Video games allow gamers to fully immerse themselves in their world like no other media. Vast open worlds like the recent Ring of Elden especially have become popular. This game had the pedigree of author George RR Martin, creator of the The iron Throne series, but some games don’t just involve authors, but instead use full licensed IP.
Licensed games have a bit of a stigma around them. Many of them, especially in the beginning, were of poor quality, but done in perfect concert, they can elevate universes and settings even above their original forms, allowing fans to explore at their leisure. This digital tourism is the biggest draw to some already great licensed offerings.
The Simpsons: Hit and Run (Springfield)
the The Simpsons no shortage of licensed games. But while there are plenty of ways to explore Springfield, fans have one favorite. The Simpsons: Hit and Run is the Grand Theft Auto– as an installment in the series.
While most wouldn’t consider driving a big part of the animated sitcom, it did map out tons of Springfield. Moreover, the world of GTA and The simpsons have much in common as parodies of American culture. It also features tons of characters from the series. It really made players feel like they were navigating Springfield wherever it was.
Spongebob Squarepants: battle for the bikini bottom (bikini bottom)
Nickelodeon Sponge Bob SquarePants had a lot of licensed games. Most of them are average or mediocre, but Battle for the bikini bottom stands at the top. The game took a 3D collect-a-thon approach to IP. Its greatest strength was translating the show’s iconic locations into common platforming level types.
Jellyfish Fields replaced the base meadow. Goo Lagoon made a great beach and water level. If there was an iconic place like Sandy’s Treedome or the Krusty Krab, it could be visited. It was a big step in getting Spongebob out of screens and into homes.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines (Dark World)
Vampire: The Masquerade is set in a vampire-dominated Los Angeles from a first-person perspective and is based on the tabletop game World of Darkness. While taking place in Los Angeles, it still allows players to experience the most magical parts of the setting.
Like Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodline the subtitle suggests, players can choose their bloodline. It’s the cabal or faction they belong to and each of them has their own headquarters and locations which can be extremely out of this world. It’s a game world that mixes garish Hollywood with macabre Gothic.
Star Trek: Captain’s Chair (Starfleet Ships)
There are tons of star trek games there. Unfortunately, few allow players to fully explore Starfleet’s iconic ships. There are many mods for games like Star Trek: Armada that allow exploration of the Enterprise-D but if players are looking for a vanilla experience, they should turn to the obscure Star Trek: The Captain’s Chair.
This 90s full motion video game features full maps of several different ships. He has ships of The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyagerand First contact. The game even has actors from the show reprising their roles. Unfortunately, in-game movement is static and only features the most iconic locations aboard each ship.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (A Galaxy Far, Far Away)
There is no doubt that star wars is the largest universe to come out of a film franchise. The amount of media expanding on the lore of the Empire, the Jedi, the Sith, and the many planets they inhabit is staggering. One has the impression of being in a living world and the Knights of the Old Republic series gave access to players. The series is technically a prequel but remains more faithful to star wars than some movies.
The series allows you to lead the life of a Jedi or a Sith; both sides of the coin. But when it comes to immersion, the number of planets to explore is plentiful. There are plenty of planets from the Expanded Universe, like Na Shadda, Taris and EU’s favorite Dantooine, and of course there are also great planets from the movies to explore like Alderaan, Hoth and Tatooine, the favorite of the cannons.
Strong Bad’s cool game for attractive people (Free Country, USA)
Strong Bad’s cool game for attractive people proves that even the most abstract properties can be adapted into sets. This five-part game is based on HomestarRunner.com, an early 2000s flash cartoon website known for its witty and bizarre humor. The site’s most popular feature was Strong bad emailswhere said character would respond to fans.
The game adaptation also featured this as its main premise. But what was most exciting for fans was that the entire land of Free Country, USA, where the characters lived, was explorable. Fans could check out Strong Badia or visit Bubs’ concession stand. Even more obscure locations from the series were included, such as 20X6 and Club Technochocolate.
South Park: The Stick of Truth (South Park)
Often, when inventing parameters for emissions, it can be difficult to map them. This is especially true for animated shows where the sets are not built. This problem arose for the creators of South Park when they got involved with The Stick of Truth. There were so many unique and common locations in town that they wanted to use, but finding a non-conflicting layout was difficult.
Yet the game launched with the most complete recreation of South Park in an official game. It featured new and old locations, most of which could be explored inside. It even allowed players to experiment South Parkgreat running gags and his quirky take on Canada.
Back to the Future: The Game (Hill Valley)
Telltale Games was well known for the various licensed titles, with their The Walking Dead games being their biggest hits. But perhaps one of their strengths when it came to exploring the world was their Back to the future series. This adventure game allowed a full exploration of Hill Valley and if anything is known about this series, it was not just a Hill Valley.
The game featured three main eras that players could explore. The 1986 era of a year after the films, 1931 of the prohibition era and an alternate version of 1986 with a Big brother vibe. These last two even had Mr Sandman– like intro sequences like the original. The courthouse, town square, theatre, etc. are all there, feeling like an extension of the movie.
Lego dimensions (various)
There are so many LEGO-style video games. They’ve become such a staple that speculation about what a LEGO game should get is now popular. But the franchise’s most dramatic undertaking has been LEGO Dimensions. This take on the toy-to-life franchise has spanned an unprecedented number of franchises, each with their own unique levels.
The game featured characters from The Lego Movie by default, but more worlds are accessible. These included DC Comics, Doctor Who, the Lord of the Rings, scooby-dooand more. Gate and sonic the hedgehog also made appearances. It’s a rare time when video game franchises license another game for open-world action.
Batman Arkham Series (Gotham City)
the batman arkham the series started small. The original game only allowed players to explore the island of Arkham, with the rest of Gotham glowing in the distance. But by the time of the last game, the whole city was Batman’s domain. It wasn’t the first game series to feature Gotham, but it was the best.
The city is plunged into perpetual darkness. Depending on the game, rain or snow can cover the Gothic architecture, so brazen in its construction. While there aren’t many civilians, it only adds to the feeling of Batman’s lonely crusade against the criminal element. While other games like SONY’s Spider Man have role models to create their cities with, Gotham feels one of a kind.
NEXT: The 10 Best Locations In The Batman Arkham Video Game Series
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