Top 5 Mind-Blowing Vistas
A desert isn’t necessarily a setting that you’d instantly think of when you imagine some of the most impressive views in videogames, but that’s just what Journey provides us with. Journey is beautiful throughout, but the moment that sticks in our mind is when you’re sliding down a steep hill and the light from a setting sun peeks through the ruins ahead of you to make the desert shine like gold. Wonderful.
4. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
We could have just as easily picked Uncharted 3, but we’ve plumped for the game that really saw the Uncharted series explode, not least because of the impressive vistas that were on show in this game. This is another game that looks beautiful from beginning to end, with loads of spectacular scenes to choose from. We could lump for one, but we’re not going to, because there are so many throughout Uncharted 2’s globetrotting adventure, from the section in Nepal (though it might be hard to remember how nice it looked with a chopper shooting at you the whole time), to the reveal of Shambhala.
3. The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
There’s a reason that there are two Elder Scrolls games in this list and that is that Bethesda are very good at building open worlds. Roaming Skyrim’s wild lands, you’ll find plenty of spectacular views yourself, though we will highlight a few for you. There’s Markath, the Mage’s College from afar, the Throat of the World for spectacular views, the secret garden-like Moss Mother Cavern, or the City of Solitude, to name but a few. All of these can be enhanced if you’re fortunate enough to encounter them while a spectacular Northern Lights showing is in progress.
2. Red Dead Redemption
Rockstar’s brilliant portrayal of an Old West in its latter days really captures the spirit of the era as we all imagine it in our minds, seeing it we do through the prism of the western genre. As you roam the plains on horse back, you’re consistently struck by how stunning Red Dead Redemption’s world looks, despite the fact that it is stark and savage. Indeed, this game is an ideal example of the fact that a relatively empty world, one that is lacking in colour, that is silent and still, can still be beautiful in its own way.
1. GTA 5
The kings of world building strike again, though the place that tops our list is quite different to the one that won Rockstar second spot on our list of mind-blowing vistas. Where Red Dead Redemption is muted and quite, GTA 5’s Los Santos is loud, brash, colourful and full of detail. When it comes to selecting its most spectacular vista, we were tempted to pick something from the country, such as Mount Chiliad, but GTA is a series that’s always been about the city. For that reason, we’ve picked a Vista that encapsulates that fact: the view of Los Santos from the Vinewood sign. From here, you get yourself a truly incredible view of Los Santos. More than that, though, the Hollywood sign is emblematic of the celebrity obsessed, superficial nature of the worst of American culture. What could be more appropriate than looking at a city that’s built to deconstruct that culture from atop GTA’s own version of that iconic sign?