven game. Recently, the game has reinvented itself with Norse mythology but it used mythical themes long before. God of War and God of War II released in the 2000s, were set in Ancient Greece. Even their name comes from the Greek god of war – Ares. In the game, (spoiler alert) Kratos kills Ares and replaces him as the god of war in the original games. These games explored topics such as relationships between gods and humans and tells tragic stories you’ll fall in love with. So, if you’re looking for a retro mythology-driven game, the old versions may be exactly what you’re looking for. The installments see Kratos move from ancient Greece to pre-historical Norway and the story moves to Norse mythology.
Age of Mythology
The name says it all – this game is all about mythology. Although a bit antiquated, the game is still a real treat for all strategy games enthusiasts. This is especially the case now when there’s an extended edition available. What makes this game unique is that it gives players a chance to battle using different mythologies. Whether you choose Zeus, Loki, or someone else as your major god, you have access to an entire set of buildings and soldiers. In later stages of the game, you can select minor gods and choose the direction you want your village and army to go. Civilizations also incorporate heroes like Ajax you can take to the battle.
If you’ve never played Max Payne, you might be surprised that this game has made the list. Set in the modern world, Max Payne gives you a chance to assume the role of a former NYPD avenging the deaths of his wife and child. In the game, Payne is investigating Valkyr, a drug responsible for their deaths. The drug is named after female warriors appearing in Norse mythology. It’s a part of the Valhalla project – another reference to Norse legends. As you play, you get to notice numerous similar references to Asgard, Yggdrasil, and the aesir, all of which can be found in Norse myths. The story doesn’t mirror any myths, these references are reason enough to give the game a run.
Slots and mythology are a great combination. After all, there are gods of gambling luck who can help you hit jackpots and win money. Hermes is the Greek god of gambling while Thoth assumes the same role in Egyptian mythology. The perfect way to combine slots and mythology is to play Medusa Megaways. It’s amazing how a slot game can incorporate so much folklore into its gameplay. The reels in Medusa Megaways are set inside a gold temple framework. Serving as the backdrop for the framework is ancient Greece. The audio is suspenseful with loud thunder strikes reminding that you’re spinning slots in an entirely different universe.
Not all mythology-driven games find inspiration in Greek and Norse stories. Darksiders is a game based on Christian mythology that lets you assume the role of War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. What this game does is that it takes the biblical Book of Revelations and transforms it into a video game. Darksiders is extremely fun, even if you’re already familiar with the story. This is because the game doesn’t stay completely true to the story and deals with various other topics instead. The game is set in a world where Heaven and Hell are about to end a tenuous truce and War is set to play his role in the apocalypse.
There’s just something about 2D games that makes them so fun. Apotheon is one of them that simply had to make its way onto this list. The game combines fun gameplay and unique visuals based on ancient Greek black-figure pottery. The story is the classic “gods have forsaken us” story but it’s guaranteed to get you hooked on the game. Many gamers compare the game to the popular Hades. If you need another reason to try Apotheon, there’s more. Like in many other games that draw inspiration from Greek mythology, Zeus makes an appearance in the story. In this game, he’s voiced by SungWon Cho a.k.a. ProZD, a popular actor, voice actor, and YouTube content creator.
Released in 2017, Nioh made a lot of noise for its Dark Souls type of gameplay. Another thing this game does amazingly well is incorporate Japanese mythology into it. Most U.S. and Europe-based gamers aren’t that familiar with Japanese folklore but Nioh is definitely worth giving a hot. In fact, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn Japanese myths while playing. We should also mention that Nioh creates a sort of a mix of history and folklore to deliver a unique and fun story. The game is set in the 1600s and follows the journey of an Irish soldier. The second installment, also dealing with Japanese mythology, was released in March 2020.
Over to you
Numerous video games are based on one or more culture’s mythology. Give any of the games we talked about earlier a run and you’ll have all the fun you want. Also, keep an eye for new mythology-driven games as we may get to see some hit the market soon.
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