YouTuber Takes Beautiful Walks Across Huge Video Games

Illustration for article titled YouTuber Takes Beautiful Walks Across Huge Video Games
Screenshot: Enigma (YouTube)

Open world games keep getting bigger and bigger, but the time we have to thoroughly explore them is limited. Most players will never see all the beautiful things a game has to offer, but a time-lapse walkabout across the entire map can offer a slightly blurry glimpse.

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As spotted by Eurogamer, Gaming YouTuber Enigma recently started uploading videos of timelapse walks through big gaming worlds. The newest takes viewers on a tour of virtual San Francisco from 2016’s Watch Dogs 2’s. They start at the northern edge of the Golden Gate Bridge before making their way down into the heart of San Francisco. They head further south into the game’s version of Silicon Valley before crossing the San Mateo Bridge to get into Oakland. One moment it’s bright blue skies over the bay. In the next, San Francisco is lit up at night.

Enigma commented under the video that the trip ended up taking two hours and 20 minutes to complete, but the time-lapsed video is able to show the journey in just under four minutes. It helps that Watch Dogs 2’s map is very circular, allowing Enigma to hit all of the main locations without having to backtrack or hop into a boat. It also shows off the beauty of Ubisoft’s open world while in motion. Much of Enigma’s walkabout takes place on highly trafficked roads, and it’s cool to see them waltz through these areas as the AI-controlled vehicles gracefully glide past or quickly stop to avoid hitting the player.

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In the past couple weeks, Enigma has posted other time-lapsed escapades through sprawling video game worlds, like last year’s Red Dead Redemption 2. Unlike Watch Dogs 2, or the recent Grand Theft Auto games, which Enigma has also explored this way, the RDR 2 video offers a sped-up hike through naturalistic landscapes of 19th century America. Instead of a flood of cars or people passing by, it’s the thick, fluffy clouds constantly morphing as they roll across the horizon that steal the show.

Gif: Enigma (YouTube)

Enigma’s journey eventually ends in a snowy blizzard up north, with the time-lapse able to show off not just how sweeping RDR 2’s world is but how it transforms as the weather and sunlight change.

The videos are certainly no replacement for digging into these games first-hand but condensing their scope into a few minutes of footage makes it easier to appreciate just how vast and diverse their worlds can be. 

Kotaku staff writer. You can reach him at ethan.gach@kotaku.com

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DISCUSSION

I’ve been thinking about this lately, since I finished BotW. I’m usually not an open world type of guy, I think those games take too much of your time and there are tons of others games waiting to be played (that does not mean they are bad, they are just not for me), and I came to the realization that I personally liked more compact worlds, where you don’t have to travel for minutes without anything of interest just to get somewhere or to find anything remotely useful.

That makes the world seem much more alive for me, and I feel it respects my time more, but with games getting bigger and bigger, will it reach a moment where a single game will demand months or even years of your life to know it all? Just because devs and some gamers feel this is how games should be?


I don’t know if I want that in the future, but I guess I’m getting old.