In a world where every corner has been explored and charted, the concept of an open-world video game has captured the public’s imagination. With the opportunity to see sights unseen through the lens of your character, of magical lands and floating castles, open-world games have since introduced new ways to enjoy them.
From character creation to utterly eerie settings, what if you can explore the world you’re in with a group of select, loyal buddies? With a healthy dose of funny banter and much-needed assistance against difficult enemies, exploring the expansive unknown with party members is sometimes a much better option than going it alone.
Whether you choose to play as male or female, you ultimately sink into the role of GreedFall’s De Sardet. Charged with obtaining a cure for the venomous plague malichor, this looks straight out of buccaneering 18th century England. Aside from the complex storyline with various endings and the many opportunities to obtain legendary weapons, you can have a couple of your closest companions to tag along on your adventure.
From the tatted, dashing Vasco to magical expert Siora, your companions serve as both support and as romance options. Travel the world with two from five allies as you intercede with the powers that be and do your best for both your homeland and the beautiful island of Teer Fradee.
6 The Outer Worlds
Settling into the mysterious shoes of The Stranger, 2019’s The Outer Worlds sends you into an alternate universe with a vastly different future for Earth. Even after centuries, humans are much the same when it comes to power. The Stranger must navigate this futuristic world, and the den of corruption that seeps into every pore of the Halcyon colony. However, they are not alone in this journey to save Halcyon.
With mysteries to solve and enemies to beat, The Stranger can select from a total of six companions with a variety of skill sets and abilities. Two of these can back you up and follow you around as you explore, and the relationships you foster can contribute to what endings they get. From Edgewater Church’s Vicar Max to team healer Ellie, each companion has their own unique side quests to complete. These show you that a leader’s responsibility is in building relationships with their team members.
If you’re wondering what to play while impatiently waiting for Elder Scrolls 6, then Elder Scrolls Online is the one for you. Not only does this MMORPG allow you to travel around the whole of Tamriel as The Vestige, but it also gives further exposure to Elder Scrolls lore and the mystical Daedric Princes. However, you’re also granted the chance of traveling with your real-life friends, and both human and non-human companions the game offers.
With a choice of three companions as well as a non-human companion, group sizes when alongside friends can pass ten players. Of course, if you’re doing a dungeon marathon you’ll have to group up with a party of four, since the enemies in these dungeons just keep getting harder and harder.
Fallout is another huge, open-world franchise that has a party-based gameplay mechanic. Set in a dystopian future after a nuclear fallout, the protagonist can choose one companion to fight alongside them. These include Paladin Danse, Codsworth, and Butch DeLoria, and you are also accompanied by your trustworthy canine, Dogmeat.
Similarly to Skyrim, where you can call a companion to accompany you wherever, Fallout has you traverse a desolate country riddled with the gory remnants of its former inhabitants. Even amidst the tragedy, you can count on your companions to lighten the mood and provide a shoulder to lean on — and seriously, dogs make everything better.
3 Mass Effect
Another Bioware treasure, the Mass Effect franchise takes futuristic to the next level. From series staple Commander Shepard to Pathfinder Ryder of Mass Effect: Andromeda, the companions in this franchise and their unique personalities play a large part in making Mass Effect an amazing experience.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Bioware game if you weren’t given an exceptional selection of romance options. From the austere, yet charismatic Garrus Vakarian to the lovable, awkward dork that is Jaal Ama Darav, Mass Effect crafted a whole new race of aliens that are both friendly and hostile. Whether you’re driving around in the Mako or the Nomad, the hilarious conversations, snarky quips, and witty wordplay are all the soundtrack you need for your drive.
2 final fantasy
The behemoth Final Fantasy franchise has seen numerous protagonists take center stage. From the enigmatic Cloud to the determined, yet youthful Noctis, Final Fantasy has utilized the party-based gameplay mechanic as well as any Bioware franchise.
A party of skilled characters tag along with the chosen protagonist, aiding them in their intended goal. Aside from issuing commands and the ability to switch roles with your allies, it is the bonds forged with a cast of memorable, witty, and charismatic characters — such as the beautiful Tifa Lockhart and Barret, the gruff giant with a heart of gold. Sometimes, it is the mark left behind by Final Fantasy’s iconic supporting characters that grants this franchise its long-lasting legacy.
1 Dragon Age
Bioware’s Dragon Age is the best example of a fantastic, immersive open-world game that is formed around party-based gameplay mechanics. Choosing up to three companions to accompany you, Dragon Age spiced up the party-based system with banter that is absolutely gold. Everyone has their part to play, and the interactions are both realistic, seamless, and endlessly amusing. This is perfect for the numerous hours spent exploring Thedas.
Whether you’re the Inquisitor or The Champion of Kirkwall, your relationship with your companions and their endings is determined by you through the game’s Approval meter. From angsty boy Fenris and swoon-worthy-elf-turned-utter-traitor Solas (aka Fen’Harel), to lovable Dorian and casanova hitman Zevran, Dragon Age has no end of memorable companions to entertain you on your travels. You can even switch between characters to suit your needs, whether it be a mage or a rogue.
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