It can be hard to make clear boundaries in an open-world game that is also engaging, but these games got it right.
Open world games are quickly becoming the rule in the gaming community, as their seemingly endless possibilities are very appealing to gamers of all types. The fun they bring is only matched by the problems they cause for creators. One of the biggest problems is finding a way to keep players inside the boundaries of the map they make without breaking the illusion of the game.
Some games work well with easy solutions like mountainous terrain, but others need a more elegant solution, which is why many developers have made the map an important and recognizable part of their game. Here are just a few of the creative ways that open-world games can stop players from leaving the map.
Grand Theft Auto 5 – Sharks
The sharks that swim off the coast of Los Santos in Grand Theft Auto 5 are one of the best examples of how to enforce a map border without breaking the atmosphere of a game. Even though sharks don’t show up very often in Los Angeles, which is where Los Santos is based. They do sometimes, which makes their appearance in GTA 5 even more realistic.
No matter what a player is driving, if they get too close to the edge of the map. They will sink or crash, and aquatic animals will kill them in a horrible way. As with most open-world games, most players have tried this at some point, but the end is always the same.
Family Guy: The Video Game – Mimes
Most people who watch Family Guy probably don’t even know that a video game based on the show came out in 2006 for the Xbox, PSP, and PS2. Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse, a third-person shooter, came out in 2012 as a follow-up to the game, which didn’t do so well at the box office.
In the original game, the border of the map was guarded by mimes who would turn players away if they got too close to the imaginary wall. It’s hard to say that this made the game worse. Since Family Guy has always liked breaking the fourth wall, both in the show and in real life.
Subnautica – Ghost Leviathan
Instead of just making an impassable border, some games choose to give players an impassable task. This has its pros and cons. But it tends to make players feel more like they are a part of the game. One of these games is Subnautica, where the line will be guarded by the Ghost Leviathan. One of the strongest creatures in the game.
If the player stays in the out-of-bounds area, up to three will spawn at once. They can be killed, but they will just come back. This can be a lot of fun for players who are close to the end of the game and is a creative way to keep players in line.
Motocross Madness 1998 – Throws Players Away
Even if you’ve been playing games for a long time, you probably haven’t heard of Moto Madness. However, it was a huge step forward in gaming at the time, with detailed and vast scenery and physics that were very close to reality. In 2000 and 2013, there were straight follow-ups to the game.
Both the original Motocross Madness and its direct sequel had a delightfully obvious way to remember players to stay in the area of the map that was given to them. Those who went too far would be launched miles into the air. Which was a fun and direct way to warn them.
Mad Max – The Big Nothing
One important part of making a good map border is making sure it fits well into the world and story of the game. The 2015 Mad Max video game does this perfectly. In the movies, “The Big Nothing” is a large, empty wasteland. And in the game, it’s the place where you can’t go.
The Big Nothing doesn’t have any special features. Because it just hurts the player until they die, just like other out-of-bounds areas in games. However, its explanation is built into the world of the series. Which makes it one of the best examples of a feature like this.
Splashdown – The Kraken
Splashdown is a racing game for boats that came out in 2001 for the PS2 and was later put on the Xbox. The idea and gameplay were very simple, but they were a lot of fun. When players went outside of the playable area, they were treated in a way that was both funny and effective.
When players got a little too far from home, a sea monster that looked like a Kraken would slam down on their boat and send them back to the last stop. It was a simple arcade driving game. But the fact that it came out of nowhere made it a lot of fun.
Assassin’s Creed – Desynchronization
The Assassin’s Creed series has used the same method to keep players inside the map for a long time. Even though the basic idea is easy, the way it’s put together makes it one of the best. Players will lose sync if they go off the edge of the map. Just like when they fail to reach their goals.
In reality, this just sends the player back to the last checkpoint. However, it does a good job of reminding the player that the character is living through memories from a different time, which makes the experience feel more real.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint – Drone Attack
In a lot of open-world games, big bodies of water act as the map’s edges. Which means that a big sea monster is always there to protect the border. Ghost Recon: Breakpoint goes in a different direction, which is actually a nice change of pace. Even though the ending is inevitable, it is built up in a reasonable and grounded way.
If a player goes too far from the land, a large group of drones will attack. The drones will start to circle in the distance before they attack. The image is pretty scary, and the fact that it doesn’t just appear out of nowhere helps it feel like it’s a real part of the world.
Far Cry 6 – Hidden Achievement
Far Cry 6 takes a very different approach to players who try to leave the map. Leaving the map isn’t promoted in Wordle Unlimited, but if a player does it anyway, they get a reward instead of dying right away. When players go out to sea, they will see a message that says they are leaving Yara and should go back. However, if they press, they can unlock a secret award.
The Hidden in Plain Sight award is unlocked along with Far Cry 6’s secret ending. The game can then be played normally, but this must be done before the main story is finished. The fact that players can try to leave the line without being punished is a great addition to the game.
Sea Of Thieves – Blood Sea
The Red Sea from Sea of Thieves, also called the Blood Sea or Devil’s Shroud, is one of the most famous and recognizable map borders out there. This feature does exactly what you might think it would: it slowly damages a ship until it goes to the bottom of the sea.
This map border is different from others like it because of how beautiful it looks. And because the game gives players a good chance to turn around and go back. To stay in the area for any length of time, the ship will need extensive and quick repairs. But as long as players don’t go too far in, the situation can be fixed. This makes it feel much more real than a simple border.