Adventurous stories are the meat and potatoes of gaming. Whether it’s marveling at the newest science-fiction shooter or playing the latest RPG, these stories are what drive games. The ability for games to transport us to lands where dragons, demons, and wizards are the stuff of reality have become one of the things most endearing to gamers. Playing these games gives us the chance to experience the “days of high adventure,” like Conan in the movies. They give us the opportunity to become so much more than ourselves. So this list contains some of our favorite high-adventure titles. We tried to stay out of the realm of traditional RPGs as best we could.
Hunted: The Demon’s Forge
This tandem adventure through a tale of chaos, deceit, and destruction ended up being pretty solid. It was met with horrible reviews, and reviewers completely hated it for a plethora of reasons. However, this title manages to marry the control scheme of Gears of War with a solid third-person fantasy adventure that is made even more rich if you play it with a friend in co-op mode.
Viking: Battle for Asgard
In this game, you play as Skarin. He’s a Viking warrior who is chosen, for reasons unknown to him, to assist the goddess Freya in stopping a plot by Hel (the Norse goddess of mischief and daughter of Loki) to bring about Ragnarok–the Norse Armageddon. In a very Kratos fashion, Skarin is a fierce warrior who ends up getting angry with the gods when he discovers he will not be granted paradise following his exploits. So he brings about Ragnarok anyway and kills the gods.
In Hyboria, Conan goes on a quest to find his lost armor so that he can defeat an evil wizard. Throughout his adventure, he goes through the lands of Robert E. Howard’s books. In true Conan form, he hacks, slashes, and fornicates his way across the lands of Hyboria to reclaim his armor and defeat Graven and return his armor to its uncursed–and natural–state.
Sacred 2: Fallen Angel
This prequel to Sacred occurs two thousand years prior to the events of the first game. The vaguely named T-energy has been handled by the Seraphim, until they grew tired of it and passed the power on to the High Elves. Then the two warring factions of the High Elves began to quarrel over the control of T-energy. As the story progresses, the T-energy becomes increasingly unstable and begins to mutate people, animals, and the world itself. It is left to you to decide what state the world will be in when the dust settles.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
In the first of what was to be a trilogy, Reckoning is a fable-styled game where adventure is the order of the day. At the beginning of the game, Gnomes bring your mortally wounded character back to life. You spend the rest of the game trying to figure out who you are and why fate has no grip on you. You are given the ability to shape the threads of fate as well, bending its will to your purposes.
In what could have been the most difficult loot-hunt in gaming history, you take the role of an adventurer and try to stop the fog that has engrossed Boletaria. It is as unique as it is frustrating, with gamers from all over the world bouncing in and out of your game at will, leaving you dead and crushing your soul. If you can stomach being destroyed on a regular basis, you will love this game.
Dragon Age: Origins
Depending on which race you choose, there are really six origin stories to play through. All of them reveal details about each of the races and how they fit into the larger continent of Thedas. The story begins on the eve of the fifth time that the Darkspawn resurfaced with the desire to raze the world. You will become a part of the larger plot to stop the Darkspawn and their dragon, the Archdemon.
Having your heart ripped from your chest is typically a bad thing. It’s even worse when a dragon rips it out and says that if you want it back, you’ll have to come and get it by killing him and taking it back. Then to make matters even worse, the game ends on a completely baffling note. Seriously, if it weren’t for the fact that the gameplay is so great in this game, it would be a total downer.
True adventures typically have a nearly unattainable goal for the hero to achieve. That way, when they do, it is an epic victory. Dark Souls embodies and embraces that tradition by being one of the hardest games ever created. This game will destroy your mind, break your will, and leave you swearing (or possibly crying) until you finally finish it by sheer force of will. At that point, you will celebrate because you have completed the most insane game ever.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The story happens 200 years after the events of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion . It follows the story of the Dovahkiin (Dragon Born) in his or her quest to stop Alduin, the Elder Dragon, from destroying Tamriel. You learn Thu’um (or dragon speak, as it were) to summon mystical and powerful spells to use as aids and weapons in the struggle. Oh, and you kill dragons and syphon there essence to use as your own. Epic.