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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
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    List with a Vengeance: Top sandbox / open world games.

    Same as the previous lists. List your top ten PC open-world games. In this case sandbox is described by freedom of exploration and non-linearity. I won't argue with majority rule on what constitutes a sandbox game (enough votes should establish a game either way), but try not to argue that games you like are sandboxes just because you like them. I'm operating under the assumption that a sandbox has the vast majority of content available right from the start. Whenever it falls to the third page, count it up.
    Last edited by Internet; 01-02-2013 at 04:22 PM.

  2. #2
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    My picks:

    Fallout 2
    Gothic 2
    Fallout New Vegas
    GTA San Andreas
    Ultimate Spiderman
    Baldur's Gate (2 is iffy as is PS:T (you do little exploration and movement is heavily gated))
    King's Bounty
    Just Cause 2
    Arcanum
    Minecraft

    Honorable mentions:
    Freelancer
    Arkham City
    Simpson's Hit and Run
    Stalker
    GTA Vice City
    Betrayal at Krondor (From what I played. Wish someone would put it in an NWN engine or make a huge Grimrock mod. Same with Wizardry 7 and Albion.)
    Arx Fatalis
    Red Faction Gorillaz
    Geneforge (damn good exploration based RPG series. Check it out if you haven't).

    There have been a lot of good open world games.
    Last edited by Internet; 01-02-2013 at 05:34 PM.

  3. #3
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    Not sure I can make it to ten:

    Outcast
    Morrowind
    GTA: San Andreas
    Ultima VII

    er...

    Can't even make it to five. Jeez. I guess my definition is a bit strict.
    Last edited by Jams O'Donnell; 01-02-2013 at 03:56 PM.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Civilisation 5

  5. #5
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    I am having massive definition blue balls here.

  6. #6
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    Pretty hard to even begin to work out what definition to use here. Working on the principle that open world games are those where there aren't really "gaps" in the game world but there may be loading between areas, and where you have to be "outside" much of the time, and that aren't diablolikes, and that aren't strategy games:

    Baldur's Gate (alas, 2 shouldn't count)
    Morrowind
    Oblivion
    Might and Magic 6
    Might and Magic 7
    Mount & Blade
    Saints Row: The Third
    Gothic 2
    Fallout 3
    Fallout: New Vegas.

    Backup list: Skyrim, Risen, Might and Magic 8, Arcanum

    I'll have to have a look through my not-installed games to see if I can improve this list.
    Last edited by NathanH; 01-02-2013 at 03:53 PM.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus DaftPunk's Avatar
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    Mafia 1 is my favorite sandbox game,otherwise i wouldn't put Gothic 2,Fallout and similar games in this list because they are RPG in their core.

  8. #8
    Activated Node Barberetti's Avatar
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    Top 10 in no particular order, apart from the order in which they appear below. Also, if open world RPGs like the Fallouts are allowed, then I'm assuming MMOs are as well, so:

    Fallout 3
    GTA: Vice City
    Minecraft
    Fallout: NV
    Risen
    Saint's Row 2
    Saint's Row The Third
    X3 Terran Conflict
    WoW (pre expansions)
    LOTRO

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lambchops's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Internet;253503I won't argue with majority rule on what constitutes a sandbox game (enough votes should establish a game either way), but try not to argue that games you like are sandboxes just because you like them. [/QUOTE]

    This is definitely the best approach to take!

    I think I'm going to struggle to get to 10 as I tend to get bored of sandboxes pretty sharpish (see Prototype) unless the are exceptionally fun (see GTA 3 and Vice City).

    I have to admit I'm having internal battles about whether games are valid at the moment. I'm currently leaning towards something like Outcast counting (as there was a real feeling of discovering new regions, despite being gated by enemy strength and so on) but something like Psychonauts (a fairly open hub but quite small and the levels were just traditional levels but done in any order you want) not counting.

    So provisionally:

    Outcast
    Grand Theft Auto 3
    Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
    Minecraft
    Burnout: Paradise
    Bully: Scholarship Edition

    I'll leave Beyond Good and Evil, Psychonauts, Barman: Arkham City and Little Big Adventure 2 on the shelf at the moment as I'm not really sure if they should count. If there's a consensus that they do then I'll edit my list accordingly.

    Very Honourable mention: Pathologic. Love it in principle but due to a mixture of being a bit rubbish at it and its various foibles I just can't put it in the list.

    Games that might have made the list if I'd played them or given them a bit more time: Far Cry 3, Just Cause 2, Saints Row 3, STALKER SoC.

  10. #10
    Lesser Hivemind Node frightlever's Avatar
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    Skyrim
    Gothic
    Morrowind
    Minecraft
    Saints Row the Third
    Dwarf Fortress
    Oblivion
    Just Cause 2
    Mount and Blade (Warband)
    Divinity

    Conspicuously absent: San Andreas because I hated the missions, though I spent an awful long time just tooling around.

    Ask me again next year and I'll probably have Gnomoria on there.

    Edit: well fuck me. How'd I forget about the Gothics? Dang.
    Last edited by frightlever; 01-02-2013 at 04:11 PM.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lambchops's Avatar
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    This article has a few musings on the differences between sandbox and open world:

    http://gamedev.tutsplus.com/articles...ft-and-beyond/

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=Barberetti;253535]Top 10 in no particular order, apart from the order in which they appear below. Also, if open world RPGs like the Fallouts are allowed, then I'm assuming MMOs are as well/QUOTE]

    Most, yes, but some, like DDO are so heavily gated that you don't have much freedom of exploration.

  13. #13
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Internet View Post
    (enough votes should establish a game either way)
    My inner troll wants me to take this as an invitation to try to ballot-stuff Portal to number one.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    Pretty hard to even begin to work out what definition to use here. Working on the principle that open world games are those where there aren't really "gaps" in the game world but there may be loading between areas, and where you have to be "outside" much of the time, and that aren't diablolikes, and that aren't strategy games.
    Personally, I think gates are just as important as gaps, especially level and story gates. Another way to look at it might be content chunk size. If the majority of your content is in one to three big chunks with a few small story specific chunks, that's fine. For example Gothic 2 gated off the prison / there was a gap there, but the relative size of the content chunks meant that the game focused on player freedom and exploration.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambchops View Post
    This article has a few musings on the differences between sandbox and open world:

    http://gamedev.tutsplus.com/articles...ft-and-beyond/
    And the point was well-made. Open world games it is.

    Also, in my opinion (just an opinion) Arkham City is one, because there is very little content that you can not freely explore. The actual story missions are significantly smaller / had less content than the city. Psychonauts is not though (I thought about it too). Most of the levels were as almost as large as the hub and took more time. They use a lot of clever tricks to hide this. Also, the game is pretty heavily gated by story.
    Last edited by Internet; 01-02-2013 at 04:27 PM.

  16. #16
    Lesser Hivemind Node ado's Avatar
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    I find the sandbox/open world theme of this thread quite puzzling as neither is a genre or are they that related in my mind. It's more of a design decision, as you can have open world action games, RPGs, FPS etc. And then also some sandbox games are open world, and some are not - like say Dishonored or Crysis, both are sandbox but not really open world.

    Anyway I don't want to drag this thread away in to some obtuse definitions rhetoric so here's my list of 10 open world and/or sandbox games, in order of preference:

    Dark Souls
    Minecraft
    RollerCoaster Tycoon
    GTA4
    EVE Online
    Deus Ex
    Sim City 4
    Morrowind
    Crysis
    Assassin's Creed 2
    steam

    http://dailycelluloid.blogspot.com/- where I write about movies.

  17. #17
    Activated Node Barberetti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Internet View Post
    Most, yes, but some, like DDO are so heavily gated that you don't have much freedom of exploration.
    Well yeah, I meant the open world ones :p

  18. #18
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    Red Faction Guerilla

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ado View Post
    I find the sandbox/open world theme of this thread quite puzzling as neither is a genre or are they that related in my mind. It's more of a design decision, as you can have open world action games, RPGs, FPS etc. And then also some sandbox games are open world, and some are not - like say Dishonored or Crysis, both are sandbox but not really open world.

    Anyway I don't want to drag this thread away in to some obtuse definitions rhetoric so here's my list of 10 open world and/or sandbox games, in order of preference:
    I changed it to open world games because I missed the distinction between the two originally.
    Last edited by Internet; 01-02-2013 at 05:29 PM.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus coldvvvave's Avatar
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    Fallout New Vegas
    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    You are an enemy of gaming.

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