HomeGamingBest 12 Action-Adventure Games Like Assassin’s Creed With And Without Stealth
Best 12 Action-Adventure Games Like Assassin’s Creed With And Without Stealth
April 25, 2022
The key is open-world freedom, sweet sword pay, tactical stealth, and action-adventure storytelling. These are the elements we’re looking for in games like Assassin’s Creed.
After 12 main entries and about 12 additional spin-offs, the Assassin’s Creed saga may not be offering anything else for you. If you agree, we’re sharing the best AAA alternatives.
Selecting Games Like Assassin’s Creed
Although the franchise has evolved, we can recognize key elements across its titles. We believe AC fans would like games featuring a mix or a twist of these aspects:
Genre: The saga relies on open-world, action-adventure experiences with stealth and RPG elements. In recent games, there’s less stealth and more RPG.
Open-world: You’re free to the explore the world, but enemy levels limit your progress.
Side content: There are hundreds of side quests, secrets, and collectibles aside from the main quest.
Action-adventure: You play in third-person with parkour traversal and acrobatic swordplay. There’re also puzzles.
Puzzles: Puzzles include hidden temples, secrets, treasures, and clues you have to pursue.
RPG elements: Recent AC games offer simple character progression. You level up, unlock skills on various trees, and upgrade your gear.
Looting: Looting is a key part of the latest games as well. You pick up loot from enemies, treasure chests, and rewards.
Setting: These games are historical fiction and sci-fi. You play as fictional or historical assassins across different periods and stages in history.
Secondary narrative: The story comes as “memories” you experience from the present through the “Animus” machine.
Traversal: You traverse the areas with parkour mechanics. You can climb, jump and run across roofs, windows, and buildings.
Stealth: The sagas’ title suggests that stealth is a key element. You can sneak to finish most objectives, like murdering people or stealing objects.
Combat: You fight with swords, spears, crossbows, knives, tools, and gadgets. You can parry, block, slash, and unlock more combat abilities.
Ubisoft lists the latest AC games as action RPGs, but we will search across action-adventure, stealth, and RPG genres.
Games Like Assassin’s Creed
Developer: Arkane Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: November 2016
Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One
Dishonored 2 is my favorite game on the list. It’s a first-personaction-adventure title focusing on stealth and supernatural abilities. But if you haven’t played the first one, I suggest you start there, as it introduces the all-important lore.
You play as either Empress Emily Kaldwin or Emily’s bodyguard Corvo Attano. The story starts when enemy rebels take over the throne, forcing you to choose one of the two characters. Your hero will take a long journey to save the other person, restore the throne, and defeat a power-wielding villain.
The story goes on nine semi-open hub levels. On each part, you have to complete the main goal, otherwise known as a “target.” You can do it completely silently, go berserk, or both. Luckily, you have otherworldly skills like blink teleport, shapeshifting into a rat, or slowing downtime.
That said, each character has its own set of abilities. On top of that, you find special collectibles to unblock new skills or upgrade your skill arsenal. Additionally, you can parry, slash, shoot a crossbow, shoot a very loud pistol, and use other tools. Similarly, you can crawl, climb, run, and jump almost everywhere.
Lastly, each map is wide, which gives you multiple ways to approach a situation. Aside from the main quest, there’re extra collectibles, bounties, and secrets. Completing side content helps you get more currency, which you can spend to upgrade your gear. That said, you keep upgrades and skills on a New Game+.
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: February 2014
Platform: Windows, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, MacOS, Nvidia Shield
Thief is a game series that ended, sadly, in 2014. The latest title represented the height of the stealth genre at the time while mixing plenty of fantastical elements. That said, it’s a first-person action-adventure stealth game.
The setting is similar to Dishonored, though. It’s a dark fantasy mixing Gothic, Victorian, and steampunk aesthetics. You play as master thief Garret on 8 story missions about stealing from the rich.
Each level is wide and semi-open and allows you to approach action silently, brutally, or non-lethally. However, the game encourages you to play in stealth. Instead of going in the open, it’s often best to minimize interacting with NPCs and the environment for maximum stealth.
You can use bows, knives, melee moves, and silent takedowns for combat. Traversal relies on parkour abilities, but the pacing in the game is very methodical. So, even though the maps seem wide, there’s generally a “better” path on each level.
That said, violence is your last resort. Instead, you rely on various ways to distract or dispose of guards. Additionally, you can steal coins to buy equipment and upgrades. You can also pickpocket NPCs, hide in shadows, peek around edges and keyholes, etc.
Lastly, the game’s AI made it feel unique. Enemies are aware of level design and layout, so they know about potential places where you can hide. That means they are not easy to deceive once they spot you or sense something is off.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War
Developer: Monolith Productions
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: October 2017
Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One
Shadow of Mordor made the Assassin’s Creed combat feel amazing and timeless. Then, they added an advanced AI system (Nemesis) and mixed it up with Tolkien’s Middle Earth Lore. There’s a sequel, Shadow of War, but it doesn’t have much fan appreciation.
You play as Talion, an original Gondorian Range in the era before the War of the Ring. He bonds with the wraith of Elf Lord Celebrimbor, creator of the elven rings. Together, they set out on an action-adventure journey across five regions in Mordor to avenge their loved ones and destroy Sauron’s commanders.
Third-person combat is fluid, fun, complex, and rich in finishing animations. But then, as you level up, you unlock many combat abilities tied to different button combinations, timings, and opportunities. For example, you unlock spirit arrows, mind control, takedowns, stealth abilities, advanced parries, diversions, etc.
Then, the orcs feature advanced behaviors, unique skills, and coordination. They also feature a morale system, as in they become less hostile and powerful as you beat them. For example, if you’re about to beat a commander, the rest of his unit can route. Or maybe you can flee but leave a commander wounded.
The whole game revolves on defeating commanders. The Nemesis AI makes it so your enemies remember past encounters and grow accordingly. Moreover, the orc military hierarchy will react to your actions and rise in rank, power, and appearance.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Release Date: November 2019
Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series, Google Stadia
Fallen Order is a third-person action-adventure game within the canon Star Wars timeline. Even if you don’t like the new franchise era, I can assure you this game offers one of the best modern stories in the saga,
You play a Cal Kestis, a Jedi Padadaw who runs away after Order 66. Many years later, he reluctantly joins missions alongside another surviving Jedi. Together, they must find an artifact that reveals every Force-sensitive person in the galaxy. The enemy is the Empire’s Inquisitors, an army of highly-trained Jedi hunters.
The story goes across eight worlds, plus the tutorial level. There’s a Metroidvania design in the game, though. You need to find items and unlock Force and traversal abilities to unlock areas and pathways. For example, learning to side-run on walls allows you to access new places on the first planet you visit.
There’s no stealth in the game, though. Instead, you relied on parries, dodges, and slashes at first. As the story goes, you’ll unlock Force abilities like pushing and pulling. Additionally, you can level up and invest your skill points on swordplay or Force skill trees.
Lastly, the core adventure happens within ancient Jedi temples. Like in Zelda games, you have found a special ability to solve multiple puzzles and complete the area in these temples. Combat also plays a big role, and boss fights are exceptionally tough.
Horizon Forbidden West
Developer: Guerilla Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: February 2022
Platform: PS4, PS5
Horizon:Forbidden West is the action-adventure sequel to Zero Dawn. You play as Aloy, a member of the Nora tribe. You’re on western post-apocalyptic USA lands, investigating a deadly plague threatening the planet. Enemies include other tribes and machine monsters.
Aloy is a hunter. She fights with a bow, but you can buy other ranged tools. She also has a spear for basic melee abilities (attacks and dodges). She can also sneak and hide in nature to dispose of enemies silently. Additionally, she can craft and buy tools such as grenades and potions.
Combat is better than the first game because of its rich animations and more challenging enemies. You reload, aim, shoot, attack, and dodge. More importantly, you change between weapons and ammo as you fight to exploit enemies. Also, you “farm” metal shards from enemies, which you use to craft ammo, and trade.
The main story goes across different biomes, and you have to complete a set of main story quests in each area to move forward. Aside from that, you can explore freely for combat, side content, secrets, collectibles, lore details, and loot.
Lastly, the RPG elements allow Aloy to level up. You unlock skills on various trees to slightly customize your playtime. Compared to the first game, additional tools include a glider, a grappling hook, and a mask for underwater exploration.
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: September 2018
Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, macOS, Linux, Google Stadia
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the latest entry in the action-adventure saga. Specifically, it’s the third part of the reboot trilogy, and you can start with 2013’s Tomb Raider for the full story.
You play as Lara Croft, a young treasure hunter, and adventurer. She’s traveling across the Americas to find a legendary city and stop a Mayan apocalypse. The enemy is the paramilitary organization Trinity, to exploit Paititi’s magical artifacts.
You play across a series of semi-open world hubs. Each has a main storyline to complete, plus wide areas to explore. The most important side content is exploring temples and ruins for treasure, which feels very similar to AC.
For gameplay, you play in third-person. Lara is nimble, silent, acrobatic, and fights mostly with a bow. She can also climb, rappel down, and swim. Moreover, she can craft consumables like healing items and scavenge nature and the temples for crafting items.
Additionally, Lara levels up by exploring, completing quests, and combat. It grants you skill points you can spend on various skill trees, like survival or crafting. Lastly, stealth is a key part of the game, as you can complete most objectives silently.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Publisher: Activision, FromSoftware
Release Date: March 2019
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Windows, Google Stadia
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a souls-like samurai action-adventure by Dark Souls creators. Unlike their mainline saga or Elden Rings, Sekiro focuses heavily on stealth and streamlines progression on a single path.
The setting is a dark fantasy Japan through the Sengoku period. You play as “The Wolf,” a samurai with the power of resurrection. He uses his blessing and curse to save his lord from his enemies.
Gameplay happens from a third-person perspective. You go through a series of linear levels in stealth, mostly as enemies are tough and plentiful. There’re many bosses and mini-bosses, but you can bypass some of those in stealth, escaping atop roofs, or similar.
Your traversal skills include a grappling hook, jumps, and climbs. Then, combat revolves around parries, dodges, slashes, and shinobi tools. The idea is to break the enemy’s stance by timing attacks properly. An enemy without a stance is open to a deadly executed attack.
Lastly, you can level up to unlock skills or buy new ninja tools. Progression is very tough, though, as you lose XP every time you die, and you’re going to die a lot, especially if you’re not used to FromSoftware games.
Ghost Of Tsushima
Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: July 2020
Platform: PS4, PS5
Ghost of Tsushima is one of the best games for the PS4 platform. It also offers much of what you’d be looking for: open-world, sweet samurai swordplay, simple character progression, and plenty of stealth. It’s right there in the name: you represent a ghost.
You’re Jin Sakai, a fictional samurai playing in a historical war. He’s nephew to Tshushima’s island ward, Lord Shimura. After the Mongol invasion decimates Shimura’s army, you become the only hope of defeating the invaders.
Doing so takes you on a lengthy adventure focusing on stealth and swordplay. You dodge, parry, slash, and use various “sword stances.” Each stance has advantages against weapon types and weaknesses against other weapon types.
Moreover, you can play almost the entire game in stealth, diversion, and treachery. That said, Sakai levels up and unlocks skill points to invest. You can also find or buy better gear to face your enemies.
Lastly, there’s a multiplayer feature in the game. It allows you to play a series of unique and fantastical levels as part of a 4-player party. Each member would choose a preset hero, each one representing a “class” as a more classical RPG.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Developer: Rocksteady Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: June 2015
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Windows
Arkham Knight‘s combat is the best part of the game, and it takes ideas from the AC saga. However, you’ll attack in arcade-style combat with your fists and gadgets rather than swordplay. Moreover, action relies on chaining combos against your enemies, like in arcade games.
You play as Batman on an original and non-canon adventure. Is the latest part of a saga, but you can follow it as a newcomer without significant issues. The main villain is the mysterious Arkham Knight, uniting villains like Scarecrow to finally defeat their masked nemesis.
It’s still an action-adventure game in an open-world scenario. And because you’re Batman, the Dark Knight, and the world’s greatest detective, there’s a lot of stealth. In fact, several mechanics and tools allow you to creep at night, search for clues, take-down enemies without a sound and breach inaccessible areas.
You could do that or kick your way out of the plot. It’s much more fun. See, Batman levels up and unlocks increasingly complex combat abilities. He also finds new tools and upgrades existing ones.
The whole arsenal delivers a fun, compelling, and immersive Batman experience.
The world is fully open, and you can freely move with various neat skills. That includes gliding, climbing, driving the Batmobile, or using a grappling hook. You can also complete many side missions, and there’re many puzzles across the side and main content as well.
Watch Dogs 2
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: November 2016
Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Google Stadia
Watch Dogs 2 is the second part of the open-word hacking series. We don’t recommend the latest entry, Watch Dogs: Legion, as it feels like a work in progress that will never finish.
Instead, play as hacker Marcus Halloway in Chicago. After the law punishes him for a crime he didn’t commit, he joins a group of hackers. Soon, you become a part of the greatest hacking / heist in history.
Watch Dogs 2 is similar to its predecessor but expands upon its setting and mechanics. That said, it’s a third-person action-adventure game with an open world. The focus is on stealth and hacking. Also, like GTA, you can steal and drive cars around the city.
Marcus also has acrobatic skills to travel across the city roofs and buildings. Alongside many hacking and stealth tools, you have many ways to approach main quests and side content. It has many sandbox mechanics, like 3D printing explosives or shocking enemies near A/C sources.
Lastly, the game has a crime system. If an NPC or police officer sees you committing a crime, they will pursue you until you disappear for a while.
On the contrary, Marcus gains social media followers for his hacking actions. They essentially work as XP points to unlock skills.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: November 2011
Platform: PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows, Nintendo Switch
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a massive first-person action RPG open-world sandbox game. A decade after its release, it remains popular and relevant because of the number of things you can do.
I mean the amount of well-written side content, guild quests, secret areas, etc. On top of that, leveling is comprehensive but fast, allowing you to create all kinds of builds without much hassle.
You play as the “Dragonborn,” a customizable avatar chosen to defeat an elder dragon. The main quest is lengthy and revolves around learning ancient war cries before defeating the monster. These are additional skills for your arsenal, perhaps the most fun available in the game.
The rest of the skills are up to you. You can be whatever, do whatever, go wherever, and follow the main quests in many ways.
And if you’re into stealth gameplay, there’re tons of builds and tools you can use for the matter: teleportation, snipping, magical traps, etc.
Lastly, after many years, both Bethesda and fans have improved the game tenfold. Bethesda has added many updates to improve its features.
For example, you can now use magic on the one hand and a weapon on the other. Then, fans have created hundreds of mods to customize the title.
Dying Light 2: Stay Human
Release Date: February 2022
Platform: Windows, Ps4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch
Dying Light 2 is a first-person action RPG with an open-world post-apocalyptic zombie setting. It’s the second part of the series, but it has a new protagonist and a new location to welcome new players.
You play as Aiden, and your journey takes you to Old Villedor city, one of the last remaining settlements. Your mission is to find your long-lost sister Mia. When both were young, you were subjects of experiments that augmented your natural skills.
The gameplay relies on highly parkour traversal across roofs, and acrobatic combat with melee weapons, bows, grenades, and other tools. You level up the parkour and combat trees with relevant actions as well. Then, you unlock new move-sets for an evolving gameplay experience.
Stealth is a key part of the game, and it goes along the day and night cycle. During the day, zombies sleep in shadows and are not very hostile under the sun.
At night, zombies rest within buildings but are vicious and dangerous in the open. It encourages you to sneak by and visit places during specific hours.
Lastly, all of your weapons break, and there’s no way of repairing them. However, you can craft arrows for non-breakable bows and crossbows. You can also craft weapon modifiers to add poison, fire, shock, and other damage types.