The Grand Theft Auto series have produced some amazing games in the last 20 years. The game's developers Rockstar have truly pioneered the open the world game, setting what many consider to be the benchmark for the genre upon every new release. It could be argued that Rockstar were responsible for the popularity of games aimed at a more mature audience.
While the game's content is definitely aimed at a mature audience, the games are generally considered a nihilistic satire of modern life and parody of modern pop culture. So although the characters and storylines have serious undertones, it's because of the games often playful nature they aren't considered mature in same sense as a game like The Last Of Us or Telltale's The Walking Dead series — which is the intention of the developers.
The open-world genre has moved far beyond trying to be " GTA clones" as they usually strived to be in the 's. There are many games in the genre that have their own take on telling a mature story, or evoke a genuine emotional response from an adult audience.
Here are 15 open world games that could be considered to have more mature themes than Grand Theft Auto. The Witcher 3 concludes the story of Geralt of Rivia and is considered one the best open-world role-playing games of this generation. The series setting is a dark fantasy that is a far cry from the high fantasy of Warcraft or Lord Of The Rings.
Putting sex and violence aside, the game achieves its mature depth of story through the use of political intrigue, racial divide, religious extremism, and even its novel approach to choice and consequences. It handles issues such as discrimination through the character races, such as elves open world adult games dwarves, or anything considered non-human endures barbaric mistreatment from the humans from the Northern Kingdom Nordlings.
Magic users are even hunted down burned by religious zealots. It's a game that tackles discrimination well within the context of the game's story. Even the way you handle Geralt's relationships with Yennefer and Triss can often have consequences. Pursuing a relationship with both characters will lead to Geralt losing them as lovers completely. The world of the Wild Hunt is one of the most reactive open-worlds this generation.
The first Watch Dogs was a game that had a lot of potential, but never quite lived up to expectations, which was not helped by a fairly unlikeable lead, and a drab take on Chicago. Thankfully, Watch Dogs 2 improved on the original game in every aspect.
The sequel definitely takes some inspiration from the GTA series. The game gives the players the tools to have fun, allowing gamers to enjoy the world, and taking satirical shots at Western society. However, there's definitely a more cerebral way the game tackles very serious topics. In light of today's political climate, Watch Dogs 2 depicts mass government surveillance programs.
Government surveillance and systemic repression are recurring themes Watch Dogs 2.
The game should also be commended for the way it handles diversity in race and transgenderism. State of Decay is an open-world zombie survival horror game that's exclusive to the Xbox and Xbox One. You're in charge of a small group of survivors, building outposts, and bases to ensure your group's survival in a community. The game has a deep character relationship system and is capable of playing on your raw emotions in a brilliant way. Consequently, State of Decay doesn't pull any punches with character loss, the realities of life in the community and the dynamic structure can force you to make very difficult moral decisions.
It's a great way of making you care about your game world and the characters within it, because your every action has a direct effect on those around you, sometimes leading to dire consequences.
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The third entry in the Assassin's Creed series suffered quite a bit of criticism at its release. This was mainly due to the game's bugs, glitches, and its less charismatic lead. As a consequence, it was written off by quite a few gamers alike. Which is a shame because the world and its narrative were beautifully realized.
The game is set during the American Revolution and puts your protagonist Connor right in the middle of all the key moments during the war.
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It's not the set pieces or spectacle that gives it a mature edge though, it's the way the game tells a historical story about the price of liberty, national divide, and extremism in the Colonial American branch of the Assassins. These are issues that seem more relevant than ever before in a modern world.
Far Cry 3 released to a lot of critical acclaim at the time of its release. The game received high praise for its visuals, incredible sense of freedom, and stellar performances from the voice cast. The story in Far Cry 3 puts the player in the shoes of a tourist on vacation named Jason Brody.
Brody is celebrating with his brother and friends and makes the unfortunate decision to skydive into the pirate-infested Rook Island. The game's theme deals with dark issues such as human trafficking, hostage killing, and genocide.
Also prominent, is Jason's slow descent into madness, as he becomes just as ruthless and as monstrous as the Vaas and Hoyt — the two main antagonists. Square-Enix naturally threw all its financial and advertising weight behind its most lucrative franchise. What little marketing Nier did receive, made it look like a low-budget God Of War style action game. Nier's world is small in comparison to other games, but there's a lot to explore and discover.
The game adopts multiple styles of gameplay —that could at times feel a bit disted or incoherent— but ultimately they mesh together well helping provide a unique experience. Sadly, the title was either passed over or dismissed outright as a bad game. This was a shame because Nier has a fantastically dark tale, with multiple endings that tell cryptic and very emotional character stories. The events that play out all have meaning, substance, and shock value.
Nier is definitely a unique game that needs to be experienced first hand. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is set two years after the events Human Revolution, whose conclusion ended on a dramatic cliffhanger involving cybernetically augmented humans being programmed to kill. Open world adult games incident caused a divide and a mistrust between both the unaugmented and augmented augs humans. The game's mains setting in Prague has become a police-state, where all "augs" have been segregated to certain parts of the city - referred to as "The Mechanical Apartheid. Putting aside the potentially insensitive "Aug Lives Matter" advertising campaign, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided succeeded in making the player think about real-world issues, both the modern and historical events it's referencing.
Horizon Zero Dawn, developed by Guerrilla Games, is arguably one of the best-looking games of this generation and a complete departure from their outings in the FPS genre with the Killzone series. It was a departure that paid off, because Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the best open-world role-playing games of this generation. It isn't just the stunning visuals in its beautiful post-apocalyptic world that help it shine; the game delivers a great coming-of-age story played through the eyes of the protagonist, Aloy.
More importantly, the game's story develops at a perfect pace as you piece together the tragic events of the past from the artifacts left behind all over the HZD's world. These artifacts reveal a very tragic and harrowing end for a civilization that was overly reliant on technology coming face to face with their own extinction. Sleeping Dogs is a spiritual sequel to the True Crime series, that was originally released on the Xbox and PlayStation 3 and released as a part of a definitive edition on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 with updated visuals and improved frame rate.
You play the role of Wei Shen a former San Francisco cop who was transferred to Hong Kong's police force in order to infiltrate a Triad organization.
Fans of the Grand Theft Auto series should feel right at home with this game because on the surface they play very similarly. Sleeping Dogs does have a more fluid —martial art inspired— combat system that feels similar to the Batman: Arkham Knight games.
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Where Sleeping Dogs shines, though, is its unique Hong Kong setting and its story of a man torn between the law and his growing friendship. Yakuza 0 makes a good starting point for those new to the series as it's a prequel to the original Yakuza — the original Yakuza game named Yakuza: Kiwami has been remade from the ground up for the PlayStation 4 and will be released open world adult games August The game's setting is based on a fictionalized version of Tokyo's Kabukicho and Shinjuku Golden Gai in the late 80s, and follows series mainstays Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima.
While the game isn't anywhere near as wide open like GTA, its areas jammed packed with distractions and side-quests. The side-quests can be wacky, tongue-in-cheek, and even a bit strange, but it's Yakuza 0's main story —surrounding each character's personal development— that is the real draw. With Kazuma learning how to readjust to life outside of prison, and Goro breaking free of forced captivity and dealing with the aftermath of being tortured.
The writing is exceptional, and the payoff from the beginning to the end is both emotional and satisfying. A Noire is a detective game that draws inspiration from the film noir genre of the 40's and 50's. It was set during the post-war boom of Hollywood's Golden Age. You play the role of Detective Cole Phelps a by-the-books cop that gets drawn into a game of cat and mouse.
The game begins with Cole working his way up the ranks and dealing with other officers who have questionable morals, while solving some very grisly crimes. During these investigations, you get up close and personal with some disturbing crime scenes. The game not only contains a lot of references to films like L. A ConfidentialChinatown, The Untouchables, and The Black Dahlia, but it uses some real crime incidents based upon real life cases reported in Cole Phelps' story is a genuinely compelling and human tale, that succeeds in paying tribute to the era, but manages to do this without glamorizing crime in any way.
Bully was another game developed by Rockstar that garnered more controversy than it actually deserved. In particular, the many accusations levied at the open world adult games for trivializing bullying came before its actually released. The player takes the role of Jimmy Hopkins, and it's set in a private school called Bullworth Academy.
The game takes some inspiration from the film Scum, although it's nowhere near as a gritty or as dark as the movie. The plot follows Jimmy as he rises through the ranks of high schools social circles.