Recapturing the Love of Exploring and Discovering as an Adult Gamer

BY JOHN SANTINA: As adult gamers, it can be difficult to find the joy that we once found in exploring every nook and cranny in a video game world. Speaking personally, I’ve found that even minor deviations from the main plot can quickly begin to feel like a needless chore.

I’m determined to recapture the joy of exploring and discovering as an adult gamer.

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isarai31d ago

Should really check out Outward, it's very good at rewarding exploration with tons if great things to discover. Also while pretty much the opposite of hand holding, it's also pretty forgiving replace death and reloading with "defeat scenarios" that picks a random scenario after being defeated that keeps the game moving. You can be saved and given a weapon by a mysterious being, or dragged into an animal den needing to crawl your way out alive an refind your gear

gamer930d ago

In the same boat, but for me it’s the linear story driven games that I just can’t get into anymore. After 25 years of them, they seem very formulaic compared to something like Siege or PUBG where I’m playing against real humans and the adrenaline is pumping. I’ll always have a place to be immersed in something like Xcom 2 or fallout 4, but I haven’t clicked with a story driven linear game since TLOU. Could also use some of these tips on how to enjoy a story game like you’re a kid again ha ha. Looking forward to TLOU2!

Felix_Argyle_Catbro30d ago (Edited 30d ago )

What Remains of Edith Finch
Tomb Raider 2013

6 great story-driven games for you. You can pick them all from the current Steam sale for probably less than 20 bucks combined.

Also, Dark Souls and Bloodborne for the pure joy of exploration and discovering.

gamer930d ago

Thanks! I really enjoyed the soulsborne games and INSIDE as well. Is Dishonored 2 also recommended?

Felix_Argyle_Catbro30d ago

Yes, I recommend Dishonored 2 as well.

william_cade30d ago (Edited 30d ago )

What Remains of Edith Finch surprised me. I will never forget playing her brother at the cannery.

EDIT (Bloodborne and Dark Souls are amazing)

Felix_Argyle_Catbro30d ago

Oh, forgot to also recommend Hollow Knight and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Great games for exploration and discovering.

Atom66630d ago

It's interesting because I find myself in a similar situation lately. There are still those exceptions where I'm interested in gaining that linear, engaging experience, but I'm finding myself being drawn away from those experiences more and more.

Sometimes it gives me a weird feeling of obligation and anxiety. Like I'm more focused on completing the game then enjoying the path to get there.

I've become an open world enthusiast more and more because of it. If I know I have X amount of time to game or just don't want to be heavily invested in something, I look to those games first. Maybe I clear out a base, do a side mission, or just explore. Maybe I play story missions for hours at a time. It's the variety that I like.

Similar thoughts about MP. I can drop in and drop out, play some competitive round of something and be on my way.

Felix_Argyle_Catbro30d ago (Edited 30d ago )

Dark Souls and Bloodborne are the best games for exploring and discovering. In these games you will actually find cool shit as you explore. Straight up big hidden areas with unique enemies and bosses, etc.

frostypants30d ago (Edited 30d ago )

There's only so much to explore in those, though. You're still very much kept on a general path. There's exploration but it's more along the lines of a Metroidvania-style exploration where you're just peeking down every path put in front of you. I love those games though. The very first one, Demon's Souls, may have been the most interesting in that sense, because there were a few secret areas that would only open up if the world tendency was dark or light enough, which relied on the behavior of other players. They did away with the world tendency mechanic in the other games and that always bummed me out.

ArmyVetGamer30d ago (Edited 30d ago )

I love how they us BOTW in the thumbnail when that game itself felt very empty and is not even mentioned in the article 🙄

frostypants30d ago (Edited 30d ago )

The problem is by a certain age you've seen enough games that you start seeing the patterns and design limitations that flew over your head as a younger gamer. And game developers haven't been able to take that next step in their open worlds to make truly interesting emergent gameplay, nor do they want to spend a lot of time on content that is purely optional...everything tends to feel shallow, e.g. "the Ubisoft/Far Cry problem". They need more randomness, better AI interacting within that randomness, and more hidden content, that is actually well thought out and elaborate, buried out in the world to make exploration rewarding (even knowing that most players may never even come across it). Otherwise you end up with a game where only the main plot has anything memorable.

One thing The Witcher 3 did well is it had lots of purely optional quests that actually took time to complete, with their own little storylines. I want to see that sort of dedication to optional content, but in a more exploration-oriented game design. Not everything has to be quest-based.

The author's complaint near the end about just not having time to even TRY some games is weird and a different topic entirely. Not sure what he was getting at there.

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