From Assassin’s Creed to World of Warcraft: Which game has the best travel system?
For the purposes of this post, a travel system is any means in a video game where you can accelerate or even skip over distances between your objectives or hub locations in the game. To use World of Warcraft as an example. The game has:
- Hearthstones which allow players to designate a location and return instantly to it
- Mounts that allow players to ride faster than their characters can walk or even fly
- Flight Masters who provide a kind of taxi system that allows you to set a destination and not interact with it until you arrive there
- Portals, some of which are castable by other players, others at fixed locations that allow you to move instantaneously to a specific destination
- Summoning, wherein a Warlock or a Meeting Stone can be used to move players to the location the summoning initiated from
This is a fairly robust set of systems that allows characters to move around the various settings of WoW, from the various continents of Azeroth to the alien world of Outland and the unearthly Shadowlands. If anything, you could say that WoW is so full of means to get around — including a few like the Engineering Teleport, various magic items, and so on — that there has even been a concerted effort over the years to keep players from accessing all of these systems when they first enter a new location during an expansion.
This is in fact why I tend to prefer games with few systems, and ones that err on the side of you still have to cover the distance whenever possible. I prefer games with mounts or vehicles to fast travel systems that remove you entirely from interaction with the world, and I prefer mounts or vehicles that are still part of the world to ones that can soar above it. This is why I like Cyberpunk 2077 or Assassin’s Creed Odyssey‘s systems — the ways you can traverse distances require you to discover them, or actually ride to the location first. Plus motorcycles and horses are cool and I enjoy riding them in a game.
So now I turn to you. Is there a game with a travel system you really enjoy? One that feels like it’s part of the world, which allows you to get around in a way you enjoy? What game has the best travel system or systems, in your opinion?
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