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  1. #21
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    Gothic, every single one of them (except 4, obviously). Yes, even the ugly first one. Especially Gothic 3 and Risen. Risen not only looks great but runs flawlessly on my computer as opposed to, say, Oblivion, Fallout 3 and New Vegas, which lose major scenery points due to being console ports and running badly. Running worse than Gothic 3.
    Another plus point for the Gothic series is that it doesn't need quest markers. I actually remember npcs and where they live! Even the big settlements have a memorizable layout and memorable npc! I'm using exclamation marks because this is something that I never found elsewhere! The imperial city of Oblivion looks interesting, but I still get lost in it all the time because everything looks the same whereas Piranha Bytes either consciously or by accident always made their architecture memorable and put in small eyecatchers.
    As an example, I know the layout of the harbour city of Gothic 2 even though I haven't played that game in a very long time, but I can't tell you the difference between Bavil and Chorrol without looking it up.

    Still, even Oblivion, Fallout 3 and New Vegas have made me explore every corner of the map. It just wasn't as memorable as finding the cave of the hermit in Gothic 1 and 2 and smiling at the strong continuity nod I got as a reward.
    Last edited by Batolemaeus; 14-07-2011 at 11:44 PM.

  2. #22
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Casimir Effect's Avatar
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    Got to jump on the Far Cry 2 wagon. I love that game to pieces and the scenery is a large part of that. It just feels like I'm in Africa, which ridiculously is an entirely novel experience in an FPS.

    Just Cause 2 is also impressive though falls apart up close, and a fully modded Oblivion is a thing to behold.

    I also loved the scenery in Mirror's Edge and always thought it was a bit of a shame how you can't really stand around and look at it. Often you charge through zones so quickly you don't notice that the colour palette had changed.

  3. #23
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vandelay View Post
    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.
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  4. #24
    Network Hub Donjo's Avatar
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    Far Cry 2 really drew me in and had me exploring for the most part, I just wish there had been a bit more to discover in the amazing scenery.... it is amazingly beautiful though, even when I got a bit bored of it something would still catch my eye every so often and stun me.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirKicksalot View Post
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    Oh wow, just saw this, great news- thanks! I'll definitely play it again if I can change a few things....
    Last edited by Donjo; 15-07-2011 at 01:23 AM.

  5. #25
    Activated Node Sproutmask's Avatar
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    +1 for Assassin's Creed 2, and the other games in the series for that matter. Nice to see the votes for Morrowind too, there's always an old mine or a Dwemer ruin squirreled away somewhere for you to stumble on accidentally. I'll jump on even more bandwagons because I love the Stalker environments in all three games, and I think that Far Cry 2 is seriously under-rated (though not on RPS where it gets some much deserved appreciation). Arma II has some really nice maps as well, both official and user-created, to the point where I sometimes just fire up the mission editor, stick down a car or truck and go for a drive.

    Maybe a tad off topic from the OP's intention but the campaign map in King Arthur is a thing of beauty, enough to distract me from the game and make me wish that they'd make an open world RPG in the setting with the same art style.
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  6. #26
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    The Myst games. They have such exciting environments that the linearity doesn't bother me. I would much rather be on rails through a Museum of wonder than allowed to wander freely through an empty parking lot.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sproutmask View Post
    Maybe a tad off topic from the OP's intention but the campaign map in King Arthur is a thing of beauty, enough to distract me from the game and make me wish that they'd make an open world RPG in the setting with the same art style.
    Interestingly, Origin Systems was creating Arthurian Legends, the third part of the Worlds of Ultima series, using the Ultima VII engine instead of the Ultima VI one used for the previous two games. It was cancelled nine months into development, though. Here's the only quote there is about the game's development.

    We worked on Arthurian Legends for nine months. It was well into production when it was canned. It was pretty much an “orphan” project, in that it never really had a producer. Richard Garriott started it, then Warren Spector inherited it and so no one really “championed” it. As the project went on, people were leeched away from it and put on to other teams until there was only me and Brian left. Then they pulled me off to do the Serpent Isle cluebook and that was the end of Arthurian Legends.

    Just briefly, Arthurian Legends was a game to be made using the Ultima VII engine. It was to be set in the world of King Arthur, the REAL King Arthur legends, not the Disney “Sword in the Stone” legends. Brian and I did TONS of research into the actual legends, which are actually quite brutal and bloody. We used Chretien DeTroyes’ “Knight of the Cart” and Sir Thomas Malory’s “Le Morte d’Arthur” and other classic books as resources.

    Set in ancient England, shortly after the “Fall from Grace”, you as the main character were trying to put Camelot back together. Along the way you would encounter the various Knights of the Round Table and could help them with their quests. These included such knights as Sir Pelenor and the Questing Beast, Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, and Melora (the only female knight to show up in any of the legends) and her lover, Prince Orlando. You would eventually deal with Sir Mordred and Morgana as well as Lancelot, Guinevere and Arthur, himself.

    The game was completely designed, maps done and a lot of character art done. Quest construction had begun. Sadly, this game never came to be. I still think it would have been great!

    A really poignant story was what happened when they finally officially cancelled Arthurian Legends. Brian Martin and I were officing together. It was at the end of the day when Warren Spector came in and told me that the game was officially cancelled. Brian was out of the office at that moment, so I was the one who had to break it to him. That was hard as it really was his baby. That night we waited until everyone was out of the area and then we went out into the common/lounge area that was right outside our office. Brian laid down on the floor and I went around his body with masking tape, so that when he got up it looked like a chalk outline of a dead body... the kind the police leave when doing a criminal investigation. We then added an outline of a crown and a sword. We draped our office door in black cloth and hung up a sign that said: “The King is dead. Long Live the King.”

    We did it as a joke.. but the next morning, someone had brought flowers to put by the body outline. That afternoon more flowers showed up, and a candle. By the end of the day, it was essentially a shrine to the game with flowers, candles, coins, and even a poem someone wrote. It continued to grow for about a week until we were told by management to take it down because a press tour was coming through.

  8. #28
    Network Hub DarkNoghri's Avatar
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    It's rare that I'll actually just explore in a game, but every once in a while, I do just stop and stare. The first one that comes to mind is Mass Effect 2, when you do a spacewalk in the beginning. The sound got all hushed, and you walk slowly along and just look around you. You look up, and you see this huge planet/moon. It's beautiful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rakysh View Post
    Assassin's Creed 2. Mostly because the movement system was so awesome, but Venice was beautiful.
    Off-topic: The movement system was pretty good, but the amount of times I jumped off a tall building and then fell all the way to the ground due to the system making bad assumptions about what I was trying to do aggravated me. Is it just me?

  9. #29
    Lesser Hivemind Node Similar's Avatar
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    Thinking of the first time I made it out of the spaceship in Unreal and saw what looked like a huge world (and for the time it was too). That was quite an experience and it made me want to create worlds too.
    Other than that, I think Far Cry and Oblivion are the games I've spent the most time just watching things and walking around in. Well, and Second Life, but that's a bit different.

  10. #30
    Call me insane but the first Test Drive Unlimited. I loved getting into a fast car and just exploring the different back roads and admiring the scenery. The fact that there were no enemies popping up to ruin my explorations was awesome.

  11. #31
    Network Hub Rakysh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkNoghri View Post
    Off-topic: The movement system was pretty good, but the amount of times I jumped off a tall building and then fell all the way to the ground due to the system making bad assumptions about what I was trying to do aggravated me. Is it just me?
    I reckon compensation is possible. There are a few times when it's annoying, but the other reason venice is so cool is that the buildings are so tall you can usually find something to grab on to/a canal to land in on the way down.

  12. #32
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus c-Row's Avatar
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    This still makes me want to pick up Fuel at some point and just drive around the map endlessly.

  13. #33
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jockie's Avatar
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    Of the MMO's I actually felt Guild wars was perhaps the best at exploration, there was quite a lot of hidden areas, that you could stumble on by chance and I've always felt that you need a degree of isolation to feel like you're really exploring - the instancing as maligned as it was, is good at creating that effect.

    I also remember Outcast being pretty good for exploration, by todays standards it's open world elements would likely seem small and underdeveloped, but there was a sense of wonder and alien-ness to it that is rare.
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  14. #34
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Vexing Vision's Avatar
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    Another one for Morrowind.

    I remember running around in the northern part of the Isle on an important missing. I was on the roof of a hovel, scouting the area at night.

    Then I noticed the star-filled sky above me, with a beautiful aurora borealis.

    Something snapped in me, and I woke up two hours later with a billion of screenshots on my harddrive of various locations in Morrowind, my original quest completely forgotten.


    This never happened to me in any other game. Very impressive.
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  15. #35
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    Minecraft, obv.

  16. #36
    Activated Node Edawan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c-Row View Post
    This still makes me want to pick up Fuel at some point and just drive around the map endlessly.
    It's been on sale a few times now! you have no excuse !
    It is indeed a great game for those who like exploration.

    I think generally all the open world games are good for that.

    Wall-walking in WoW was a fun way to explore back in the days !

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jockie View Post
    I also remember Outcast being pretty good for exploration, by todays standards it's open world elements would likely seem small and underdeveloped, but there was a sense of wonder and alien-ness to it that is rare.
    Keep an eye on the Outcast remake currently in the works. So far they've only released a couple of early tech demos, so it's a long way off but it looks like it'll definately scratch that 'exploring an alien world' itch (the Oasis demo, as small as it was, was still pretty damn impressive).

    Check it here if you haven't seen it: http://www.moddb.com/mods/open-outcast

  18. #38
    Lesser Hivemind Node Flint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mistabashi View Post
    Keep an eye on the Outcast remake currently in the works.
    Not really a remake, moreso a fan-made sequel. Still amazing though.

    I'd say Outcast's world is one of the very best in videogaming and it's a gorgeously atmospheric place to be in, but I don't really think it's ever been a place that encourages free-form exploration: the areas had a degree of vastness to them but also always somewhat limited. A big enough place to frolic around in to make you feel like the world was big, but every place you encountered was always related to the quests so you'd be visiting them anyway at one point or another.
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  19. #39
    Arma 2 - the sense of scale is incredible.

  20. #40
    LOTRO again. The first sight of Rivendell, watching the sun rise over that colossal bridge/statue affair in Evendim, bimbling around Forochel entranced by the northern lights... shame about all the bloody boars and goblins getting in the way.

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