Open world games, a genre that brought to us not just games, but worlds, have blurred the lines of reality for many of us gamers.
Many of us consider these “pixel-made” cities more real than we do our mundane lives. Gone are the days when graphical limitations showed far off lands as mere backgrounds. Now, you can go there and experience what lies.
These are the game worlds that we have come to realize would be an interesting place to live in, if we have anything to say about it. But the joy would only last for a few seconds, as these worlds are unforgiving, has a lot of blood, and there is a chance that we would die after 5 seconds we step in it.
When I finally entered the world of Los Santos – First of Many Open World Games that started it all
I remember the first time I bought GTA San Andreas. It was after I came back from school. Lunch be damned, I wanted to get lost inside the city of Los Santos as soon as possible. I rushed to the local game shop (while I heard Mom’s yelling at the background, asking me to eat my lunch first), bought the game, and without wasting any time, placed the disk inside by low-end-yet-capable PC. A while after installing the game, I jumped in front of my PC to experience what I consider my first open-world game.
As time passed, and graphical power improved, the quality of these worlds started increasing at an exponential scale. From the spiritual depiction of the desert in the vast expanses of Egypt to the architectural marvel of renaissance era Italy, from lush green expanses of an Indian island to a mysterious mountain of Skyrim, the worlds have become more and more complicated.
They have become more nuanced, have more life than ever before and give us a sense of escapism like never before. Keeping that in mind, here is a list of 5 open-world games that have worlds in which I want to live.
But, even if my wish becomes real, I do not think that I would survive a minute inside those worlds.
Five open world games that I want to live in
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt:
Starting off the list with the most obvious answer: Witcher 3. While the world that the game features is a combination of three open regions, these individual regions are way bigger than many fully realized game worlds. It is a world of political intrigue, monsters, kings and thieves, and vast lands that hold several mysteries. You can easily get lost in the lore and the scenery surrounding them.
That said, after watching the TV series, I am less inclined to live here. The dirt and grime of this place combined with the pestilence ridden villages and disgusting people, makes this place livable only if I am an elder god or something.
However, it’s better to live in such a world if you’re either a soldier, a king, or the Monster Hunter – Witcher. Even though the open world is beautiful, it is unforgiving, contains more death than you can digest and has monsters that you can only handle if you’re a superhuman.
- GTA San Andreas
San Andreas has a special place in my heart. From the point where I used my bicycle to come out of the roadside, over the bridge and to my Grove Street brothers, I was engrossed with this world. While the pixelated world was less than ideal, at that time, it was the most beautiful thing that I saw.
The fields of San Fierro, the life and casinos of Las Venturas and the pure fun of Los Santos was a beautiful time. But I don’t think it was only the buildings and characters that made me want to live there, it was also the period it was set in: the early 90s. That period was influenced by the hip hop culture of the game, attracted a child in me who wanted to become a rapper when he grew up.
However, you need to have a strong personality, some training, a bulletproof jacket, and quite a lot of weapons in this world. The world only became endearing to me after I figured out the cheat codes to become immortal.
One of the open world games that I can only live inside if I shed my basement-dwelling mentality.
- Just Cause 2
Just cause series features many open-worlds, each one bigger and more open than the last. And the game is mostly known for all the things we get to blow up. Then why do I want to live there? It’s the variety of landscapes that it provides. Sometimes you see a straight road, where you can drive endlessly. Sometimes, you see a mountain that you can climb endlessly using a grappling hook. And, there is also a Mile High Club (In Just Cause 2) which is well…a mile high above the ground. It has specialized vehicles, weapons, a bunch of sci-fi facilities, and a lot of explosions.
However, I would need Rico Rodriguez’s grappling hook, his weapons and a bunch of other convenient stuff to survive and to blow up the facilities. As far as open world games go, this one will serve one purpose for me, destruction.
It is one of the open world games that will test your patience, and your mental stability as soon as you get your hands on a bazooka.
- Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning
The Kingdoms of Amalur is one of the most underrated open world games out there. It came back in 2012 and at the time when it was just a few months since the release of Skyrim. So naturally, comparisons happened and critics didn’t like this game that much. I always loved it though. As a lover of things that most often people hate I decided to dive into the world and was presently surprised.
You are a fateless adventurer with the power to manipulate the threads of fate in various ways. Sometimes, it’s to change your class and others, to kill enemies with glorious God-of-war-like brutality. Combine it with visceral combat and beautiful environments, your 200 hours just fly away. Just like the rest of the games on this list, the world of Amalur is also war-torn. However, for some weird reason, it’s also one of the most beautiful game-words complete with rich lands, gardens, castles, caves, deserts, forests and more. It’s surely the world I want to live in.
However, to survive this world I would need a lot of weapons training, a lot of magical powers, and a badass armour that makes me look cool while I lay the monsters to rest.
It is one of the open world games that will hand you the threads of your own fate
Skyrim is the pinnacle of what the open world can achieve. While people think that it’s the Witcher that finally gave the open-world genre the attention and story it deserves, I believe that Skyrim, a game that allows you to create your character and your stories deserves the top position in my list. The world of Skyrim is vast, but perhaps a bit smaller than most of this list.
However, when it comes to scaling, it feels bigger because places are not that easier to get into. Additionally, when it comes to the presence of life in games, Skyrim is brimming with it. There are cities, towns, villages, kingdoms with people living there and working.
They live their daily lives while you run around killing monsters, picking mushrooms, pickpocketing guards, assassinating people, burgling houses all the while attending the college of Winterhold to learn magic. Yes, it’s a world that has the most possibilities and has helped me escape in its wonder for several hours from time to time.
I can choose to live a simple life in this world. It’s one of the worlds where I would happy to live a simple life as a farmer. Why I won’t need training? It’s because spell books and skill books are randomly sprinkled across this open world game, giving a humble farmer a fighting chance again all kinds of monsters.
It is one of the open world games where you can live a leisure life inside the safety of walled cities, unless a dragon attacks.
- Assassin’s Creed Origins
There is something about this desert-bound Assassin’s Creed that speaks to me. The spiritual undertones, the vast open desert, and the mysteries that hide behind the desert-storms, all make me want to leave my home and live as a pilgrim in divine Egypt.
While the world is harsh, people still struggle. While some of them are entrenched in brutality, there still is a sense of serenity. The desert city of Memphis, the pyramids of Giza, the vast and incomprehensible Alexandria, this game has it all. And what that rich history intertwines with the game’s mythos of an ancient civilization, you have one of the open world games that has everything you could have ever wanted, if you can handle it.
I can choose to live here as a Medjay: Because a Medjay is the only one with the stamina to run across the vast desert for hours and cross into various regions. Also, I will need his skills with the blade to survive everything from hyenas to humans.
Among all the open world games in this list, this is the only one I want to live in because of spiritual reasons.
There is nothing more gratifying than tearing down behemoths with an insect-glaive and using their skin for weapons and armour. The exhilaration you feel as you track these monsters across the vast continent of the “New World”, understand them and finally, dispatch them, has no match.
Featuring a quirky cast of characters and a treacherous open world where everything, even the cute furries want to kill you, it is a continent filled to the brim with opportunities for exploration.
I can choose to live here as a researcher: Because even researchers must survive the dangerous monsters, they are quite handy with their weapons. By becoming one, I can be a perfect mix of brain and brawns – the perfect combination to survive in this rich “New World”.
The game worlds are now vaster, and more realized. As they have started to look more and more like the real world with each passing day, it makes me think that the days of Ready Player One is soon going to be real.
What Open world games’ worlds you would be interested to have a house in?
Comment below, let me know.