If you had to distil down all the video games out there now, you’d find that most of them can fit into one of two categories, Science Fiction and Fantasy.
To oversimplify you could call it Technology Vs Magic but usually there’s a kind of setting and theme you prefer over the other.
There are games that straddle both genres but let’s not get into that now, save that for the comments section.
Fantasy usually refers to epic or high fantasy of the Lord of the Rings, Elder Scrolls, Warcraft, Zelda, and Dragon Quest variety, though the lines do often blur. Some traditionally non-fantasy games could probably be argued to fit under this category with some compelling arguments.
Fantasy themes in games can help explore ideas around faith and religious dogma. Often (but not always) there is some kind of prophecy or darkness coming that needs a hero or heroes to go out and save the world. If there is both religion and magic in the world how they interact can often be central to the story.
You may be a gamer who adores fantasy games. Getting involved with the epic story of the Dragonborn, but also the worlds of Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings. Or maybe you enjoy Vampire The Masquerade. Or Superhero movies. Fantasy comes in many forms.
Magic, Dragons, and Faeries galore!
Science Fiction Games
On the other hand, there are gamers who are die-hard science fiction lovers. They love piloting spaceships and intergalactic politics. Aliens, Predators, Reapers and all things set in the future.
Science Fiction lends itself to stories on the impact of technology and what would be possible. From Faster than Light (FTL) travel helping us expand and colonise worlds to Cybernetic augmentation and what it means to be human. The themes in Sci-Fi often revolve around pushing into the unknown, be that in a field of science or a physical location.
When we think of the best Sci-fi games, it’s natural to think of Deus Ex, Bioshock, Starcraft, MGS, Mass Effect, FFVII, the Resident Evil series, Star Wars games, and more.
If you’re a fan of Sci-Fi games you might also enjoy dystopian futures and time travel that is backed up by science rather than spells.
Robots, Technology, and Lasers… oh my!
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Science Fiction Vs Fantasy Games
Though Dragon Age and Mass Effect are very similar, some people just prefer the [Alien Races]/[Magical Races] (Delete whichever is inappropriate) when they’re cruising around to save the world.
With Sci-Fi the power is usually in the technology, the characters are important but acquiring more technology helps the hero progress further. In Fantasy the power often comes from within (and a magic sword here and there).
Of course if you really want both in one, you can look to the Shadowrun series where Orcs and Elves meet Cyber Punk and Hacking.
What kind of game do you prefer to play? Do you prefer Aliens and gadgets that are powered by science or the Dragons and artefacts powered by magic?
If you’re somewhere in between, let us know in the comments.
Remember boys and girls, this is an opinion poll. Stay civilised when discussing the finer points of your gaming experience.
If you’ve got a suggestion for a Poll, let us know in the comments. As we’re just finding out feet with this we’d love some input!