The fashion for games in the open world began to take over the gaming industry, and over the past three years, every self-respecting developer wanted to release their own sandbox project, where the player was given freedom of action.
Non-linearity is always good, but it is very difficult to create a project that will harmoniously combine all game mechanics, while the world will be filled with events so that the gamer wants to explore it. This collection contains just such projects.
The Witcher 3
The most successful CD Projekt Red game and the pride of Russian players for their colleagues from Poland. It was thanks to The Witcher 3 that people were able to instill interest in the Witcher franchise. The first part of the Witcher saga, released in 2007, was a good game, but it was something of a test for CD Projekt Red.
Nature in The Witcher 3 is incomparable /
By the third part, the developers have worked on the bugs, shifting the focus towards the correct presentation of the plot, polished gameplay mechanics and a harmoniously integrated, interesting plot. Here, integrity is captivating, which unites all storylines – both side and main. A well-developed world opens up before the gamer, where each additional task is organically woven into the main narrative. Yes, there is a division between game locations, but this does not negate the quality of the development of these locations. There is no concept of “a quest for the sake of filling the content”, and each story has its own explanation.
Correct angles, beautiful delivery and the ability to intrigue the player. Scenes you don’t want to skip at all
The concept of cinematicism will not be entirely appropriate, but this is exactly the feeling that is created when you watch the dialogues of the characters during the passage of The Witcher 3. There are some games that are pleasant to watch. You can just sit back and watch cut scenes like it’s a scene from a movie. The facial expressions, the intonation of the characters, the detailing work correctly here, the story is cool here without any fragments and holes in the plot, and this is captivating.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Game of the Year Edition (Xbox ONE)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Game of the Year Edition (PS4)
2 350 *
Game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Complete Edition (Switch)
The game that everyone knows about. The success of Grand Theft Auto is due to the fact that players are given almost complete freedom and a sense of impunity. Starting from a game with primitive graphics and a first-person view, GTA already gave players the opportunity to behave the way they themselves wanted, and how they would not be able to behave in real life. No wonder the name of the game is translated as “the great car thief.”
Absolutely any car could be stolen. Absolutely any passer-by – to beat or even worse. This feeling of impunity was captivating. For a 1997 game, this was a breakthrough.
For 16 years, the game has evolved, moved from 2D to 3D, acquired a cool dialogue system, excellent physics, and the developers from Rockstar Games were able to make the real rockstars of the gaming industry, which everyone knows about.
The further down the list, the more opportunities the developers gave the players. Now gamers can not only steal cars and create mayhem on the streets, but also entertain themselves as a taxi driver, fireman, street racer, hire women of easy virtue, go to strip clubs, play golf, go on dates, and, of course, to joke caustically, because the developers have everything in order with humor.
What is the fifth part, it is not particularly necessary to describe – most gamers know about it. Confirmation of the overwhelming success is 135 million copies of the game sold. To do this, the developers needed to invest more than $ 270 million, which exceeds the budget of most blockbuster films in the field.
Игра Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Edition (PS4)
2 499 *
Игра Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Edition (Xbox ONE)
2 999 *
TES V: Skyrim
It is difficult to find a player who is not familiar with The Elder Scrolls gaming universe. And if the first parts were recognized in a rather narrow circle of gamers, then it was with TES V: Skyrim that the developers from Bethesda achieved worldwide recognition. Skyrim is a game that is known even outside the gaming industry.
To understand this, just see the list of platforms to which the project has been ported: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, PS VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reaity, Amazon Echo. Only GTA V managed to surpass the project in popularity.
Nine major cities have been added to TES V: Skyrim. In each of them, players are waiting for new quests and their own socio-political problems.
How deep and detailed is the project created by the craftsmen from Bethesda? So much so that the player will not lose anything if he refuses to complete the main quest. The games of the Elder Scrolls universe are generally famous for the fact that each side quest is a separate well-developed story, which is fundamentally different from typical tasks in the style of “Bring me 8 sticks or kill 10 gnomes.”
By the fifth part, the combat was pumped over, thanks to which the players could assign any ability to each of the hands. The character could shoot fireballs with both hands, or hold a sword in the right hand and a protection spell in the left. Everything was limited by the desire of the gamer.
Additional tasks can await the player everywhere – in chests, notes, overheard conversations, after sleeping or completing other tasks. TES V: Skyrim is an organic, detailed and coherent world in which the player does not feel false.
Игра The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition (PS4)
Игра The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Switch)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The pride of Nintendo and simply one of the best games in the entire gaming industry. And last but not least thanks to its elaborate open world. The word “developed” means not only freedom of action and the ability to go where you want, but also the unique approach of developers to performing any action in the game.
To make it a little clearer, it is worth clarifying: the game takes into account the laws of physics and weather conditions. If the player finds a stick and brings it to a source of ignition, the stick will catch fire. If Link (the main character of the game) climbs a tree, he can pick apples from his nickname, and those, in turn, can easily fall into the fire and burn out. But let’s move on. Burning apples can easily set fire to the grass around, and, in the presence of a strong wind, make a sickly fire.
Much attention in the game is paid to finding shrines, the passage of each of which gave the main character one unit of currency. Later, this currency could be exchanged for + to lives or stamina. In total, there are about 400 such shrines throughout the map of the kingdom of Hyrule.
All game mechanics are saturated with such trifles. Link gets tired when he climbs a rock or swims, his weapons break, and in rainy weather with a big thunderstorm, there is a chance of getting hit by ball lightning if the main character is wearing metal armor (and they will, believe me).
Each enemy requires a different approach, and to defeat some of them you will have to turn on your ingenuity.
In the hot southern regions, all wooden weapons will burn (for example, if you climb a volcano). And there are thousands of such little things at every turn. The developers, in fact, do not give the player any restrictions. There is no forced framework for the plot “do this, and only then go there, reach this level, and then we will let you in to the boss.” The player can go to the lair of Gagon (the main villain in the game) at the very first level and try to kill him. Creativity is encouraged here, and this makes The Legend of Zelda: BoW one of the most developed games in principle.
Игра The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)
3 999 *
The status of “Games for Schoolchildren” blocked many gamers, resulting in many players regarding Minecraft with a little skepticism. But if we put aside mistrust and specific graphics, the project will show its strengths, namely, a colossally developed system of interaction between the player and the outside world.
The most diligent and assiduous can easily rebuild an entire mansion or village. With its own layout, ecosystem, crops and livestock rearing.
To some extent, Minecraft can be classified as a survival-horror genre, but it would not be entirely correct to define a game of this magnitude. In fact, the project is a huge sandbox in an open generated world with a little hint of a story for the most diligent. But the game is not valuable for this, but for its crafting system.
Wood is extracted from wood, blocks, doors, windows, cornices and chairs are made from wood. From it, the player creates the first tools, including an ax, a shovel, a pick and a weapon for self-defense. With their help, gamers open up opportunities for more and more advanced crafting, up to the creation of automatic objects that work when enemies appear.
Dungeons are a complex branching system of passages in which you can get lost in two minutes. But it is here that you can extract the most important minerals.
In order to make it interesting for gamers to engage in such crafting, the game in every possible way motivates them to leave their comfort zone and move further (and deeper). The exploration of caves and abandoned mines deserves a separate article. Here the game is revealed from another angle.
Running out of torches, lack of understanding of where the player is (if he hasn’t created a map or compass), lack of food (yes, the main character needs to eat in order not to die of hunger). Such studies can drag on for several hours or days, depending on how interesting the algorithm will generate the world.
If desired, the game can be well pumped in graphic terms. And if some of the players were previously embarrassed by primitive graphics, then with the help of a couple of mods you can squeeze a fairly modern and pretty picture out of the game.
Yes, landscape generation works here, and in order to add more variety to the newly created world, the developers have implemented a biome system. Every few kilometers the landscape, weather conditions, as well as flora and fauna change. This approach makes the game very replayable and keeps gamers from getting bored every time they decide to create a new world.
Игра Minecraft: Playstation 4 Edition (PS4)
Игра Minecraft (Switch)
2 299 *
Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven
Another discovery of the early 2000s. Yes, Rockstar Games beat Illusion Softworks by one year by releasing 3D GTA III just 10 months before Mafia’s release, but that didn’t stop the project from finding its huge fan base.
The strengths of the project were not only a great story, the drama of which was revealed towards the end of the game, but also a detailed open world that lived its own life. Given the technical limitations (the game was released in 2002), the developers managed to recreate the New York of the 1930s.
The city lives its own life.
Each of the districts was distinguished by its architecture and atmosphere. We took care of both the textures and the level of detail of the city, but the most attention was paid to cars, the rendering of which could be the envy of the developers of any racing game.
For 2002, the shootouts were well developed here. The weapons were felt in the hands, and each of them had its own level of recoil.
Here, players could easily be fined for speeding, so the game encouraged traffic enforcement. And when you get out of the car, returning after an evening mission, and just admire the evening streets, the warm light that scatters from the lanterns, turn on the walking mode and enjoy the moment – this is a sign of a good game that can immerse you in your world. Complete and well crafted.
Far Cry 3
Why the third part? Because just before the release of Far Cry 3, the craftsmen from Ubisoft found the golden mean between open spaces and content that you can fill your own world with.
The main problem of most sandbox games is the lack of quality content that can fill the project. In the case of Far Cry 3, Ubisoft created their own formula for storytelling / opening new tasks and a system for motivating the player to explore the whole world.
The bow has become an excellent addition to the main character’s arsenal, allowing you to silently kill not only animals, but also other enemies.
Even such a sensitive issue as the grind system was managed to be beaten in such a way that gamers would like to do it themselves. For example, to use more capacious bags, you need to hunt certain types of animals. They have to be hunted down and killed so as not to damage the skin.
Far Cry 3 had its own fleet. Any vehicle dropped by the player could be used directly. Moreover, this list included not only cars, but also scooters with helicopters.
In order for more objects to appear on the map, players are forced to capture towers. Each action of the game is aimed at making the character explore the world. By Far Cry 4 and Far Cry 5, this concept has been further improved, and related gameplay mechanics have been used in other Ubisoft projects like Assassin’s Creed.