There are many games that make you care for traps: if you don’t you get exploded, squished, or turned into a pin cushion. Some games also let us be proactive by implementing stealth mechanics which allow us to ambush our enemies and remove them from the equation.
What relatively few games allow us to do, however, is setting up traps, anticipating enemies would walk right into them, blowing themselves into pieces and unleashing other problems on themselves. Whether mechanical, magical, or maybe even biological, traps are a great way for a forward-thinking player to control the battlefield. For whatever reason player-placed traps in video games are a rare treat, and we have a few titles that can scratch your trapper itch.
Without much further ado, let’s move on to the list of cool games which let you set up traps…
Video Games Where You Can Set Up Traps
Divinity: Original Sin 2
By default, Divinity: Original Sin 2 has two skills you can use to set up traps: Throw Explosive Trap and Deploy Mass Traps. They pretty much allow you to summon a trap that’s going to explode in the face of an enemy who steps on them. However, if you also enable the Crafting Kit pack from one of the post-launch Gift Bags you’ll get access to a whole bunch of additional craftable traps.
Better yet, instead of being used as a skill they are items you throw like grenades, and the traps can cause blinding, bleeding, or even a random teleportation. They won’t drastically change your experience but will open up some interesting tactical possibilities and more ways to express your character concept. And they are quite effective thanks to DOS2’s emphasis on elemental interaction.
Rainbow Six Siege
While Rainbow Six Siege would probably prefer you to engage in tense shootouts it also wants to let you control your environment. Part of that is letting you set up traps which can stop enemies dead in their tracks. Traps come in the kits of several Operators, including Frost’s incapacitating Welcome Mats, Kapkan’s exploding booby traps, and Malusi’s movement-slowing sonic emitter.
To make things less one-sided, some operators also have tools they can use to detects and disable these traps, which turns some matches into a battle of wits and paranoid caution. Of course, even the trap-planting Operators can’t fully avoid firefights, even if they can significantly weaken the enemy team and plug the holes in their own team’s defences.
Hitman: the World of Assassination trilogy
You can set up all kinds of traps in the entire Hitman series, but the most recent World of Assassination trilogy is probably the best place for it, thanks to its sandbox-like large maps, and an arsenal of tools at your disposal. You can prepare all kind of untraceable unfortunate accidents involving chandeliers and hydraulic tools, but you can also set up explosives, or poison food and drinks…
There are usually several options for you to kill your targets without having to use proper weapons. The game also likes it when you do things this way, since it prevents Agent 47 from being easily detected. That being said, if you want to follow somebody to a bathroom and drown them in the toilet, the games certainly won’t stop you. If you complete the assignment and extract, you’re good.
The Witcher 2
|Developer:||CD PROJEKT RED|
Thanks to the shift towards a more active combat in The Witcher 2 a way to add more tools to Geralt of Rivia’s monster hunting gear opened up. One of them were craftable and deployable traps Geralt can drop during a lull in combat or, indeed, in preparation for one. There are several trap types which, in addition to direct damage also cause a variety of debuffs and damage over time effects.
A big part of the first proper act of the game is building a trap to deal with its big, impressive boss, the kayran. While it’s quite engaging, it’s a good thing that it’s a one-off event and other traps don’t require that much work. There also the Yrden sign, which acts as a quick, magical snare trap which you can upgrade to create a barrier you enemies can’t get through. Shame only Yrden made it to TW3.
Orcs Must Die (series)
Even though you’re controlling a battle wizard who’s happy to use weapons to kill invading forces, his true calling is setting up deadly, devastating devices. See, Orcs Must Die is ACTUALLY a defense game, and instead of towers, you place snares, whirling blades, and spring traps pushing orcs into other instruments of destruction. Of course, nothing comes free, so you’ll have to be watchful.
If there are any gaps in your defences left after you spend your initial trap budget, you’ll have to plug yourself, using your own weapons and reflexes until you get enough gold to plop down a few more snares or spike pits. Since the second instalment the series is also co-op friendly, letting your friends join your defensive efforts with their own devious trap combinations and arrangements.
Dead by Daylight
|Developer:||Behaviour Digital Inc.|
Dead by Daylight, a game which pits several unfortunate survivors against one, also player-controlled, nightmarish killer. In other words: an asymmetrical, competitive multiplayer survival horror. One of the killers you can embody in the game is nicknamed “The Trapper”, and true to his moniker, he can, indeed, set up a bear trap which can completely ruin his victims’ chances of survival.
People caught in the trap get injured, which is unfortunate, but a bigger issue is that they also get immobilised, which makes it easier for the killer to grab them and sacrifice them to a dark deity. Even the Survivors can set up traps, or, specifically, one Survivor: Jill Valentine, thanks to a crossover with Resident Evil. She can place a blast mine which can briefly disorient a killer.
Monster Hunter World
Monster Hunter: World is best known for its oversized, creative weapons, but if we ignore that we’re left with a game that actually has some interesting hunting gameplay to it and setting up traps are a big part of that. In fact, if you take the high road and try to avoid killing your targets, you need a trap (either a pit trap or a shock trap), you incapacitate the monster for retrieval and study.
You can also place poisoned lures which will weaken the beasts for the near future, and, if the time for subtlety is gone, you can trigger some natural traps, such as falling boulders or even a dam holding back a mighty torrent of water that throws a monster off a cliff. Given that you’re fighting creatures which are many times larger than your own hunter you need all the help you can get.
Sniper Elite 4
The meat and potatoes of Sniper Elite 4 is, of course, sniping, but that doesn’t mean that our protagonist, Karl Fairburne, doesn’t have some dirty tricks up his sleeve. As a result, he can not only set up deadly mines, but he can also booby trap enemy corpses. The best/worst part is that, just like with your rifle kills, traps can trigger an X-ray camera showing in gruesome detail the damage you’re doing.
Thanks to magnificent sniping skills, close-combat melee kills, and traps Karl can become the deadliest ghost you could possibly send to solve problems during World War II. Taking out half a patrol with one cleverly placed mine and finishing the survivors with a bullet delivers the kind of sadistic glee you’d expect from a game with a way-too-detailed X-ray cam that put’s Mortal Kombat to shame.
Evil Genius 2
Evil Genius 2 is a sequel nobody expected, but many people warmly welcomed anyway. It’s a game which allows you to build an evil base into a side of a volcano on a tropical island and then deal with spies and special agents trying to infiltrate and sabotage your evil scheme. It should come as no surprise, then, that you can deploy all kinds of silly and serious traps to stop them!
There is an incredible wealth of ways to stop intruders, and they range from a spring-loaded boxing glove and a freeze ray to killer bee swarms and a laser trap forcing people to dance. As you might be able to tell, the game isn’t at all serious in tone, but, thankfully, it’s quite serious in its commitment to being a satisfying management sim, despite all the comedy happening in your EVIL base.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Most of what’s left of humanity in Horizon Zero Dawn is scaled back down to tribes relying on hunting for resources they need for sustenance and maintenance. As a result, our protagonist, Aloy, is trained as a hunter and that of course comes with learning how to trap the setting’s robotic animals…or maybe animalistic robots. There are two types of mines Aloy can put down, both quite effective.
The Blast and Detonating Blast traps mostly just cause heavy damage to hapless creatures that happen to be in the explosion radius. The shock trap is much more interesting, because in addition to dealing decent damage it can also paralyze your target, opening it up for some more hurt by way of regular weapons. It’s not a super-complex trap system, but it is quite satisfying.
Snares and pitfalls
That concluded our list of games with traps that player can set up. Whether it’s about trapping human enemies, or powerful, beastly monsters, you’re in control of the fight, at least until your foe recovers from damage and shock.
Hopefully, some of these titles sparked your interest and you’re already thinking about tricking NPCs and monsters into falling your carefully set up traps and mines.