I am stoked about Piranha Bytes’s upcoming release Elex. Elex is set to come out in Q3 of this year. It will be released cross platform as Risen 3 was. It is going to be a mix between scientific elements and medieval play. The game is set on a planet named Magalan which is struck by a meteor that then forces the survivors back into a medieval like environment. Elex is not the name of the main character, but instead is a rare element that arrived on the planet with the meteor. The player has to choose which faction to join and whether the element Elex will save or destroy what is left of the world.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am fascinated with two types of gaming. Couch co-op because I am extremely social, and open world gaming because I like my freedom and hate being told what to do. In honor of this new game, I thought I would take the time to tell you about my all-time favorite open world games. Each of these games has been a pleasure to play. Some games are older, so if you choose to check them out please don’t discredit them based on graphics.
- Gothic – Piranha Bytes, 2001
By far my favorite game in any category (It’s even my first tattoo.), Gothic has a huge following in the Euro gaming circuit. The original is a vastly open world game with six different ways to play through (although some of the game play overlaps) and one overall ending. You start as an insanely weak character who can barely kill a small bug. You are thrown into a penal colony and are given the mission to deliver a message to one group of mages. There are three main camps that you can join, each with the choices of a type of warrior or mage. What sets Gothic apart is the depth of the dialogue, the size of the world (for it’s time), the interactivity of common objects, and the crafting component. There are some abnormal playing mechanics that may take some time getting used to, but it is well worth a play through followed by playing it’s sequel.
- Sacred – Ascaron, 2004
Sacred is often compared to Diablo in its game play. It is a huge hack and slash world. The original game’s goal is to find six elements in the world to destroy a demon that has accidentally been released. It’s one of those games that has an interesting dialogue if you care to listen. It also has some amazing loot finds instead of just being able to buy all the cool items. It’s a classic adventure rpg game for all the right reasons.
- Sleeping Dogs – Square Enix, 2012
I expected this to game to be a mediocre spin-off of the GTA franchise. I was impressed by the similar content but the huge improvement and implementation of mechanics missing is GTA. The fighting element particularly impressed me. GTA is so gun heavy and there is almost no hand-to-hand combat. Sleeping Dog’s did a great job of adding a martial arts fighting element as well as a freestyle running component. I could spend hours just fighting in the gym and running from cops. A MMO sequel, Triad Wars, was a canceled beta in 2014, so be on the look out for a possible future sequel.
- Dragon’s Dogma – Capcom, 2012
Dragon’s Dogma was a welcomed surprise after years of trying to find a game as satisfying to play as Gothic had been. It has been noted for hitting a mark in the RPG gaming market that was missing. A bit odd, the player’s heart is taken by a dragon which they then spend the game trying to defeat. I particularly loved the combination of regular battle techniques and button combo creature battles. In large creature battles the player can both fight from the ground or by climbing on top of the creature, which makes for some epic battle scenarios. It should also be recognized for having a huge world with many crafting components.
- King’s Quest VI – Sierra Entertainment, 1992
King’s Quest is unique to this list because it is point-and-click game play. The game is full of complex puzzles and riddles that need to be solved in order to progress. Some of these riddles can not be completed without the book, Guidebook to the Land of the Green Isles, that came along with the game (in later releases this is found in the menu). The main goal of the game is to stop a wedding and marry the princess after saving her from her captor. The series is well known for being odd. It is also satisfying as it has two separate endings based on how the player plays the game. A reboot of the series was created in 2015 by the re-founded Sierra group.
I could have also added many of the well-known favorite open world games such as Mario 64, GTA, Fallout, Dragon’s Age, Skyrim, and Diablo, but these lesser-known games have been some of my favorites to play. I hope that in reading this you may be intrigued and play them as well.