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  1. So as we all know, Watch Dogs has recently been released. Some of you have played it, some of you have not and are still on the fence about it. But we're not here to talk about that, we are here to reflect open world games from the past till now and place them in various award to see which one deserves which. It's been a long time since GTA 3 started the open world exploration action game genre after all, so the time is right to see how far open world games has come. Here are the rules: Only open world games are allowed here. GTA, Infamous, Saints Row, Prototype and the likes are ok, but the Elder Scrolls game is not because it's actually an rpg. After you pick a winner of a category, you can also list runner ups if you want. Here are the categories: Most Innovative: this is for games that has features that are so revolutionary and awesome, that it influences games afterwards uses it. Most humongous world: for the game with the most enormous world you have ever seen Most crazy: for games that's just fucking cloud cuckoo insane that someone that made this must be taking drugs Best destruction: for games that features the best destruction you have ever seen Best gameplay mechanic: for games that has the coolest and most fun basic game mechanic which carries the entire game till the end Best side contents: for games which has the most fun side contents Best graphics: no shit on what this is Best characters: for games that has the best characters that makes you glad to see and want to relate to Best Story: for games with, you know what it is Best licensed game: for games that's based on a movie or even comic books that are great Best game overall: for a game that may not have won the awards above, but has full package that makes it an all rounder I will start first. Most Innovative. Winner: Scarface The World is Yours. Runner up: GTA San Andreas Gta San Andreas has great innovative ideas that paved the way for open world games to follow. It introduces the planes and parachutes, inner buildings like the gym, food joint, tattoo parlor, a bar, and even a gym which will change CJ's appearance based on how fit he is. It even has the awesome jetpack which unfortunately didn't catch on. However, it just lost compared to the features Scarface has provided. This game, based on the movie by Al Pacino, has great game mechanics that I was shocked to see has it when I played it. It has the ability to upgrade and decorate the huge iconic house from the movie, where you can pick between that cool movie look, a more modern feel or a vintage feel. It has the ability to phone your driver to get you a car, a feature that I'm surprised is not in San Andreas, and call different characters like a sniper or an enforcer which is a shotgun wielding badass to do your bidding, featuring fun dialogues like: "I need you to get my fucking car right now. NOW!" "Did Elvi call? If she did, tell her..... That I love her. Ok? Now send me my fucking car." It has drug dealing transactions where you have to pick up a drug and then go to a drug dealer to score big money. And best of all, it has the iconic police ring feature that most games nowadays uses! You know the one, where you are wanted by the cop and you have to get out of a police circle? This game started it, and we are thankful for that! Most humongous world. Winner: Just Cause 2 Runner Up: you can't beat Just Cause 2. You just can't. GTAV is said to have the biggest open world map in the GTA series, but man oh man, it's just soooo small compared to Just Cause 2. I played Just Cause 2 for around 80 hours just trying to complete and collect every settlements in the game 100%, and I'm only 81% done. This game is fucking huuuuggee! And it's so impressive that this game's graphic and draw distance is so beautiful without slowdowns! Most Crazy. Winner: Saints Row 4 Runner up: Saints Row 3 The Saints Row series started off being pretty down to earth. It's pretty much a much sillier GTA. Then 3 comes along which is even more wacky, but that's nothing compared to 4. When I saw this game's intro up to the part where you get out of the machine's control, I was like "what the fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu" the whole way through. And then it gets even more fucking crazy! The craziness is topped with even more crazy, which culminates in the most awesome use of this song ever: It. Is. Awesome. Best destruction. Winner: Red Faction Guerrilla Runner up: Mercenaries series. Anyone remembers the Mercenaries? It's a game about controlling 1 out of 3 mercenaries, pick and sides with different factions and just destroy everyone in the game, while having the ability to have a kickass weaponry, plus airstrikes. Which includes the all time classic, nuke. But with all the destruction in this game, it's not as impressive as the ones in Red Faction Guerilla. This game has the most realistic building damage physics I have ever seen. It's such a joy to just use your hammer and wail on building foundations bellow, whether it's for a small or a tall building, and just see them fall down to the ground. Epic. Best gameplay mechanic. Winner: Watch Dogs. Runner up: Sleeping Dogs Batman Arkham series Red Dead Redemption Yep, 2 dogs, 1 horse and 1 bat here! Honestly though, these 4 have excellent gameplay mechanics. Batman Arkham series has you become Batman, and do gameplay which uses his abilities as the Dark Knight to the fullest potential. Excellent combat, stealth and exploration mechanic makes the games so much fun. Sleeping Dogs has the awesome combat system which is what beat em up games should have. It uses Bully's combat mechanic, a game from Rockstar where you attend school which is a great game, but it adds more martial arts touch and moves to it that makes the game so much more enjoyable and fun. I replayed the fight arenas so many times with different songs because I just want to beat the crap out of enemies. Red Dead Redemption makes you become a badass gunslinger in the wild west. Now most of you probably haven't played the previous game Red Dead Revolver, but the gameplay in Redemption improves on that game's mechanic, and it is awesome. Watch Dogs on the other hand, go for a different route. It combines the solid gameplay of Splinter Cell, and add the most interesting and fun gadget I have ever had the pleasure to use: the phone. This phone acts straight like in the game Republique. When I use this thing, I felt like I am a king. I can hack into people's personal information and calls, steal their atm accounts, disrupt traffic lights, put up a police barrier to stop cars, go from phones to phones to go to an area that I can just not step foot into, and best of all, cause a huge blackout. This phone is the best thing ever, and it offers so many awesome gameplay variety that I want to use it over and over again without getting tired of it. Best side contents. Winner: Watch Dogs. Runner Up: Batman Arkham City Bully Red Dead Redemption Batman Arkham City has amazing side contents. I mean, just the idea of hunting down Batman's various enemies and bring them to justice are great enough, but the gameplay variety of these missions, ranging from analysing bullet patterns to find Deadshot, go to different phone booths to catch Zsasz, and collect Riddler trophies, holy crap, I spent hours just doing these things and find them all till I get 100% completion before I do the final mission. Bully also has great side contents, which has you doing stuff that a high school student do during your time off. Going to classes like art, english, biology and gym? Check. Doing boxing at one of the prep kid's hangout and show them you are a champ? Check. Go to a theme park with your girlfriend and play things like the shooting range, the test of strength and go kart? Oh hell yes! Surprising how these things are so much fun to do, and they give you status boosts too so it's all worth it. Red Dead Redemption makes you feel like you are in the wild west. Tons of side contents like bounty hunting, horse riding, duels, treasure hunting, plant picking, animal hunting, the great liar die, and of course, poker. Watch Dogs though, oh man oh man, this game really takes me by surprise. So many cool side contents to do in this game, and I am surprised they are all so freaking good! You got the simple ones like chess, cup and a ball, drinking game and poker, plus sightseeing around Chicago to learn about the real life landmarks there. Then you got the ones like tracing a call, which turns out that someone is going to commit a crime, so you go to his location, wait before he did something bad, and then kick his ass. THEN you got the phone based game like coin run which lets you run to collect coins and shoot virtual aliens. THHEEEEN you got the digital trips, which has fantastic games that can stand out as a standalone indie title, like "Psychedelic" which has you jumping flowers around the city, "Spidertank" which has you controlling a spider tank and blow shit up, "Madness" which lets you drive through the city crashing demons, and my favorite, "Alone", where you sneak around MGS style to light up the dark city. I can spend a whole day just playing these modes, and I'll be ok with it. Best Graphics. Winner: Infamous Second Son. Runner up: LA Noire GTAV My jaws were dropped when I see LA Noire's character faces. It's as close to real life as you can get and I am in awe everytime everyone speaks and I get to see their emotions. Too bad their body animation and the environments are not as great, but they are still great though. GTAV has the most beautiful open world graphic when I saw it. The mountain looks great, the trees looks fresh green, the city looks and feels like they should, especially during clear daytime, and the draw distance is great. I consider this the best looking open world game I have seen.... Until Infamous Second Son comes along and takes the crown. Holy freaking shit, this game looks sooooo good! Sure the facial animation lost to LA Noire, but it's so close to match it! That's Troy Baker, Travis Willingham and Laura Bailey's faces and the game shows their acting range extremely well! And don't even get me started on the visuals and effects in the game. This game looks amazing. The city of Seattle looks freaking awesome, the superpower colours looks great, the smoke effect looks realistic, awwww yeeaaahh and especially that special move where Troy Baker fly to the sky and drop a bombshell on his enemies, mind. Fucking. Blown. Best characters. Winner: GTAIV Runner ups: Red Dead Redemption Saints Row 2-4 This one is pretty hard to pick because each games has different characters with their own quirks. Red Dead Redemption has the badass John Marston who is a badass cowboy, plus great supporting casts like Bonnie, the trickster West Dickens, and the most awesome character in the game, Landon fucking Rickets. Saints Row from 2 to 4 has great characters like Johnny Gat, Shaundi, Pierce, Oleg, Kinzie, Benjamin King, Keith David, and the funny as hell Zinyak. But GTAIV has the most down to earth and believable characters. You got Niko who just wants to live a new life after all the crap he went through in the past. You got Roman who's a good nice guy despite all the troubles he went through. Brucie who's just plain loveable and awesome. Bernie which strangely enough, makes me happy just seeing the guy in comparison with the other characters who are such downers. And of course Jacob, the loyal friend in need. The Gay Tony expansion adds Yusuf Amir to the mix, and I laughed hard when I see his dorkiness. Best story. Winner: Red Dead Redemption Runner up: LA Noire Infamous LA Noire has an excellent story. Aside from the mystery that each cases has, it also explores Cole's character which makes him grow as each cases goes by. Too bad for whatever reason the plot has to do a twist on his character and makes him becomes unlikeable, and then the ending ends in such a lame ass way where it can end in a much better resolution. The first Infamous' story is like Spider-Man. With great power comes great responsibility. But this game executes it in a great way by making your decisions affect who you will become, which makes you get invested into the character. And the end twist is great as well which is actually pretty smart and gives way to the sequel's epic but typical save the world from a giant monster story. Red Dead Redemption though, is where it's all about. You go through John Marston's attempt to get his family back, meeting and helping different characters along the way, going through ups and downs, and that moment where you finally get them back is so satisfying, and really2 sad. It's a great game with a fantastic story. One nitpick I had with it though, Best Licensed game. Winner: Batman Arkham City. Runner Ups: The Godfather Hulk Ultimate Destruction Scarface the World is Yours Obviously you know what Arkham City is so it needs no introduction. But for those that don't know these 3 runner ups, go check them out. These games are excellent and plays really2 well even though they are licensed games. Godfather has great melee + exploration, Hulk Ultimate Destruction is the game that Prototype copied, and Scarface The World is Yours is just plain awesome. Best game overall. Winner: Red Dead Redemption The wild west wins the war. The other games are great, but there are some parts of those games that is lacking and can be improved upon. Red Dead Redemption though, is an all rounder. Not only is this game's story great, it also has a solid game mechanic, atmosphere, plentiful side contents which lets you become a great cowboy/ outlaw/ bounty hunter/ animal hunter/ treasure hunter, but it also has a great fun multiplayer which will make you play for hours on end, and restart the game again to play it all over again after getting 100% completion. There you go, my list and the deserving awards for each. What is your picks for these awards? Let us know! Maybe we'll find different games we haven't heard before.