It got me thinking a little deeper about the times in gaming when you just stop and stare at the sight presented. And it doesn’t have to be because of good graphics. I was discussing with him how Half Life 1 was the first game to set off my fear of heights. The cliff side missions of that game were harrowing.
A lot of open world games lend themselves to gaming sightseeing.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is another open world game with great sights. Whether looking over Los Santos from up on Vinewoods high hills or just running around at street level, it too had a problem with drawing distance but generally it came across looking like city smog.
The game is one that is well known for sightseeing, and its open world setting encouraged things like base jumping from the very high up Mount Chiliad and half a dozen things that surely the creators didn’t think would be as popular. It rewarded exploration, though. I remember the first time I came across a cafe in the middle of nowhere, near the games equivalent of Area 51.
Pity that GTA4 didn’t really wow me when it came to its sights, given that the graphics were infinitely better.
Here is a game that just looked beautiful. It had to. A lot of the game was spent on horseback going to the next boss battle sequence which were themselves incredible sightseeing. The world was a lonely and almost entirely empty one, and it looked stunning. From sun dappled forest scenes, to wide and sweeping seaside hilltops, this game had everything.
And games don’t necessarily have to be beautiful to have impressive vistas. A final game that leaps to mind would be Fallout 3. It might have had something to do with the fact it was one of the first games I played on my huge HD TV with an HD cable. Coming out of the vault for the first time was a scene that the creators obviously wanted to have impact.
With the mood music and the intense white light slowly fading into vision, what reveals itself is a wide and impressive view of a bomb blasted Washington, DC. It set the scene perfectly, leaving you staring at distant ruins that you’d end up visiting during the course of the game. In the case of the famous landmarks, one wasn’t disappointed for sights when they finally got to them.
So, countless examples of in game sightseeing. On thought today, I can go back to my friend with these many examples of games other than Half Life 2 that really piqued my like of scenery. But to the gamers out there reading, do you have any to add to this somewhat expansive (but surely short) list?