EGMR Awards 2015: Best Action Adventure
Who doesn’t like a good adventure? The action/adventure genre is generally very populated with titles that attempt to give us the most bombastic and memorable adventure we can possibly imagine. 2015 was a big year for the genre with giant games from much beloved franchises all giving us high-octane adventures that will remain in our minds for a long time. This year was undoubtedly an amazing year for adventure and action and now we will find out which game deserves to be called the best.
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The action adventure genre is usually the go-to place for massive production values, epic cinematic experiences and over-the-top action and flair. It’s undoubtedly a grand genre with tremendously high expectations and quality, and only the games that show excellence, go the extra mile or truly make their mark on the entire genre will make it to the top here. It’s perhaps one of the more bold categories, with a wide variety of elements to consider varying from game to game. However, in the end, the game that will walk away with the trophy will be judged as the best and most complete experience overall.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Batman: Arkham Knight is the last game in the acclaimed Arkham series of games developed by Rocksteady. From the cheerful villains’ playground in Arkham Asylum to the criminal-ridden streets of Arkham City, the series has always been known for absolute quality and huge production. Batman: Arkham Knight turned everything up to 11 and gave us a game where you truly feel like the Batman. You had an entire part of Gotham to explore and had access to all of Batman’s signature gadgets as well as his mobile tank, the Batmobile. The game was a technical marvel with beautiful graphics, impressive draw distance and insanely complex environments for you to explore. While having an unfortunate incident in the form of its PC port and feeling like a slight disappointment, Arkham Knight still brought the thunder in a big way.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Kept you waiting huh? What ended up being Hideo Kojima’s swansong, the last entry in the legendary Metal Gear franchise really stepped up to the plate and gave us one of the most insane rides we could have had this year. The Phantom Pain deviated from the franchise’s usual formula and ultimately went open-world and to magnificent effect. The game featured immensely dynamic gameplay unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. You felt like you had all of the options in the world to tackle an objective and the gameplay that unfolded throughout these scenarios was nothing short of magical. It really brought everything you could possibly love about the Metal Gear franchise together into one explosive and memorable package. With a phenomenal amount of content and no compromises being made to any aspect of the game, The Phantom Pain was a worthy closure to one of the most iconic franchises of all time.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Coming from such a long running and iconic franchise, Rise of the Tomb Raider defied the trope of sequel stagnation and brought us the best tomb spelunking adventure we can possibly ask for. The world is lush and majestic and you can really get lost in it if you allow yourself to. The game takes a step back from the more wacky roots of the franchise and continues the realistic tone that the original reboot set. While the entirely functional narrative did leave something to be desired, the overall experience was nonetheless one of fun, exploration, and a well-crafted playground. Also, you get to actually raid tombs again which is awesome.
Just Cause 3
While often described as the Michael Bay of videogames due to the ridiculous amount of explosions and wanton destruction, Just Cause 3 remains one of the most fun experiences you can have in a sandbox. With a variety of gadgets and tools of destruction at your disposal, the game can really make you feel like a destructive badass. While the story hasn’t always been the series’ strong suit, that wasn’t really the focus of the game. The focus was to give you a ton of tools, cheat gravity a bit and let you loose on a destructive adventure on a tropical island filled with militia and tall things you can destroy.
It couldn’t be Batman Arkham Knight even if it could automatically win due to you having a spectacular adventure as the caped crusader himself. Ultimately the game was a bit too deficent in key areas and limited itself in a lot of ways, not least of which was the narrative. The overuse of the Batmobile really put a damper on the entire experience as well.
Just Cause 3, while being a fantastic destructive romp through a tropical island, took a bit too many missteps in the form of its story and the some of the open-world qualities of the game. While being good, it doesn’t hold a candle to our winner which blew everything out of the park. Explosion puns.
Rise of the Tomb Raider was one of this year’s strongest and best-looking adventures, but unfortunately it came just short of usurping our ultimate pick for being the best action adventure game that has released this year.
Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain was unequivocally one of the best adventures we experienced this year which was also filled to the brim with action. The gameplay was second to none with you being dropped into a zone and left to your own devices to figure out how you want to solve your objectives. That coupled with the fact that the game plays and looks like an absolute dream makes it one of the strongest offerings you could ask for. Everybody who has played it will have their own interpretation of how they played the game and everyone will have awesome stories to tell about their experiences. You haven’t lived until you sent up a sheep in a balloon, drove a Jeep filled with C4 into an unsuspecting enemy camp and then put everyone to sleep and ballooned them off to your massive oil rig base to work for you. It has an amazing, player-driven and dynamic open-world unlike anything you’ve ever seen before and is definitely the strongest in the series. A well deserved winner.