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  1. #1
    Lesser Hivemind Node squareking's Avatar
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    ...I'm just here for the scenery

    Or: which games' environments do you find so immersive, beautiful, captivating, etc that you actually take time away from the game just to explore? I've done this recently with Crysis and Oblivion. I feel somewhat guilty doing this, as there's this grand narrative the designers obviously wanted me to experience, but I get severe cases of needing to wander -- under the right conditions.

    And in the game.
    steam


  2. #2
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    Ultima VII.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    Far Cry 2. I was in Africa.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Morrowind is my exploration game by default. Everything there is interesting and filled with more than enough places to wander and get lost, always discovering new things.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    I would +1 Morrowind as well, as a teenager I was playing that a lot of times and just exploring without really thinking about the main quest.

  6. #6
    Obscure Node pl4t0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirKicksalot View Post
    Far Cry 2. I was in Africa.
    So true.

    Far Cry 2 and Just Cause 2 for me. But especially Just Cause 2. Not only is it just an amazingly beautiful game (technically-speaking, graphics-wise), it's got so much variety in its landscapes.

  7. #7
    Lesser Hivemind Node Flint's Avatar
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    Morrowind here as well. I have a love/hate relationship with the game and it's the hate part towards the clunkiness of the mechanics and impersonal feel of it all that's stopped me from ever completing its main story or progressing very far in it, but it's the sheer love towards the game's environment and the wonder of simply wandering around it, revelling in its atmosphere that makes me re-install the game about once a year.

    World of Warcraft used to be this for me - the sheer vastness and explore...iness of the world was one of the main aspects of the game that hooked me into the it initially - but Cataclysm kinda wiped all that out (sadface).
    Give me steam and how you feel to make it real.

  8. #8
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    The X series, and STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl.

  9. #9
    Network Hub ran93r's Avatar
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    I remember Far Cry (1) being really great to look at (not tried 2) but the one game in recent history that actually impressed the hell out of me was Fallout 3. Not particularly pretty by any means but I loved that they did a good job of representing DC, I don't know exactly how accurate the job was having never been there but I certainly felt like it could easily have been pixel perfect.

    The one thing that saddened me about Bulletstorm was how great the scenery looked, you couldn't actually explore shit but it was fun to stand there for a bit and take some stock screenshots.

  10. #10
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flint View Post
    World of Warcraft used to be this for me - the sheer vastness and explore...iness of the world was one of the main aspects of the game that hooked me into the it initially - but Cataclysm kinda wiped all that out (sadface).
    I completely agree. I've never been a real WoW player, but I have done the trial period several times over the years. And I loved the old dwarf/gnome starter areas. I don't have a lot of positive things to say about WoW, but that felt like a real place to explore, with quests that tied into it and made sense.

    Post-Cataclysm, it's lost all of its sense of place. It's just a string of overcooked quests laden with cutscenes and moments that are supposed to make you feel special and powerful when you're level 3. And mobs that aren't really mobs, pretending to fight friendly NPCs. What the fuck is that? I suppose it's intended to be immersive, but it winds up having the opposite effect.

    Maybe the higher-level areas are better, I have no idea.

    Back on topic, I always liked the experience of exploration in Privateer. Discovering new bases and planets and trade goods, gradually mapping out each quadrant was very satisfying, though you probably did have to play the game (at least trade) in order to keep exploring. Somehow, it's extremely well-paced such an open-ended game.

  11. #11
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    World of Warcraft? Seriously? Planes full of respawning monsters doing nothing but waiting to be aggravated by the players?

  12. #12
    Lesser Hivemind Node Kodeen's Avatar
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    Gothic 3. It's arguable that the huge increase in the map size for that game distracted PB from their core strengths, but for just looking around it's quite nice.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    LOTRO was the MMO exploration choice for me, i remember one time where we went from the Shire to the Elven lands and stopped at Rivendell. That game was really quite pretty in its own way, and it really felt good to explore, especially on my first character doing all the main quests going through the game. Each new place was full of wonderment.

  14. #14
    Network Hub Rakysh's Avatar
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    Assassin's Creed 2. Mostly because the movement system was so awesome, but Venice was beautiful.

  15. #15
    Obscure Node Hocevar's Avatar
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    +1 for Gothic 3

    With the fan-made patches and everything maxed out it was amazing, superb art and great graphics. I loved going from forest to desert to ice, one of the most amazing worlds I've ever seen on a game, you could just lose yourself in it.

  16. #16
    Network Hub Miker's Avatar
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    Mafia II. Such an amazing engine used for a relatively unambitious game.

  17. #17
    Lesser Hivemind Node Oak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pl4t0 View Post
    So true.

    Far Cry 2 and Just Cause 2 for me. But especially Just Cause 2. Not only is it just an amazingly beautiful game (technically-speaking, graphics-wise), it's got so much variety in its landscapes.
    I came here to post this. Thank you for taking care of that for me.

  18. #18
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    I picked up Fallout 3 in the Steam sale and have actually been enjoying just that with it, despite many people calling it quite bland. It certainly doesn't compare to the Stalkers, but I'm not regretting my choice of not using fast travel.

    I agree with Just Cause 2. Very beautiful game and has some of the greatest methods of traversing the terrain. Same could be said with AssCreed 2.

    I'm tempted to go back to Far Cry 2 in the not to distant. It was a game I quite enjoyed, but gave up on when the second map opened up. If only it was modable to remove the constant enemy harassment.

  19. #19
    Lesser Hivemind Node Flint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TillEulenspiegel View Post
    Post-Cataclysm, it's lost all of its sense of place. It's just a string of overcooked quests laden with cutscenes and moments that are supposed to make you feel special and powerful when you're level 3. And mobs that aren't really mobs, pretending to fight friendly NPCs. What the fuck is that? I suppose it's intended to be immersive, but it winds up having the opposite effect.

    Maybe the higher-level areas are better, I have no idea.
    They're not, no. The only places saved from the general streamlining are the expansion areas (except for the Cataclysm zones, obviously). A shame, really - while the Cataclysm upheaval brought many great things (acknowledging former player efforts, fixing some formerly terrible zones and introducing a lot of great quests and questlines), the change from a vast world filled with hidden things and open-ended adventure into a more chained, linear, on-rails hyperspeed experience with neat quest hubs and nothing else took away a lot of the game's strength. Especially if you're a guy like me who always got his kicks from the levelling period and the vast world instead of the raid/pvp endgame that you're now rushed into.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    World of Warcraft? Seriously? Planes full of respawning monsters doing nothing but waiting to be aggravated by the players?
    Yes, the vast game world filled with all sorts of nooks, crannies, corners and distant places to find and explore had monsters. I'm not sure why this is such a shocking concept.
    Last edited by Flint; 14-07-2011 at 11:39 PM.
    Give me steam and how you feel to make it real.

  20. #20
    Activated Node
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    I loved wandering around in LotRO. In fact I loved pretty much everything that didn't actually involve questing or fighting. Bagpipe concerts were a big draw. I also felt the same with Fallout 3. I cannot really be bothered with following quests, talking to people or even fighting off strange beasties. I just like seeing the world.

    The OP refers to taking time off from playing the game to explore. If I had found either of those games more enthralling them I'm afraid I might have spent more time playing rather than exploring. Instead I found the playing entirely flawed and the exploring was an excellent alternative.

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