Game settings don’t have to be huge to delight gamers. Let’s take a look at locations with one city.
Nowadays, game worlds are trying to make them as big as possible. We’re starting to forget that the success of a title is not determined by the size of the locations. Small settings filled with content are much more interesting than any wastelands.
That’s why single city games are so addicting. The cities themselves are filled with life, so the player will never get bored. And the winding streets can give the impression of a vast location.
Sleeping Dogs — Гонконг
This short franchise takes a different approach to the game world. Despite its name, the presented city is very different from the real Hong Kong in terms of geography. But thematically, it is very similar to its prototype.
The location of Sleeping Dogs was not chosen by chance: it is the birthplace of martial arts. The events of many games take place in East Asia, but usually not in our time, but in some historical era. Modern Hong Kong in an open world game is a very pleasant surprise.
Mafia 3 – New Bordeaux
In this open-world game, a more familiar trick is used: the city is sketched from a real prototype, in this case from New Orleans. Not without creative fiction: in addition to the name, important geographical features have undergone changes.
New Bordeaux is a great example of a gaming city that recreates the atmosphere of a prototype without being overly precise. In some franchises, American cities are too similar to each other. There is no such problem here: New Bordeaux can never be confused with Lost Haven or Empire Bay from past games in the series.
Yakuza Series – Kamuro-to
The Tokyo area has appeared in several parts of the franchise. This is one of the smallest game worlds, but at the same time – one of the most intense, especially in Yakuza 0. Interesting events and unexpected Easter eggs await you at every step.
Kamuroch is perfectly woven into the narrative. The player becomes attached to the city and finds new ways to interact with it.
LA Noire – Los Angeles
While Chicago and New York are more typical of such games, Los Angeles is the perfect place for this plot. The city is extremely diverse, with quiet suburbs, huge factories and imposing business centers.
So things never get bored at LA Noire. Here you are talking with a resident of an unusual suburban house, and in a few moments you are already rushing through the factory for the suspect. Few cities can compete with Los Angeles in the variety of people and locations.
Driver: San Francisco – San Francisco
Exploration is an important part of the gameplay of this game. All locations are in the head of the protagonist, since he is in a coma. Therefore, he can hover over the city and move into any driver.
A driving game requires a city with an interesting layout. San Francisco is perfect. In the early stages, the player’s freedom is limited, which is also the reason for a trifle. Each new area was different from the previous one. You start the game in the city center and then drive through the winding cities of the suburbs.
Bully — Булворт
Another relatively small but memorable city. There is so much content in it that initially access to many locations is closed. Only in the middle of the passage, the rest of the city opens up to the player. But even a small section is very interesting to study.
In Bully, the most mundane becomes an adventure. Running around Bullworth is a pleasure. While doing your studies and other activities, you explore the area. As soon as the whole city opens, places of interest for schoolchildren are unlocked: a comic and antiques store, a cinema and a fair. Every corner of this city is bustling with life. This is not often seen in Rockstar games.
Saints Row 2 — Стилуотер
Several cities were featured in this franchise. But it is Stillwater from the second part that is the most reckless. It is more diverse compared to versions from other games: each location in the storyline is associated with a certain gang.
But the main advantage of this city is that it serves as a playground. Of all the crazy things, the underground shopping center is especially memorable. There are unusual cars in open shops. Get behind the wheel and have fun.
Watch_Dogs Legion — Лондон
Chicago and San Francisco from the previous parts of the series turned out to be worthy copies of famous cities. But Legion uses a non-standard setting. Typically, in open-world games, London was represented as part of a historical era. Well, it’s time to fix this situation.
Despite the dystopian atmosphere, the city is worked out to the smallest detail. Many British and Americans think their cities are very similar. Legion is the first game to prove otherwise. In addition, each NPC is playable, and even has a set of useful skills. This makes the city feel more alive.
Grand Theft Auto — Vice City
As with other early installments in the series, Vice City’s map is surprisingly small. Developers filled the city with events, sights and thoughtful roads.
GTA V boasts the most impressive map in the franchise, but half of the map is filled with countryside. And in Vice City, there is only one city that is bustling with life.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood — Рим
Although this game has only one city, the developers managed to fill it with all sorts of content. Rome has already appeared in Assassin’s Creed 2, albeit for a short time, and there was nothing to do there. But Brotherhood presents the city in all its glory. This is one of the best open worlds in Ubisoft.
As a result, the game turned out to be worked out to the smallest detail. The map is large enough to explore, but not too large. Each area is unique. The developers have created a convincing version of Renaissance Rome.