Video Game Environments

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Sep 17, 2021 5:27 pm
My favorite thing about The Witcher 3 is hardly the gameplay. It's the environment. Back when I used to play I spent HOURS just wandering around in the wilderness listening to the wind in the trees or watching the sunset.

Judging by the existence of this video series, I'm not alone.


Anybody else got any good videogame environments? Gotta confess I'm not much of a videogamer.
Sep 17, 2021 5:31 pm
There was something sort of peaceful of Final Fantasy XV environments. Setting your waypoint and just letting the car drive to the location you need watching the environment around you and listening to the chatter of the characters going from place to place.
Sep 17, 2021 5:34 pm
Witcher 3 is definitely great for that. Spider-Man (PS4) is awesome for just swinging around aimlessly and looking at the city but obviously a very different experience... Dragon Age Inquisition also has some really great locations but it doesn't come close to W3, in my opinion
Sep 17, 2021 5:54 pm
The Witcher 3 was absolutely the best environment I've run into so far, but in general it's the setting that sticks around in my memory when I think of old games.

Perfect Dark (N64) allowed you to walk around the base of your character's spy organization and do little things like try out certain guns and stuff. So later, when aliens invaded it, you already knew the layout of the place, and it felt like aliens were invading something familiar to you, that belonged to you.

MMOs have fantastic environments that I remember for a variety of reasons, even if they look like trash. The maze of the barbarian's starting area in EverQuest was a ridiculous maze for new players, but I remember it fondly.

Super Metroid was dripping with atmosphere, as was Hollow Knight.

There's more thanks I remember, but those are the ones that jump out at me.
Sep 17, 2021 5:59 pm
I am looking forward to the next time I enter the Witchers 3 Environment. It feels so real and pressent with the wind, rain and shifting daylight.
Sep 17, 2021 6:29 pm
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a die-hard sucker for any and all modern Fallout games. But Fallout 3 really steals the cake for that entire series with its environment and environmental storytelling. I have played the game for an innumerable number of hours, but wandering around blown-up Washington DC and ESPECIALLY the dilapitates metro system still creeps me out. I'll admit, I am pretty easily scared, but the atmosphere of those tunnels and the stories that are down there are haunting. When I first got the game, I avoided the metros at all cost, and still try to when I can.

Bethesda games in general are very good at this (Fallout, Elder Scrolls, and soon, Starfield). But another one that I feel doesn't get enough credit and attention is the Dishonored series, made by Arkane and published by Bethesda. The world is so grim and terrible but feels so tangible and real, and the views of Dunwall and Karnaca are nothing less than awe-inspiring.

Here are just a few of my in-game screenshots from Dishonored 2 and Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
[ +- ] Dishonored Series Pics
Last edited September 17, 2021 6:30 pm
Sep 17, 2021 6:58 pm
Speaking of fear, and going back to The Witcher 3 because that's really all I know, taking the boat out onto the water scared me big time! More so than swimming! I know that makes no sense. 😅

Sep 17, 2021 7:29 pm
Oh! Swimming reminds me of the game that I think it's actually tied with Witcher 3 for an environment: Subnautica.

That game is AMAZING. It went in pretty much blind and was treated to one of my all time top 20 games. I've always had a fear of deep, dark water, and that game made me more nervous than any game I've ever played (in a very good way). I haven't played the sequel yet, and though I'm looking forward to it, I know it can't measure up to the first time I was exposed to the whole idea of alien scuba diving. I can't recommend Subnautica enough.
Sep 17, 2021 7:41 pm
I've seen bits and pieces of subnautica and it's a game that I think I'd like but that I also don't have the patience for 😅

And, if I can just mention a keyword here that applies to both what skeptical mentioned and what jabes said: Thalassophobia
Sep 17, 2021 7:58 pm
Yeah, there's definitely a thalassophobic element to it, but I found it really exciting and beautiful. It was one of those games that I was deeply saddened to be finished with because of how rare those truly excellent experiences are in gaming.
Sep 17, 2021 8:32 pm
Red Dead Redemption ( 1, 2 and Online) has one of the most beautiful, detailed and immersive video game environments I've ever seen. There are subreddits devoted to landscape photography from RDR games. I've played the games for hundreds of hours and still discover new and interesting places on the Online map...

Len

Sep 17, 2021 9:29 pm
This is how I play Minecraft. I know, the graphics of vanilla are nothing compared to any of the games listed here. But, when I made a Minecraft server for my students to play in during quarantine time in 2020, I would find myself sitting on top of an iceberg just watching the sun set. I would be mesmerized. I still enjoy just walking around in Minecraft, not really playing for any reason other than exploring the randomly generated terrain.
Sep 17, 2021 10:10 pm
Red Dead are great examples of this, I had forgotten about those. Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind had a wonderful environment, it was so strange and different when compared to standard fantasy. I remember the first Guild Wars being awesome, too.
Last edited September 17, 2021 11:57 pm
Sep 17, 2021 11:09 pm
Len says:
I still enjoy just walking around in Minecraft, not really playing for any reason other than exploring the randomly generated terrain.
Absolutely this. The main reason I play Minecraft is to explore the caves and overworld. It's so fun.

Most of the time I genuinely forget it's randomly generated, you can infer so many stories regardless of the seed.
Sep 17, 2021 11:12 pm
Jabes.plays.RPG says:
My favorite thing about The Witcher 3 is hardly the gameplay. It's the environment. Back when I used to play I spent HOURS just wandering around in the wilderness listening to the wind in the trees or watching the sunset.
Not so much about environments, but I wish I could get into The Witcher 3. It's so frustrating, having everyone sing its praises and just, not being able to get past the inconsistent choices and kind of gross writing/options at the start.

Nothing can be for everyone, I suppose.

Although, in terms of environments, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has some of the best I've ever seen.
Sep 17, 2021 11:57 pm
Quote:
Not so much about environments, but I wish I could get into The Witcher 3. It's so frustrating, having everyone sing its praises and just, not being able to get past the inconsistent choices and kind of gross writing/options at the start.
I had a similar experience, it took me 2 or 3 tries to push past the tutorial area. Whether or not I encourage you to do the same depends on what you mean by "gross writing". If you mean some of the standard tropes of fantasy like racism, assumed (if not blatant) sexism, and general "grittiness", then yeah, that's there pretty much the whole time. I'm not happy about some of the choices of the writing, but I could look past them. I understand that not everyone can, and you'll hear no arguments from me if you choose not to spend your recreation hours with that.

If you can look past it, the world has fantastic world building, sound and art design, and (ignoring the previously mentioned stuff) excellent writing and voice acting. The quest design in particular is surprisingly good for an open world game. I've been reading a book called "Blood, Sweat, and Pixels" where they talk about Witcher 3 at the end, and apparently the quest design team had an edict of "no Fedex quests" or something along those lines. Essentially, no garbage, filler, fetch quests. Every quest I can remember completing was interesting and story driven in some fashion. Many of them are some of the best quests and story beats in any game I've played.

But we're getting pretty far off the thread's topic. I might as well throw Bioshock (the original) on the list, since I'm here anyway :)
Last edited September 18, 2021 12:04 am
Sep 19, 2021 5:39 am
I haven't really played minecraft for so long - I think redstone was just added, or maybe minecarts when I petered out. I loved exploring the land so much tho! I really enjoyed spelunking. I would challenge myself to find a cave within the first day and then see how long I could survive with what I could gather topside that first day.

There is a rogue-like game that is all about cave exploration - lonespelunker. It has a wee bit of the subnautica vibe when you come across underground lakes and have to manage your air supply. The random caves are quite dynamic and great fun to explore while always one hand-hold away from death.

Other games that I keep playing off and on again are FTL and Rimworld. FTL soundtrack is my most played playlist when I am in the groove at work. Rimworld is wonderful, but really Its just a placeholder for when Dwarf fortress gets its steam update and then I'll fall back into that blackhole of joy and FUN.
Sep 19, 2021 5:59 pm
Constablebrew says:
but really Its just a placeholder for when Dwarf fortress gets its steam update and then I'll fall back into that blackhole of joy and FUN.
I'm right there with you! Losing is Fun!
Apr 29, 2022 1:32 pm
I'd want to share some of my thoughts on Diablo 2 Ressurected. From the first seconds, the spirit of antiquity captures your attention. The story's presentation in small print through a dark window on a dark background has a sedative effect. The voice acting is superb, but it's so full of tragedy that phrases like "Ancient Evil has conquered our lands" make you laugh and feel uneasy at the same time. What's even hilarious is that the character becomes invulnerable during these chats. The local monsters pounded both me and my interlocutor as I listened to another tale of lurking powers of darkness. Despite the drawbacks, I invested a significant amount of time and money in https://www.yesgamers.com. This game has the potential to impress me in some way!
Last edited May 3, 2022 8:57 am

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