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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Chief Seattle
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I put together a five year retrospective of the PC games I had played.

Five Year of PC Gaming: A retrospective

And one thing that stood out to me is how much I value an attractive world.

Mirror's Edge, Limbo, Ori and the Blind Forest, Child of Light, Fez, Bastion, Firewatch are all at or near the top of my list and all of beautiful worlds. I'll add Monument Valley and Epistory to that list.

So any other games that similarly create a beautiful and unique and unexpected world to inhabit?

ICO, Monument Valley and Viewtiful Joe also come to mind as games on console and Android that do the same thing. So I suppose console games can be included. But PC is the most likely platform I will be adding games to.
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Adam Slape
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Have you looked at Hollow Knight yet?
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Ciaran wrote:
Have you looked at Hollow Knight yet?

Yup! I own it. Haven't played it yet. The difficulty level makes me nervous to put it on my HC Challenge List.
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Adam Slape
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Ohh, I didn't know it was supposed to be hard. Hmmm, if you're looking for something beautiful, what about Hyper Light Drifter? The boss battles were a little challenging but doable...and the world, music, and overall ambience were amazing.
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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I'll still play it. GameFAQs has it rated tough. I have beat Just Right/Tough games before so it's not impossible I could beat Hollow Knight.

Cuphead also comes to mind as a beautiful world in a game I have bought but haven't played yet. GameFAQs has that as Tough/Unforgiving. That is one I'll almost certainly not have the technical skill to beat.

Hopefully I can get done with my HC challenge list games and have time to play some others before 2020.
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Adam Slape
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Ok, 2 more I thought of...Iconoclasts and CrossCode.

I haven't played either one of them, but they both have great pixel art and the reviews have been very good.
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Simon Woodward
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- Gris has been getting a lot of love on Experience Points. Wish it was on console.
- Rise of the Tomb Raider and Shadow of the Tomb Raider are very pretty, although I prefer the pacing in Tomb Raider (2013).
- Prince of Persia (2008) is gorgeous.
- Borderlands 2 is gorgeous.
- Portal 2?
- Mirror's Edge: Catalyst although I think it's a step back from the original.
- Mass Effect 2 is nice looking and excellent gameplay and story.
- Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is an excellent little isometric puzzle/twin stick game.
- Diablo III is pretty nice looking.
- NieR: Automata is quite distinctive.
- Darksiders II is very pretty in a cartoony way, and I liked it a lot.
- Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012) is really nice if you like racing games.
- The Talos Principle is a fantastic and gorgeous puzzle game.
- Titanfall 2 is a very nice FPS campaign.

I rate most of these 8/10 or higher.
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Luke Stirling
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Subnautica

Absolutely stunning visuals and a richly detailed world. It's not the only reason it was my favourite game of 2018, but it was an essential element to me.

I'll also mention, because it appears to be another underlying feature of your favourite games, is that Subnautica is a game that has a distinct narrative arc. It feels like a sandbox game where the story is a secondary feature at first, but it very much is not that if you keep going.
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Kenneth Stuart
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Evoland 2
Subnautica
Mages of Mystralia
Infinifactory

All are beautiful and immensely fun!
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Monica Elida Forssell
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Gems of War
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frumpish wrote:
So any other games that similarly create a beautiful and unique and unexpected world to inhabit?
Something very different to your list, but a beautiful and unexpected world (or rather many beautiful and sometimes unexpected worlds): No Man's Sky
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maf man
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Ōkami is now on PC, I have it on the wii so I am guessing a little but from what I can tell it made the upgrade well.
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Ryan S
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One that immediately comes to mind is The Saboteur. It's an open world game in a similar vein as the Grand Theft Auto games, but it's set in 1940's France during nazi occupation. The game has muted color palettes in the nazi controlled areas, but gains color as you liberate areas. Vibrant blue (resistance) and red (nazi) colors accentuate the game.

Far Cry 5 - Any of the Far Cry games are beautiful (except maybe Blood Dragon, but that's also beautiful in a 80's pop culture kind of way). I've enjoyed just exploring the various areas in the Far Cry games. Wingsuiting around in Far Cry 5 was a lot of fun.

Just Cause 3 - Similar to Far Cry, lots of beautiful areas to explore.
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Chris
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Any Amanita Design game. Not sure if you're into the Adventure Game style of game but most are like that. Machinarium is the puzzliest, Botanicula the toy-iest. some of them, I think at least Machinarium, Samorost 3 and Botanicula have in-game hint systems if you get stuck. But of course if you're just not into that type of game then what'll you do



To be honest, I probably wouldn't recommend Samorost 1 or 2, but they can be nice little time killers before moving to the rest of their games which are larger and generally more cohesive.
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Aaron Tubb
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I'll recommend Deus Ex: Human Revolution. It's a very well designed action/adventure/stealth/RPG sci-fi game with an interesting setting and a distinct visual style.


Also, Rayman Legends or the similar, but slightly older Rayman Origins are beautifully drawn cartoon platformers. Simpler and more straightforward than Ori and the Blind forest, but really fun and well made. For example, this is a screenshot of the first level:



Botanicula is quirky fun, and is probably the most pleasant point-and-click adventure/puzzle game I've ever played.
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Enjoy some homing fireballs!
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frumpish wrote:
So any other games that similarly create a beautiful and unique and unexpected world to inhabit?
Dark Souls trilogy, Jet Set Radio, Dishonored, Prey (2017).
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Jørgen K
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I would recommend Amphora as a very beautiful game!
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James Lowry
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RiME is on PC and very beautiful in the scenery. I kind of dropped it because it was getting tougher, and was creeping me out a bit with the shades getting aggressive, but I do mean to get back to it.
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Simon Woodward
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mafman6 wrote:
Ōkami is now on PC, I have it on the wii so I am guessing a little but from what I can tell it made the upgrade well.
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frumpish wrote:
So any other games that similarly create a beautiful and unique and unexpected world to inhabit?

That is easy to answer:

BioShock

BOOM!
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I hold in very high regard several of the games you mention so, based on that, here are some recommendations:

ABZÛ. Strong recommendation. Wonderful underwater world, where the core of the experience is simply sitting back and relax.

Psychonauts. Strong recommendation. Has the most creative setting of all video games, hands down. First mind (tutorial) is so-so, but it's a game that just keeps getting better and better the more you advance through it.

Aquaria. Underwater metroidvania, with hand drawn sprites. Takes one hour to kick in (reaching open waters, this is, leaving the starting area). It's a personal favourite of mine, even if a bit rough around the edges.

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet. Was disappointed by its linearity (was expecting a metroidvania), but it's certainly easy on the eyes.

Dark Souls: Remastered. Cautious recommendation. Yes, it's tough, but if you manage to get past the initial difficulty shock, it's a great 3D metroidvania.

Mafia II. Cautious recommendation. Extremely linear (there's no way to save outside from progressing through the main mission), but if you enjoy crime dramas, and spending a lot of time commuting through a fictional american city from the 40s/50s sounds like something you would enjoy, give it a spin.
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paralipsis wrote:
Subnautica

Absolutely stunning visuals and a richly detailed world. It's not the only reason it was my favourite game of 2018, but it was an essential element to me.

I'll also mention, because it appears to be another underlying feature of your favourite games, is that Subnautica is a game that has a distinct narrative arc. It feels like a sandbox game where the story is a secondary feature at first, but it very much is not that if you keep going.

Actually this. It's stunning.
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Jennifer Hanses
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Beautiful worlds:

Contrast- kind of like Portal using shadows and set in 1950ish Paris.

Stacking - Solve puzzles using Russian Dolls with special abilities. Told like a silent film from the 1920s.

Broken Age - A scifi and fantasy stories converge in a point and click adventure.

Transistor - Same company that made Bastion. Good story. Different gameplay.

Night of the Rabbit- Point and click adventure in a kind of Winnie the Pooh style land.

Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav - Fantasy point-and-click based on an RPG system. Also has a sequel.

Renowned Explorers: International Society - Described as "rogue-lite": choose a team and travel a faux-19th century world gathering artifacts.

If you like Visual Novels, I'd also add

Cinders & Solstice - Fantasy style games with gorgeous visuals

The Detail - A Law & Order style crime drama that uses comic strip panels and also involves a hunt for clues

Leviathan: The Last Day of the Decade - Very unique scifi-fantasy hybrid world, awesome visuals.

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He wouldn't be interested in that one, I'd say. It's a Battle Royale and twitchy. Doesn't have any Solo or Duo modes, either. And it's full of high-level CounterSuck twitch-kiddies. I think I know Frumpish enough to know that wouldn't be a game he'd like.

Sorry bud.
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Luke Stirling
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I left my Turing test in my other trousers.
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