As good as open world games can be and as popular as they are, the idea of exploring a massive world over the course of 60 hours with millions of objective markers and side activities to pull you in their direction can often be intimidating, or exhausting, or both- especially in an industry that seems so obsessed with making its worlds ridiculously larger and its games even longer. The value of a game that’s long but not long and big but not too big cannot be overstated, which is why semi-open world games are such a gift. They give you the freedom to explore large areas and plenty of side activities to keep you distracted, but they also don’t go overboard with that stuff, and ensure that they do those things on a much smaller scale, and often within a linear framework. Here, we’ll be talking about fifteen such games.
DEUS EX: MANKIND DIVIDED
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has some pretty noticeable flaws, but the parts of the game that are good are very good- such as its open world areas. Not only do they strike the perfect balance between large and restrained, they’re also diverse and absolutely teeming with atmosphere. Every NPC you meet has a place in this world, while the side quests are some of the best we’ve played in any game this generation. Add to that the freedom Deus Ex gives to players in navigating and interacting with its environments, and each area becomes an absolute joy to explore.