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I’m on the hunt for particular kind of game....

Noncanon Ship

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The Dishonored series has really fun combat and fantastically rewarding exploration. I can only speak for the 2nd game and Death of the Outsider though. Some absolutely fantastic level design. I feel like you would like Dishonored if you liked the Bioshock series. I hope you played Bioshock 2 + dlc (minerva's den). Its gameplay, level design, and mission design is better than the first game.

I would say that the most enjoyable exploration I've experienced is in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. But the combat in that is only good if you enjoy stealth.

EDIT: Also, Prey
 
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WellSheet

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The Dishonored series has really fun combat and fantastically rewarding exploration. I can only speak for the 2nd game and Death of the Outsider though. Some absolutely fantastic level design. I feel like you would like Dishonored if you liked the Bioshock series. I hope you played Bioshock 2 + dlc (minerva's den). Its gameplay, level design, and mission design is better than the first game.

I would say that the most enjoyable exploration I've experienced is in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. But the combat in that is only good if you enjoy stealth.

EDIT: Also, Prey
I loved both Dishonored games, hoping for a PS5 in time for Deathloop!

prey was on another level though - I have Deus Ex Mankind Divided(?) the PS4/XBO one...I couldn’t get into it....immersive sims are one of my favorite genres but they can really be hit or miss
 
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Noncanon Ship

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I loved both Dishonored games, hoping for a PS5 in time for Deathloop!

prey was on another level though - I have Deus Ex Mankind Divided(?) the PS4/XBO one...I couldn’t get into it....immersive sims are one of my favorite genres but they can really be hit or miss
If you mean you couldn’t get into Deus Ex MD (can’t tell if you’re referring to Prey), I would say that HR is quite different in structure than MD. I got pretty burnt out on exploration in MD. It’s very dense in single large hub areas with a lot of verticality that you come back to. HR felt less dense, easier to fully explore each area.

I enjoyed HR a lot more than MD.
 
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WellSheet

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If you mean you couldn’t get into Deus Ex MD (can’t tell if you’re referring to Prey), I would say that HR is quite different in structure than MD. I got pretty burnt out on exploration in MD. It’s very dense in single large hub areas with a lot of verticality that you come back to. HR felt less dense, easier to fully explore each area.

I enjoyed HR a lot more than MD.
Sorry for the confusion.

loved PREY. One of my top games of the last generation.

I have Mankind Divided and tried to get into it, but it didn’t click...I don’t think I have it a fair shake.
 
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zaanan

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Hugare

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The Dishonored series has really fun combat and fantastically rewarding exploration. I can only speak for the 2nd game and Death of the Outsider though. Some absolutely fantastic level design. I feel like you would like Dishonored if you liked the Bioshock series. I hope you played Bioshock 2 + dlc (minerva's den). Its gameplay, level design, and mission design is better than the first game.

I would say that the most enjoyable exploration I've experienced is in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. But the combat in that is only good if you enjoy stealth.

EDIT: Also, Prey
Yeah, Deus Ex are amazing games in terms of exploration. You are always, always rewarded with something.

The game gets a lot of deserved heat, but Cyberpunk 2077 is a good example of a game like this

There are A LOT of gigs, each one having some little story in it and different paths for stealth or gunblazing

I hardly do side stuff in open world games because I never feel motivated to do so. I'm never rewarded.

Who cares about korok seeds? Or a little health boost? Or a pair of boots with +2 armor?

CD Projekt seems to understand this: both in Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk, the motivation is more story, more lore, more interactions with interesting characters.

I finished every sidequest and every gig in the game. Spent 90h+ with it.

I never do this with open world games, not even The Witcher 3.
 
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King_Mandu

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Dragon's Dogma! It's still one of the most underrated games of all time. DD checks off everything on your list and it has friendship. Just remember op, wolves hunt in packs.

Got a day off today and the weather is shit so I was thinking about getting back into Destiny but screw Bungie and their cowardice to add a fourth class. Dragon's Dogma replay it is!
 

Soodanim

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You know what....I keep FORGETTING that I tried this game back during its launch and it didn’t click with me due to the Pawn system, but I never really got passed the opening area...I don’t even recall even really getting out into the open world...I remember hearing it was sort of bland? That not so? I’m ignorant on the game...but you’ve perked my ears...
DD didn’t click with me at first, although for me it for the combat system. I struggled to get into the demo. But then the full game became one of my most played of all time, owned and finished on two systems.

With regards to the pawn system, for the most part it’s set it and leave it. I tend to just make it a mixed caster so I get some healing and backup, and take care of the rest of it myself. Or go full healing and employ other people’s pawns that play the attack role. There’s a system for paying, but don’t worry about that. Get the free ones at your level. It’s easy enough to swap them out.
If you mean you couldn’t get into Deus Ex MD (can’t tell if you’re referring to Prey), I would say that HR is quite different in structure than MD. I got pretty burnt out on exploration in MD. It’s very dense in single large hub areas with a lot of verticality that you come back to. HR felt less dense, easier to fully explore each area.

I enjoyed HR a lot more than MD.
I agree about HR being better. I realised it during MD. HR is easily the better game.
 

STARSBarry

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May 19, 2019
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This is a little out there because it depends on what you mean by exploration... however since the entire gameplay loop is being rewarded for exploration in unique cave networks with minerals which you use to construct meaningful upgrades to your weapons and abilities, so you can do harder content and get more upgrades for the fast paced and frankly amazing shooting to build your class how you want it to play.


It is however an online coop shooter, which came 3rd highest rated in 2020 for steam reviews on the entire platform. You did not say singleplayer however.
 
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Bo_Hazem

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Try TLOU2, you won't regret it (play in the hardest "Crushing" mode, then tweak resources difficulty to "medium/normal"). Don't listen to the noise. Also many of the suggestions here are great so not gonna repeat them.
 
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BlackTron

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Explore
verb
  1. 1.
    travel through (an unfamiliar area) in order to learn about it.
BOTW does exploration better than the majority of the games that have exploration as part of their game design.
There doesn't have to be a reward at the end of it. The reward is in the sense of seeing all the game world has to offer.

There doesn't have to be a reward for exploration, no; but if there isn't, then what you have is a walking simulator.

Many of us do want to be rewarded for exploration as a tenet of good game design, such as OP.

Don't tell OP what he does and doesn't want, he said he wants to be rewarded for exploration, so yes, in order to meet his specifications there needs to be a reward for it. Get off your high horse.

I agree with you that BOTW does exploring a giant world map with no purpose better than any other game out there; it's an AAAA walking sim. No reward necessary if that's all you want, but some of us are in this to play a real ass game.
 
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engstra

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Seeing as you mentioned Hollow Knight, there are a bunch of smaller metroidvanias that could scratch that itch

Ori games
Yoku's Island Express
Steamworld Dig
Guacamelee

Some of them are maybe a bit lighter on combat but the exploration is top notch
 
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midasmulligan

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The exploration is entirely meaningless in BOTW. What are you going to find? Some weapon that breaks in 2 hits, a gourd seed or one of the many copy /paste shrines?
….and mountains you can’t climb because it will start raining as soon as you attempt, vast emptiness of terrain, nothing to find, repetitive enemies, ect, ect
 

ButchCat

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You already mentioned Bioshock, immersive sims are pretty good at this like Dishonored series and the Deus Ex series.

I also recommend Dead Space 1 and 2 if you're into horror.
 
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jroc74

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Lots of good choices.

I'm gonna say Minecraft and Terraria. I love Terraria.
 
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Ten_Fold

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Bloodbone.
Best choice to check out, the game isn’t open world, but the game doesn’t feel restricted, you can play however you feel like the game isn’t as hard as people say, once u beat like the first 2 bosses, it’s not really too difficult, just pace yourself.
 
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WalterSobchak

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I'd second Bloodborne. Give Days Gone a try. Also Evil Within 1 is amazing , but more linear and more emphasis on Survival horror. Bioshock 2 if you haven't played it also.
 
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Flabagast

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Yeah, Deus Ex are amazing games in terms of exploration. You are always, always rewarded with something.

The game gets a lot of deserved heat, but Cyberpunk 2077 is a good example of a game like this

There are A LOT of gigs, each one having some little story in it and different paths for stealth or gunblazing

I hardly do side stuff in open world games because I never feel motivated to do so. I'm never rewarded.

Who cares about korok seeds? Or a little health boost? Or a pair of boots with +2 armor?

CD Projekt seems to understand this: both in Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk, the motivation is more story, more lore, more interactions with interesting characters.

I finished every sidequest and every gig in the game. Spent 90h+ with it.

I never do this with open world games, not even The Witcher 3.

Yeah I second this OP, CP2077 could be right up your alley, in fact it even reminded me of Bioshock in a strange way.

Game is packed to the brim with story bits & very detailed environmental storytelling akin to a 5-hours straigth line walking simulator only here extended to a full city, especially if you engage with the written shards and go in slow. Level design is better than average for an open world game as well.


Dishonored is also a very good choice (albeit lacking in narrative departement), especially 2
 
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fart town usa

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Ratchet & Clank PS3 titles, particularly A Crack in Time but starting with Tools of Destruction isn't a bad idea either. It's one series where the game has a running story.

Breath of the Wild, Twilight Princess HD. Also depends on what systems you have and if you're open to playing something "old."

Resident Evil 2 Remake or RE3 Remake.
 
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WellSheet

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Thank you everyone so far for all your suggestions!

As of this moment....I’m leaning toward Dragon’s Dogma or POSSIBLY - even though it wasn’t specifically suggested - Fallout 4; also maybe Witcher 3. Ive given myself and hour to decide...

Also:

I realize how much of a fail my original post was - I have played the Souls games, most modern immersive sims, and those are PERFECT examples and I should have listed them in my cadre of “similar titles” when asking y’all for suggestions; that was my failing!
 

mansoor1980

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Thank you everyone so far for all your suggestions!

As of this moment....I’m leaning toward Dragon’s Dogma or POSSIBLY - even though it wasn’t specifically suggested - Fallout 4; also maybe Witcher 3. Ive given myself and hour to decide...

Also:

I realize how much of a fail my original post was - I have played the Souls games, most modern immersive sims, and those are PERFECT examples and I should have listed them in my cadre of “similar titles” when asking y’all for suggestions; that was my failing!
dragons DULL dogma ? u r making a mistake
 
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mansoor1980

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Lots of good feedback on the game though - it seems like a very PARTICULAR game. The combat looks really good...the world and exploration are what have me hesitating...
combat is the only good thing about it , exploration is there too but the game gets dull fast ,metro exodus is another option you can consider , it can be janky but generally a solid game
ah shit u already played it
 
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WellSheet

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combat is the only good thing about it , exploration is there too but the game gets dull fast ,metro exodus is another option you can consider , it can be janky but generally a solid game
Exodus is one of the most perfect examples of what I’d love to find. I enjoyed how weighty, explorative and non-handholdy it was. I enjoyed the game being comprised of more smaller open-world hubs - it had that RARE balance of cinematic, epic set-piece moments interspersed with open exploration and side objectives that felt really well done and worth pursuing.
 
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Elektro Demon

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Try TLOU2, you won't regret it (play in the hardest "Crushing" mode, then tweak resources difficulty to "medium/normal"). Don't listen to the noise. Also many of the suggestions here are great so not gonna repeat them.
Tlou 2 is feminist and lesbian propaganda.
Yakuza franchise is what I think you need to get into, OP.
 
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Belmonte

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Dragon's Dogma is the easy pick.

* It has the best combat in an open world ever. There is no competition. You only will see a more nuanced battle system in games which are laser focused on combat, like DMC (from the same director of Dragon's Dogma, btw) or Ninja Gaiden.

* A world which isn't for tourism. There are harder enemies in the field so you need to have attention and plan your routes.

* Night is very dark and with more dangerous enemies roaming. You need to stock your resources and plan your adventure with a minimum of care

* Great exploration. You met new monsters/flora/locations, which means new itens to be looted and be transformed into new equipment.

* Paws which can't level up and you can't customize means you need to plan your party with some thought.

There are only three cons, which, at least to me are so minor that I almost forget about it when talking about DD: inventory management and finding new quests can be confusing at first and the story seems bare bones. I find this funny because, in fact, DD has an interesting story! They just don't care to show you before the last 1/3 of the game.

Another recommendation: I didn't play BOTW yet but if you don't mind old graphics, I recommend the original Legend of Zelda.
 
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WellSheet

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Okay - so, for anyone curious about my saga.

I installed Fallout 4 and Witcher 3 yesterday and played both for about an hour to just get a baseline feel...

definitely leaning more towards Witcher, but it seems like such a MASSIVE undertaking (as does Fallout) that’s my only worries when it comes to any full-blown open world games...but, I’m going to
Play more tonight and see if it clicks better. Maybe I’m just broken? Ha
 
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Roman Empire

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Most of the games listed you have played, so as many suggested Dragon's Dogma is a good pick. The exploration can be clunky early on because of the lack of stamina and the map's size being gigantic to explore by walking, but it certainly is rewarding. You are discouraged to venture during the night early in the game but there are some nice surprises and rewards for doing it. If you want a challenge, then go with Hard difficulty, otherwise normal is recommended. Not commenting on the combat aside from being tight, having depth, and satisfying to justify various playthroughs.