Prison Games

We thought we’d flip it around and focus our feature on the best video games either set in prison or features one in part.

By fishdalf, Posted 29 Jul 2011

Headingley Jail, Canada, made the news this week after the Canadian taxpayer’s federation demanded the correction facility put a stop to entertainment for visitors, including video games. We thought we’d flip it around and focus our feature on the best video games either set in prison or features one in part.

Saints Row 2, 2008 (360, PC, PS3)

Prison, Saints Row 2, The Chronicles of Riddick, Escape from Butcher Bay, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4, The Suffering, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge

Following the first game, that placed you in the middle of a gang war, culminating in the yacht that you were on exploding; the opening scenes of the second see you wake from a coma five years later in the confines of the slammer. Teaming up with a fellow inmate you soon partake in an escape, only to be swarmed by police on the outside. What was clear from the first game though, is Alderman, the main protagonist, can take a few bullets, and does so whilst fleeing. Returning to your home city, the game returns to the familiar sandbox-style action-adventure game the series is famed for.

The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, 2004 (360, PC)

Prison, Saints Row 2, The Chronicles of Riddick, Escape from Butcher Bay, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4, The Suffering, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge

Butcher Bay acts as a prequel to Pitch Black and the Chronicles of Riddick, with the maximum-security prison playing a major role in the latter of the two movies and providing the inspiration for the video game adaptation. You see most things through the eyes of Riddick, who is hell-bent on being the first person to escape the facility, and that’s attempted through a series of shooting, action-adventure and stealth elements, that actually make for a pretty intense and enthralling gaming experience. The game contains no HUD, which is a welcome change and only adds to the heightened tension that runs throughout.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, 2006 (360, PC), 2007 (PS3)

Prison, Saints Row 2, The Chronicles of Riddick, Escape from Butcher Bay, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4, The Suffering, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge

Your adventure starts out in a prison in Cryodil, a province of Tamriel, the continent on which each game of the series has taken place, for reasons unknown. You are soon met by the emperor, voiced by the soothing tones of Patrick Stewart, and he and his imperial guards help you to escape through a secret exit in your cell. After a series of catacombs you are met by a group known as the Mythic Dawn who kill the guards, then by an assassin who kills the emperor, granting the time for your escape, but not before you’re given an ancient artefact called the Amulet of Kings, which turns out to be pretty darn important.

Batman: Arkham Asylum, 2009 (360, PC, PS3)

Prison, Saints Row 2, The Chronicles of Riddick, Escape from Butcher Bay, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4, The Suffering, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge

The most recent entry into our feature and arguably one of the greatest superhero games of all time. You spend the majority of the game locked up in Arkham Asylum chasing down your archenemy and all-round pain in the backside, The Joker, who has taken it upon himself to start a fire and release all of the psychotic prisoners. Unfortunately for you they want you dead and you’ll have to use your cunning, your fists, and some nifty bat-gadgets, including your trusty batarang, to navigate your way through its drab corridors, in a bid to bring peace back to Arkham, Massachusetts.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4, 2002 (XBOX, PS, PS2, GC, PC, MAC, GBA)

Prison, Saints Row 2, The Chronicles of Riddick, Escape from Butcher Bay, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4, The Suffering, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge

While only one level of the game features Alcatraz, it is one of the better designed levels and features some pretty tricky grinding sections, as well as some hidden bowls that generate tremendous airtime. One of the most memorable parts of the level is partaking in a shopping cart challenge, using Bam Margera to navigate down its famous slopes, whilst making sure to avoid the obstacles. Another challenge sees a giant wooden loop affixed to a break in the prison wall, which is then used to catapult your skater into the depths of the San Francisco Bay.

The Suffering, 2004 (XBOX, PC, PS2)

Prison, Saints Row 2, The Chronicles of Riddick, Escape from Butcher Bay, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4, The Suffering, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge

This creepy prison-based first and third-person shooter sees you take on the role of Torque who supposedly murdered his wife, but can’t remember due to blackouts. Soon after your arrival an earthquake strikes, releasing an army of ravage beasts into the facility, but conveniently, soon after, you also discover your ability to turn into a monster and begin to wreak some havoc of your own. Ultimately, depending on the choices made throughout the game: good, evil, or neutral, you’ll escape, have your name cleared, or become your inner beast and remain a prisoner of your own devices.

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, 1991 (Amiga, MAC, DOS)

Prison, Saints Row 2, The Chronicles of Riddick, Escape from Butcher Bay, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4, The Suffering, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge

Monkey Island has been back on top these past few years, with a fifth entry into the series and some well-made remakes of the original classics. Guybrush Threepwood does spend a fair bit of his behind bars throughout his adventures, but one of the most memorable moments in LeChuck's Revenge is when he gets thrown in Phatt Jail for simply arriving on the island it’s housed on. Escaping is a matter of borrowing a bone from the skeleton beside you and giving it to the loveable dog, Walt, who handily has the key on him. Upon leaving the jail you’ll pick up a banana and an organ. Strange.

Know of any other good prison moments that we’ve missed?

Tell us about it on our community forum.


Craig Bryan, NoobFeed
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comments powered by Disqus

  • The Chronicles of Riddick is the best game in this list. Followed by Batman Arkham Asylum and Monkey Island 2.


    Posted Jul 30, 2011

  • I really want to play Chronicles of Riddick - I loved the films. And oh man, The Suffering was a pretty interesting title.


    Posted Jul 31, 2011

  • @caityful Play it. The game is as good as the movie.


    Posted Aug 01, 2011

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Publisher(s): NoobFeed
Developer(s): NoobFeed Editors
Genres: Artcile
Themes: Feature, Editorial, Interviews, Opinion Pieces
Release Date: 2009-02-14

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