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The Rest => General Discussions => Topic started by: Andrew on April 23, 2012, 08:18:41 AM

Title: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Andrew on April 23, 2012, 08:18:41 AM
I'm looking for something to play that has a ton of exploration in it. That's one of my favourite things to do in video games, after all. For recommendations: I don't care if there's a good story, or what genre it is, as long as it's fun to play and has tons to discover. The kind of game where you're just left to your own devices (like the first Legend of Zelda).

Before you start listing stuff, I have already played:
- Elder Scrolls Games
- Fallout Games
- Terraria
- Minecraft (hated it)
- Zelda series
- Demon/Dark Souls
- Skies of Arcadia
- And probably a whole bunch of other exploration-centred games I can't think of.

Any suggestions are appreciated! Even games that don't have a main focus on exploration, but have lots of stuff to find (eg. Paper Mario, Most Tales games) are fine too.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: John on April 23, 2012, 09:11:33 AM
Red Dead Redemption would probably be up your alley.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Andrew on April 23, 2012, 09:19:37 AM
Red Dead Redemption would probably be up your alley.

I have seen some videos, but Westerns typically aren't my thing. Maybe I should rent it sometime though.

Oh and on that note I have played GTAs, but didn't like them.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Yggdrasil on April 23, 2012, 09:38:41 AM
I'm not into Westerns and I don't like GTA either, but I spent like 2 weeks playing Red Dead Redemption (if not more).

That said, is not one my favorites games but it is one the best games I've ever played and is a damn good experience.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Vanguard on April 23, 2012, 09:41:58 AM
Journey? I know it's not long, but that's basically what the game is about.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Aeolus on April 23, 2012, 12:36:26 PM
Any Metroidvania worth its weight should do you.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Aurian on April 23, 2012, 01:12:35 PM
Xenoblade if you have the Wii - loads of exploring, quests and just finding all sorts of cool stuff.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Yoda on April 23, 2012, 01:12:57 PM
In the METROID style I'd say Shadow Complex is awesome. You really get the sense of exploring every nook and cranny of an awesome base.

Kingdoms of Amalur: That's all the game is really. Find a new area. Check out the town. People send you on various jobs that have you traipsing through a really colorful and interesting landscape. Fun leveling and combat is a +

Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Prime Mover on April 23, 2012, 01:30:31 PM
Second for Xenoblade.

Also, Dragon Quest VIII, if you like Skies of Arcadia style exploration.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Raze on April 23, 2012, 02:39:07 PM
For huge open worlds, FF12 and another vote for Dragon Quest 8.

If you don't mind corridor crawlers, I've been playing the Etrian Odyssey games recently and the draw your own map gimmick really sells the exploration theme of the game. SMT: Strange Journey, while lacking the map drawing, is also a solid dungeon crawl.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Parn on April 23, 2012, 05:46:01 PM
Guild Wars 2.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Yoda on April 23, 2012, 05:53:06 PM
Might and Magic
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Bytor on April 23, 2012, 06:07:32 PM
I agree with the RDR suggestions. Actually I felt the crazy amount of free exploration took away from the game as it detracted from the advancement of the story, but maybe it fits the bill perfectly.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Andrew on April 23, 2012, 06:11:04 PM
Journey? I know it's not long, but that's basically what the game is about.

Got it, 100%'d it. ;)

I'm not into Westerns and I don't like GTA either, but I spent like 2 weeks playing Red Dead Redemption (if not more).

That definitely encourages me to take a look at it. Thanks.

Any Metroidvania worth its weight should do you.

Oh, a very good idea! I've played a number of Metroid games over the years, but not all of them. I shall go hunting!

Xenoblade if you have the Wii - loads of exploring, quests and just finding all sorts of cool stuff.

Yup, got Xenoblade.

In the METROID style I'd say Shadow Complex is awesome. You really get the sense of exploring every nook and cranny of an awesome base.

Kingdoms of Amalur: That's all the game is really. Find a new area. Check out the town. People send you on various jobs that have you traipsing through a really colorful and interesting landscape. Fun leveling and combat is a +



Hadn't heard of Shadow Complex, but looks kinda cool. I have been interested in Amalur, but can't really afford it yet.

Second for Xenoblade.

Also, Dragon Quest VIII, if you like Skies of Arcadia style exploration.

Got it! Played through all the localised DQs.

For huge open worlds, FF12 and another vote for Dragon Quest 8.

If you don't mind corridor crawlers, I've been playing the Etrian Odyssey games recently and the draw your own map gimmick really sells the exploration theme of the game. SMT: Strange Journey, while lacking the map drawing, is also a solid dungeon crawl.

Not so big on corridor crawlers. I have FFXII and adored it.

Might and Magic

Played one once, but wasn't really my thing.

~ ~ ~

If anyone thinks of anything else, keep em coming! It's fine if they're older too.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Alhizzy on April 23, 2012, 06:37:06 PM
Might and Magic

Oh hellsya, especially 6 and 7!!!  Those are some of my favorite games!  You know they're supposedly doing a fan-made spiritual successor in the old 6/7/8 engine?
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Aeolus on April 23, 2012, 08:50:05 PM
Any Metroidvania worth its weight should do you.

Oh, a very good idea! I've played a number of Metroid games over the years, but not all of them. I shall go hunting!

You'll want to skip Metroid: Other M as it is the exact opposite of exploration focus.
Code: [Select]
It is very much bad anime: the movie: the director's cut: the game-like?. Skip like the plague.
I don't know how exploration focused one could call it, but I've always felt that the first Megaman Legends had an interesting element of exploration to it.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: MeshGearFox on April 23, 2012, 09:56:02 PM
I like these too. I'll list some of my favorites, grouping them into three categories

Normal game that still has a lot of exploration:

Dragon Quest VIII

* Might and Magic 4-6

*Deep Fighter (I pretty much bought a Dreamcast after buying this and discovering that you couldn't emulate DC games from the original discs. At that, though, I hear Shenmue is pretty explorationy, Ecco has a lot of exploration, JGR has fairly open levels in a sense as well...)

* Space Ranger 2: Reboot (Reboot is bundled with the expansion).
* Hardwar (Dotemu sells it. Have fun digging through the fan patches).
* Outcast
* Arc the Lad 2 (Caveat: Very open ended. Not really exploration themed in the traditional sense but CAN feel like that at times).
* Ultima 4-8. 6 and 7 are the best. 7 especially for exploration. I really like 8 a lot in spite of its flaws.
* Ultima Underworld, especially 1.
* Gothic. Probably 2 moreso than 1 in some regards, less in others. They're both good, though.
* Rings of Power for the Genesis. Shadowrun sort of works too. And Landstalker if you like Zelda though it's not quite as open. I'd also assume the Buck Rogers game that got a genesis port would work, though I never played it much.
* Distant Worlds (Real time 4X; actually places a lot of emphasis on exploration).
* Star Control 2 (You could buy it from gog or get the freeware version that's been around for years and runs better anyway ((hint: get the freeware version)).
* STALKER. Especially Call of Pripyat. So fucking especially Call of Pripyat.
* Anything King's Field, really. Probably KF4 and Shadow Tower more than the others.
* Starflight 1 and 2 (Recommend the Genesis version of 1; PC versions are a lot cheaper and easier to get thanks to gog).
* Realms of the Haunting (Adventure Metroidvania FPS thing. Not exactly open-ended, but I think you'd like it).
* Omikron: The Nomad Soul (I am the only person that liked this).
* System Shock 1.
* Less explorationy per se but Vampire the Masquerade: bloodlines gives a similar feel. You'd probably like it.
* Raw Danger and Disaster Report might be to your liking.
* Contact, sort of.
* Powerslave is a metroidvania FPS, but only for the PSX and Saturn versions.
* Exile, which is an awesome Metroidvania for the Amiga/C64/BBC.
* Alien Logic: Skyrealms of Johrune (I keep thinking I'm not entirely sure where my copy is. Hm. Need to confirm location of it).
* Unreal World - Finnish survival RPG. Shareware for PC. Focus IS on survival, but exploration plays a big role in not dying.
* Sub Rebellion - Apparently sort of a prequel to Deep Fighter in terms of gameplay but the story stuff is majorly different. A lot more open-ended and trading based.
* Captain Comic 2 is an old PC Metroidvania that I like a lot. I BELIEVE it was released as freeware but you'll have to search yourself.

Exploration-themed gameplay:

* Everblue 2
* Yet to play it, but apparently the first tomb raider game/the remake of it are exploration platformers more than anything.
* Pikmin 1, 2 (borderline -- 2 is more explorationy than 1, 1 is more RTSish in some regards).
* Jak and Daxter 1. Haven't played the others; apparently they're more shooty.
* Metal Saga (It's an RPg but the main thing is almost entirely the exploration).
* Shadow of the Colossus.
* An Untitled Story - http://www.mattmakesgames.com/
* This freeware thing: http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/treasure_adventure_game/
* This other freeware thing: http://mercenarysite.free.fr/merce.htm
* The original colossal caves text adventure actually does this really well. It IS archaic in a lot of ways, but it's kind of refreshing compared to more modern IF which is either really literary or... really linear puzzle-oriented stuff.
* Myst series. I especially love Riven and Uru.

Pure Exploration (No real gameplay per-se, just virtual tourism if you will):

* Aquanaut's Holiday (I didn't like the sequel as much. It had separate seven seas, but they were all fairly small and felt smaller because they weren't nearly as connected as the original games huge, open sea).
* Anything Nifflas does, really.
* Tr3s Lunas. It's freeware but idk if Mike Oldfield is still hosting it so you might have to prod around to find a download mirror.
* Noctis. Also freeware. Pretty cool space game. Wonky to get running properly. http://anynowhere.com/bb/layout/html/doors/local/frameset_noctis.html
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: John on April 23, 2012, 10:04:39 PM
* Omikron: The Nomad Soul (I am the only person that liked this).

False.

I am all about games starring a virtual David Bowie.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Andrew on April 23, 2012, 10:24:49 PM
Mesh, I freaking love you. That is an amazing list.

I've played everything on your 'Exploration-themed gameplay' part of the list, but all the rest (aside from Vampire the Masquerade, Treasure Adventure Game and Gothic), I haven't played. Most I hadn't even heard of. Some of them look amazing.

Going to go find somewhere I can get Might and Magic VI, Ultimate Underworld, Realms of Haunting, and that weird Finnish indie game. They stood out for me above the rest.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Yoda on April 23, 2012, 10:32:57 PM
I'm angry I can't give a name, but there's a new FPS game coming out, PC, where you explore an island and story gets revealed to you slowly through in game events. I guess there's no "gameplay" except for exploring. anyone know what this is? indie... talked about in similar conversations as Journey
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Yggdrasil on April 23, 2012, 11:08:57 PM
^Are you talking about this game called Dear Esther? Though, Dear Esther is not much of a game really, and it doesn't really have any "events" besides whatever happens in that ending.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Yoda on April 23, 2012, 11:13:56 PM
Yeah that's it.

Thanks for the assist. I agree it's not really a game, but there is exploration :)
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: MeshGearFox on April 23, 2012, 11:37:44 PM
Mesh, I freaking love you. That is an amazing list.

I've played everything on your 'Exploration-themed gameplay' part of the list, but all the rest (aside from Vampire the Masquerade, Treasure Adventure Game and Gothic), I haven't played. Most I hadn't even heard of. Some of them look amazing.

Going to go find somewhere I can get Might and Magic VI, Ultimate Underworld, Realms of Haunting, and that weird Finnish indie game. They stood out for me above the rest.

Thanks!

GOG.com has all of the M&M games and most of the Ultima-related stuff, as well as RotH.

http://www.jmp.fi/~smaarane/urw.html URW is here.

http://sc2.sourceforge.net/ Freeware Star control 2 port is here. It has a time limit. There are mods that remove it. I would recommend using those.

http://rpg-exploiters.com/uncategorized/mike-oldfields-tr3s-lunas-and-maestro/ found a DL link for tr3s lunas here.

Oh and if you've never played any Myst games, I would really recommend Riven and Uru.

Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Yoda on April 23, 2012, 11:47:03 PM
The freeware I played was The Ur-Quan Masters for Star Control 2. Is that still around? That had both the 3do music and the original PC stuff. And there was no time limit.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: insertnamehere on April 24, 2012, 01:35:03 AM
Red Dead Revolver if you end up liking Redemption?
People seem to forget about it, or have no idea it exists.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Andrew on April 24, 2012, 04:23:44 AM
Thanks for the links, Mesh. Gonna go search GOG.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Eusis on April 24, 2012, 04:34:54 AM
Might be a pain to get into some of those games now, unfortunately. I'm not sure I can stomach pre-VI or VII Ultima, hell I might not be able to stand THOSE now either. I intend to load the PDFs on a tablet and try sometime though.

Actually, now that I think about it Deus Ex may be worth looking into for exploration. Both the first and third (no experience with the second) are better at it than almost any other FPS, especially in 1 where I can poke around and just find small areas that are easy to completely ignore.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Prime Mover on April 24, 2012, 04:50:30 PM
How about Okami? I thought that game had a lot of great exploration, similar to Xenoblade in a way. Like Zelda, but far more expansive (even then Twilight Princess). The sequel is good too.

Many modern Action-Adventure games focus on exploration in a decent way. It's just infortunate that RPGs fell off the wagon there for a while. But now with the popularity of Xenoblade and FFXIII-2, it seems that developers are starting to get a clue again. Maybe we'll even see the return of the world map (shock!)
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: MeshGearFox on April 24, 2012, 08:34:15 PM
I intend to load the PDFs on a tablet and try sometime though.

What do PDFs have to do with anything..?
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Yggdrasil on April 24, 2012, 08:54:14 PM
Many modern Action-Adventure games focus on exploration in a decent way. It's just infortunate that RPGs fell off the wagon there for a while.

Don't you remember that there were a lot of developers saying in interviews and what not how their game had "RPG elements (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RPGElements)"? Haven't heard that in a while now.

But now with the popularity of Xenoblade and FFXIII-2, it seems that developers are starting to get a clue again. Maybe we'll even see the return of the world map (shock!)

Final Fantasy Type-0 has one... (http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/File:Ff-type-0-world-map-screenshot.jpg) and it came out last year.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: DPB on April 24, 2012, 09:40:27 PM
Actually, now that I think about it Deus Ex may be worth looking into for exploration. Both the first and third (no experience with the second) are better at it than almost any other FPS, especially in 1 where I can poke around and just find small areas that are easy to completely ignore.

The second isn't so good in that respect. Lots and lots of long loading screens (even on modern computers) and small levels, and you don't get awarded experience for exploration since there isn't any leveling, just augmentation canisters you can find.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Prime Mover on April 25, 2012, 01:14:36 PM
Final Fantasy Type-0 has one... (http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/File:Ff-type-0-world-map-screenshot.jpg) and it came out last year.

Don't remind me. I'm REALLY bitter about that game. It was one of the reasons I bought a PSP, now it's coming out on Vita, and i'm NOT buying one of THOSE.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Mickeymac92 on April 25, 2012, 01:25:10 PM
Final Fantasy Type-0 has one... (http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/File:Ff-type-0-world-map-screenshot.jpg) and it came out last year.

Don't remind me. I'm REALLY bitter about that game. It was one of the reasons I bought a PSP, now it's coming out on Vita, and i'm NOT buying one of THOSE.

That was confirmed false over a month ago: http://www.pixelitis.net/news/rumor-final-fantasy-type-0-other-titles-coming-to-vita
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: MeshGearFox on April 25, 2012, 07:58:40 PM
I think world maps usually kill exploration rather than helping it. You never really FIND anything on them.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Monsoon on April 25, 2012, 08:05:08 PM
I think that many gamers prefer completing objectives in games, and others prefer exploring spaces.  I've encountered people who get bored with rich, vast game landscapes and just want to get to the next fight or plot point, and others who will play a game for tens of hours and prefer dicking around and interacting with everything they can find and could care less about reaching an endgame.  There are games out there for both people. 

And anyhow, my favorite world map of all time is that of Skies of Arcadia, because there are a ton of hidden things to find (mostly Discoveries) and sailing in such a beautiful sky is fun, sometimes exhilarating.  But that's not really what this topic is about, is it? 

My favorite spaces to explore are in Red Dead Redemption and Shadow of the Colossus.  Must be something about riding a horse around empty, arid expanses. 
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Yggdrasil on April 25, 2012, 08:08:07 PM
I think world maps usually kill exploration rather than helping it. You never really FIND anything on them.

You did in FFIX, right?
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Quaestrix Vesperis on April 28, 2012, 04:55:26 AM
Final Fantasy Type-0 has one... (http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/File:Ff-type-0-world-map-screenshot.jpg) and it came out last year.

Don't remind me. I'm REALLY bitter about that game. It was one of the reasons I bought a PSP, now it's coming out on Vita, and i'm NOT buying one of THOSE.

No, babe. You bought a PSP to give me for Christmas, remember?

/troll
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Marshmallow on April 28, 2012, 01:46:22 PM
This is a long shot because they're old, but Shenmue and Shenmue II had a lot of exploration, in a sense. You really didn't go to very many places in Shenmue but there are so many damn things to do and discover in the town that you may enjoy it.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: MeshGearFox on April 29, 2012, 05:50:19 PM
I think world maps usually kill exploration rather than helping it. You never really FIND anything on them.

You did in FFIX, right?

The existence of exceptions prove the rule. Sure, I can think of a number of games where you do find things on world maps -- where exploration is actually useful. But the contrast provided by the minority more broadly outlines the absence in the majority.

The problem with world maps is that they're so zoomed out -- so abstracted -- that the very purpose is to streamline travel between relevant points. This doesn't mean that games with world maps can't have exploration, as I inadvertently implied in my original post. It's just that the exploration will be by and large concentrated into the local area maps instead of the worldmap itself.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: sandiny0ursh0es on April 29, 2012, 06:04:48 PM
Dragon Quest VIII = perfect concept of exploration in a JRPG for me.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Vanguard on April 30, 2012, 10:34:17 AM
Zork.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Prime Mover on May 01, 2012, 01:50:28 PM
No, babe. You bought a PSP to give me for Christmas, remember?
/troll

Shit! You were listening... oh man, I'm so screwed :(
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Fyle on May 05, 2012, 02:55:11 AM
I gotta further back up Red Dead Redemption. Saying you're not into westerns isn't saying much - nobody is really into Westerns as a genre on the whole. I'm not.

This game is exceptional and in my opinion on par with almost any game I've ever played all round.

Two zones are locked (Mexico and Tall Trees) but, there is an easy trick to get to Tall Trees at any point, and it's fun exploring it off the bat with the starting equipment. As you explore, there is just so much too do.

(=´∀`)人(´∀`=)
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Fyle on May 05, 2012, 03:05:31 AM
I like exploration too by the way. Its an important factor for me.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Prime Mover on May 06, 2012, 02:36:48 PM
I love exploration, but I gotta admit, I wasn't all that thrilled with RDR. I can't exactly put my finger on it, but something was missing. I think everything looked all too similar for my taste. I'm also not all that into westerns.
Title: Re: Games That Focus On Exploration
Post by: Fyle on May 09, 2012, 11:51:13 PM
I love exploration, but I gotta admit, I wasn't all that thrilled with RDR. I can't exactly put my finger on it, but something was missing.

This is how I feel about most games I play. Either it feels like something is missing or there isn't quite enough to each element of the game. For example, games that hit one thing dead on usually lack in something else...