Sightseeing around medieval Jerusalem

I’ve always been a big fan of first-person shooter games (such as Doom, Half-life and Unreal Tournament). However, I only recently noticed that I’m no longer into it as much as I once was.

Nowadays, I’m finding myself enjoying the sandbox-type games a bit more. These are games that allow the player to roam freely and explore the gaming world and environment. Sure, there are still game objectives but the player is allowed to proceed in anyway they wish and not be railroaded into a predetermined path in the game.

What I like about these games is that I sometimes feel like I’m actually moving about in that virtual world whenever I’m playing. It’s as if I’m taking a virtual tour of that virtual world. This is specially true for sandbox games that are also first person shooters because I’m viewing the world through the eyes of the character. But it doesn’t have to be first-person. I enjoy the world just as much in third-person view.

An example of a third-person sandbox game is a game I bought recently — Assassin’s Creed. It’s basically a game about an assassin (think Medieval-era ninja) on a mission in Jerusalem during the time of the third crusade! I love medieval history and biblical history. Playing this game allows me to see what it was like to be in that world and move around it! It’s amazing! The graphics is almost realistic and the sounds are very convincing. It really puts me into that world. Right now, I’m just enjoying a little bit of sightseeing around medieval Jerusalem.

I think it’s a lot easier for you to see what I mean rather than me explaining what the game is about:

Well, the gameplay shown in the video was for Xbox 360 but it looks just as gorgeous on my PC. Also, the setting in the gameplay above is in the city of Acre and not Jerusalem but you see what I mean. I can’t wait to advance in the game so I can see not just Jerusalem but also Acre (as seen in the video above) and Damascus.

Another game that gave me great pleasure in just exploring its virtual world is Oblivion. It’s basically a first-person fantasy role-playing game. There are different cities and locales to explore in that game and it really is an escape to another world.

Other similar games I’m interested in getting in the future are Burnout Paradise and Grand Theft Auto 4 (GTA4). Burnout Paradise is actually a driving game. But unlike other driving games with fixed race tracks, this game allows the player to drive around an entire virtual city. You can drive anywhere and take short cuts. You don’t even need to race anybody. You can just have a virtual joy ride around the city which looked marvelous. As for GTA4, the virtual city is modeled after New York City. So, if you want to see what it’s like to be in New York, you can do so by riding around in car, walking or taking a taxi in GTA4. Unfortunately, neither of these games are available on the PC at the moment. But I’ll be picking these up once they are.

I heard that there is actually a Simpsons modification out there for the Quake 4 first-person shooter game. With this modification, the player can move around the entire town of Springfield, home of the Simpsons. I got to get myself that game and that modification.

I just wish there are more games like these which will allow the player to have virtual tours of virtual environments. Actually, it doesn’t even need to be a game. There should just be a program that allows the user to explore fictional places and even actual cities in first-person view. It’s like seeing the world without leaving your desk.

In the meantime, I’ll be going back in time to the twelfth century to look around Jerusalem some more.

Published in: on July 9, 2008 at 12:42 am  Comments (2)  

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The good thing about Assassin’s Creed is that it isn’t a FPS game. It’s like playing a platform game, actually. So that’s good news for people who get queasy with FPS games. 🙂

  2. Way cool! I’m not into FPS games but I can appreciate the design and programming that must have gone into Assassin’s Creed. It seems that more and more research is also going into making the environments as historically authentic as possible, so I kinda wish I *was* into such games. 🙂

    I’m particularly pleased about a couple of things though: a) the producer is a female (!), and b) it was produced in Montreal (away from the usual gaming epicentres). :d

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