Assassin's Creed: The Wasted Open-World

The Skyrim Effect

Skyrim Combat

But when did open-world adventures as we know them today really take off? A lot of that can be traced back to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Originally launching in November 2011, Skyrim was far from alone in embracing the free-roaming concept (The Elder Scrolls was renowned for that long before Skyrim came around), but certainly popularized it. Buoyed along by marketing, word of mouth and silly memes about taking arrows to the knee, Skyrim became one of the most formidable phenomena in recent gaming memory.

The go-anywhere-do-anything concept became the game’s watchword, allowing players to roleplay and create all kinds of scenarios for themselves as they adventured across Skyrim. At the time, it was quite rare for a game to deviate from its central objectives and plot very much, and here was a game in which the optional content was perhaps even more engrossing than the main campaign!

This is a very tough thing to pull off, but it was easy to lose sight of the primary objective entirely for hours and hours on end. Sorry, everyone, the fate of Skyrim can wait because the Dragonborn has found some bigger fish to fry.

Needless to say, Skyrim inspired a wave of other titles to follow in its footsteps. And so open worlds began expanding!


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