I don't believe in any god. I don't think that's a particularly unusual point of view in 2022, at least in some parts of the world, but if I did there are certainly some moments that stick with me as things I'd have potentially given a deity credit for.
I was once sat under a tree watching a game of amateur cricket. From the tree fell the largest pinecone I'd ever seen and to probably ever exist in the history of the world. The kind of pinecone that if it were to land on a head, would crush it like a hammer on a watermelon. This pinecone got so close to my head I heard it woosh past my ear. Death by pinecone avoided, but was it a god that saved me?
I walk the same route every weekday as I take my son to school. Not too long ago, on a surprisingly warm morning in September, my brisk walk was brought to a sudden halt as a heavy droplets pummeled the pavement just a few feet in front of me. Bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, they hit. I checked myself. I checked my son. No bird s**t had hit us. We were safe. Was this a god?
Years ago I was brushing my teeth. This wasn't anything out of the ordinary, but what happened mid-way through was quite unbelievable. Brushing away, like I always do, I got a bit carried away. The brush zooming in and out too fast to be able to fully control, it launched out of my grasp and into the air. Where was it to land? That's right... on my head! It just sat there, perfectly balanced. The work of a god?
As I said, I don't believe in a god, but you must agree that these incredible moments really are hard to rationally explain. Anyway. Welcome to VG247's The Best Games Ever Podcast: Ep.22 - The best game about gods that isn't God of War.
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Please do let us know what you think of the show – and if this is your first time listening, do go back to listen to the previous episodes. If you’ve got suggestions for topics, we’d love to hear them. 22 episodes in and let's just say the ideas aren't coming thick and fast. Jim is soon likely to suggest something like, "Best game a cat would look at and do a meow" and I wouldn't immediately dismiss it.
“What is VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast?” you ask while pondering if you could deliberately throw a toothbrush up and have it land on your head. Anyway, this podcast, which is why you're on this page, is essentially a 30-minute panel show where people (me and some others on VG247) decide on the best game in a specific category. That's it. It's good. Listen to it.
We’ve got some details on the show’s content below (if you want to get a refresher before heading to the comments to make a wonderful, considered post or don’t want to listen but do want to know what games we picked), so if you want to avoid spoilers, don’t scroll past this fan-made creation of what Chris Bratt would look like if he was in God of War. (Support friends of VG247, People Make Games, on Patreon).
The best game about gods that isn't God of War
This is the topic of Episode twenty-two of VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast. Here’s a rundown of who picked what.
Tom - Immortals Fenyx Rising
Enough with the "oh, it's a Breath of the Wild clone" talk. Immortals Fenyx Rising is a great, fun adventure game that mixes elements of the open-world design of Breath of the Wild with God of War/action game-ish combat. It doesn't take itself too seriously, it looks great, has a load of interesting stuff to do, and deserves to be remembered more fondly than it is. It also features lots of gods.
Alex – Black & White
Right, listen. This is definitely Alex talking (Brummies!). Don't listen to anyone that tells you Black & White isn't a classic. It's a god game where the whole concept is about believing a god into existence. It's not watching some AI wander around a house and use a microwave. This absolutely deserves to win. Up the Birmingham FC!
Note: Alex called me angrily, insisting I publish his own notes on Black & White. They follow:
Black & White is the ultimate god game - not just because it's one of the great gems of the 'god game' genre, but because it takes the genre title quite seriously. This isn't just a god game because you look down on the world from a godly perspective - it's a game where you actually play as a god, where the currency needed to perform actions comes directly from the prayers of the lowly people below who worship you. There's a lot of god games, but not many where contextually, literally, you are god.
It's all classic Lionhead and more specifically Peter Molyneux, of course. Bursting with ideas, slightly confused, slightly undercooked, but with wild flashes of brilliance. It hails from an era where Lionhead was having a string of creative triumphs - a golden age before a seemingly inevitable fall. But to me, it is, and always will be, the ultimate god game.
Kelsey - The Sims 4
The Sims 4 is a god game, despite what Tom may think. You, the player, are an omnipotent being who gets to determine whether your Sims live out happily ever after, or merely become a Peeping Tom. Better yet, if someone isn't co-operating, you can also find some creative ways of making your Sims miserable, or worse, in receipt of a visit from the Grim Reaper.
Come back in a week for another episode of VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast.