Gone are the wide eyed, casual days of the 90s when kids boot up Sonic would huddle around their Sega Mega Drive and spin- dashboard on their way by means of some of zones before fighting the last leader.
Today, video games are growing. Before you determine exactly what the storyline is likely to be worlds are really so exuberant and full you could spend hours simply crossing the landscape.
Simulators and turn-based strategies have added more features annually to the stage that truth fades into an ill favoured option that people shun.
Be assassin you an adventurer, or world leader, in the event you are trying to find the next match to offer your own life to, here are 10 humongous ones you will totally lose yourself in.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The only criticism of Skyrim, and Bethesda games in general, is that they can be too open. Creating your character at the start is always a thrill, but after battling through caves and dungeons, all of a sudden… you can go literally anywhere.
What’s left before you is 15 square miles of mountains, towns, cities, dungeons, caves, dwarven ruins, elven castles – all of which are populated with exciting characters, quests, permanent, lasting choices, and the most hideous spiders ever.
Seriously, fantasy RPGS. Why always spiders?
The scale of the game is so epic that it’s virtually impossible to complete. The main story may take you 30 hours, but once you inevitably delve into a sidequest that takes your fancy, you’ll soon find yourself over the 100 hour mark.
- Football Manager 2017
Football Manager isn’t humongous in terms of world size, but the sheer scale of the game is damn impressive.
With a database of almost every professional footballer in the world, every league, cup and competition, not to mention all the intricacies of managing a team, negotiating with players, hiring backroom staff and building a growing reputation amongst fellow managers, Football Manager keeps you coming back for more. That’s not even mentioning the matches themselves.
Over the years, tactics have become more refined which not only ups the challenge, but gives the player an even greater sense of satisfaction when they manage to outplay a superior team.
There’s replayability as well. Okay, so most of us choose our favourite teams, the game being the closest many of us will get to seeing them achieving what we know they are really capable of if only FIFA would put us in charge.
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The addictiveness of The Witcher 3 is not in its story, as epic and award-winning as it is, but in the realism of the world. Any game that can include monsters and magic, yet through its brutal dissection of humanity, appear more believable than any other game, is bound to keep us wanting more.
The scale of the map, as well as the hidden mysteries that lurk in the dirty cities and charming villages, keep Geralt discovering secrets long after the end-game. What’s more, CD Projekt RED didn’t get the memo about DLC. Rather than offering us a few new costumes and weapons for a price, CDPR gave us those for free.
Rather than releasing Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine as sequels, deserving to be their own games considering they offer a combined gameplay time of around 60 hours, CD Projekt charged us the cost of about a half a full-priced title.
- Grand Theft Auto V
While Just Cause 3 is one of the largest maps currently on the market for open-world sandbox action, and Saints Row 3 allows the player the option we always wanted but didn’t know it – to skydive with tanks – it is GTA’s balance between the absurd and reality that absorbs you fully into its world.
Single player is more than sufficient to occupy hundreds of hours, with its innovative three main character setup providing three very different perspectives on the state. The story is Hollywood-worthy, made all the more replayable by the introduction of heists that can be carried out in multiple ways. Then there is the world itself which, for all its size and realism, is still one heck of a playground.
Cars, jets, submarines – wildlife roams the countryside, while similarly primal creatures stumble out of the strip clubs in the early hours. Want a break from killing people? Play tennis or golf. Go hiking, skydiving, jetskiing or cycling. When the sun comes down, the street racers come out. Or just kick back in your pad and enjoy the hours of in-game TV shows and ads.
- PlanetSide 2
Set in the future, Planetside 2 sees the armies of the Terran Republic, the freedom fighters of the New Conglomerate and the alien-influenced cultists of the Vanu Sovereignty battle across the continents of Auraxis.
Heavily inspired by early Battlefield games, the focus of the battles are on capturing territory. With such massive potential for player numbers per battle (the current world record stands at 1,158 players in a single battle), its no wonder that the battlefields themselves are so enormous.
The graphics stand up to other modern online first-person shooters, and capturing buildings and earning experience allow for upgrades to weaponry and armour, as well as new abilities and support equipment, from turrets to bunkers. Players are unable to go out on their own against such huge numbers, so teamwork is all the more important, with soldier classes ranging from attacking infantry, snipers and rocketeers, to supporting engineers and medics.
- Dragon Age: Inquisition
Just when you think you’re done with Inquisition, it drags you back in for more.
Often overshadowed by similar, recent high fantasy RPGs like The Witcher 3 and Skyrim, Inquisition is bursting with lore, interesting characters, compelling plot and ruinous discoveries. Like The Witcher 3, Inquisition is plot driven, with your Inquisitor facing off with the shady racist and corrupt politics just as much as they are fighting demons and monsters.
Like Skyrim, your character is customisable down to their gender, race and style, all of which have huge ramifications for how the NPCs across Thedas treat you.
Whilst not as large as The Witcher 3 (84 mile2), Inquisition’s 45 mile2 map is just as rich in wonder to be discovered. The use of a war table to jump between areas allows for more diversity in geography, from dry desert, to thick forest, to battered coastline. Inhabitants change their opinions of you as you enact your influence, just as agents and companions will join or leave you should you oppose their personal philosophies. There is even the opportunity to customise your stronghold, as well as expand your influence across the world.
- Hitman (2016)
After a temporary set back with Absolution (okay, it wasn’t terrible – it just tried to be too story focused instead of sandbox), Hitman returned last year to the glory days of Blood Money.
With massive open levels, Agent 47 is presented with a huge number of creative opportunities to dispatch his targets. The massive levels, bustling with life, and seeking opportunities for dispatch targets, combined with the traditional mechanics of blending in by stealing outfits, customising weapons, and setting booby traps, really help to bring to life the world of espionage and assassination (not that I’m suggesting you should try this at home – stay in school, kids).
Whilst the decision to release the levels episodically initially put a lot of gamers off, IO Interactive surpised us with the inclusion of non-story challenges and targets. This not only allowed Agent 47 to better explore parts of the level he would normally otherwise miss if focusing on just 1 or 2 targets, but is the main reason Hitman makes this list; it has increased replayability substantially.
- World Of Warcraft
Since its release almost 13 years ago, its a testament to how grand WoW is that it is still going so strong with its epic online community. With an entire world of Azeroth to explore, filled with lore, quests, monsters, wildlife, and most importantly, other adventurers, WoW continues to grow as expansions are regularly released, the most recent being Legion in August, 2016.
WoW combines the customisation and in-depth lore of the truly great RPGs with the excitement of playing alongside thousands of other players from all across the world. The simple graphics keep gameplay smooth and accessible for everyone, from hardcore gamers that sinks hundreds of hours into the game, and huge swathes of money into their rig, and more casual gamers with simpler setups.
As exciting and challenging as the story can be, the true essence of WoW is found in the online guilds and communities. Players join their fellow heroes as they embark on epic adventures, battling challenging enemies that can only be taken down with large enough teams that balance each others skills and abilities, and work together in unison. The rare loot they obtain can be shared out to craft new weapons and armour, increasing their strength and ability as they wait the challenges yet to come.
- StarCraft II
As RTS games go, StarCraft remains the master of them all. With the original inspiring major sport-event-like tournaments across the world, particularly in Korea, the sequel has continued with a winning formula. Whether the player takes control of the mechanised Humans, the biological Zerg, or the psychic Protoss, each army is perfectly balanced against its foes.
If you’re like me and only play offline because you can’t match the speed of online players, StarCraft 2 has a huge story that spans the three races, having completed with the release of Legacy of the Void, and was the first RTS to make me care about characters since the C&C Red Alert series.
However, if you can match the pace of online players, this is where the real fun begins. Once you can build your base quickly enough, the troops are so finely balanced that strong tactics are the only way to be victorious. From spying on enemy developments and countering their troops with your own, to deliberately picking off their miners, slowing their resource gathering, and therefore the size of their army, the game allows for creative strategies every match. With every player utilising different strategies, and the expansions offering new troops, skills and maps, StarCraft 2 remains fresh with every play.
- Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
The mother of “just one more go”, Civilization VI is the latest entry in Sid Meier’s incredible turn-based strategy. I’d be cheating if I said the games are humoungous because the game board is the entire world; but it’s a universal truth that it’s impossible to play a Civilization game “for a bit”.
Newton’s 3rd law: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Meier’s law: for every hour in Civilization, there are 4 hours in reality.
The game has expanded so much in scope over the years, thanks largely to the success of DLC in previous games becoming a key feature of the next iteration. After choosing your colourful leader and advancing your growing empire through the ages, the player examines their strengths and weaknesses, as well as those civilizations around them, and determines if they will become a warmongering conquerer, a cultural paragon, a warmonger, a beacon of science, perhaps a warmonger, a religious leader for the world to follow, or, if you’re like me, a warmonger.
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