What Makes a Game Truly ‘Breathtaking?’

What makes a game ‘Breathtaking?’ Is a question commonly seen throughout the gaming community, and while your usual answer is something like graphics or OST (Otherwise known as your Original Soundtrack), there are outliers and examples of other ways that games express ‘breathtaking’ over others. Today, we investigate the different points of ‘breathtaking’ and see which deserve the title.  


The most common idea of ‘breathtaking’ is good graphics, and by good, I mean something that looks real and alive. Good examples of this include games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and The Last of Us 2. The reason we call these games ‘breathtaking’ in terms of graphics is because of the details you find in the world, how the grass and the shrubs move with the wind, how you leave realistic footprints in snow, and how you can see the rays of sunlight coming through broken windows. Things like these make games feel like they are alive, that they move and can replicate real life to a certain extent. 

Image: Rockstar Games

Another common point is the OST, which is the music made specifically for that game (Not just popular music shoved into a game and labelled as ‘radio.’) A lot of games are praised for their music, and for some games the soundtrack is what makes said games iconic. For example, the DooM series has always been praised for having music as good as its game play, which is especially true for the 2016 reboot and Eternal Another series that is known for having good music Metro. Its’ collection of subtle guitar tracks and classic themed radio tracks scattered around the world make the game more immersive, and for me, hearing the guitar songs playing as background music while I’m sneaking past a convoy of Red Line conscripts adds to the level of atmosphere.

Image: Beat Games

The last of the points I’m going to cover is the gameplay mechanics, the ones that give you a sense of literal ‘breathtaking.’ Games like Beat Saber can achieve this to a high standard, depending on who mapped the level you are playing on and the speed of the nodes. Beat Saber is a good-looking game on its own, and very simple looking on paper, but it requires you to have the hand-eye co-ordination of a professional piano player, and when you’re playing a very hard level and you move just right and hit that leader board setting combo, it feels ‘good’ in the same way you feel cool when you beat the bad guys in your imaginary cheer up scenario you presented to your vast collection of shampoo bottles in the shower. 

In conclusion, the term ‘breathtaking’ with games can mean many things, some good and some bad. Although the term is about as overused as ‘alive’, it’s still good to admire games that can literally take your breath away, and I hope this article has showed that. 

By key

Professional internet troll and mediocre journalist

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