Sometimes it’s good to go back to where you came from in open world games. When the content is the world, travelling through it can often feel like you’re gobbling it up, every virtual kilometre a chunk of media you’ve greedily consumed rather than occupied.
But they rarely give you much reason for retracing your steps. Levelled rewards are rarely worth the journey; storylines and quests are often all used up. Towns, jungles, villages are left frozen in time, a snapshot of less sophisticated times. Now their challenges are less keen, their demands on your expanded skillset simplistic. Their NPCs repeat the same declamations as they ever did, ignorant of your world-spanning achievements.
While these worlds are physically non-linear, they often feel the opposite, locations standing as staging posts on a winding trail rather than interconnected places. Then I played Assassin’s Creed Origins, which goes out of its way to seed the places you’ve barrelled through with reasons to return. Read the rest of this entry »