Games have really advanced over the course of just the last ten or so years. They’ve expanded in just about every way you’d expect, and often in ways you never even thought about. We have virtual reality and this sudden trend of battle royale games like Fortnite taking the world by storm, but what I want to talk about is something I don’t see enough people talking about: open world games. This genre simply means that as a player, you have full freedom to roam within the space of the game and go wherever you like, doing whatever you like so long as the game designers put it in.
One of the more well known games like this would be the Grand Theft Auto series, the latest one being the most open, largest playable area yet for the franchise. Being able to roam where you please and interact with the minutiae of the character’s day, like getting out of bed and having a drink, driving to the store to buy a new shirt, or attacking a rival group and getting into a gunfight, is just something else. These simple interactions really help to make you feel like your choices and your control of the character matters. You have the choice to virtually walk out into the desert and steal a car, resulting in a high speed chase down the highway. None of that would have ever happened within the ordinary game. It’s these experiences that really make these games work.
The more advanced the systems these games are made for, the more stunningly beautiful the environments you find yourself roaming through are. You might find yourself stopping to admire the sunset in a video game because you can almost feel it happening like it’s real. I experienced this level of connection recently while playing “Red Dead Redemption 2”. This game is so detailed on the newer systems that you can even pick out the fibers on character’s shirts. The developers put so much effort in that you can gain and lose weight based on your eating habits, read a newspaper, and dozens of other things, each rendered beautifully. The entire game feels like you’re watching a carefully crafted cinematic, and it just goes to show how far the industry has come. It makes you wonder how crazy games are going to look in just ten years from now. Who knows, perhaps we’ll be playing games in virtual reality that make us question what’s real.