Thread: Are historical settings going to to be the norm for Open World games going forward?

GreyHorace

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I've a confession to make, I find modern day settings in open world games to be boring. Recently I've been playing Sleeping Dogs, and while I do enjoy that game I wasn't feeling the Hong Kong location and found driving to be much too fast for my liking.

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Not to say the game's driving was bad, it was okay at best. But the whole time I kept thinking I'd much rather ride a horse and explore the untamed wilderness like in the Red Dead Redemption games by Rockstar.

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I'll admit that at first I wasn't sold at the idea of an Old West setting for videogame. But Rockstar did a brilliant job in bringing the Wild West to life with the first Red Dead. The sequel too was pretty great, though somewhat bogged down by Rockstars attempts at "realism" that hampered the fun factor the first game had.

And it brings me to the whole point of this thread: historical eras are pretty fun setting for open world games. More than anything, the videogame medium allows us to be immersed in these periods of world history that we've only read abut in books or seen in the movies.

The most common example in videogaming would have to be UbiSoft's Assassin's Creed franchise. While the first game had a pretty cool Third Crusade setting in the Middle East, the game felt like a tech demo more than anything. The series wouldn't come into it's own until Assassin's Creed 2, which with it's pseudo sequels Brotherhood and Revelations would form the Ezio trilogy.

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These games for me gave me a renewed appreciation of Renaissance Italy and what a vibrant setting it was to explore. Even Revelations switch to 16th century Turkey was also a welcome change.

The series would stumble somewhat with the release AC3. While I did enjoy the Revolutionary America setting and the game's story (the best in the series IMO), the game was riddled with bugs and another annoyances. But the series would quickly right itself with 4th numbered installment, Black Flag, which fulfilled our fantasies of being a pirate of the Caribbean sailing in a ship.

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I've not played another Assassin's Creed after Black Flag since Unity was riddled with bugs on release. But I was always on the lookout for the next historical open world game, and Sucker Punch gave us that last year with Ghost of Tsushima.

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GoT gave us the thrill of being a samurai in much the same way RDR did with being a cowboy. All the while exploring quite possibly the most beautiful open world that I've seen in videogames.

So how do you all feel about historical settings being the norm for open world games going forward? Not to say that there aren't open world games with modern settings, but I feel this is what open world games will be in the future going forward.
 
I sure hope we get more, because I absolutely love learning about history, and even with the fantastical stories in the Assassin's Creed series, they still kind of let you feel like you're being transported to a time and place and often serve as a catalyst (for me at least) to learn more about specific events and historical figures.
 
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Is Unity really that good? I held off buying it because of the aforementioned bugs.

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It’s secretly the best Ass Creed after the first three and the last one to really feel like the older games including the fact that you were actually taking out high level targets.

The newer games are just mashy, rote, historical murder sims where every kill is called an “assassination”.

I did like Origins though because I LOVE ancient Egyptian history.
 
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I sure hope we get more, because I absolutely love learning about history, and even with the fantastical stories in the Assassin's Creed series, they still kind of let you feel like you're being transported to a time and place and often serve as a catalyst (for me at least) to learn more about specific events and historical figures.
I take any of the historical facts the Assassin's Creed games presents us with a grain of salt, since they're in the business of being a game first and not a historical lesson.

That said, some of the AC games are surprisingly accurate in their history. Like AC3, which doesn't portray the American Revolution as a black and white affair, and is not afraid of portraying historical figures in a non idealized manner, like George Washington. Black Flag too gets some details about the famous pirates of the era, like Blackbeard creating a frightening persona so he could intimidate targets into surrendering and thus avoid a needless fight. Or Charles Vane being a complete psycho.

It’s secretly the best Ass Creed after the first three and the last one to really feel like the older games including the fact that you were actually taking out high level targets.

The newer games are just mashy, rote, historical murder sims where every kill is called an “assassination”.

I did like Origins though because I LOVE ancient Egyptian history.

Huh. Maybe I should give it a go then.
 
I definitely think they should be. We had a similar topic about underused settings and several users mentioned historical eras.

Modern cities/areas get triple duty: they appear in "modern" games, they appear in near-future and apocalyptic games, and they appear in most superhero games, the cities in the infamous series and NYC in Spider Man and a dozen other different superhero games. Booooring.

Back in the 80s and 90s, lots of boardgames and subsequently lots of strategy PC games were set in historical eras. I learned quite a lot as a kid by playing games in a historical setting and then separately looking up details in books or online. No one asked me to do this, it was just something that sparked my interest, and I'm betting plenty of other kids then (and now) have similar experiences.
 
I love historical settings, but what I'd love to see most more of are AAA-high budget fantasy worlds. It's so rare that we get to see bizarre, exciting fantasy worlds on the level of an Assassin's Creed-game. It's why I'm such a Xenoblade-fan, Monolith Soft truly are the masters of bizarre worlds, but there should be more.

However, when the choice is between modern day vs historial .... yeah, screw modern day.
 
I love historical settings, but what I'd love to see most more of are AAA-high budget fantasy worlds. It's so rare that we get to see bizarre, exciting fantasy worlds on the level of an Assassin's Creed-game. It's why I'm such a Xenoblade-fan, Monolith Soft truly are the masters of bizarre worlds, but there should be more.

However, when the choice is between modern day vs historial .... yeah, screw modern day.

I love the visuals of the Monolith Soft worlds, but the Xenoblade series has just been too ridiculous for me. The existence of villages and normal people in those absolutely wild settings just felt beyond the point of being able to suspend disbelief.
 
I love the visuals of the Monolith Soft worlds, but the Xenoblade series has just been too ridiculous for me. The existence of villages and normal people in those absolutely wild settings just felt beyond the point of being able to suspend disbelief.
It's actually not nearly bizarre enough for my taste ;D

I want AAA-games that are set on a giant beanstalk, where an entire world exists on one giant leaf of the beanstalk. Or a game that's world is set inside the belly of a giant monster (maybe a whale?) and the whole world reacts dynamically to how the monster moves and what it swallows. Or a world that that's one giant generational space station like in "Knights of Sidonia". There's so many bizarre settings in anime/tv/movies, but AAA-video games rarely pick these and instead go for present day or historical settings.

But that's too much off-topic, sorry. Let's discuss more of this here if wanted.
 
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Historical settings are always interesting because as you play you also learn about other cultures

GoT gave me that awesome experience to the point after getting the plat I went to Google

Learned a lot about the island and their history during the game and after which was wicked

Honestly modern day open-world games are boring and generic. Never catches my attention
 
It’s secretly the best Ass Creed after the first three and the last one to really feel like the older games including the fact that you were actually taking out high level targets.

The newer games are just mashy, rote, historical murder sims where every kill is called an “assassination”.

I did like Origins though because I LOVE ancient Egyptian history.

Origins was great and I was actually pretty ignorant of that part of history when I played it years ago. I got into a huge history kick in recent years and now know a decent amount about the Hellenistic Period and the events that led up to it, so I want to play through it again with that context in mind.
 
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Historical settings are always interesting because as you play you also learn about other cultures
That's a very important point! I agree that this is something I love about historical settings. However, I'm not sure to what degree that is applicable anymore in modern games. I don't have an example from video games, but I wanted to gvie "Bridgerton" on Netflix a try recently, and not even a minute in, there's black people everywhere, the queen surrounded by black and asian women, and I was suspicious. So I googled and indeed: That is not historically accurate, it was done intentionally for diversity's sake. Now, I'm not even saying there can't be diversity in games and movies, but in otherwise historical settings?! That just ruins the whole "learning about other cultures" angle, because you no longer know what is true and what is fantasy. I hope video game makers won't go the Bridgerton-route in the future :/
 
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That's a very important point! I agree that this is something I love about historical settings. However, I'm not sure to what degree that is applicable anymore in modern games. I don't have an example from video games, but I wanted to gvie "Bridgerton" on Netflix a try recently, and not even a minute in, there's black people everywhere, the queen surrounded by black and asian women, and I was suspicious. So I googled and indeed: That is not historically accurate, it was done intentionally for diversity's sake. Now, I'm not even saying there can't be diversity in games and movies, but in otherwise historical settings?! That just ruins the whole "learning about other cultures" angle, because you no longer know what is true and what is fantasy. I hope video game makers won't go the Bridgerton-route in the future :/

I've got no interest in watching Bridgerton, but at least they seem to acknowledge that it's an alternate history setting and not meant to be historically accurate.
 
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Historical settings are great but can we have a moratorium on certain time periods, particularly the Greek/Roman era? I feel like that's been done to death.
The thing is: Rome hasn't been done with NEXTGEN :p

Assassin's Creed Unity is still the most beautiful AC, so Ubisoft ows us a glorious Rome-setting with even better graphics. Although I'd prefer a new franchise. Honestly, a game like Witcher 3, with the interaction of an AC-game, set in Rome - that'd be the dream. A strong, capitvating story (without any scifi) and an immersive, alive Rome that's thriving with people and animals and activity. With various major plot quests akin to Skyrim, one an intrigue in the senate, another leading to the Colloseum and becoming the #1 gladiator, another one joining the military, another one a personal family story, and so on, and son. And all of it with tasty nextgen graphics. Oh my ... why do I keep doing this ... we'll never get that :(
 
The thing is: Rome hasn't been done with NEXTGEN :p

Assassin's Creed Unity is still the most beautiful AC, so Ubisoft ows us a glorious Rome-setting with even better graphics. Although I'd prefer a new franchise. Honestly, a game like Witcher 3, with the interaction of an AC-game, set in Rome - that'd be the dream. A strong, capitvating story (without any scifi) and an immersive, alive Rome that's thriving with people and animals and activity. With various major plot quests akin to Skyrim, one an intrigue in the senate, another leading to the Colloseum and becoming the #1 gladiator, another one joining the military, another one a personal family story, and so on, and son. And all of it with tasty nextgen graphics. Oh my ... why do I keep doing this ... we'll never get that :(

Are you a Ryse fan?
 
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I enjoyed Ryse, but it was a linear action-game, not really the type of game I like. But for what it was, it was great <3

I really liked it too. While not open world, it was a good escape to that era of Roman dominance. Might as well be Gladiator the game and I have no issue with that!
 
Well I think historical can only apply to specific games.

I think what would see is a pseudo historical setting e.g feudal japan that takes a lot of liberties with historical accuracy.

I certainly love the historical setting though. There is a calmness to it that cannot be achieved with hustle and bustle of the post modern era.
 
Well I think historical can only apply to specific games.

I think what would see is a pseudo historical setting e.g feudal japan that takes a lot of liberties with historical accuracy.

I certainly love the historical setting though. There is a calmness to it that cannot be achieved with hustle and bustle of the post modern era.
You have to take liberties or else it's racist, sexist, etc.
 
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Gimme some more Kingdom Come time period. 100% white people, please. I love how much it triggered the Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetards.

I really should give Kingdom Come Deliverance a try someday. The fucking outrage that game received was disgraceful on the part of 'game journalists'. POCs in medieval Bohemia my fucking ass.

I've got no interest in watching Bridgerton, but at least they seem to acknowledge that it's an alternate history setting and not meant to be historically accurate.

Stuff like Bridgerton and even Netflix's The Witcher drives me batty. What's with this need on Hollywood's part to insert DIVERSITY into everything? Because let me tell you as a member of the Asian minority that Hollywood wants to cater to, no one fucking CARES. The only ones who care are probably the hardcore liberals here in my country and liberal whites who have a deluded sense of self loathing. The truth is we people in Asia don't mind white people in Western movies and TV. Hell, some of us even worship Hollywood celebrities and if we're lucky we get them to star in our movie. Need we remind people that China hired Matt Damon to star in The Great Wall?

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In that picture we even have Mando himself Pedro Pascal, who may not be a white Anglo Saxon but as far as I know there were no Chilean warriors defending the Great Wall of China.

Games for the most part seem to be free of this nonsense, though I heard Assassin's Creed Odyssey had some woke elements. And Valhalla too from what I read but I've yet to play that game.

I love this period and honestly feel like we haven't gotten enough, especially of certain parts of the Roman era, like the Five Good Emperors of the Pax Romana era.

The thing is: Rome hasn't been done with NEXTGEN :p

I'm surprised that Assassin's Creed hasn't done a title set in Ancient Rome. Yeah the city was featured in Brotherhood but that was the Renaissance era. I want a game set during the Empire's height and featuring all the famous historical people of that era. I know Origins had Gaius Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony but they were in Egypt at that time.

You have to take liberties or else it's racist, sexist, etc.

You take too many liberties and it starts to feel like a politically correct version of history. And that has a tendency to break the immersion.

But some games are not afraid to depict history in it's less than savory aspects. Games like:

Assassin's Creed 3 - Connor Kenway calls out the Founding Fathers, particularly Samuel Adams, on their hypocrisy wanting to fight for Freedom of the Colonies despite the fact they own slaves.
Assassin's Creed Black Flag - Adewale, Edward Kenway's first mate and quartermaster is a former black slave. Despite being a member of the Jackdaw's crew, the other pirates of Nassau don't treat him as an equal and he's even threatened with being sold off after Edward loses the Jackdaw.
LA Noire - As much a I hate this game, it did get the racist and sexist attitudes of LAPD of the era right down.
Red Dead Redemption - The game doesn't shy away from showing what complete bastards the Mexican army were when they abused their people.
 
I really should give Kingdom Come Deliverance a try someday. The fucking outrage that game received was disgraceful on the part of 'game journalists'. POCs in medieval Bohemia my fucking ass.



Stuff like Bridgerton and even Netflix's The Witcher drives me batty. What's with this need on Hollywood's part to insert DIVERSITY into everything? Because let me tell you as a member of the Asian minority that Hollywood wants to cater to, no one fucking CARES. The only ones who care are probably the hardcore liberals here in my country and liberal whites who have a deluded sense of self loathing. The truth is we people in Asia don't mind white people in Western movies and TV. Hell, some of us even worship Hollywood celebrities and if we're lucky we get them to star in our movie. Need we remind people that China hired Matt Damon to star in The Great Wall?

f3b789ae41cab7b35cc22adf9ce6c91a5966139f.jpg


In that picture we even have Mando himself Pedro Pascal, who may not be a white Anglo Saxon but as far as I know there were no Chilean warriors defending the Great Wall of China.

Games for the most part seem to be free of this nonsense, though I heard Assassin's Creed Odyssey had some woke elements. And Valhalla too from what I read but I've yet to play that game.





I'm surprised that Assassin's Creed hasn't done a title set in Ancient Rome. Yeah the city was featured in Brotherhood but that was the Renaissance era. I want a game set during the Empire's height and featuring all the famous historical people of that era. I know Origins had Gaius Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony but they were in Egypt at that time.



You take too many liberties and it starts to feel like a politically correct version of history. And that has a tendency to break the immersion.

But some games are not afraid to depict history in it's less than savory aspects. Games like:

Assassin's Creed 3 - Connor Kenway calls out the Founding Fathers, particularly Samuel Adams, on their hypocrisy wanting to fight for Freedom of the Colonies despite the fact they own slaves.
Assassin's Creed Black Flag - Adewale, Edward Kenway's first mate and quartermaster is a former black slave. Despite being a member of the Jackdaw's crew, the other pirates of Nassau don't treat him as an equal and he's even threatened with being sold off after Edward loses the Jackdaw.
LA Noire - As much a I hate this game, it did get the racist and sexist attitudes of LAPD of the era right down.
Red Dead Redemption - The game doesn't shy away from showing what complete bastards the Mexican army were when they abused their people.

Wish I could like this post twice. Where in Asia do you live, by the way?
 
The Philippines. We pretty much consume Western media since we're one of the few countries in the region who have English as a second language.

Cool. Hell of an interesting history with the Philippines. I had a lot of second generation Filipino friends growing up and learned a bit about the culture (and how different it could be depending on the island) from them.
 
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