10 best xbox hikes

Some­times you need to put that horse, car, or jet­pack away, and go for a nice walk in­stead. Join us now as we ram­ble on about the best Xbox fun you can have on foot

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - CONTENTS - chris burke

Fi­nal Fantasy XV

Okay, so tech­ni­cally you could drive ev­ery­where by car or hitch a lift on the back of a Cho­cobo, but that’s no way to take in the sights of Eos. You’re far better off break­ing out your match­ing Louboutin-like hik­ing boots and veer­ing off from the road on foot. The Dus­cae re­gion is the best spot for this, cov­er­ing lush forests, a swamp-like area by the lake, and some se­ri­ously im­pres­sive moun­tain­ous scenery. Un­like a lot of games on this list, your walk­ing here feels more like a hol­i­day full of hik­ing thanks to the fre­quent camp­ing spots be­tween your jaunts. There’s also a lot of wildlife out there to ad­mire and take pho­tos of. Def­i­nitely one to rel­ish your time with.

Grand theFt auto V

Sure, no one walks in San An­dreas. But the un­spoiled beauty of Mount Chil­iad was call­ing to us. So playing as Trevor, whose red neck and lay­ers of dirt mark him out as the most ‘out­doorsy’ of the game’s trio, we set out to walk west­ward across the sum­mit. If you’ve never tried dirt-bik­ing down Mount Chil­iad you’re miss­ing out on some hair-brained stunt crazi­ness right there. Right now, though, we’re here to smell the fresh air in Old Man’s Crack while en­joy­ing the spec­tac­u­lar views the moun­tain ridge af­fords across San An­dreas. But there are wolves up here. And cougars, and we have to put three of them down. Not our in­ten­tion to slaugh­ter the beasts of the moun­tain, but it was them or us.


Less a vol­un­tary ram­ble than a walk of death. Out on a night-time scav­eng­ing run in a truck that’s seen too many zom­bies dent the hood, we run out of gas. The Blood Plagued are ev­ery­where. It takes the last of our stamina, health, and ammo just to break away from the first wave. We grab what we can carry and limp off on the long­est and scari­est hike of our short, short lives. A horde is sham­bling be­hind us and slowly but surely catch­ing up. We tra­verse wood­land, and cross a ravine. We’re miles from home, alone, and the back­pack is heavy. We’re never go­ing to move faster, and there is an ab­so­lute in­evitabil­ity that the Zees will catch us soon, and it’s bye-bye char­ac­ter. For­ever. Still, it’s nice to get a bit of fresh air in our last breath.


Well, there’s a lot of hik­ing when we play this game. Never ones to rush head­long into a fight we’re bound to lose, we para­chute to the fur­thest point in the map where no one else is likely to go, stock up on guns and meds, and then find our­selves so far from the cen­ter of the ac­tion that we’ve typ­i­cally got a long, long hike back. Sure enough, as the storm shrinks the play area, we’re on a foot-bound mis­sion to tra­verse half the island bat­tle­ground be­fore time runs out. Still, though, un­trou­bled by any other play­ers and free to just yomp across the col­or­ful land­scape, paus­ing only to chop a few trees down in the name of base­build­ing, we can ap­pre­ci­ate the finer things—like still be­ing alive.


Walk­ing ain’t easy when you’ve had a horse be­tween your legs all day. But Mr Marston’s a rugged, camp-un­der-the-stars sort of fella, so of course he enjoys a hike. Tall Trees would be most peo­ple’s ideal here, with its red­woods and snow­capped peaks, but that’d be far too easy. “Cow­boy up!” we tell our­selves, and set off on foot in­stead from Ar­madillo, headed for the Mex­i­can bor­der. Un­sur­pris­ingly it’s a long and ar­du­ous trek, with buz­zards cir­cling over­head and the sun bak­ing our necks like chimichangas. By the time we cross the San Luis river into Punta Orgullo we’ve got bored of count­ing cacti, and we’ve never been more ready for a cold cerveza in old Es­calera.


Our trysts through our blocky Minecraft worlds have al­ways been fairly long, be that across land to find hid­den tem­ples, or di­rectly down­wards in our search for di­a­monds, but ever since the Be­drock edi­tion up­date things have got­ten down­right ridicu­lous. Be­fore, we could trust in the fact that our feet would only get so sore thanks to worlds be­ing locked to a cer­tain size, but now the map keeps gen­er­at­ing in­fin­itely. There’s no end in sight to your wan­der­ings. Frus­trat­ing when you find your­self go­ing “maybe there’s a better spot for build­ing just over this ridge,” but now it’s 50 ridges later and you still haven’t placed a sin­gle brick.


Rico Ro­driguez doesn’t so much walk as grap­ple his way around the op­pressed yet idyl­lic island of Medici. But, since Just Cause 3 boasts some of the most beau­ti­fully de­tailed open world en­vi­ron­ments ever seen on Xbox, we thought we’d go for a lovely hike up the ‘Mon­tana’. But thanks to his reliance on grap­pling, when it comes to ac­tu­ally walk­ing, Rico has be­come lazy. Hik­ing up through the foothills is fine, but as the go­ing gets tougher, we find that Rico can’t be bothered with a 2 per cent-plus gra­di­ent. He must have zero grip on his shoes. We have to grap­ple to the higher reaches and, af­ter a long old slog, the sum­mit—where the re­ward is a fun ride to the bot­tom by way of Rico’s flight-suit. Wheeeee!


Set­ting off with our trusty four-legged com­pan­ion Dog­meat, we’re soon en­joy­ing the sights of the strangely beau­ti­ful Com­mon­wealth, vast and fas­ci­nat­ing de­spite or per­haps be­cause of the ru­ined re­minders of a hap­pier time be­fore nu­clear ar­maged­don. Life is all around, begin­ning to thrive once more. And two heads are better than one, as they used to say be­fore atomic mu­ta­tion was ac­tu­ally a thing. Our lengthy ram­ble be­gins at the beach, and takes in con­crete-strewn val­leys, grassy foothills, and mu­tant-oc­cu­pied swamps. We forge on­wards into a huge ra­dioac­tive desert, by which time blis­ters are the least of our wor­ries. Walk­ing the waste­land would be much nicer with­out all the darn bloat­flies.


Some­times it’s just nice to stop and smell the flow­ers. Or pick them to brew up a po­tion. Skyrim’s vast, beau­ti­ful land­scapes, while oc­ca­sion­ally filled with dan­ger­ous el­e­ments like ban­dits or dragons, can also pro­vide a beau­ti­ful set­ting for a hike. Sure, you can whis­tle up a horse in Skyrim, or fast travel, but take some time to walk from Riften to East­march, travers­ing some of the lush­est forests in the warm­est part of the map, and you’ll be re­warded. Flora and fauna abound and mag­nif­i­cent trees tower above you. Hike to the high­est ground, and Skyrim stretches out into the dis­tance, an un­spoiled wilder­ness of epic pro­por­tions. Six years on, and like a fa­vorite hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion, we still love go­ing back.


If ever hik­ing was ac­tu­ally cen­tral to a game, it’s in the beau­ti­ful look­ing, char­ac­ter-driven Firewatch. Like a real-life hike through a North Amer­i­can red­wood for­est, but ren­dered in eye-catch­ingly vivid cel-shaded color, this game ac­tu­ally is a plea­sure for the senses. Our pro­tag­o­nist, Henry, might be a lovelorn fire mar­shal—gawd, get over it!—but as the in­ter­ac­tive, gen­tle drama un­folds and we stroll and pass time chat­ting on the ra­dio with our great mate Delilah about this and that, we re­al­ize that Firewatch has taken us on quite the jour­ney. And we haven’t even moved from the sofa.

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