Before I begin, I’d like to say I don’t think there is a wrong way to play a game. Whether you prefer exploring beautiful open worlds, or a more cinematic experience. If you play on the hardest difficulty or prefer an easy ride. Or if you play a game just for the platinum trophy or you don’t care about achievements. As long as you’re having fun, you’re doing it right.
Open World Games
Technology is always advancing, therefore so are the games we have on offer. This makes the ever expanding selection of games even larger. Nowadays, we the gaming community are spoilt for choice in all directions, especially in terms of genre. A lot of games no longer sit in one category either. Most guilty of this are open world games.
The clue is in the name. Open world games usually contain large maps filled with different locations, various NPCs and stories within a story hidden in the form of side quests. These games can take hours upon hours to complete. Longer, if you’re determined to see that 100%. I also thoroughly enjoy perusing the trophy lists on my favourite games, checking to see my own likelihood of achieving the platinum trophy.
Open world games are my personal go to. When done right, the hours fly by. I find myself becoming attached to characters and memorising the map. On more than one occasion, I have found myself navigating parts of a game’s world without checking the map.
Here I have put together a list of 5 beautiful open worlds with easy platinum trophies. These games have a lot in common in terms of mechanics and gameplay. This may be why I was so drawn in to each of them. I have picked out the games on this list as they have strong narratives, beautiful open worlds and though time consuming, non-difficulty related platinum trophies. There is no particular order and this is all based on my personal preference.
It would not be a list about open world games if the FarCry franchise didn’t have a mention. Honestly, any one of the FarCry titles could’ve made it here. Though sometimes repetitive in gameplay, there is no denying each of the open worlds in the FarCry games are beautiful. Despite continued debates over the best title in the series, FarCry Primal is my favourite, so it made the cut.
Released in 2014 by Ubisoft, FarCry Primal is something very different to the usual FarCry experience. Primal gives us a prehistoric take on the franchise. It takes away the gunfights, driving and any form of modern technology. Instead it takes us back to the caveman era.
My journey to platinum on this game was peaceful. I thoroughly enjoyed taking my time, utilising the different weaponry and abilities available. I also found it interesting to see how the crafting mechanic changes based on the environment and how resourceful humans could be before the invention of technology.
By the end of the game I found myself engaged with the story and I was sad for it to come to an end. An underrated, unrelated ‘spin-off’ from FarCry 4, FarCry Primal is a must play for fans of the franchise and trophy hunters alike.
Watch Dogs 2
Another Ubisoft entry with Watch Dogs 2. 2016 sequel to Watch Dogs is an extremely underrated title. No previous knowledge of the games are necessary, although a few references are made to the first title. It’s stunning graphics and visual design recreate the feeling of sunny California extremely well through a screen.
Watch Dogs 2 is set in a fictional reconstruction of San Francisco. Ubisoft play to their strengths, once again delivering a wonderful open world for players to explore. You take control of Marcus, who is then able to take control of the world around him through use of high advanced tech. Despite the story keeping my attention, the open world is what kept me for the platinum.
Playing Watch Dogs 2 made me feel as though I was having a virtual tour of San Francisco. I was a virtual tourist and delighted to see developers even had the idea to add the bay where sealions go to sunbathe and I definitely clocked up more game time just watching the cute sealion animations. There are a few online multiplayer trophies, but these can be boosted through communities if you’re having trouble.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
My final Ubisoft title I promise! Again, a few of the Assassin’s Creed games could’ve made this list, but Odyssey is my favourite of the series. The 2018 instalment is the first in the franchise to allow players to select their characters gender; a feature a long time coming, although somewhat new and controversial in recent franchises. I chose to play as Kassandra- just because I could- and was happy to find it doesn’t alter the storyline either way.
Ancient Greece has been gorgeously represented by the developers at Ubisoft. I have spent a lot of in game time riding my horse along the beach, rotating the camera until at a satisfying angle to appreciate the gorgeous sunset. Assassin’s Creed games have always performed well in terms of their gorgeous architecture; although Odyssey maintains this reputation, here you can truly appreciate the beautiful open world. Through land, sea and a birds-eye view, the exploration seems endless.
I haven’t completed Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, as the amount of time it is taking to achieve 100% is eating into other gameplay time. That being said, if you do have a better attention span than myself, then Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is for you. Even if you don’t want to try for the platinum trophy (it is easy, one step at a time), then Odyssey truly is worth the hours of sightseeing and exploring in Ancient Greece.
NiNoKuni II: Revenant Kingdom
To this day, I haven’t played a game quite the same as NiNoKuni ll: Revenant Kingdom. Developed by Level 5, the 2018 sequel doesn’t directly relate to its predecessor. You play as child King Evan, helping him build up his own kingdom throughout a variety of different quests. NiNoKuni has multiple mechanics and battle systems, meaning gameplay is switched up throughout. This makes the long game not as tiresome and repetitive as some longer titles can become
Despite its fun gameplay, what I loved most about NiNoKuni ll is it’s art style. Anime inspired character designs with bright and vivid colours on both characters and the environments. The more sinister characters are still colourful, and all of this makes for a beautiful open world experience.
If you don’t have the patience to work the trophies out yourself, I suggest you use a guide. NiNoKuni ll: Revenant Kingdom took me over 100 hours to platinum. Only for me to finally use a guide to see I had spent the past 10 hours doing the wrong thing. Still if you don’t mind a long slog for 100%,I think NiNoKuni should make it onto your to play list.
When hearing the term beautiful open worlds, few minds will jump to Days Gone. Somehow still known for being underrated, Bend studios 2019 release Days Gone has a unique beauty; albeit infested with ‘freakers’. Since playing I feel as though this was the type of game fans of The Walking Dead series deserved but never received.
I started Days Gone on the first day of the UKs first COVID-19 lockdown. I’d already made a lot of dark quips about the worlds pandemic eventually turning into a real life apocalypse. So the games narrative hit me like a ton of bricks. Being a fan of horror, Days Gone isn’t necessarily scary. However the eeriness that came with the in game isolation paired with the silence in the real world is a feeling that remains unmatched.
Still, this atmosphere could not be achieved without the wonderful attention to detail the developers bring. A few years into the game’s pandemic, you ride your motorbike through abandoned Oregon. Not only is this a beautiful landscape reimagined, but the devs put in work to include real life tourist hotspots. This is a nice addition, not only showing the love that went into crafting the game, but also serving as a nice getaway if you need a break from freaker hoardes.
If you’re a fan of zombies, The Walking Dead or open world games, then I can’t recommend this game enough. Days Gone is an underrated masterpiece. Now available on PC and as part of PS+ Premium subscriptions, as well as being announced as Sony’s next risky media adaptation, there really hasn’t been a better time to join Deacon St John.
There is my list of my 5 beautiful open worlds with easy platinum trophies. Although I realise I could have easily titled this “my favourite Ubisoft games”, credit to developers where credit is due! What other games should’ve been featured on this list? Feel free to let me know in the comments below!