I want to explore - what game that doesn’t hold your hand have I missed?

Teggy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,258
Trying to explore in game worlds these days is disappointing. Take this example from The Witcher 3 I had last night. I stopped in a town to find out where a witch lived. I eavesdropped on some women who said that the witch could be reached by looking for a pond, then turning right at a large rock and going until I found a wagon. OK, this is great! Let’s take a look around. Suddenly, giant yellow circles appear on the map, and it’s very clear the game is just going to guide me there.

The so-called “adventure modes” of games like AC Odyssey or GR Breakpoint are hardly better. You get a clue about a specific area which you can easily look up on the map and then repeat the same process, be it pulling out your eagle or interrogating an NPC, and boom you’ve got a diamond on your map.

Remember in games like Morrowind or Gothic when you’d be given basic directions and then had to follow paths and look for signs? That stuff is immersive and fun (for me).

Are there any games that make you find your way like this or is It a lost cause? I don’t care if they are old games.

edit: yes I’ve played BOTW
 
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RoboitoAM

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,735
Pretty sure you can do this in Red Dead Redemption 2 and Breath of the Wild if you turn off all HUD elements
 

RedshirtRig

Member
Nov 14, 2017
554
Subnautica does have a few points of interest markers, but it doesn't hold your hand. Fun exploring the planet and learning about the creatures and plants.
 
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Teggy

Teggy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,258
Pretty sure you can do this in Red Dead Redemption 2 and Breath of the Wild if you turn off all HUD elements
I’m actually playing RDR2 now. I think the problem would be there’s no way to find what you’re looking for. Like a guy wants you to collect a debt but there aren’t clues to get to the person. No one to ask where a particular farm is or whatever.

Outer Wilds. Go now!

Haha I had the exact same experience trying to play TW3 btw.
yes, I’ve played it, great game. I really enjoyed Subnautica too.
 

Hella

Member
Oct 27, 2017
16,425
Play Kenshi. It's got a giant, open world that will kill you at every turn; if you want to explore it, you must be prepared. And the problem is, you won't know what to prepare for until you actually check the area out.
 

Starlatine

Member
Oct 28, 2017
11,954
Would rec Subnautica and Outer Wilds but you seem to have played both.
Then i give you Path of Exile. Its the best diablo-like game out there, and it doesnt tell you shit about how you should progress. Make your build. Fail. Retry. Use respec points and try again. Its a great experience if you like hack and slashs.
 

Lelouch0612

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,924
Breath of the Wild, no HUD and that would be all.

The game and its world are designed in a way that pushes you to follow your instincr and explore. Each interest point lead to another in a seemless way.
 

JohnPaulv2.0

Member
Dec 3, 2017
136
I remember vanilla WoW being great for this. Quest descriptions would often include a set of directions from a landmark iirc. Outer Wilds is definitely a great option though.
 
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Teggy

Teggy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,258
Play Kenshi. It's got a giant, open world that will kill you at every turn; if you want to explore it, you must be prepared. And the problem is, you won't know what to prepare for until you actually check the area out.

it looks interesting, I’ll take a closer look.

A Short Hike.

It's a short game (duh), but the exploration is wonderful.

It's pure "paths with signs"
I did play it, its a nice little game.

ive played BoTW. I’ve checked out PoE in the past, maybe it deserves another look.
 

Slow Roll

Member
Sep 20, 2019
1
I really enjoyed Elex, lots of varied environments that reward exploration, plus you have a jet pack. Review scores are mediocre but I found it anything but.
 

Lelouch0612

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,924
In recent years, in terms of games that don't hold your hand at all when it comes to side quests, I must mention Octopath Traveler.

Combined to the path actions (that let you interact with the world to get info, challenge or seduce NPC) you have multiple ways to tackle a quest which might not all have the same outcome.
 

Sacrilicious

Member
Oct 30, 2017
288
You can turn off the HUD in TW3. I enjoyed it more that way, following lines on a map just isn't satisfying. You can even do track quests by following actual tracks rather than using the Witcher senses.

BOTW with a minimal HUD also did a great job of requiring you to figure out where to go and how to navigate.

RDR2 is excellent with this, I love that you can momentarily reactivate the HUD when needed and leave it off otherwise.
 
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Teggy

Teggy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,258
I really enjoyed Elex, lots of varied environments that reward exploration, plus you have a jet pack. Review scores are mediocre but I found it anything but.
Yeah, I am a sucker for the piranha bytes formula.

You can even do track quests by following actual tracks rather than using the Witcher senses.
Hm what do you mean by this? I’ll have to look at the settings. But it also has that same problem if there being no signs and no one to ask directions. I don’t mind having to find the Baron’s castle, but you can’t just wander aimlessly trying to find it.
 

Elodes

Looks to the Moon
Member
Nov 1, 2017
858
The Netherlands
Rain World takes this very far, and is an absolutely incredible game for other reasons too. Way, way underappreciated, and definitely a must if you're looking for a game that, on every level of its design, refuses to allot the player any kind of preferred treatment such as hand-holding.
 

Sacrilicious

Member
Oct 30, 2017
288
You can even do track quests by following actual tracks rather than using the Witcher senses.
Hm what do you mean by this? I’ll have to look at the settings. But it also has that same problem if there being no signs and no one to ask directions. I don’t mind having to find the Baron’s castle, but you can’t just wander aimlessly trying to find it.
Sorry, I wasn't too clear. I'm referring to quests where you have to follow tracks using Witcher senses. A lot of the time, Witcher senses are optional since they use in-world visual clues (footprints, broken foliage, etc).

Navigating the game world is different, but I also think that's more fun without the HUD. You learn the layout of the game world, occasionally opening the map when you need it but otherwise using the landscape to figure out the way to your destination.
 

Kansoku

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,003
Disclaimer: I have not played this game yet, but I've always found the idea interesting. Maybe someone else can chime in to say if the game is good or not.

There's this PC game called Miasmata, where you have a map, but in order to reveal more of the map you have to triangulate your position and track landmarks. This video shows how this is done quite nicely.


Rain World takes this very far, and is an absolutely incredible game for other reasons too. Way, way underappreciated, and definitely a must if you're looking for a game that, on every level of its design, refuses to allot the player any kind of preferred treatment such as hand-holding.
Second this. It's one of my favorite games. I even did a write up some time ago about it.
 
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Teggy

Teggy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,258
Disclaimer: I have not played this game yet, but I've always found the idea interesting. Maybe someone else can chime in to say if the game is good or not.

There's this PC game called Miasmata, where you have a map, but in order to reveal more of the map you have to triangulate your position and track landmarks. This video shows how this is done quite nicely.

Heh, this is also on my steam wishlist. It’s only $3 this week I should pick it up!

Edit: scratch that! I actually own it!
 
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Pascal

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
5,098
Parts Unknown
Outer Wilds is great. Hollow Knight has the best exploration in a 2D game that I've played. Seems you've played both of them though. Hmm...

If you happen to have a Wii U, check out Xenoblade Chronicles X. Otherwise...Shadow of the Colossus?
 
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Teggy

Teggy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,258
Outer Wilds is great. Hollow Knight has the best exploration in a 2D game that I've played. Seems you've played both of them though. Hmm...

If you happen to have a Wii U, check out Xenoblade Chronicles X. Otherwise...Shadow of the Colossus?
Yeah, Xenoblade X is great although I got stuck on a fight and put it down a while back.
 

apocat

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,058
Outward is a weird and wonky title. It's obviously not a big budget title, but it has a lot of heart in all its jankiness. I didn't actually finish it, but I specifically enjoyed that you can just wander off into areas which you're not really equipped for and see what you can accomplish. There is very little hand holding. Might be worth a look.

Edit: Just beaten!
 

ClearMetal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,096
Netherlands
For what it's worth, you can turn off the compass, the map and all that stuff in AC Odyssey. I did a second playthrough with all these 'directional' elements turned off and it was a ton of fun.
 
Nov 17, 2017
8,870
Xenoblade X. Not only is it an amazing world to explore, the game really respects your intelligence as a player. The only real tutorial is in the beginning but beyond that it really doesn’t hold your hand at all and expects you to dive into the systems at your own pace and figure things out. There’s always a tutorial menu there for you to check but beyond that the game lets you roam free.
 

Crispy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
237
The newest Deus Ex (mankind divided?) with all the help turned off. Great experience. You can probably get it cheap as well.
 

eastcoastkody

Member
Dec 1, 2017
1,109
BOTW is it.

one of the few modern games that doesn't treat u like ur a complete moron.

I like Witcher 3 and AC Origins. But damn they really tell u what to do and where to go at all times.

Red Dead 2 is ok. Only problem is without the HUD ur going to miss stuff. I try to go no hud sometimes. But then i'll miss a world event
 

Dennis8K

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,216
Risen is a fantastic exploration-based Euro-jank cRPG.

Don't expect AAA polish or 2020-level graphics but other than that it is an underrated gem.
 

GUSH

Member
Nov 17, 2017
1,217
I really enjoyed Elex, lots of varied environments that reward exploration, plus you have a jet pack. Review scores are mediocre but I found it anything but.
Play Kenshi. It's got a giant, open world that will kill you at every turn; if you want to explore it, you must be prepared. And the problem is, you won't know what to prepare for until you actually check the area out.
I second these recommendations. Both are great and have really satisfying exploration.

Kenshi is a little (a lot) unorthodox but there's nothing quite like it out there, I spent most of my time with it in bewilderment at the situations that I'd get myself into and out of. If you're into Mount & Blade and/or Morrowind at all you'd probably love it.