Gliders are not only a fun way to explore a game’s world, but they add depth to combat and show off gorgeous visuals. More games should include them.
Open-world games are continuously searching for ways to revolutionize the genre and revolutionize the genre and supplement fresh ideas. A key part of achieving this goal is ensuring that exploring the world itself feels enticing and rewarding. This can be accomplished in many ways, but a relatively new, highly successful one is by introducing a gliding component into a game. Popular titles such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Horizon Forbidden West, among others, have shown how a well-incorporated gliding mechanic can really elevate a game to the next level.
More games, especially open-world ones, should follow suit and include a glider, or something similar. Not only do they open up the world in new ways, but they’re also incredibly fun to use, both for exploration and combat. Finally, they allow the player a slight pause to marvel at the world around them and take everything in.
A large part of Breath of the Wild‘s popularity was due to the way it encouraged players to explore the world. Its climbing and gliding mechanics played a huge part in this success as they allowed for new viewpoints, making the whole map feel accessible. Similarly, Horizon Forbidden West‘s glider was a lot of fun to use as players could jump off high areas and traverse the world via the skies. These mechanics ensured that exploration rarely felt restricted, which is hugely important for players, especially in large open-world games.
Gliders add a fun new mechanic to the proceedings, not only for exploration but also for combat. They provide more depth to a fight by opening up new approaches and combinations. For example, a player could choose to gain a height advantage by gliding into a battle. Players can also combine gliding with aerial attacks to trigger powerful combinations that feel great to accomplish. Overall, gliders add more layers to gameplay that players can utilize to bring variety and enjoyment to their experience.
Finally, gliders can be awe-inspiring, as they allow players moments of reflection. Jumping from a height and gliding over the world to take it all in can be a powerful implement in a game. One poignant example of this is in Breath of the Wild when Link first gets the glider and can leap from the Great Plateau, looking down upon the expanse of Hyrule for the first time. Similarly, in a game as beautiful as Horizon Forbidden West, a glider allows the developers to show off their world. It can also aid in exploration as the player can spot new areas of intrigue.
Overall, gliders should be more widespread in video games, given the exploration, combat, and stunning visual benefits they can offer. However, other mechanics could also play a similar role. For example, flying mechanics or large jump abilities could instead be implemented in games where they would be more appropriate. If open-world games want to reach the heights of the very best in the genre, they’d do well to learn from the success of games such as Breath of the Wild and Horizon Forbidden West and aim to emulate what gliders can provide.
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