GameByte Reviews: The Rough Guide To Xbox

When booting up a new game it’s getting easier and easier to overlook the environments we’re playing in. That’s where video game photography comes in, and thanks to the recent success of photo modes being included in video games, more and more people are choosing to share their artsy snaps of in-game scenery, wildlife and landscapes. Combining this idea of video game photography with the long-standing tradition of travel guides has birthed a fantastic addition to any gamer’s bookshelf: The Rough Guide to Xbox.

If you’re a seasoned traveller you’re probably already more than a little familiar with the Rough Guide brand. They’ve provided in-depth and easy-to-read travel guides for years now, and the recently-released Rough Guide to Xbox presents the worlds of several AAA Xbox games in the same format.

As the Rough Guide writers explain: “Thanks to technological constraints, video games have not been able to get close to replicating a ‘real’ experience. Until now. Virtual reality and other ground-breaking technologies are driving force behind this change. Now that gamers are starting to experience similar feelings in the virtual world to ones they undergo in the ‘real’ world, who’s to say what’s real and what isn’t?”

Credit: BioWare

Forza Horizon 4, Sea of Thieves, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Anthem, Halo 5: Guardians, Metro Exodus and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey are the games covered in the book, and each devoted section showcases a charming overlook of the game worlds, presented as if you’re actually planning a trip to these fictional/historical/dystopian lands. In a word, it’s charming.

Each game world is covered in detail, with different sections offering things like tips on when to go, what sort of accommodation is available, what the local cuisine has to offer, and points of interest. Expect everything you’d see in a traditional travel guide, but for your favourite video games.

Credit: Ubisoft

Flicking through the book, which is ideal as a coffee table title, will offer you an in-depth look at which pubs are recommended in Sea of Thieves, or how treacherous some paths in Shadow of the Tomb Raider may be. The writing is phenomenal, and reading through the extensive and imaginative descriptions of these fictional lands blurred the lines between reality and video games in a way I didn’t expect.

The Rough Guide to Xbox is a whimsical and thoroughly enjoyable read, offering a fun and fantastic look into the video game worlds we so often neglect to appreciate. Ideal as a present for the gamer who has everything, or for a little light reading while you’re off on your real-world travels, this is the perfect pick-me-up.

The Rough Guide to Xbox is available to purchase in paperback form, right here.

Featured Image Credit: Ubisoft