It’s Falcon. And today on “Gameranx,” the top 10 small open world games
Open worlds are usually associated with
just mass but big world doesn’t
necessarily equal good world hi folks
its Falcon and today on game ranks the
best small open-world games out there
part one starting off at number 10 it’s
dying light the map of this zombie based
parkour game isn’t really that big and
but it’s actually kind of a good thing
because you don’t get a car like in the
expansion to get around so you have to
go everywhere on foot the city of Harran
where the game takes place is this
playground for freerunning it’s so well
designed it is a game where it’s just as
fun to avoid zombies as it is to deal
with them the maps actually kind of
split into two parts the slums in the
old town neither is huge but they’re
really vertical and you’ll spend a lot
of this game standing on roofs rather
than the city streets this is a game
where you’re on a time limit as well
it’s relatively safe during the day but
during the night it gets really really
dark not like video game darkness but
more also during the night you’re forced
to deal with volatile x’ which are
super-powered zombies that stalk around
at night oh and kill you in seconds the
map is really small compared to a lot of
massive open world games out there but
being forced to get around it on foot
makes you feel every step
and number nine is the mall from Dead
Rising 1 which is not totally open world
but it’s cool and worth mentioning it’s
a huge mall but pretty small for being
the entire area you play the game in
there’s only 7 main areas plus the
maintenance tunnels no Dead Rising is a
pretty unique game and there’s always a
ticking clock you’ve got three days to
complete your investigation well you’ve
got to avoid zombies rescue survivors
and deal with some ridiculous psychos to
figure out what’s really going on All
Things Considered three days is not a
long time span playing the game you’re
gonna have to really learn the ins and
outs of the mall like learn where the
best weapons are where to find healing
items etc and plotting your route to
avoid zombies and not waste too much
time is a really big part of the game
you’re obviously on that time limit and
it’s tough to get everything done in one
playthrough your progress carries over
every time you start over so there’s
incentive to play through the game
multiple times fully understanding the
mall can make the game much easier
though and number eight is bully it’s
set in the Bulworth Academy in the town
called obviously Bulworth and this game
is pretty unusual for a rockstar game
just because of the smaller stakes the
protagonist is smaller your objectives
are smaller like raiding the girl’s dorm
or protecting a believ nerd and the map
is well suitably smaller it doesn’t
really feel small because at most you’ve
got a bike and that’s obviously not like
driving around in a car on a mat and all
the while you’re going to school so
you’re pretty much on a time limit just
how much you can even go out and do
things hell it takes a while before you
even get access to the town a big chunk
of the early game has just limited the
academy still it’s a great game that
adds a ton of variety and detail to the
GTA formula many of the students and
townies are specific characters who have
certain routines they do and in general
the town feels a little bit more
lived-in than any of the previous
at number seven is vampire the
masquerade bloodlines it’s a vampire RPG
and it actually only takes place in a
few small areas of Los Angeles Santa
mamita downtown Hollywood and Chinatown
and each area is really only as big as a
city block or two but they’re just
jam-packed with details
this RPG is really dense there’s not a
lot of downtime between missions and
it’s better for it each map is dotting
with things to do when people to talk to
and of course opportunities to do
vampire stuff like the hypnotize people
sneak around savants at sewers or of
course suck some blood
I mean bloodlines is a little bit on the
short side but rather than it feel kind
of like a ripoff it feels concise and
it’s fun and it really just it doesn’t
waste your time it’s it’s worth every
minute at number six is shadow of Mordor
this open-world Rocksteady Batman like
game sees you sneaking around two
relatively small areas of Mordor I mean
it’s the Lord of the Rings cam on a
quest of vengeance against some dudes
who killed your family or something I
mean the main plot isn’t really that
important in this game it’s really just
the orcs that are the star of the show
because of the relatively small map
sizes you’re pretty much seeing orcs all
the time and because of how fast you can
run it makes it pretty easy to get from
one end of the map to the other you add
in the Nemesis system and you’re dealing
with all kinds of randomly generated
orcs and that game will keep you busy
for sure though thankfully the game
isn’t actually that long which given how
many orcs you end up stabbing does a
good job of help keeping it from seeming
repetitive I mean this game isn’t like
algorithmic or anything but the systems
in plays are basically what attracted
people to the game and the people that
love it love it for that reason and
number five is mafia 2 which takes place
in the city of Empire Bay now Empire Bay
is a pretty cool-looking city but it’s
not very big
this criminal open world games map is
relatively small in comparison to the
gigantic ones you see in other even
gangster games but it makes up for the
size of it by being extremely detailed
some of the environments are impressive
even 10 years on you play as Vito
Scaletta and the game is about your rise
to becoming a made man
so basically good fellows but in the
1950s well all in the 1950s the world of
this game how the game itself is really
all about all the period details when
you go into an apartment it’s really
really 1950s feeling driving around is
very different from grand theft auto
because the cars are from the 1950s and
all of this stuff was really
meticulously researched to make it look
super authentic and add so much to the
game I mean you kind of have to
specifically pay attention to map size
to notice that it’s not that big at
number four is the outer worlds here’s
the three word pitch for the game
fallout in space and not like cheap
fallout in space it’s made by the
original guys behind the original
Fallout and fallout new vegas and what
this game does trades a sprawling open
map like in new vegas for a series of
smaller locations that are set on
different planets other than that is
fallout it’s first-person RPG with a
heavy emphasis on guns you can talk your
way out of situations you can sneak
recruit party members it’s it’s all that
stuff outside of just being sat on
smaller Maps then and fallout it’s just
in general a smaller more focused camp
if you feel like some of the newer
Fallout games feel bloated or barren or
just too damn big outer worlds and
everything that it has to say and do
will definitely appeal to you because
it’s not only more manageable but it
puts all of that extra effort that you
might see put into the mat into charm in
my opinion the outer worlds has charm
that even fallout 4 doesn’t really have
not that fallout 4 doesn’t have any
charm it’s just the outer worlds is it’s
it’s hard to resist and number three is
the Shenmue series which is really known
for its detailed environments especially
in the first and third games Hong Kong
and Shenmue 2 is actually gigantic
compared to the small town of Yokosuka
and Shenmue 1 and bailu village and
Shenmue 3 but what’s special about these
games is how you can explore the
environment you can go into a lot of how
says you can open drawers generally just
rifle through people’s stuff there’s
also tons of stuff to do like gamble and
play arcade games practice martial arts
and what’s pretty wild about the 1st and
3rd games is how almost every character
has unique dialogue depending on what
point in the story you’re at it’s just a
huge attention to detail that makes
these small areas feel more alive even
if the games can get pretty goofy at
times at number two is the Yakuza series
in Camarillo I mean we can’t really
mention Shenmue and praised it in that
way without doing the same for Yassa
Yakuza is kind of the refinement of that
formula to a point of perfection but
Camacho is its main hub of activity for
pretty much every Yaak is a game and
there’s been a lot of them
what makes this location so unusual
isn’t just how detailed it is I mean
it’s relatively small it only covers a
few city blocks but there’s tons of
stores arcades restaurants the back
alleys check out but that even though
it’s the same place in every single game
there’s always something new to find
seriously if you’ve played this series
for a long time you start to learn this
place like the back of your hand I mean
if you just describe to somebody the
fact that they use the same map and
pretty much every single one of these
games they’d probably accuse them of
being lazy but it’s easy to see why they
do it the place has just become so
beloved with fans but it’s also easy to
see the amount of detail and love they
put into it every time basically Yaka so
games are open world beat-em-ups where
you wander around beat up bad guys play
some Virtua Fighter and race toy cars
it’s a weird series a lot of
melodramatic stuff mixed up with some
truly goofy side content as well at this
point the Yaak is a series is almost a
genre of its own and though the city is
small it’s literally every single time
fun to explore it and at number one it’s
Batman Arkham City it’s hard to imagine
but the entire play area of this game is
not even close to a square mile I mean
it is absolutely tiny compared to some
of the more massive open world games out
there but it’s just packed with stuff I
mean do we need to go into a detailed
explanation this game it’s just a fan
little Batman game the open world is
dense and detailed it’s fun to get
around using Batman’s gadgets and you’re
always finding really cool stuff to do
or Riddler trophies this is one of those
games where by the end of it you just
feel like the world is your domain so to
speak and of course the map that
Rocksteady made for it is entirely wide
but what do you think leave us a comment
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you next time right here on game wings
[Falcon] When we talk about great open worlds,it’s often the large ones that get the most attention,just because of the accomplishment of the scale.
However, it’s not always the biggest ones that are the best.
It’s Falcon.And today on “Gameranx,”the top 10 small open world games, part two.
For reference, if you’re
interested in part one,
we did “Dying Light,” “Dead Rising,”
“Bully,” “Vampire: The
“Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor,”
“Mafia 2,” “The Outer World,”
“Shenmue,” “The Yakuza” series,
and “Batman: Arkham City.”
It’s a good video.
I would recommend going back to it,
but now you know why those
aren’t in this video.
Let’s get going.
Starting off at number 10,
the Talos 1 from “Prey.”
It’s a great one to start
with because, at first,
it doesn’t really even seem like “Prey”
is an open world game at all.
If you played other immersive sims before,
you’re probably expecting a
linear sequence of levels,
similar to something like
Arkane’s’ previous games,
like “Dishonored” or games
that inspired “Prey,”
like “System Shock 2.”
But after you get through
the first major area,
the whole station really
starts to open up.
What’s so cool about it,
is that the station map is accurate.
And if you actually combined
all the different parts of Talos 1,
it would mostly make sense.
The bridge is at the top,
just like it shows on the map,
while the docking bay is near the bottom.
You can see everything wherever you go,
on the exterior of the station too.
Talos 1 is basically one
huge immersive sim map
that’s split into different sections
by loading screens.
It’s like if an an entire game
was set on a single “Hitman” map,
because the amount of
work they had to put in
to make everything line up and make sense,
while still making an entertaining game
is really impressive.
The best small open worlds
aren’t simply measured in
how few square miles they take up,
but how dense and lived-in
the world actually feels.
Few of them out there
feel is detailed and complete
as the one in “Prey.”
At number nine is Hong
Kong from “Sleeping Dogs.”
Compared to “Prey,”
the open world of “Sleeping
Dogs” is actually huge,
but compared to a lot of
other open world action games,
it’s actually pretty small and very dense.
Sometimes that can be
a little disappointing,
but with “Sleeping Dogs,” it
works absolutely perfectly.
Hong Kong is super dense,
very lively and filled with detail.
And while it doesn’t cover a huge area,
like something like “Grant Theft Auto 5,”
it still manages to create
a really compelling version of the city,
while only being a fraction
of its actual size.
It does help that there’s
less of an emphasis
on driving and gun play in this game
than other open world games,
that, you know, trend towards crime.
Most of the fighting is
and half the time you’re
chasing someone on foot,
rather than doing anything in a vehicle.
What stands out to me,
compared to other open world crime games,
is that the interiors are, like, insane.
And the on-foot sections
like the night market
are really cool.
Like, it’s just a really cool
place to explore on foot.
And the kind of detail
you really just don’t see
in a game that’s aiming
to give an open world.
– Oh, shit!
(bystanders screaming and chattering)
– [Falcon] In reality,
the city of Hong Kong
is ridiculous in size,
so the “Sleeping Dogs” version
isn’t exactly accurate.
But the smaller size makes
getting around easier
and also makes it so that
they can get the feel of Hong Kong,
perhaps a little bit better,
while giving us a more fun game overall.
At number eight is Prague and
“Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.”
“Mankind Divided” is pretty unique
among the “Deus Ex” games,
because instead of having
several small hub areas,
you can explore as you
go through the story,
the game’s only got one, Prague.
And that seems a little limiting,
but the developers made the most of it
and turned the city into one of the best,
but also smallest, open
world locations ever.
It’s a place that’s
incredibly dense with detail
and it just looks so cool
with this mix of, like,
old European architecture
next to hyper-modern
structures and art displays.
Ask anybody about this game,
they’ll probably tell you the hub world’s
probably the best part about the game.
The main story’s kind of short
and ends on, what I would call,
a disappointing cliffhanger.
But the time you spend in
Prague is just fantastic.
A lot of the games’ best moments
are found in the side quests in this area.
And it seems like, yeah,
that’s kind of damning the
game with faint praise,
some of these side quests
are genuinely phenomenal.
The serial killer side
quest is especially good
and plays out slowly over the
course of the entire game.
And it’s exclusive to the open world.
Prague is just a really
interesting and dense place
to explore in this game.
And it’s amazing to look at, even now.
The actual open world is
only a few city blocks,
but it’s one of the best
open worlds out there.
At number seven, the
island from “The Witness.”
This one’s a little different,
a puzzle game rather than an action one.
But the bones of an open world are there.
After getting through, what
amounts to, a tutorial,
you pretty much get free
reign to explore on the island
and go wherever you want.
There’s nothing stopping you
from attempting end game puzzles,
right from the start, if you want to.
But if it’s your first time playing,
you basically have to explore
the easier areas first
to understand how to solve
some of the later brain teasers.
That’s kind of, what’s so
brilliant about “The Witness.”
Once you get past that initial part,
there’s really no tutorials
or locks on anything.
If you wanna progress,
you basically have to learn
about the various rules of the game
and apply them as you go.
It’s a structure that allows
for a lot of Eureka moments,
where your brain like suddenly
puts all the pieces together
and you feel like a damn genius.
In comparison to a lot of
open world games though,
the island’s actually pretty small.
It takes only a minute or two
to run from one side to the other,
but compared to a lot of
puzzle games, it’s gigantic.
It’s just a cool place to explore as well.
The visuals are kind of basic,
but they really done well.
So each area has a unique identity
that makes it pretty
satisfying to explore.
If “The Witness” was
just a linear collection
of line puzzles,
it wouldn’t been nearly as good.
It’s the island that really
pulls everything together.
At number six, is London from
“Assassin Creed Syndicate.”
As the maps in “Assassins Creed” series
just keep getting bigger and bigger,
it’s easy to forget that
sometimes less is more.
And that’s definitely the
case with “Syndicate.”
Compared to the sprawling epics
that most of the other
games have in the series,
“Syndicate” is way more
humble in its ambitions.
Instead taking place in multiple cities
or even an entire country,
the entire open world of this game
takes place in central London.
It’s a city that’s been done to death
in open world games too,
but the industrial revolution setting
does a lot to make the city feel distinct.
Another huge positive
is all the interior
locations you can explore
during the games’ more “Hitman” style
They were introduced in “Unity,”
but basically like everything
about “Syndicate” that
was introduced in “Unity,”
way less janky here.
It’s just a solid game, all around.
The grappling hook feels
like they put it in
because the Batman games were popular,
but it makes getting around a lot easier.
And the vehicles are really
fun to play around with.
But probably most importantly,
the actual stealth seems like, to me,
probably the best in the series.
In comparison to a lot of
other “Assassin Creed” games,
it’s pretty modest in size,
but it’s much more focused.
And in our opinion here,
honestly, a lot more fun because of it.
At number five is Faranga from “Risen.”
Released Beck in 2009 by Piranha Bytes,
the masters of Eurogenic RPGs,
like “Gothic” and “Alex.”
Yes, a developer that I have
both a lot of respect and criticism for.
“Risen” may have been
the developer’s smallest,
but best open world.
And you’ll probably be
able to tell exactly why
with my criticism of “Alex.”
“Risen” is set entirely in Faranga,
which in terms of an RPG,
this place is pretty small,
but it makes up with depth.
It may not look like a lot now,
but in 2019, this was an
absolute joy to explore.
Everything feels handmade and interesting.
And there’s a real rush
to explore places that you haven’t been,
just because you, like, want to see it.
It is a tough one.
When you start out,
even the most pathetic and
basic enemies can kill you.
And it doesn’t get a
lot easier from there.
Compared to “Gothic,”
the difficulty’s a little more reasonable,
but it’s a tough and unforgiving game,
especially for this time.
Oddly enough, “Demon
Souls” came out, like,
four days later in North America.
So I guess that’s what 2009 was all about.
You actually have access
to most of the island,
right from the start.
It’s just that if you go
in the wrong direction,
you’re probably gonna
get clobbered pretty hard
by high-level monsters, blocking your way.
And also combats.
It’s a Piranha Bytes game.
It’s a little awkward and the
translation isn’t the best,
but the world design’s amazing.
Just a fun game to explore.
And the difficulty makes
it even more satisfying,
when you manage to explore
some new and different place
(chuckles) and survive.
The later games in the series
aren’t as well regarded,
but the first game really holds up,
as long as you got a
high tolerance for pain.
At number four is Hekseville
from “Gravity Rush.”
Probably the strangest open
world game on the list.
for the Playstation Vita
and quickly gathered a cult following.
Sony was like, “Woo, gotta go to PS4.
‘Cause it would be good
if more than a dozen people
bought and played it.”
Joking aside, it’s kind of a weird game.
You play as Cat, a girl with
the ability to control gravity,
which you can use to basically fly
by shifting gravity for yourself
so that you’re always falling sideways.
It’s a really unique gimmick
and it works well in the city
it takes place in, Hekseville.
It’s one of the most
unique locations in gaming,
a city attached to a massive pillar,
in the middle of an endless void.
There’s only four relatively
small districts here.
So the surface area is not huge,
but there’s tons of nooks
and crannies to explore.
You’re not just flying
all over the city either.
A lot of the time,
you’re flying under it as well.
And there’s some pretty
surreal stuff down there.
When you’re flying around
struts and supports
that keep this place from literally
collapsing into an endless abyss.
It’s just a really unusual location
and one of our favorite open world cities.
At number three is New
Marais from “inFamous 2.”
All three of these games
have relatively small cities.
But New Marais is probably the smallest
and probably the best.
It’s basically a fictional New Orleans.
And it’s built for maximum depth,
in a relatively small area.
Compared to a lot of open world games,
But for an “inFamous” game, perfect.
They manage to squeeze
everything you would
expect from New Orleans,
there’s a Bourbon Street area,
Old Spanish Fort,
a huge port area, to name a few places.
It’s incredibly dense,
while managing not to feel
like an amusement park,
which is incredible.
Looking at this map,
it’s gotta be one of the smallest
open world games of all time.
It’s not very big at all.
Two islands split into
four, sort of, districts.
Like in truth, it could be
an open world Tony Hawk game.
But a big part of that
is just the developers really
leaning into what works
in an “inFamous” game.
These games are fast, fun, and very dense.
And at least until “Second Son,”
you didn’t really get any
super fast movement powers.
So making the map relatively
small makes sense.
Maybe some people prefer
Seattle from “Second Son”
or Empire Bay from one.
But to me, it’s just the best
open world in the series.
At number two is Hyrule and Lorule
from “Legend of Zelda:
Link Between Worlds.”
This is an interesting game,
’cause it really looks like
your standard top-down
“Legend of Zelda” game,
but it’s got a large amount
of open world DNA in it as well.
Unlike “Breath of the Wild”
though, which is massive,
the world’s pretty compact.
Built as a sequel to the
legendary “Link to the Past,”
what makes this game unique
among “Legend of Zelda” games
is that you can tackle the dungeons
in pretty much any order.
It’s a true open world,
one that you can explore as you see fit.
That’s because instead
of earning equipment
that gets you access to dungeons
like a regular Zelda game,
you can just buy or rent equipment
from the store whenever you want.
It’s a small thing that
makes a really big difference
and opens up the game world
in a pretty unprecedented
way for the series.
You might think it throws everything off,
but actually against all odds,
it’s a fantastic game.
Probably one of the best in the series.
It’s all around incredibly fun.
It’s easy to get into
and it’s really refreshing
for the whole series,
just like “Breath of the Wild,”
but in a completely different way.
And finally, you knew
this had to be coming,
Manhattan from Marvel’s “Spider-Man.”
In real life,
the island of Manhattan is not very big.
It’s about 22.8 square miles.
And in Marvel’s “Spider-Man,”
it is shrunk to a fraction of that size.
Still, it remains one
of the most realistic
and well-realized open
world games out there.
Few games actually
manage to capture a city
as well as this one does.
It’s a small detail,
but one of the things I really
appreciate about this game
is how realistic the traffic is.
Like, most open world games have to cheat
and keep the roads open to
make it easier to get around,
so the game doesn’t have
to draw a lot of vehicles
or just generally be in your
way as you’re in a vehicle.
But this game is just
like, “You know what?
Traffic can suck in this New York.”
And it does.
From either street level
or swinging around,
it all looks amazing too.
probably among the most
topnotch of any game out there,
that’s an open world.
It’s all just like a
major graphical showcase.
compared to the many other
Spider-Man game versions of Manhattan,
it’s probably one of the biggest.
But it’s actually relatively small,
compared to most open world cities.
When you can’t fly and you’re not driving,
it only makes sense to
condense a world a little bit,
so you’re not spending too much time
going from one place to another.
I mean it’s, “Spider-Man,”
it’s one of the few open
world superhero games
that can actually contend with
the “Batman: Arkham” games.
And while the city is definitely bigger
than the one from Arkham city,
it’s pretty small in the grand scheme.
When it comes to superheroes though,
unless your Superman,
smaller’s probably better.
And it doesn’t get much better
than “Spiderman’s” New York.
It’s so fun to swing around in
and it just looks amazing.
Like, what is there left to say about it?
And that’s all for today.
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