Exploring immersive worlds is one of video games’ biggest draws, and by default, it’s always a fun activity (unless something goes disastrously wrong with the execution, which definitely happens some times). But there are some games out there that take that ubiquitous idea and implement it in unique ways, with fresh twists and new mechanics that give the experience a completely unique identity. Games that go out of their way to make sure that exploration isn’t a straightforward, by-the-numbers activity aren’t exactly common, but the ones that do that stand out in memory that much more. Here, we’re going to talk about a few such games.
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD
Let’s begin with the most obvious choice. Breath of the Wild is the poster child of games with groundbreaking exploration. It has the regular stuff going for it, of course, which is a massive world full of beautiful and varied sights to see, which it props up with its excellent traversal loop of climbing and gliding. What really sets it apart, however, is the sheer brilliance of its emergent gameplay, which never ceases to surprise with its reactivity.