Exciting Action-Adventure Games to Check Out Today

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The Action-Adventure genre is one of the most diverse in the games industry, and for good reason. Whereas genres such as First Person Shooters (FPS) or Role Playing Games (RPGs) describe the underlying gameplay mechanics of a title, Action-Adventure refers to a thematic category. Many games that belong to the genre experience crossover with other categories – for example, the bestselling Elder Scrolls game Skyrim is both an RPG and an Action-Adventure title. 

Irrespective of this, the label still proves immensely useful, and it’s easy to see the continuity between seemingly disparate titles that fall under its banner. Each holds out the promise of great trials, journeys and discoveries, and each employs an array of popular mechanics, from quick-time events to dynamic combat, in order to confer a sense of action and excitement. Many Action-Adventure games also share the 3rd person camera view, following the template set by early 3D titles like the original Tomb Raider.

Below, we’re going to take a look at the very best games belonging to this category that have been released in the past few years – each offers a unique take on this format, yet succeeds in delivering white knuckle thrills throughout.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Few games have built on the legacy of series like Prince of Persia and Tomb Raider like Assassin’s Creed. Ubisoft’s headline franchise has risen to become among the most instantly recognizable, and best selling game franchises of all time.

To date there have been 12 mainline entries in the franchise, as well as many more spin-offs and mobile adaptations to boot. The last major release was Valhalla in 2020, which took the recent focus on vast open worlds to the frozen north, setting it amongst the fjords and snow-capped peaks of Viking inhabited landscapes. 

As has become rote for Assassin’s Creed titles, the game serves up a heady blend of stealth, combat and exploration on a map that has more than enough objectives and collectibles to keep even the most ardent gamer happy.

Rich Wilde and the Book of Dead

Since making the jump to digital variants, slot games have become a hotbed of innovation, allowing developers to enjoy near-limitless software options that are available to them. This has let the boundless creativity of companies such as Play’nGo, the studio behind Rich Wilde and the Book of Dead, run wild. 

This title makes no bones about its wish to pay homage to the great tropes of mid-century Hollywood adventure flicks, the stylistic elements of which have largely come down to us through the conduit of Steven Spielberg’s legendary 80s action trilogy, Indiana Jones. With a host of exotic hieroglyphic symbols, this game, with its 5-reels and 10 pay-lines, serves up mystique and adventure in equal measure.

Horizon Forbidden West

The eagerly awaited follow up to 2017’s Horizon Zero Dawn, Forbidden West does not disappoint. This sequel strikes the perfect balance between iteration and innovation, serving up a bigger world, better graphics and deeper storyline than its predecessor, without sacrificing any of the compelling mechanics that made the original such a breakout hit.

Elden Ring

Before Elden Ring, FromSoftware were known for devising a ruthless Action-Adventure RPG sub-genre which took its name from their first major release, Dark Souls. Souls-likes are utterly unforgiving, putting you in the role of an eminently mortal and fallible hero charged with taking down gargantuan monsters and bosses, much to the infatuation of gamers everywhere. 

Elden Ring takes that formula and sets it in a world whose scope puts the likes of Skyrim to shame, making it the Game of the Year in many people’s eyes already. It also doesn’t hurt that ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ (aka Game of Thrones) author George R. R. Martin was brought on as a world-building consultant to ensure a memorable cinematic experience.

Tunic

Don’t let Tunic’s modern voxel art style deceive you. This isn’t your average casual gameplay experience. Scratch below the surface and you’ll uncover a game that takes its obvious visual allusions to the Legend of Zelda series seriously. 

This isometric Action-Adventure game drinks deep of the well of hardcore SNES-era Zelda games, and is bursting to the brim with detailed combat mechanics, head-scratching puzzles and some novel innovations all of its own. 

Red Dead Redemption 2

While the Grand Theft Auto series is easily Rockstar Games’ best known franchise, those in search of the studio’s magnus opus must instead turn to their open world old-west cowboy adventure series Red Dead Redemption. 

Read Dead Redemption 2, which launched in 2018, took over 8 years to make and reportedly cost up to $550 million in the process, which would make it far and out the most expensive game ever made. Yet unlike other big-budget titles, such as Cyberpunk 2077, RDR2’s meticulously crafted and beautifully detailed world looks and feels as if it was worth every penny. 

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