Video games often transport players to imaginative worlds and far-off places, but all too often, they seem to get stuck in a repetitive loop of familiar settings. Whether it's the sprawling urban landscapes of fictional American cities or the bustling streets of real-world metropolises, game worlds can sometimes feel a tad too predictable.
But the gaming industry is evolving, and developers are daring to venture beyond the ordinary. In this article, we'll dive into a selection of exceptional video games that have boldly chosen Africa as their backdrop. These games offer a fresh perspective, showcasing the continent's rich culture, diverse landscapes, and untold stories.
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Top African-Inspired Video Games: 8 Must-Play Titles
- Assassin’s Creed Origins: Roaming the Sands of Egypt
- Command & Conquer Series: Battle Across the African Continent
- Far Cry 2: Unforgiving Terrain in East Africa
- Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain: Espionage in Central Africa
- Overwatch: Numbani's Afro-Futuristic World
- Resident Evil 5: Unveiling Horrors in West Africa
- Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End: Searching for Pirate Treasures in Madagascar
- Beautiful Desolation: An African Cyberpunk Adventure
Assassin’s Creed Origins: Roaming the Sands of Egypt
With its legendary ancient civilization, Egypt has always fascinated gamers, making it a popular choice for game settings. "Assassin's Creed Origins" takes players on a captivating journey through the sands of Egypt during Cleopatra's reign.
As Bayek, a Medjay seeking vengeance for his son's death, you'll navigate the political intrigues of the time, with Rome looming large on the horizon. The game also offers a side trip to Libya, featuring the ancient city of Cyrene, providing players with a taste of North African diversity.
Although it might not capture the grandeur of the Pyramids and Sphinx in their prime, the game's attention to historical detail is commendable.
Command & Conquer Series: Battle Across the African Continent
The "Command & Conquer" series, known for its real-time strategy (RTS) gameplay, takes players on a global tour of conflict. The African continent has its fair share of action, with the Brotherhood of Nod wreaking havoc across Chad, Gabon, Botswana, and Benin in the Tiberian series.
Meanwhile, the Red Alert series pits players against the backdrop of Egypt, Libya, and Sudan in the World Socialist Alliance. "Generals" introduces Somalia as the battleground as the West confronts the Greater Liberation Army. It's a diverse mix that adds an exciting layer to the franchise.
Far Cry 2: Unforgiving Terrain in East Africa
"Far Cry 2" stands out as one of the series' finest entries, breaking free from the traditional South Pacific setting and embracing the wilds of East Africa. Drawing inspiration from Kenya and neighboring countries like Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia, the game creates a captivating yet perilous environment for players.
The development team sought an uninhabited wilderness that still teemed with danger, and East Africa fit the bill perfectly. In addition to facing gun-wielding adversaries, players must contend with the ever-present threat of malaria. It's a thrilling blend of action and survival in a unique African setting.
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain: Espionage in Central Africa
The "Metal Gear" series sporadically ventures into African territories, adding depth to its narrative. Metal Gear Solid 5's players will follow Venom Snake as he traces Skull Face's operations to the volatile border region between Angola and the Congo (formerly known as Zaire).
The real-life backdrop of the Angolan civil war, with its Communist MPLA and Nationalist UNITA forces, adds complexity to the game's storyline. Sneaking around Afrikaans and Kikongo-speaking troops amid rainstorms and wildlife provides a visually captivating experience, albeit with some rough edges in character portrayals.
Overwatch: Numbani's Afro-Futuristic World
"Overwatch," once a beloved FPS, introduces players to the vibrant city of Numbani, which thrives near Nigeria. Featuring one of the world's largest robot factories, or 'Omniums,' Numbani reflects an Afro-Futurist design aesthetic. However, harmony between humans and robots crumbles, triggering the Omnic Crisis.
While Numbani serves as an engaging game stage, it also introduces players to Doomfist, a Nigerian character, adding cultural diversity to the roster. Despite controversies surrounding the series, "Overwatch" brings a slice of Nigeria into the gaming world.
Resident Evil 5: Unveiling Horrors in West Africa
"Resident Evil 5" may have stirred controversy with its portrayal of a white protagonist, Chris Redfield, fighting infected Africans. However, Capcom made efforts to diversify the enemy roster, introducing white and Asian adversaries.
Set in the fictional West African nation of Kijuju, the game sends players on a mission to investigate Tricell Inc's role in a Plagas outbreak. While the game offers compelling action and locales, it's important to acknowledge the sensitivities surrounding its depiction of tribal enemies.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End: Searching for Pirate Treasures in Madagascar
Adventure games often introduce players to exotic locales, if only for a brief moment. "Uncharted 4" takes players on a globetrotting journey alongside Nathan Drake and his brother Sam, searching for the legendary pirate treasure of Henry Avery.
The game whisks players to Panama, Italy, the Scottish Highlands, and finally, Madagascar. The depiction of Madagascar is both stunning and colorful, showcasing a vibrant marketplace and cityscape, dispelling the notion that African nations are solely jungles and grasslands.
Beautiful Desolation: An African Cyberpunk Adventure
Closing our list is "Beautiful Desolation," a unique gem set and developed in South Africa. Created by the Brotherhood, the game offers an isometric point-and-click adventure that draws comparisons to classic LucasArts titles like "Monkey Island."
With its cyberpunk themes and a captivating blend of technology and the African wilderness, "Beautiful Desolation" stands out as a visually stunning and authentic experience. The game features a genuine cast of Afrikaans characters, adding a touch of realism to its dystopian narrative.
It’s A Wrap
In conclusion, these eight games challenge the status quo by exploring Africa as a vibrant and diverse gaming setting.
From the historical wonders of ancient Egypt to the futuristic landscapes of Numbani and the untamed wilderness of East Africa, these games offer a fresh and immersive gaming experience that expands our horizons and showcases the continent's rich tapestry of cultures and landscapes.
So, if you're looking to embark on a gaming adventure that ventures beyond the ordinary, give these titles a try and experience Africa like never before.