Enjoy a spot of mythology, gods, fire and brimstone? Here are a few suggestions to whet your appetite…
Mythology has been a crucial aspect of human life throughout the ages, allowing humans throughout time to explain away all of those questions that we don’t have an answer for and creating a sprawling origin story for the world and mankind.
All sorts of civilizations from across the world created their own mythology reflecting the conditions they observed and the values and philosophies of their society. These mythologies were comprised of countless stories of deities and their interactions with humans and earth, and were passed on from generation to generation to the point where most of them outlived the civilizations that they came from, becoming incorporated into broad human knowledge and even pop culture.
With plenty of hugely successful movies and comic books based on these mythologies, we thought we’d take a look at some of the best mythology-based video games that have allowed us to infiltrate ancient cultures or personify the vengeful and all-powerful gods of myths. While some may have taken a bit more creative license with the myths than others, all the games on this list are guaranteed to appeal to lovers of ancient civilizations and their sprawling mythologies.
Developer: Thunder Lotus Games
Publisher: Thunder Lotus Games
Release date: 29 Sep, 2015
Jotun is a beautifully hand drawn, frame by frame action adventure game that plays out like a bedtime story that you keep asking your mother to tell you again and again.
Based Norse mythology, Jotun tells the story of Thora, a Viking woman named by her father after the god of thunder. Having to live in the shadow of her brother and trying to gain the acceptance of her father as a veritable warrior woman, she suffers an inglorious death which sends her to Ginnungagap – their name for the void.
There, she is given a second chance to prove herself to the gods as a true warrior by defeating elemental giants called the Jotun, which will then allow her to enter the halls of Valhalla. Filled with challenging puzzles, beautiful worlds to explore and fun boss battles, Jotun’s biggest flaw is that it is a short adventure that leaves you wishing for much more.
Undisputedly the most visually stunning game on this list, Okami is an absolute gem of a game. Based on ancient Japanese mythology and traditions, Okami follows the Shinto goddess of the sun, Amaterasu, in her adventures ridding the Japanese countryside of darkness and evil. To do so Amaterasu takes the form of a while wolf endowed with many mystical powers, which players can call forth by drawing on the screen using the Celestial Brush.
Combining dozens of folktales together to tell a broader story, this game manages to serve as an introductory course into Japanese mythology, as it will familiarize you with all sorts of characters that are of huge importance to Japanese culture, including Queen Himiko and the demon Orochi.
Though at first the game may look deceptively simple and childlike, Okami is not only beautiful but also quite challenging. An action-adventure game filled with puzzles and difficult bosses, it will keep you very entertained and immersed in its beautiful world for hours at a time.
Developer: Vigil Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Release date: 23 Sep, 2010
While most mythological are based on extinct mythologies, Darksiders took a different approach by putting players straight into the Christian Book for Revelation. Taking place at the end of a truce between Heaven and Hell, players will be controlling War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as he descends into Earth to bring about the Apocalypse.
Once he realizes that the Apocalypse wasn’t meant to start yet and is accused by the Charred Council of trying to destroy mankind and aid Hell, he sent is back to Earth where the forces of Hell are now ruling. There he must find the culprits that set him up and return balance to the struggle..
With an amazing story filled with thick biblical mythology, impressive graphics and fast paced action, and memorable boss fights, Darksiders is an absolute winner.
God of War Series
Release date: various
By far the most popular video game series based on any mythology, God of War is an action-adventure series that practically redefined the hack and slash genre and recast it in its image.
Based on Greek mythology, God of War tells the story of Kratos, a spartan warrior who after being tricked by the gods to kill his own wife and child, decides to take on Ares himself in a vengeful quest. After defeating him and becoming the new God of War, he then decides to wage war on Olympus himself, taking on all the other gods in the process.
Facing off against all sorts of demons and mythical beasts and foes along the way, God of War features some of the most creative and beautifully choreographed violence and fight moves out there, plenty of puzzles, epic boss battles and some fantastic artwork, God of War is quite simply one of the best video game series ever made.
Age of Mythology
Developer: SkyBox Labs,
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Release date: 8 May, 2014
While it may be the game least historically accurate in its treatment of mythologies on this list, Age of Mythology is a hell of a lot of fun. A real time strategy game that allows you to choose gods and heroes from ancient civilizations like the Norse, Greek and Egyptian and pit them against other civilizations, Age is practically a history buff’s wet dream.
Allowing you to choose civilizations with their own unique technologies, mythical units, historical heroes and god powers to help you wage battle against opposing armies, this game involves a great deal of strategizing, as you must not only worry about building your civilization and attacking your enemies, but also being wary of the powers the other gods can use on you.
Age of Mythology also features an extensive campaign mode that allows players to wage combat in locations that include real world places like Egypt, to fictional stages like Hell or the lost city of Atlantis.
If you have your own suggestions for mythology games, please tell us about them in the comments below!