As open world video games take off, exploration is becoming a huge part of gameplay. The trouble is that it can be hard to pinpoint where the action is happening when there’s such a vast world in front of you. It’s interesting to see how different games handle this via the use of tracking — whether that’s scanning the environment (Mass Effect Andromeda), using special senses to follow a trail (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt), or utilizing technology that reveals more about what’s around you (Horizon Zero Dawn).
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a game of stories. They unravel as you explore the vast open world as Geralt, a witcher who hunts monsters with magic and a special sword. What I love about this game is how well-crafted each side quest is, until it doesn’t feel like a “side” quest but just another adventure Geralt has, with real characters and meaning.
That’s why, in this second post about my favorite quests in video games, I’m featuring one of these stories. (*Quest spoilers to follow!)
Lately I’ve been playing Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and while I’m still in the early stages of the game, it’s already reminding me of another massive RPG: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The reason for the comparison is the way these games handle questing in an open-world (or at least partially open-world) environment.
July is here, which is means it’s almost Robo♥beat’s fourth birthday! I’m kind of amazed I’m still blogging, but it’s just such a part of my life now and so much fun for me. I’m also for the long weekend that is about to happen in honor of the Fourth of July. =)
Here’s how things have been going for me lately, and my plans for this month!
In June, I succeeded in wrapping up my playthrough of Dragon Age Inquisition, which was a lot of fun despite the fact that I’m not a fan of how the game handled its limited open world. The funny thing about that playthrough is that I didn’t successfully romance anyone. I wanted to go for Solas, then switched to Sera… but she didn’t like me enough by the time I was ready for the final mission, so I just left my Inquisitor badass and single. That’s a first for me in a Bioware game!
This month I’m focusing on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I’ve already been chomping away at it, so now that Inquisition is done, I can put more attention there!
I’m also replaying the whole Mass Effect series. You can read my game log as I go here!
There aren’t a lot of new games coming out that I want to play this month, although I played The Banner Saga for work awhile back and really enjoyed it. Now that Banner Saga 2 is out on Xbox One, I might pick it up and spend a lazy weekend with it. If you haven’t heard of these games, they feature beautiful artwork, Oregon Trail-style travel and exploration, turn-based strategy combat, and cutscenes with dialogue options and story choices. It’s like everything I enjoy about games all wrapped up in one pretty package. =)
After finishing Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan, I’ve been struggling to find another science fiction or fantasy book. Nothing quite compares, as I enjoyed the prose and pacing so much in Altered Carbon.
I’m kind of trying to read Ancillary Justice, but I’m extremely close to lemming it. It feels cold, moves slowly, and has no great hook in terms of an interesting plot. I guess I just haven’t “gotten” it yet.
I think I’m going to stick with The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, who wrote one of my favorite novels The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. I’m at chapter three right now and finding it pretty intriguing, if a little slower and more mysterious than Altered Carbon, so it’s an adjustment.
Some of you might know that I like to exercise. It’s not something I talk about a lot on a fantasy and sci-fi blog, but it’s become a big part of my lifestyle in the past couple of years, thanks largely to my boyfriend who had already been into fitness when we started dating. After running a 10K in April and taking a vacation to New York City, I kind of stopped running for awhile.
Fortunately, I did get back with it last month! My new goal is to run eight miles per week, which feels like the perfect amount for me. I split it up however I want, figuring I’ll do a longer run on Saturdays. That means if I spread it out — two miles here and there throughout the week — I can just run a 5K on Saturday and be done. But if I’m bad and wait until the end of the week to run, I have to go through some pretty grueling miles on the weekend. But that’s also good for me, so I’ve been enjoying the challenging and have done it successfully three out of the four weeks last month.
It’s also a good amount because it leaves me a couple of days free to do other workouts. I’m trying to do more pilates and yoga at home for mild strength training. And obviously I like to have a couple of rest days every week too. You will not see me doing much of anything on a Sunday. =)