Discovering exotic locations, experiencing nerve-wracking adventures and hunting for hidden treasures – this is rather difficult under normal circumstances. Especially in the current situation, in which a trip to the North Sea is still the highest of feelings, we are more than ever dependent on virtual experiences. That is why in this shopping guide we summarize the ten best action adventures with which you can ideally escape everyday life.
Source: PC Games
We'll start off a bit smaller – at least in terms of developer power. In fact, no more than three people worked on Hollow Knight! However, this did not detract from success. Team Cherry's 2D action adventure is one of the best in its genre and has found a large following, even outside the indie niche. Narratively, it only offers the usual story about the struggle between light and dark. With the knight, the protagonist of the game, you have to free a forgotten kingdom from a dark plague. However, this premise is perfectly staged: The hand-drawn graphics and the background music by Christopher Larkin are dark but wonderfully atmospheric. The great game world with its crystal mines and mushroom forests and their insect inhabitants forms a welcome change from the triple-A standard porridge.
Then there is the sophisticated gameplay, which is based on classics of the Metroidvania genre. Hollow Knight skilfully combines tricky climbing sections with tough battles and offers a lot of content: 130 types of opponents, 30 bosses, umpteen skills that can be learned and six different endings. Depending on your hopping expertise, you are well entertained for up to 50 hours. For this alone, the title has already earned the place in this list.
We come from the hollow knight to the dark knight. After various film and television appearances, he has been ensuring law and order in the virtual Gotham for some time now. This was particularly successful in the "Batman: Arkham" series by the British Rocksteady Studios. And this, in turn, culminated in the last branch "Arkham Knight". As in the predecessor, a more open approach to the game awaits you: You can flutter through the city completely on your own and do a lot of tasks – for example, detective-style Riddler puzzles, discover new areas with your Batmobile or find yourself in the course of the main story the eponymous Arkham Knight.
Source: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
In addition to various stealth elements, the focus is particularly on the free-flow combo gameplay. This allows you to skillfully combine evasive maneuvers, punches and gadgets. There are not only new ones to be unlocked all the time, the bat man himself can be upgraded and thus better and better adjusted to the fight against evil. All of this is then presented in a coherent manner: Batman: Arkham Knight shines with a lot of familiar faces, David Nathan as Batman spokesman and great graphics – despite the somewhat dusty Unreal Engine 3. For fans of the comic template, the adventure is therefore an absolute one Got to. But even players who can't do anything with the DC universe should take a side trip!
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Reinventing a video game icon – the developers of Crystal Dynamics had no less in mind when they released a new edition of the long-established Tomb Raider series in 2013. And the Canadians really succeeded impressively. The reboot trilogy transforms series heroine Lara Croft from the daring sex symbol to the vulnerable young archaeologist, but also tells a credible origin story.
Source: Square Enix
that found its way into our top 10 is the worthy conclusion to this story. Here Lara is in top form: Miss Croft not only takes on the secret organization Trinity, but also saves the world together with buddy Jonah from the impending Mayan apocalypse. In a playful way, the action adventure offers well-known but tried-and-tested fare: you climb acrobatically through the beautiful landscapes of South America, provide heated arguments with adversaries and explore the remains of ancient civilizations. In addition, Shadow of the Tomb Raider has been supplemented again with a few sensible innovations: Your heroine can now also dive, and the ability to hide in the thicket or rub with mud gives the battles an additional stealth aspect. On top of that, the developers offer you a huge social hub with the forgotten city of Paititi with numerous side missions, which give you new outfits or other resources for character enhancement. In short: It is Lara's best adventure – as colleague Matthias Dammes summed up in his test.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
The fact that Ninja Theory published its Adventure Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice without a well-known publisher says a lot about the title. It was important to the studio to be able to develop the game without having to compromise. And this is clearly noticeable in the final product. In terms of play, the adventure offers at most standard fare: you have to solve puzzles by correctly arranging runes hidden in the game world. Occasionally appearing opponents you kill with a sword blow, block and evasive role. You have already seen everything. However, what sets Hellblade apart from other genre representatives is the outstanding story.
Source: PC Games
The developers have succeeded in dealing sensitively with the complex topic of mental illnesses and incorporating them into their titles in a narrative but also playful manner. Your protagonist Senua, with whom you travel to Helheim to have your dead beloved resurrected by the gods of the dead, has been cursed since childhood. The Celtic warrior is haunted by hallucinations and delusions. In addition, she always hears voices in her head that offend, incite or warn you. As part of her unusual heroic journey, she now has to face her traumas and ultimately not only find acceptance for the death of her loved one, but also her own identity. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is – also because of the brilliant graphics – a very special gaming experience that you have to experience. If you want to – and can – get involved in the really dark topic.
Source: Sucker Punch
Assassin's Creed in Japan: If you wanted to make it easy for yourself, that would be the most appropriate description for Ghost of Tsushima. But somehow it doesn't really do justice to the exclusive PS4 title. While Ubisoft's assassin saga now follows the in-house open world formula quite strictly and fills huge game worlds with a lot of hard work, Tsushima still feels fresh and unused. On the one hand, of course, this is due to the fact that it takes up a previously unknown setting with Japan in 1274. Accordingly, the story of Jin Sakai, who is the last samurai to oppose the monogle invasion, has a completely different effect. On the other hand, developer Sucker Punch also sensibly integrates the beautiful surroundings into the gameplay. Instead of mission markers, there is the guiding wind that shows you the way. Animals draw your attention to hidden secrets.
Last but not least, the action adventure also offers many playful options: You have the choice at any time whether you want to take the honorable path of the samurai with Jin or prefer to go in the ninja style. Depending on the situation, a completely different game experience awaits you: Either you prove yourself in sword fighting hand to hand, blocking, parrying and switching between four different fighting styles. Or you can use smoke bombs to distract you and silently kill enemies with worm knives. In keeping with the style of play, Jin can also be equipped with new armor, weapons and skills. You can almost write your own legend.
The Last of Us Part 2 is without question one of the most controversial new releases of the year. Unfortunately, since the first announcement in 2016, the action adventure has not met all the expectations of the fans. Developer Naughty Dog split the gaming community especially when it came to story: For some it was a narrative masterpiece, for others an absolute disaster. Regardless of how you feel about Ellie's emotionally exhausting campaign of revenge through the end-time Seattle, one thing is difficult to dismiss: The Last of Us Part 2 is one of the highest-quality games of the current generation of consoles!
Source: Naughty Dog / Sony
The organic game world with its rich vegetation, the hidden secrets and lore snippets was created with incredible dedication. There is more to do, more to discover than ever before. In some places, the title is almost like an open world adventure. The battles have also been raised to a new level: you can expect not only new infected people, but also cleverer human opponents who demand everything from you. The struggle for survival in Last of Us is merciless, tough and saves no violence. All the better that you can prepare for it with advanced crafting and upgrade options, or avoid confrontations with new Schleich options completely. From a design perspective, the title cannot be criticized for anything, also in view of the successful soundscape.
But it is also clear that this is probably not convincing for all players. So if you can't do anything with Last of Us 2, you can also safely take the remaster of the first part. Although this is not quite on the same level in terms of graphics and play, it is still highly recommended!
A 22 year old game in our top 10 best action adventures? No, of course we're not talking about the original Resident Evil 2, but the brilliant remake of 2019. With the help of the RE Engine, developer Capcom has brought the survival horror adventure impressively into the 21st century and of course made some improvements: Instead of the tank Control from the past now awaits you with a modern shoulder perspective, the graphics have also been bored out powerfully. The rotten zombie visages look just as scary as the Racoon City police station. The game is simply a feast for the eyes as you explore the game world with Leon Kennedy or Claire Redfield and uncover the secrets of the Umbrella Corporation.
In addition, the title retains its old strengths: when Mister X makes its first appearance, you are still wearing your pants, puzzles are as demanding as ever. A limited inventory and storage via ribbon also require tactical action and clever resource management. Resident Evil 2 simply offers the perfect balance between old school gameplay and today's demands. With 12 hours the adventure is not infinitely long, but you can play it through a second time from a different perspective and discover new items, new locations and new storylines. After the story ends, there are also various extras such as the free The Ghost Survivors DLC with three additional missions. In a nutshell: Resi 2 is one of the best remakes of all time and one of the best action adventures currently on the market.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
They demonstrated that Naughty Dog are real experts in action adventures a few years before The Last of Us. Because before we went through the post-apocalypse with Ellie and Joel, we went on a great treasure hunt with Nathan Drake. The latest appearance of the charismatic daredevil, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, offers by far the most sophisticated gaming experience in the series. The mix of shooting, climbing and puzzles just feels really round in the PS4 title – also thanks to various improvements. A grappling hook opens up new ways of getting around. A more open level design now offers you much more approaches in confrontations. In some game sections you are even completely off the leash and can explore the game world by jeep.
Source: Naughty Dog
In terms of presentation, Uncharted 4 also set new standards for the release – and still looks great four years later. Nathan's quest for Henry Avery's legendary pirate treasure is a good 20-hour action roller coaster that skillfully interweaves fact and fiction. The game offers great dialogues, likeable characters and a cinematic staging. Regular chases and explosions take their paws with quieter flashback sequences. The impressive effects, crisp textures and lifelike characters get the maximum out of the PS4.
If you want to fully enjoy the story of Nathan Drake and understand the many small allusions in the fourth part, you should also have played the predecessors. Fortunately, they are conveniently available as a three-pack in the Nathan Drake Collection.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
With The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a purely switch-exclusive game actually made it onto our list. But also completely right! Because the action adventure breaks with various conventions of the Nintendo series and gives you complete freedom, among other things, when it comes to the selection of main and side missions. It is at your discretion how you design Link's latest hero story, in which he must once again prove himself to be the savior of Hyrules and face the devastation of Ganon. The struggle between good and evil is not that relevant. Instead: Do what you like! Breath of the Wild offers an unprecedented wealth of possibilities. Various main quests, 70 side quests, four dungeons and 120 shrines await you. In them you have to prove yourself in almost soul-like battles, sometimes solve puzzles with brains and gadgets. As your progress grows, you unlock new upgrades for life or endurance bars.
The whole thing settled on a card that is larger than anything Nintendo has had to offer so far. Breath of the Wild is full of variety with its deserts, promenades or icy mountain peaks. In addition, you have the choice at any time whether you prefer horseback, paragliding, swimming or climbing. Despite the impressive scope, the world is not lacking in attention to detail – you will find interesting residents, dangerous opponents and fun mini-games everywhere. And if that's not enough, you can also have fun with the extensive crafting system, craft weapons or cook food. Or just enjoy the great cartoon look. Breath of the Wild may not be graphical fireworks, but it is definitely an atmospheric feast for the eyes that every Switch owner should have played.
When Rockstar Games releases a new game, it is usually already clear that it will be something big. In the case of Red Dead Redemption 2, something very big. The open world epic will easily cost you over 100 hours of your time, but will also reward you in return. The title not only offers an outstanding atmosphere and brilliant background music, but also a rousing story about Outlaw Arthur Morgan, who seems to have lost his place in the not so wild West – and is forced to question his life and loyalty. The developers are not afraid to raise serious adult issues. Or to deal critically with contemporary problems such as racism and sexism.
Source: Rockstar Games
When it crashes, it crashes tremendously. Red Dead's mission design is not entirely new – shootings and raids alternate with somewhat more unusual missions. Thanks to the dead-eye function, the pithy hit feedback and the enormous playful freedom, the title always remains motivating. In addition to the main story, the world is also full of other activities: You can go hunting, lift a game in the saloon or play a game of poker. Sometimes it is also worth sitting around the campfire with gang mates, listening to the stories and soaking up the western atmosphere. The great, credible characters and the huge, brimming with game world are unparalleled. Red Dead Redemption 2 is varied, detailed and beautiful to look at. The console versions released in 2018 were already an impressive experience for the eyes and ears, but the PC version released in 2019 with 4K resolution and 60 frames belongs to the absolute top class when it comes to graphics. Anyone who has missed this treat so far should definitely make up for it!
Of course, the genre also has many other outstanding games to offer. Let us know your favorite action adventure in the comments. You wonder where are titles like Spider-Man, God of War or Control? You can find them in our separate buying guide video on the topic of action. So take a look there too!
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