Gone are the days when video games had small little ‘mario” kind of worlds. The introduction of 3D game play also meant that the environments had to be bigger and larger in size. Initially this trend was only restricted to well know role playing games, but later on, it also expanded to other genres like racing and sandbox. To help us navigate these large worlds, our friends from TravelInsurance.org have compiled the infographic below.
Star War Galaxies launched with ten planets and each of those ten planets was approximately 200 sq mi in area. Later on two more planets were added via two expansion packs, which made the game even larger. In addition to the planets, there were also a total of twelve spaces which were equal to 3400 cubic meters each.
Burnout Paradise is perhaps the first open sandbox game for the racing genre. Boasting a similar area as Star War Galaxies, the game took place in the fictional Paradise City. Race events simply took place by parking your vehicle besides any traffic signal. The maps were intelligently designed and were divided in to several districts, with each having their own distinct turn and twists.
Once can say that this game, developed by Luxoflox, draw a lot of inspiration from the Grand Theft Auto franchise. It’s just that you play as a cop in the game and not as a gangster like in GTA. The game takes place in a beautiful looking city of Los Angeles and the developers had actually recreated most of the city. Beverly Hills and Santa Monica had actual street names and highways.
Admit it or not. Just Cause 2 was one of the finest action games released last year. The amount of insane stunts and the carnage the player can perform is remarkable. It also meant that Avalanche studios had to design their environments in such a way that is different from the other open sandbox games like GTA. The world of Panau had flyovers, high ways, gigantic peaks and everything that made the game a world of its own.
Asheron’s Call takes place on the fictional continent of Dereth. Since it is an MMORPG it always had a presence of thousands of online players within the sight of vision. The game was a technical feat for its time since it did not used zoning which divided the worlds in to different computer clusters in order to reduce loads. The drawback of zoning was that it caused a chunk of delay while moving between worlds. Instead, the game used dynamic balancing which let the cluster decide which area it had to control.
I don’t know why. But the Test Drive franchise does not have the same kind of following compared to Forza or Gran Turismo. Anyways, what will you do when you have 125 licensed cars in the game? You will obviously drive them in the beautiful locations of the Hawaiian Island, O’ahu. The entire terrain has been rendered after taking satellite images of O’ahu. You can also drive on the small islands (which are actually not part of the tracks) and under water too.
It’s amazing that this is the second racing game on the list which just goes to show that how much the racing genre has evolved in recent years. Fuel took place in a post apocalyptic world in which the weather had a huge effect on the races. The world was huge, over 5,560 sq mi in size and it had amazing weather effects like tornadoes, rain and sandstorms. Another game which proved the fact that Codemaster are indeed the masters of the racing genre.
Guild Wars Nightfall is an action role playing game which took place in the continent of Elona. Even though the critics had mix reactions about the game, there is no denying how large the game was. Fifteen effing Thousand sq mi! In the game you will travel across coasts, ancient mountains and destroyed cities.
Perhaps one of the most popular MMORPG, also had one of the largest worlds in video games. The size was so huge that it laid a challenge to the developers as to how they can turn this to a viable MMORPG map and that too in a true spirit of Lord of the Rings. The Shrine is easily the best recreated place in the whole of 30,000 sq mi with outstretched farms and the gigantic mountains. When you compare this map with the official book, there are a few areas missing, but in the end Turbine did a great job of getting this thing up and running.
When you see that number: 62,394 sq mi…You must have at least thought once that there is no way that can be done in a video game. But the truth is Bethesda did it way back in 1996 and is easily one of the biggest maps in video gaming history. Bethesda has claimed that the game world is twice the size of Great Britain. The game has over fifteen thousand cities, villages, dungeons and other places to explore and over 7, 50,000 NPC to converse with. It just goes to show you don’t always need the latest technology to make gigantic games.