Remember what it was like being able to go outside and see the world? Here at The Spirit of Gaming, we’re on day 40-something of our self-isolation. Oh, how we long for the days when we could openly haunt the humble abodes of suburban America and or enjoy the ample space of sprawling castles of Eastern Europe.
Thankfully, we have an expansive video game library that helps us remember the good ‘ole days of being out and about. Games like Ghost Master and Polterguy let us get out there and haunt to our heart’s content, but what about you fleshies? How do you summon some semblance of a normal life?
I’ve compiled this list of video games that will give you the chance to explore the world again. These titles take you to real-world locations for any number of reasons, be it to unravel an ancient mystery or clear them of an extraterrestrial threat. Whatever the reason, it’ll kind of be like your isolation has lifted and things are back to normal.
The Tomb Raider Series
Whether you’re globetrotting with the original Lara Croft or escaping global perils with the anatomically appropriate reboot, the Tomb Raider franchise has always been good for exploring the globe.
Croft was the world traveler for gamers, having guided us through locations like the Nevada desert, Cornwall, Paris, Venice, Ghana, Egypt, Siberia, and even the Great Wall of China. Be careful when you’re in Croft’s party, though. There is always something waiting to kill you – be it rival charters, wolves, or even dinosaurs.
Unlike many adventurers and raiders of tombs, Croft is a bit more stoic and less about getting out one-liners. So, you’ll need to be your own entertainment on these expeditions. When you get tired of putting your life in danger, you can always retire to Croft manor and lock an old guy in a walk-in freezer.
The Uncharted Series
One man’s treasure is another man’s opportunity to explore the world! As Nathan Drake seeks out coveted riches across four titles, players get to join him on his exotic quests through distant locations around the world.
Get ready to go exploring through the jungles of Panama, across the Rub’ al Khali desert, on the islands of Indonesia, and in the villages of Nepal. Drake is a great travel buddy thanks to his quick wit and quips, but do expect his mouth to get you into a bit of trouble.
Quite frankly, it’s worth it. Being chased through lush landscapes and crowded cities are far more appealing than sitting on the couch for another 40 days.
The Resistance Series
When an alien race known as the Chimera brings its bad attitude to Earth, you’ll set out all over the world as Nathan Hale. The deeper the United States serviceman gets into the fight against the Chimeran forces, the more traveling you and him get to do.
While Resistance: Fall of Man takes place in the United Kingdom, Resistance 2 finds the Chimeran fleet moving in on the United States. New York, Baton Rouge, Bryce Canyon, and Chicago are just a few of the locations you’ll try to save across Resistance 2 and its follow-up.
Throughout the series, you’ll also travel to Moscow, Paris, London, and Luxembourg City. Time to fill that passport up with stamps!
The Call of Duty Series
“Give the World the Once Over in the United States Navy. “See the World and Get Paid for Doing It.” These were real propaganda posters used to get men to enlist.
Rather than enlist into the military, though, you can just boot up the latest in the Call of Duty series. Outside of Infinite Warfare, which takes you into space, each entry in the long-running war shooter series takes you to a different part of the globe.
Want to see Russia in the midst of winter? Boot up Call of Duty 2. Wonder what Cuba is like? Then you may want to install Call of Duty: Black Ops. Play through the entire Call of Duty series and you’ll be putting pins in many of the world’s 195 countries.
The Battlefield Series
Much like with Call of Duty, playing through the Battlefield series will have you exploring a war-torn world. You’ll take the fight to the Pacific islands, European countrysides, and the streets of American cities.
Where you go depends on the game you’re playing. For instance, Battlefield Hardline will send you to the metropolis of Miami while Battlefield 3 will have you trekking across the deserts of Iraq.
Thanks to the Frostbite engine, these locations are vibrant and delightfully destructible. Consider it a great way to get out of the house and relieve the stresses of living through a pandemic.
The XCOM Series
Though the XCOM series allows you to protect the globe from the safety of your hidden headquarters, you do get to follow soldiers as they go into battle in cities all over the world. There’s little time to sightsee, though, as the alien threat is quick to start firing on your troops.
You’ll traverse urban areas and more rural regions on your quest to rid Earth of the alien threat. Many locations won’t be recognizable thanks to the futuristic setting and devastation wrought by the intergalactic attackers. However, it still beats sitting at home staring at the same four walls.