Open-world games are the bread and butter of developer Ubisoft, which churns out at least one such title every year. These games are set inside a sandbox environment free to be explored by players, who are usually rewarded for their curiosity. This leads to them putting hours into such open-world games as they investigate every little nook and cranny of the map.
Ubisoft is well known for its well-crafted open-worlds that serve as a vibrant and alive backdrop against which the main game is set. Ranging from urban cityscapes to wild jungle environments, these vast and diverse open worlds are some of the most gorgeous environments seen in video games.
This list takes a look at 10 of the most beautiful Ubisoft open worlds from their long line-up of video game releases.
Note: This article reflects the writer's opinion
10 of the best looking open-worlds Ubisoft has to offer
1) Assassin's Creed Odyssey
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey featured a significant number of role-playing game (RPG) mechanics and included an expansive map modeled on a large section of Greece. Released on October 5, 2018 for Windows, PS4, and Xbox One, the game was praised for being so huge in comparison to previous titles.
Set during the Peloponnesian War (431 - 422 BCE), the player takes on the role of the Misthios on the island of Kephallonia, which itself is a gorgeous Greek island filled with greenery and beaches. The journey then takes them across various lands in Greece, showcasing the game’s various environments.
Featuring forests, marshes, deserts, ruins, and bustling cities, this open-world game has a diverse range of scenery in which to deploy its fantastic photo mode. Different landmasses scattered across the Aegean Sea each have their own distinct esthetic that combine to make the game feel larger than it is.
2) The Division 2
Released on March 15, 2019, The Division 2 is an online action RPG set in an open world. The game is a co-op multiplayer experience set in a post-apocalyptic Washington, D.C. where a number of factions are vying for control of the area. While an internet connection is necessary to play the game, players can choose to play it solo as well.
While most people wouldn’t call a post-apocalyptic world "beautiful," Ubisoft has done a great job in creating an interesting setting that never becomes mundane. While there are the usual deserted streets, ransacked buildings, and piled-up cars typical of such a setting, there is also plenty of unrestricted greenery sprouting up over the city.
This fictional rendition of Washington, D.C. has been created with painstaking detail, featuring many different landscapes and iconic locations. It is particularly noticeable in the little features that make the city feel like it was once a bustling metropolis that had to be quickly evacuated amidst chaos and confusion.
3) Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3 is possibly the best in the series, featuring a truly intriguing villain and a compelling story. This open-world title is set in the fictional Rock Island archipelago somewhere in the Pacific, where protagonist Jason Brody and his friends have the unfortunate experience of landing during their vacation.
Once Jason escapes the pirates who captured him and his friends, players are introduced to a wide open map that they can explore at their leisure. The islands are beautifully designed, with tropical forests and beaches aplenty, along with settlements dotted everywhere.
Players can travel across the map either on foot or by using a variety of vehicles. Wildlife and enemy factions loom throughout the map, so despite the scenic nature, Jason can be attacked at any time. Players can hunt and collect parts from animals used for crafting. The game’s wildlife also interact among themselves, simulating a living breathing ecosystem.
4) Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
While many might regard Assassin’s Creed II as Ezio Auditore’s best game, there is no denying the fact that the open world in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is far superior to its predecessor. Set in 16th-century Rome, players can explore this famous city as it was during its prime.
Like all Assassin’s Creed games, the game world is modeled on the actual city of Rome, although it has been scaled down in size. Along with the majority of Rome, players can also visit the Vatican after a certain point in the game, as well as some outlying districts.
Various famous locations have been crafted in splendid detail for this game world, such as the Pantheon, the Colosseum, and more. While much of the game will take players to many of these destinations anyway, they can also head out on their own free-roam adventures in-between objectives.
5) Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint
Ghost Recon Breakpoint is the sequel to Ubisoft’s previous Ghost Recon title, and was released on October 4, 2019. This map is set on the fictional chain of islands known as Aurora, where the protagonist Nomad and their team arrive to investigate a series of disturbances.
The island setting of this open-world game details a stunning backdrop to the main story, which revolves around a conflict between Nomad’s group and another military presence. The game world features diverse biomes, including lush beaches, dense forests, and frost-covered mountains that players can freely explore in-between missions.
Players can use a number of different vehicles to traverse the dynamic terrain, such as four-wheel off-road jeeps, helicopters, and boats. While playing solo or with friends, players can freely travel to almost any point on the map to enjoy the views and simply take in the sights of the beautiful open world.
6) Watch Dogs 2
After the highly criticized first game, Ubisoft salvaged the reputation of its Watch Dogs series with Watch Dogs 2, which was released on November 15, 2016. Set in a fictional San Francisco Bay Area, the game follows the story of Marcus Halloway as he seeks revenge for being sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit.
The game features four different areas inspired by San Francisco, Oakland, Marin, and Silicon Valley. Many districts of San Francisco are faithfully recreated in the game, with iconic sites such as the Golden Gate Bridge and the Transamerica Pyramid building.
This detailed city environment is among the best urban settings Ubisoft has ever created. Players have access to a number of different vehicles to explore the city and drive around the different tourist locations that have been rendered in spectacular detail.
7) Immortals Fenyx Rising
Immortals Fenyx Rising is Ubisoft’s take on an RPG with a less grounded approach, and is set in ancient Greek mythology with gods and monsters walking the lands. The open-world game was released on December 3, 2020 across a number of current and next-gen platforms.
Protagonist Fenyx washes up on the Golden Isle, which serves as the main setting for the game. It consists of seven distinct regions, each with its own esthetic. This is Ubisoft’s most artistically striking game yet, adopting a stylized design, as opposed to the rest of their games that take a realistic approach.
This open-world game has many stunning environments, inspired by ancient Greek myths. Using the wings of Icarus, they can glide through the lands, admiring them from a bird's eye view, or ride around on a mount to appreciate the finer details of the scenery.
8) Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s historical setting sees players take on the force of the templars in Victorian London. The game was released on October 23, 2015 and was the last in the series before it jumped to an RPG format. Taking place in 1868, players take on the roles of twins Evie and Jacob Fyre in a historic recreation of London.
This is the furthest along in the future the series has come. As the Second Industrial Revolution is underway in London, the city is depicted by a blend of urban and rural environments while still retaining many of its iconic monuments.
Players get to scale painstakingly detailed recreations of the original Clock Tower housing Big Ben, or the tower of London. They can take a mini-vacation around this late 19th-century British city, visiting Buckingham Palace or taking a stroll in Trafalgar Square.
9) The Crew 2
While this is a driving game, The Crew 2 features a large map composed of four different open-world areas. The game is set across a scaled-down version of the United States and was released on June 29, 2018 for Windows, PS4, and Xbox One.
Aside from cars to race in, players can also get across the map using motorcycles, boats, and airplanes. Set across a number of different cities and off-road areas, this is a racing game that offers a diverse number of environments to compete in.
Players can explore different areas set across four hub worlds and use any vehicle at any time during free-roam gameplay. Vehicles can be swapped between land, sea, and air traversal modes at any time. This allows players to quickly switch from a car to a plane to a boat seamlessly.
10) Far Cry 5
As we have already established, Far Cry 3 is the best game in the series. However, Far Cry 5 was the most technologically-advanced upon release. Released on March 27, 2018, this game saw the series take a big dip into the RPG genre by introducing RPG elements to the mix.
The game was set in fictional Hope County, Montana, in the United States, and consisted of a large map containing rural settlements, dense forests, and hills. Created with stunning detail, wildlife and flora were intricately incorporated into the world through a dynamic ecosystem like in previous games.
Players also had the option to recruit locals to their cause, as well as a select few animals whom they could command. These came in the form of Boomer the dog, Peaches the mountain lion, and Cheeseburger the grizzly bear. These animals could be directed to take out targets, distract them, or even clear an entire outpost.
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