We’ve travelled very far and very wide at Rough Guides – but never before into entirely new dimensions. Here, we delve into eight unforgettable worlds – some uncannily familiar and others stunningly alien – to bring you ten of the most beautiful places you can visit with Xbox.
1. Derwent Water, Forza Horizon 4
Forested and lush, the deep-populated area around the three-mile-long Derwent Water lake is beautifully peaceful. In winter, covered in a dusting of whiter-than-white snow and frozen solid, the lake is at its most romantic.
2. Golden Sands Outpost, Sea of Thieves
A wonderful place to lift the spirits and rejuvenate the flesh of a voyage-weary seadog, Golden Sands Outpost is a tropical paradise of palm trees, eye-popping colourful fish and clear blue waters.
3. White House, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
In a world struggling in the aftermath of a pandemic, not many of the sights are as beautiful as they once were. The iconic official residence of US presidents is not the grand sight it once was, with weeds and wildflowers where once lay manicured lawns and its toothpaste-pristine walls scorched and dirty. And yet, somehow the building’s intrinsic nobility shines through – from a distance, its form is still very striking and the US flag takes pride of place to this day.
4. Paititi, Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Half overtaken by nature and chock-full of thatched, clay-walled dwellings and muddy footpaths, the “lost city” of Paititi is a wonderful attack on the senses. Take any one of the long stone staircases weaving around the city and make your way to the high vantage points for fabulous views of the city down below.
5. Eddian Grove, Anthem
Do not adjust your sets: Eddian Grove really does feature an upside-down tree of epic proportions. Take a perch on the canopy of the main Eddian Tree and enjoy the psychedelic surroundings, listening to the sounds of twinkling water all around and gazing up at the flock of birds whooshing overhead. The linguistic closeness to “Eden” with Eddian cannot be ignored.
6. Fortress of Dawn, Anthem
With its overlooking twin colossi statues and strategically high walls, the Fortress of Dawn has been sealed for centuries. Mountainous, forested and gorgeous, don’t waste your time trying to solve the puzzle of entering the fortress – just enjoy the solemnly beautiful surroundings for what they are.
7. Genesis, Halo 5: Guardians
If you’ve any doubts that alien-built worlds can be beautiful to human eyes, Genesis will put paid to them. And yet this is a weird, eerie sort of beauty. It’s as if the place was grown out of one giant test tube.
8. The Taiga, Metro Exodus
Offering blessed respite from the otherwise bleak landscapes of Metro Exodus, The Taiga is practically a vision of Arcadian bliss. The valley is a reminder of the heartrending beauty of nature left to its own devices, with snow-dusted mountains and pine trees melding with the autumnal hues of deciduous forest.
9. Arkadia, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
When you witness the gentle beauty of Arkadia, it’s easy to see how the region’s name became a byword for an ideal pastoral paradise – an “Arcadian” landscape is, of course, one where people live an idyllic, innocent and untroubled life.
10. Athens, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
No other city in the world can claim such a profound effect on the earliest, most profound principles of human understanding. This dremily pink- and orange-hued city has not lost its sense of connection to nature; in the Athens of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, roads wend their way about the place, with pink and purple flowers dotting the scene all around, while the sea and mountains always feel close at hand.
To buy your copy of the Rough Guide to Xbox, head to the Microsoft Online Store. All proceeds from the sales of the Rough Guide to Xbox will go to UK Charity SpecialEffect.