Adventure games have long been a popular genre in the gaming world. Often immersive, usually difficult, and almost always fun, they cover a broad range of content, from fantasy quests to sci-fi epics.
2023 has been a good year for adventure games so far, so if you’re looking to try out something new, then why not one of the following releases when you get a spare hour or two?
The Last Night
The Last Night, developed by Odd Tales, is set in a cyberpunk noir world reminiscent of Blade Runner and is a 2.5D cinematic platformer that offers a thought-provoking experience. You assume the role of Charlie, a man living in a society where technology handles mundane tasks, granting him a life of leisure.
Yet, it’s Charlie’s newfound idleness has left him devoid of purpose. You must guide him through this futuristic landscape, engaging with characters, solving puzzles, and embarking on a soul-searching journey. The Last Night not only showcases exceptional gameplay but also serves as a poignant commentary on life itself, a rare quality in many games.
Although updates on its release have been scarce since its initial announcement in 2017, the involvement of publisher Raw Fury, known for delivering modern classics, gives us confidence that The Last Night will eventually join their impressive catalog.
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An upcoming adventure game from Red Thread Games, Dustborn takes players to dystopian America in the near future. It’s created by acclaimed designer Ragnar Tørnquist, known for The Longest Journey/Dreamfall series, and he proves his talent with a gripping epic.
You join a group of friends and their robotic companions on a road trip across a war-torn country. As you navigate through a complex web of choices, relationships, and hostile encounters, your mission is to deliver a mysterious package.
Dustborn sets itself apart with non-standard mechanics, including a speech-based combat system. Each character possesses unique skills, and as the game progresses, the power of relationships becomes apparent. It’s this human touch that sets Dustborn apart and solidifies its position as one of the best adventure games of 2023.
The Last of Us Part II
The Last of Us Part II, available on PS4 and PS5, delivers a slow, gritty action experience with a strong narrative focus. While the game ventures into survival-horror territory, it offers tense third-person gameplay where every shot counts. If you enjoy zombie dramas that explore human emotions and the struggle to survive, The Last of Us will fit seamlessly into that genre.
Part II earns its spot on this list due to its fluid and dynamic gameplay. The addition of prone mechanics enhances stealth options for traversal, and the game features a more diverse range of enemies. With a substantial length that may border on being too long for some players, The Last of Us Part II offers plenty of action sequences and encounters to immerse yourself in.
If you haven’t played the first installment, it may be worth catching up on the story.
Amnesia: The Bunker
The Bunker, developed by Frictional Games, builds on the success of their acclaimed Penumbra, SOMA, and Amnesia series. As the fourth main instalment in the chilling Amnesia franchise, The Bunker introduces new sim elements into the gameplay.
Set in a desolate World War I military bunker, you step into the shoes of an abandoned French soldier unraveling the bunker’s mysteries while evading its horrors and fighting to preserve your sanity. Unlike previous entries, you now possess the ability to fight back against the terrors that lurk within. However, resources are scarce, and the traps and obstacles add to the unpredictable nature of the game.
The Bunker presents spine-tingling semi-open-world environments, where you must navigate labyrinthine spaces and make decisions on how to proceed. Your choices shape the outcome and contribute to the intense and immersive experience this horror adventure offers.
Firmament marks the next instalment from the Cyan Worlds studio. Set in a surreal world of “steampunk magic,” players find themselves in a series of interconnected puzzles across diverse environments, including a tropical coastal region, a snowy mountainscape, and decaying industrial ruins.
While Firmament may have familiar features to Cyan fans, it introduces new elements that set it apart. Designed with VR in mind, the game offers a flatscreen experience as well. One standout feature is the inclusion of a “clockwork adjunct,” a floating feature accompanying players throughout the journey. This companion interacts with the mechanical architecture of the world, requiring players to communicate their intentions through gestures and signals.
Initially revealed on Kickstarter in 2019, Firmament quickly gained support and set a target release date for July 2020. While the launch was delayed, the extra wait only heightened anticipation among fans and backers for 2023.