Mafia II, released in the year 2010, was quite the anomaly when it comes to action games that follow the open-world structure. The game did not have a conventional open-world map, the likes of which are found in the GTA franchise, but instead, the map exists to immerse players in the story.
The map is not packed with a thousand different icons indicating a number of distractions for the players. Instead, Mafia II puts all of its eggs in one basket: the story.
The story of Mafia II is what truly sets it apart from other games in the genre and elevates it way higher than a lot of its contemporaries. The game is as heartfelt as it can get, and players can genuinely invest themselves into Vito's story.
Here, we look at some of the best action games with great stories like Mafia II.
5 of the best games like Mafia II
5) The Godfather
While game-licensed movies haven't had a great run in Hollywood, movie-licensed games, on the other, have fared far better. However, to make a game based on Francis Ford Coppola's classic The Godfather was a monumental task.
To everyone's surprise, The Godfather: The Game was way better than it had any right to be. Complete with the iconic score, the game is set during the events of the film, but with a completely different perspective.
Players build their character and start as a foot-soldier in the Corleone family. The players, then, take part in the most iconic scenes in the movie and play as the character who set the events in motions.
For example, the player gets to place the handgun in the toilet that Michael uses to murder Solazzo and McCluskey. The game is filled with exciting moments like that and is a competent game worthy of The Godfather brand-name.
4) L.A. Noire
It seems like 40s Los Angeles should be a goldmine for games, as the era is filled with a tonne of potential, as illustrated by L.A. Noire. The game puts players in the shoes of Inspector Cole Phelps and play through his rise from an Inspector on patrol to a high-profile Detective.
A seemingly inevitable downfall follows his rise for some captivating storytelling, which is complemented by the wonderful art-style and attention to detail.
L.A. Noire might be light on the gameplay side of things with a somewhat rudimentary combat system that is serviceable at best. However, the majority of the game revolves around the player's interrogation of suspects and deducing the truth.
The game remains throughout its runtime, and the motion capture technology was on full display.
3) Sleeping Dogs
Since we're on the subject of heartfelt stories backed by genuinely honest writing, then Sleeping Dogs should always be in the conversation. While the story isn't incredibly fresh or unique, to say the least, it remains true to its Hong Kong-action movie roots.
Sleeping Dogs tells a deeply engaging story that will have the player go through a range of emotions. The story sees Wei Shen, an undercover cop whose loyalties are tested when he is backed into a corner from all sides and must find a way through.
The combat keeps things interesting as it easily one of the best ever of its type, taking after successful games like the Batman Arkham series. Sleeping Dogs has received a lot of love from the community, albeit long after its release.
2) Yakuza Kiwami
For players who have followed the Yakuza franchise for a long time, they have come to expect brilliantly crafted stories with a slight hint of ridiculous thrown in for good measure. Yakuza's ability to tell captivating stories while also not taking itself too seriously is truly what sets the game in a different league altogether.
The Yakuza franchise is simply one of the best gaming franchises in history, featuring a brilliant combat system that never fails to impress. Yakuza Kiwami is a brilliant starting point for fans looking to get into the Yakuza franchise and experience all the brilliant content it has to offer.
The story never takes a backseat in Yakuza Kiwami, even with many distractions that only seem to add more dimensions to the story and characters. Yakuza Kiwami is truly one of the best games in its class and shouldn't be missed out on by fans of the genre.
Yakuza Kiwami has the nuance of a well-crafted Tarantino flick with the wall-to-wall action craziness expected off of John Woo's work.
1) Spec Ops: The Line
Spec Ops: The Line might not have an open-world structure like other games on this list. However, its linear structure only works to drive the point home with its narrative, one of the greatest stories in the history of gaming.
While we're on the subject of well-written captivating stories in gaming, it simply doesn't get better than Spec Ops: The Line. Taking inspiration from Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, the game will blow players away with each harrowing moment after the other.
The game is relentless in its approach and will assault the player with deeply harrowing and impactful moments. Spec Ops: The Line was a seminal moment in gaming that showcased the potential of games as a storytelling medium.
The uncomfortable dissonance the characters feel during the events of the story is relayed through gameplay and not just cutscenes. Which genuinely showcases the potential of storytelling in games.Published 27 Sep 2020, 16:05 IST