Story First: The Best Recent Games That Put Narrative Above Monetisation

They don't have in-game stores. They don't require you to always be online. They don't have multiplayer modes designed to suck you in with the reward loop. And yet, they were massive successes.

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Written and provided by G2A.com

Today we'll take a look at a bunch of recent smash hits with excellent single-player campaigns. These titles prove that they don't need this whole "game as a service" thing to blow gamers away.

And you can get them cheaper on G2A.COM, so be sure to check out the deals on the marketplace!

Now, let's dive right in, shall we?

Baldur's Gate 3
Definitely one of the greatest games that came out in the last couple of years and one of the most incredible RPGs ever released. Baldur's Gate 3 totally nailed things like a gripping narrative, memorable companions, player agency, and freedom of choice. And it's strangely bug-free for such a huge and complex game. Larian Studios totally blew players away with their opus.

The story is divided into three acts. You begin on a giant, dimension-crossing mind flayer ship where you get implanted with a parasitic tadpole. Luckily, you don't transform into one of the illithids. You also get your shot at escaping - the real fun, however, starts once you escape the mind flayer ship and crash land in the wilderness. From there, you're free to roam and explore, making choices that genuinely affect the outcome of the story. The game's world is teeming with life and secrets, from bustling towns to eerie ruins. You'll encounter all sorts of characters, each with their own agendas and backstories, making the world feel incredibly rich and immersive. Plus, the moral choices you make can have huge consequences, leading to multiple endings that make you want to replay the game just to see how things could turn out differently.

Combat in Baldur's Gate 3 is another highlight. It's turn-based, borrowing from the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition ruleset, which means you've got tones of spells, abilities, and strategies at your disposal. The battles are tactical, challenging, and often have you thinking several moves ahead. You can also use the environment to your advantage, like setting traps or using high ground for better accuracy. And let's not forget the multiplayer mode, which lets you team up with friends for a co-op adventure, making the whole experience even more fun and chaotic. Larian Studios really delivered a game that feels both epic and personal, with every playthrough offering something new and exciting.

Story First: The Best Recent Games That Put Narrative Above Monetisation

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Jedi: Survivor is hands-down one of the most impressive action-adventure games to come out recently. Definitely a must-play for any Star Wars fan. Respawn Entertainment nailed the atmosphere, characters, and overall feel of the Star Wars universe, delivering a gripping tale that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The game follows Cal Kestis as he continues his fight against the Empire, and let me tell you, the narrative is packed with twists, emotional moments, and epic set-pieces that make it an unforgettable experience.

You'll explore a variety of beautifully crafted planets, each with its own unique vibe and secrets to uncover. The level design is top-notch, encouraging exploration and rewarding players with lore, upgrades, and hidden areas. Lightsaber combat is fluid and satisfying, combining fast-paced action with more strategic elements, such as parrying and using available Force powers. You can customise your lightsaber and abilities, which adds a nice layer of personalisation to your gameplay. And don't even get me started on the boss fights - they're intense, challenging, and incredibly cinematic, truly making you feel like a Jedi in the thick of the battle.

Jedi: Survivor also shines with its platforming and puzzle-solving elements. Cal's parkour skills have been amped up, making traversing the environment a blast. You'll be running along walls, double-jumping, and using the Force to navigate through intricate puzzles that break up the action in a satisfying way. The game also introduces a more expansive skill tree, allowing for deeper customisation of Cal's abilities to suit your playstyle. Whether you're deflecting blaster bolts, pulling off slick lightsaber combos, or using the Force to manipulate the environment, Jedi: Survivor makes every moment feel like you're living out your Star Wars dreams.

Story First: The Best Recent Games That Put Narrative Above Monetisation

Alan Wake 2
Alan Wake 2 is a masterpiece in the psychological horror genre, taking everything that made the first game great and cranking it up to eleven. Remedy Entertainment has outdone themselves, delivering a game that's as chilling as it is captivating. The narrative is dark, twisted, and filled with mind-bending twists that keep you hooked from start to finish. You step back into the shoes of Alan Wake, a writer trapped in a nightmarish alternate dimension, desperately trying to uncover the truth behind his predicament and find a way back to reality.

The game's atmosphere is one of its standout features. The environments are meticulously designed to keep you on edge, with dense forests, eerie towns, and creepy abandoned buildings that make every moment feel tense and unpredictable. The use of light and shadow plays a crucial role in both the gameplay and the storytelling, creating a sense of dread that's hard to shake. The combat has also been refined - you'll be using your trusty flashlight and an arsenal of weapons to fend off the terrifying enemies lurking in the dark. Every encounter is a test of nerves and skill, making you think carefully about how to survive.

Exploration is more open-ended, encouraging you to investigate every nook and cranny for clues, manuscripts, and hidden secrets. The puzzles are more intricate, often tying into the game's story and adding layers of mystery and intrigue. There's also a greater emphasis on psychological elements, with reality-bending sequences that blur the line between what's real and what's imagined. The game's visuals are stunning, and the haunting soundtrack perfectly complements the eerie mood. Remedy has crafted a sequel which not only honours the original, but elevates the series to new heights, making Alan Wake 2 an absolute must-play for fans of horror and storytelling alike.

Story First: The Best Recent Games That Put Narrative Above Monetisation

God of War Ragnarök
God of War Ragnarök is an epic conclusion to Kratos and Atreus' Norse saga, blending intense action with an emotional, character-driven story. Santa Monica Studio delivers a compelling narrative focused on themes of fate, family, and redemption. The relationship between Kratos and Atreus is beautifully developed, and their journey through the Nine Realms introduces a host of fascinating characters, both allies and adversaries, raising the stakes to new heights. The end of the world is nigh, after all!

The gameplay offers refined combat that mixes brutal melee attacks, strategic weapon use, and powerful runic abilities. New weapons and abilities keep the action fresh, while varied and challenging enemies demand adaptive strategies. Epic boss battles provide thrilling climaxes, and the exploration of the vast, detailed world is a major highlight. Each realm offers unique landscapes, secrets, and side quests, making every moment of exploration rewarding.

God of War Ragnarök masterfully combines heart-pounding action with an emotionally resonant story, providing a fitting end to Kratos' Norse saga. With its breathtaking world, cleverly designed puzzles, and deep upgrade system, it's a must-play for any action-adventure fan, showcasing Santa Monica Studio at the top of their game.

Story First: The Best Recent Games That Put Narrative Above Monetisation

Senua's Saga: Hellblade II
Senua's Saga: Hellblade II is shaping up to be an extraordinary sequel, promising to build on the unique experience of its predecessor. Developed by Ninja Theory, the game continues the journey of Senua, a warrior battling her inner demons. The original Hellblade was lauded for its powerful portrayal of mental illness, and the sequel looks set to delve even deeper into Senua's psyche, offering a gripping and emotionally charged narrative. Her ailment was once her weakness, now it is a powerful weapon.

The gameplay in Hellblade II builds on the immersive and atmospheric foundation of its predecessor. Expect visceral combat that combines brutal melee attacks with strategic use of Senua's unique abilities. More varied and expansive environments encourage exploration and make Senua's journey feel even more epic. The visuals are stunning, with highly detailed landscapes and character models, and the haunting audio design will pull you deeper into Senua's world, making every encounter feel intense and personal.

Ninja Theory's dedication to portraying mental health issues with authenticity and respect remains a cornerstone of Hellblade II. Advanced motion capture technology and immersive storytelling surely make the game a powerful and thought-provoking experience. Senua's Saga: Hellblade II is set to be a standout in the action-adventure genre, offering a deeply personal and unforgettable adventure that promises to leave a lasting impact on players.

Story First: The Best Recent Games That Put Narrative Above Monetisation

And there you have it! These standout single-player games show that the heart of gaming still lies in well-crafted stories and the joy of solo adventures.

If you're looking to dive into these fantastic worlds without breaking the bank, remember to check out G2A.COM for some great deals. The marketplace offers competitive prices on these amazing games, so you can enjoy top-notch single-player campaigns for much less.

Thanks for joining us on this journey. Happy gaming, and may your adventures be epic and your stories unforgettable!

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