3) The Distant Future
This one was hard for me because The Distant Future has always been my favorite chapter of the game so, to put it as three physically hurt but just because it’s my favorite doesn’t mean an easy win.
The Distant Future tasks you with being an adorable robot that, despite being a ball, is named Cube. Hey, they originally wanted to go with “Roundy”. (Seriously, remember that it’s a really important question in the story, later on, you’re welcome)
The Distant Future is unique in the fact that there is no combat save for the final boss which you fight in an arcade machine.
Instead, Cube gets to live out a story about several people on a space station slowly getting more and more hostile with each other and occasionally dying as they’re all being toyed with by an evil A.I. known as OD-10 (get it?) who’s doing everything from playing with airlocks to releasing things from the cargo hold. If this is a little too Space Odyssey for you, don’t worry, there’s also a hidden Monolith in the Prehistory story if you want to look for it.
Cube’s story plays almost like a visual novel with you not interjecting and just watching the other characters react. In fact, you have almost no bearing on the story except for the final boss when you figure out how to pull its essence into an arcade machine and whoop its ass digitally. It’s that lack of interaction that makes it lose two spots as I feel there could have been more ways to have an effect on the story than to just observe.
But luckily the story is amazing. It’s touching, creepy, dramatic, and features a genuinely uncomfortable amount of creepiness at just the right times. It’s that excellent storytelling that keeps it as high as it is on the list.