Project Smoldering Sandboxes

Objective of this project is to experience gaming’s best sandboxes.

In true sandboxes you decide “what happens”, and not just “how happens” and “when happens”. Mount and Blade: Warband is an example of true sandbox game.

In pseudo sandboxes, you have relative freedom to decide “how happens” and “when happens” but not really much influence on “what happens”, and most importantly you can simply ignore the main story-line to pursue activities you enjoy, like most GTA games.

Blended sandboxes are mix between the above two, with choice of “what happens”, but only from a set of limited number of outcomes or paths, like the games Dishonored, and Witcher 2.

  1. Gothic (2001): Although not famous as a sandbox, Gothic indeed provides a blended sandbox experience through the virtue of factions you can join, type of character you can be, and also some superfluous activities like hunting in the open world.
  2. Grand Theft Auto III (2001): One of the earliest games to offer a typical sandbox experience, in this game you could simply ignore the main line of missions and hang around the vast open world doing a myriad of activities like finding hidden packages, doing unique stunt jumps, taxi driving, playing fireman, playing vigilante, playing the very difficult paramedic mission, do illegal street racing, off-road vehicle driving, etc. Note that this is a pseudo sandbox game with no forks in the ending or the journey towards it.
  3. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2002): Blended
  4. Saint’s Row 2 (2008): Pseudo
  5. Mount and Blade: Warband (2010): True
  6. Farming Simulator 15 (2014): True
  7. Dishonored (2012): Blended