There is technically one more game of the type that have come to call the “First Person Walker” that I haven’t talked about here at PopMatters yet, The Stanley Parable. However, that game is getting an HD Steam release later this year with additional content that I’m inclined to wait for the finished version before discussing at length. But last year saw a sister genre arise, or as close to it as developers dared, that appears to be something like a “Third-Person Walker.” Namely, I’m thinking of games like Journey and Bientôt l’été.
The First Person Walker is defined by its reduction of all the interactive elements of games until the only major verbs that describe the actions in them are “looking” and “moving.” While I describe them as minimalist, both Journey and Bientôt l’été do not reduce themselves quite as far as the levels reached by Dear Esther, Proteus, or even Thirty Flights of Loving, a game that still has you pushing buttons, opening doors, and allows you to peel an orange. In fact, the rendering of a body on screen seems to force the game to give the player something else to do.