From Legend of Zelda to GTA 5: The Evolution of Open World Games

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But also the inflatable sex doll that can be turned into a weapon clearly shows the kind of humour that developer Volition wants to use to differentiate itself from GTA from now on.

cricket betting India turns you into a superhero in the truest sense of the word. effortlessly leaping from one skyscraper roof to another and bumping into cars, purposefully chasing heads in a giant sandbox called Pacific City makes a total of three criminal organisations.

Triumph of the Ubisoft formula

Ubisoft, on the other hand, has found its calling in the open world since 2007 with Assassin’s Creed, a game with a crazy backstory that allows the hero to slip into the role of ancestral assassins in past historical eras using the so-called animus device.

Assassin’s Creed combines exploration, parkour and stealth gameplay and first takes players to the Holy Land in 1191. The first installment isn’t yet as mature as we’d like in terms of gameplay, but it does turn into an amazing million-seller, which Ubisoft will then go on to do annually from 2009.

The range of delightful open-world scenarios is wide, usually developed in collaboration with historians, and includes Rome (AC: Brotherhood) and Constantinople during the Renaissance (AC: Revelations), parts of the US East Coast during the American Revolution (Assassin’s Creed 3), the Caribbean during the Golden Age of Piracy (AC 4: Black Flag), Paris during the French Revolution (AC Unity) and Victorian-era London (AC Syndicate).

Starting with Assassin’s Creed Origins (Egyptian setting) in 2017, the series undergoes a notable change with major changes in terms of combat system, balancing and parkour mechanics.

Equally exciting: for Origins, as well as for the sequels Odyssey (Ancient Greece) and Valhalla (Viking Age), Ubisoft introduces a so-called Discovery Tour mode after each release that focuses entirely on conveying the historical facts of the respective era. In this way, the open worlds become mediators and knowledge tools that have long been used in many schools around the world.

Inspired by the success of Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft is also continually expanding its commitment to open worlds with other brands. An important driving force is Crytek’s 2006 acquisition of the Far Cry licence, with which Ubisoft Shooter fans are continually carrying forward new scenarios.

Minecraft: Build, Create, Survive

Without question, Ubisoft, Rockstar Games, Bethesda (The Elder Scrolls, Fallout), Rocksteady Studios (Batman: Arkham City), From Software (Dark Souls), Sucker Punch Productions (Infamous), Criterion Games (Burnout Paradise) and their other own Developers left their mark on the industry in the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 era, making open worlds an almost integral element of game design.

No game of this era, however, is as popular and at the same time as formative as Minecraft, from Swedish studio Mojang Studios. There are many reasons for this, particularly the charming pixelated look and the fact that Minecraft’s worlds are procedurally generated at the start of the game and thus invite you to explore them anew each time.

Another decisive factor: thanks to the sophisticated crafting system, players can shape the current world individually or together with friends according to their ideas and “personalise” the game experience in a way that is unique today.

Pre-programmed top-class replenishment

And what can open-world enthusiasts look forward to in the future? A lot! First and foremost, significantly better graphics, especially as many studios are now moving to Unreal Engine 5. A technical demo of The Matrix Awakens, available for free on the PlayStation Store or Xbox Marketplace, and the first Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl trailer give a first glimpse of this.

But the patents on server-controlled AI behaviour and more realistic traffic simulations introduced by Rockstar Games in recent years also make us extremely curious and indicate where the journey with Grand Theft, which has yet to be officially announced but is almost certainly in the near future, lies.

We can also look forward to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 from Nintendo, the fantasy RPG Avowed from Obsidian Entertainment, the mix of shooter and 1950s RPG from Russian independent developer Mundfish Atomic Heart and Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora from Massive Entertainment.

Not to mention Starfield, the first game from Bethesda Game Studios to use the Creation Engine 2 and which game director Todd Howard described as “Skyrim in space”.

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