Open worlds have largely dominated the past decade or so in video games. The concept popularized for modern consoles by the likes of Skyrim, has come to be a hit at most every level of the gaming world. At the same time however, we’ve also started to look to just a handful of franchises for the best open world activity. Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and Red Dead Redemption, for instance, largely set the bar for modern gaming worlds of this nature, even if they’re far from alone in the category.
This is all well and good given the sensational quality of the games those series produce. However, it’s also always fun to see brand new concepts attempted. This is one reason we were excited to hear about Outer Worlds when it was announced last year, and likely one of the main reasons the game has been fairly successful. It brought us a whole new open world, not linked to an existing series but instead wholly its own.
This leads us to our main point, which is simply that it’s fun every now and then to imagine the places open world gaming hasn’t really led us to explore yet. And across our own history, the known universe, and the realms of fantasy, there are still a lot of fascinating ideas that are largely untapped. We’ve selected four that would be incredible if used for future open world hits.
1 – The Worlds Of Avatar
Okay, so Avatar has become a bit of a running joke. Many now look back on this hit film as something of a production gimmick (and Pocahontas rip-off) rather than the groundbreaking sci-fi epic it was largely viewed as at the time. Furthermore, the timeline of its sequel announcements has become downright comical. We’ve been hearing about Avatar follow-ups for more than a decade, and at this point nothing would surprise us. We might never see another film in this series, or we might see four sequels released in a 12-month span. We’ll believe either outcome.
What’s difficult to deny though, even for those who never really “bought in” on the Avatar concept, is that this film brought to life one of the most vividly imagined alien worlds we’ve ever seen in entertainment. Beautiful, dangerous, and dreamlike, Pandora is an absolute fantasy, and would be a delight to explore in a sophisticated, modern video game. Throw in the underwater content and neighboring moons rumored to be at the heart of the long-awaited sequels, and a game in this universe could also be incredibly expansive.
2 – Mars
Mars has been imagined in pop fiction in any number of different ways. Sometimes it’s a fantasy land of monsters and ancient alien species; sometimes it’s the barren wasteland of a future human civilization ruined; sometimes it’s realistic, or at least as close to reality as we can guess. Yet another version of the planet could make for an incredible open world game though.
We imagine Mars in this game some 100 years after it’s colonized, such that it’s advanced, but not a full-fledged fantasy. There could be new factions of civilization and original sources of political disquiet; the land could be partially terraformed and partially uninhabitable. Creators would have limitless options in piecing the world together, but there’s little doubt that done well it would make for an incredible game (or series).
3 – Ancient Arabia
When you think of Ancient Arabia in connection to gaming, you almost definitely land on the Prince of Persia series — which at various points in history has been fairly wonderful. Today, however, this series is essentially dormant, and the most prominent games dealing with the Ancient Arabian setting (or the fantasy version of it we’ve spun up for ourselves) actually exist at online casinos. And truth be told, these games are quite a lot of fun! The bulk of them are hosted within the slots section on Foxy Games – including the titles 10,001 Nights, Ali Baba’s Luck, and 3 Genie Wishes. These games all use the ideas of magical fortune and kingly riches at the heart of Ancient Arabian fantasies to tie in quite nicely to slot gameplay and casino winnings — though of course, they’re far from comprising open worlds.
Our theory though is that the historical success of the Prince Of Persia games coupled with the use of similar themes on slot gaming platforms speaks to the fact that this is a popular setting among gamers. It would therefore be an excellent idea for a major developer to work on a brand new open world concept taking place in this world. It could concern original heroes in a slightly more realistic version of Ancient Arabia. It could even be a new spin on Prince Of Persia built into the open world format. Whatever the case though, this game done properly would be a smash hit.
4 – Arthurian Lore
There are actually a lot of chapters in British history that would be fun to play out in an open world. CBR already suggested Elizabethan England, for instance, as a fitting location for the next installment in the Assassin’s Creed series. A bruised and darkened London during World War II could also be fascinating as an open world focused more on espionage than combat. Even Ancient England under Roman rule could potentially make for a fascinating effort.
Taking more of a fantasy angle though, it could be incredibly fun to see a large, serious effort at bringing Arthurian lore to life in an open world. It’s not really something that’s been done in satisfying fashion to date. In fact, some of the only Arthurian games of note currently exist alongside the same casino slots just mentioned above. But if you imagine a bright, beautiful Camelot, a kingdom of rolling hills and shadowy woods, and a collection of knights, ladies, kings and villains befitting a storybook, it’s actually easy to get excited about this sort of game in an open world.
We have no idea if any of these games will ever be made, of course. But the open world concept appears to be as popular as ever, and if we do continue to see original games of this sort, these would be excellent picks.
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