This guy, Joe O’Connell, read my thoughts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fPz7kGduT4
I agree, naturalistic video games and movies are the best, especially those with tropes such as :
- A harmony with the wilds
- A past disaster that we’re doomed to create in reality, animist gods
- A challenging look at good and evil,
- An exploration of developing a balance of industry and environment.
Japanese media has done this for a long time. Japanese creators have these things down pat because, IMO, Japanese culture (architecture, media, relition…) operates not against the natural, but in a celebration of it. Check out this mash up!
If you ever get a chance, read and watch Nausicaa. A great film and an even better visual novel by Hayao Miyazaki.