Rick Lane steps into some surreal game worlds that attempt to go beyond the usual fantasy and sci-fi escapism.
The aim of so many popular games is to provide escapism, a way to escape to a fantasy land or science-fiction universe that often looks and acts in a very realistic way. Achieving that realism an understandable ambition, but it's also a limiting one. After all, games can also symbolically depict our own world, visually realising abstract ideas and concepts that our own world and civilisation generate.
Moreover, when level design is decoupled from escapism, it can be used to create worlds that are truly alien, going beyond the logical constraints of realism. In this article, we’ll explore a couple of games that challenge the notion of environmental design and how it’s used.