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6 Best 3D Platformers With Darker Themes

by SYSNET
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Fans frequently have positive memories of 3D platformers when they first became popular, but some may not recall that they included some grim undertones.

Since the invention of 3D gaming, 3D platformers have been a staple of the video game franchise. Although the 3D format of platformers wasn’t popularised until the 1990s with titles like Super Mario 64, Crash Bandicoot, and Banjo-Kazooie on the first platforms with 3D graphics, the genre is almost as old as video gaming itself.

Nowadays, 3D platformers are less frequent than one might imagine, with few new series breaking through to general attention. Although many players believe they have outgrown the genre, there are a plethora of 3D platforming games. That demonstrate it can be as dark and subtle as any other video game genre, such as these titles.

Conker’s Bad Fur Day

Conker's Bad Fur Day

Conker’s Bad Fur Day, created by the same firm that made Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64, is one of the more well-known dark 3D platformers. Conker, a drunken, foul-mouthed squirrel, is trying to find his way home from a night at the bar. His journey home to his girlfriend Berri is littered with M-rated adventures and evil animals.

Notably, the game’s ending is rather gloomy and nihilistic, with Conker proclaimed King of the Panther King’s Land despite the death of his girlfriend. It’s a bleak visual for this 3D platformer, which may appear to be appropriate for youngsters but is not. Look up Conker’s boss battle against the Great Mighty Poo if you’re still not convinced.

Psychonauts

Psychonauts

Psychonauts is widely regarded as one of the best 3D platformers of all time. The plot of the 2005 film revolves around Raz, who flees his circus family to join the Psychonauts, a secret organisation of telekinetic heroes. Already, the premise of the game focusing on a fugitive child creates a grim backdrop for this 3D platforming adventure.

When Lili, another Psychonaut he falls in love with, is sent to a mental asylum, Raz is forced to break her out. Psychonauts 2, which was launched in 2021, contains even more frightening stuff, such as characters with multiple personality disorder and one who has lost control of his body and has lost his five senses.

Sonic The Hedgehog (2006)

Sonic The Hedgehog (2006)

The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise is normally relatively kid-friendly, though its major titles have occasionally strayed into dark and violent areas. This contains the infamous Sonic the Hedgehog game from 2006, also known as “Sonic ’06.” In which Sonic is blamed by time-traveling hedgehog Silver for causing the future catastrophe.

The apocalypse, it turns out, was caused by Mephiles, an evil spirit mistakenly freed by Shadow and Rouge. Mephiles murders Sonic as part of his goal to absorb time in one of the game’s climax moments. However, Sonic is subsequently restored with a kiss by Princess Elise. His human love interest, which is a disturbing story aspect.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

In 2017, Activision recreated the first three Crash Bandicoot games, which were created by Naughty Dog in the late 1990s. The remastered trilogy contains what many fans consider to be some of the best Crash Bandicoot titles, yet aficionados of the genre will know that it tends to be darker and more edgy than many other 3D platformers from the time period.

For example, whenever Crash Bandicoot dies, a pretty horrific (for a kids’ game, at least) animation of him being electrocuted, impaled, or burned alive plays out. Death animations are almost a feature of the genre, and the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy accurately recreates some of the trilogy’s more horrible ways to die.

The Simpsons Game

The Simpsons Game

It’s not surprise that The Simpsons Game is extremely dark, given that Matt Groening’s show is equally loaded with adult humour. Nonetheless, few film or television video game adaptations are as close to their source material as The Simpsons Game, which includes animated segments straight from the programme.

The game contains numerous pop culture references, including King Kong, Super Mario Bros., and Grand Theft Auto. Furthermore, the story of Basket Random game focuses on darker subjects such as deforestation, violent video games, and working conditions. The game even concludes with the Simpsons praying to God after defeating him in a game of Dance Dance Revolution.

Super Mario Sunshine

Super Mario Sunshine

Dark themes are the furthest thing from the Mario franchise. Especially in a title like Super Mario Sunshine, with its bright and summery design. But don’t be fooled: this game contains some of the franchise’s darkest and most realistic scenes. The entire game, in fact, begins with Mario being arrested for vandalism on Isle Delfino.

Despite the fact that Mario was framed by Bowser Jr. disguised as his shadow doppelganger. Mario is still obligated to perform community service by cleaning up the island. Furthermore, after beating Bowser in an active volcano, Mario’s nozzle friend F.L.U.D.D. looks to be destroyed.

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