Friday, September 18, 2020

The Games of Eternal Life: An In-Depth Look at How Immortality Has Been Portrayed in Gaming

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The concept of immortality is one that fascinates us. Explored throughout various forms of media, from books and TV shows through to video games and slots, it’s something we’ve all considered at one time or another: what it would mean to live forever.

For content creators, in particular, it’s the perfect tool for adding a complex and intricate element to their storytelling. They have to ask themselves questions about how immortality might impact everything from characterization to various plot scenarios, and the answers often make for highly compelling media.    

With this in mind, it’s not surprising that many games have focused on this topic, both in terms of featuring immortal characters and with regards to their game mechanics. Here are just three of the many video, slot, and computer games that have had this principle theme at their center.

Mortal Kombat

There are a lot of reasons why the Mortal Kombat franchise numbers among the most popular video games of all time, and one of them is its host of complex and compelling characters. Shang Tsung is definitely among these. First appearing in the series in 1992, he is the most powerful of warlocks, but he also has plenty of other fascinating abilities besides spellcasting and magic. Known to be a shapeshifter, Shang Tsung can morph at will into other characters, absorbing and retaining their powers, while also having the unique ability to steal the souls of the defeated in order to preserve his own eternal life force.

Book of Immortals 

Available to play as a slot game from Mr. Gold and many other popular casinos, Book of Immortals is one of the most widely enjoyed titles on the market today. Set in Ancient Egypt, its primary cast of immortals is made up of a mix of heroes and gods who can never die. Drawn so that they almost resemble comic book characters, their costumes and characterization are primarily inspired by this long-ago period in history, helping to create an immersive and engaging experience. Featuring a five reel, ten payline setup, the stakes are attractive and the story fantastic.    

Planescape: Torment 

Another game that deserves a mention on this list is the ever-popular Planescape: Torment. Its protagonist is known as The Nameless One, and his complex characterization has been fascinating viewers since the RPG was first developed in 1999. While little is known about him, a defining feature of the character is that he was once human and is now immortal, and it’s this immortality that drives much of what he does. That’s because he has lost himself over the years, with each death and resurrection wiping his memory and causing him to drift further away from the man he was. It’s an interesting concept, and one that makes for some truly fantastic storytelling.

When it comes to finding ways to add an additional element of complexity and intrigue to a game and its characters, having immortality feature in-world is one surefire way to do this, as these three titles demonstrate. Tell us, which of them would you like to visit or revisit first? 

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