Worse trend: 7th gen linear games or 8th gen open world games?

 Pages PREV 1 2
 

There are more games in the sandbox genre i like than in the linear shooter genre. The advantage of open world games is also that you don't need to buy many. Just pick a handful you like and sink as much time as you feel like into them. The disadvantage of the 6 hour linear shooters with attached multiplayer of last gen is that they all had short campaigns coupled with the fact that beyond the big ones like COD and Battlefield, Multiplayer would die out quickly. Seems like you would end up with a lot of short, samey games with little replay value and dead multiplayer modes. Might as well just stick to the big two to make sure you actually get a multiplayer feature that would last more than a year. Not as much of an issue with open world games. Far Cry 3, AC 2 and 5, Skyrim, Witcher 3 and the Read Dead games will last so long you barely need other games

Phoenixmgs:

The setup and story of Horizon actually makes sense with so many "game-y" elements. It actually makes sense for the robodinos to be basically always be in their areas as each is tasked with doing something specific like filtering water and whatnot. They aren't normal animals that will migrate, fight for territory, attack villages, etc. The one thing that could be implement for moving them across the map would be when you kill them they have to move from their cauldron to their spot on the map.

Which is fine and all, but there's really no need for the open world to exist. Rather then selecting missions to go visit that valley or ruin off a list or even off a map.

That is actually a fairly good litmus test for the validity of an open world. If fast travel can exist in the game and not be a terrible detriment, then the open world has failed to be relevant. When teleportation around the world doesn't strip away the games content (or worse, is the preferable means), it means that the journey in that open world is itself not living up to its design.

The best genre (at least so far) to make use of open world is Survival games. Because that resource management and en-route scavenging style is all part and parcel of the gameplay. The meat of the game is managing the journey from place to place. Most are far from a perfection of the concept (most are also indie level, so they probably don't have the tech for a more realized world). A runner of up of sorts might be the Dead Rising model, where events are occurring continuously, and the hows and whens of how you get around do factor into how the game plays out.

CaitSeith:

Phoenixmgs:
[quote="CaitSeith" post="9.1056779.24294868"]
[quote="Phoenixmgs"]
Is RE2 not linear then? Unless the definition of linear is literally one long hallway that you only move forward and nothing else.

I consider linear a game where the exploration is one-way. Once you exit an area in RE2, you can't go back to previous ones. That isn't the case in Dark Souls. Seriously, do you consider Super Metroid linear too!?

Dark Souls pulls a fairly direct amount of inspiration from Zelda, which itself, despite often being left out, is equally a pioneer of that Metroidvania concept. Which has a certain degree of openness to it, but by and large has specific triggers to unlock new progress and a generally structured sequence. Going back to open a new area because you got the Double Jump/Lord Soul/Hookshot/random Key #4487 doesn't really indicate an open structure, so much as as clever re-use of assets or a way to add side content and collectables inside a linear game without a bland "Replay" mechanic (Wolfenstein 2 : New Colossus *cough*)

I...guess open world?

I mean, I don't recall playing games like Halo and Gears of War in the 2000s and thinking "gee, if only I could have an open world where I can run around doing whatever." This goes back even further to 2D games - I was fine running left to right as a blue hedgehog thank you very much, didn't need any fancy smancy open world levels to have fun.

In contrast, there's a point where an open world becomes too open for me. Off the top of my head, Wind Waker allows you to sail all over the sea, but that point comes a good few hours into the game, and with a clear goal. Xenoblade Chronicles gives you absolutely huge areas to explore, but there's still a strong narrative push and the areas are still linked sequentially. In contrast, the prospect of "here's a world, have fun," and leaving it at that (Fallout 3 comes to mind, even though you're given an initial objective) isn't really my thing.

I guess I can put it this way. It's possible for a world to be too open for me. It's far rarer for a game to be too linear for me.

Hawki:

In contrast, there's a point where an open world becomes too open for me. Off the top of my head, Wind Waker allows you to sail all over the sea, but that point comes a good few hours into the game, and with a clear goal. Xenoblade Chronicles gives you absolutely huge areas to explore, but there's still a strong narrative push and the areas are still linked sequentially. In contrast, the prospect of "here's a world, have fun," and leaving it at that (Fallout 3 comes to mind, even though you're given an initial objective) isn't really my thing.

I somewhat feel the same way, though not due to the lack of concrete goal/initiative. I tend to get put off if their isn't enough content and the game world feels empty and lifeless. Too often it seems that developers concentrate on larger game maps/worlds than greater content
I'd much rather play around in ten square blocks of New York City than ten square miles of Oklahoma or Kansas.

CaitSeith:
That isn't what we are saying. We are comparing the trend of linear games in 7th gen and the trend of open-world games in the 8th; and Darks Souls fits neither.

I realize the title, I'm just not sure what made-up the linear trend last-gen or what's consider linear and when a game is open enough to not be linear but not big enough to be open world. Is Uncharted Lost Legacy not linear because there's a big area where you can tackle objectives in any order? There was the MMS trend but I'm guessing there was more to the linear trend than just those games. I remember when linear became basically a "dirty word" to gamers where everyone would be like "Game XYZ would be so great if it was open world" then you get stuff like Mirror's Edge Catalyst (and I'm pretty much like "I told ya so"). I personally never understood why you'd wanna make like any franchise open world because only a couple devs even understand how to make open world games even now. Even if the 7th gen trend was just the MMS 5-hour campaigns, I'll take those over a collect-athon open world game because I only wasted 5 hours then. I'll play Medal of Honor: Warfighter campaign over any Assassin's Creed game any day of the week.

I'd say mini-sandboxes or large linear levels like Dishonored is the sweet spot as they have several ways to playthrough levels while the quality per square foot is high with exquisite level design. Open world games pretty much completely eschew level design for just pure openness.

Seth Carter:
Which is fine and all, but there's really no need for the open world to exist. Rather then selecting missions to go visit that valley or ruin off a list or even off a map.

That is actually a fairly good litmus test for the validity of an open world. If fast travel can exist in the game and not be a terrible detriment, then the open world has failed to be relevant. When teleportation around the world doesn't strip away the games content (or worse, is the preferable means), it means that the journey in that open world is itself not living up to its design.

The best genre (at least so far) to make use of open world is Survival games. Because that resource management and en-route scavenging style is all part and parcel of the gameplay. The meat of the game is managing the journey from place to place. Most are far from a perfection of the concept (most are also indie level, so they probably don't have the tech for a more realized world). A runner of up of sorts might be the Dead Rising model, where events are occurring continuously, and the hows and whens of how you get around do factor into how the game plays out.

Horizon needs its open world to house its enemies and the game is also about Aloy's journey and discovery of an unknown world. On your initial playthrough, the set spawns work perfectly and slowly upping the ante with regards to combat challenge. You'll fight one of the robodinos by itself for the first time and then in the next couple areas, you'll have to fight that robodino with some other robodino and you'll be like "how the hell am I going to fight both at the same time". Horizon accomplishes something most open world games really never do, which is having the unknown around any corner. On my initial foray in every new area in Horizon, I enjoyed walking everywhere (as there was always quality content within walking distance), which is a testament to the game because how many open worlds can you say that about? Sure, towards the end when I was basically doing "clean-up", I fast-traveled around but that was really it. In a Rockstar game, you feel like you're just traveling to the content, to start a mission or a long ride to the actual mission location after initiating it (with all the talky-talky on the way). Whereas in Horizon, the travel and discovery was the content. I was actually somewhat sad when I saw there was no more "clouds" on the map, meaning that I saw everything. I can count on one-hand when an open world has done that for me. I really loved Horizon and it was one of the few games, open world or not, that I didn't want to be over when I finished it.

I don't think there was anything worse than the avalanche of brown and drab last-gen 'me too' CoD clones. That game's influence even seeped into franchises I formerly enjoyed(RE, Dead Space). I would put the checklist driven busywork of most open world games still leagues above the brown military shooter.

I'm pretty burnt out on sandbox games. It was the double-whammy of MGS V and Witcher 3 that made me officially sick of the design (both were good games, but were so long that I didn't finish either and they felt like a slog by the time I stopped), and have avoided open world games ever since, though I've made an exception for Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Any game that's a checklist of things to do begins to feel like work, and I've had enough of that stuff. Even BotW wore thin on me.
Red Dead Redemption 2 was the easiest 97%+ game to skip that I ever encountered. The more I heard about it, the more it sounded like a colossal waste of time.

Linear games are great, though "brown shooter" is not a type of game that I enjoy, either. There are *plenty* of linear games that aren't "brown shooters" though. Give me something fun, fast, colorful, and over in 10 hours or less.

Phoenixmgs:
I'll take those over a collect-athon open world game because I only wasted 5 hours then.

Wasted...

...

If playing games is a waste of time, isn't the problem then that the games you chose to play weren't good? Haven't you ever played a game that you wanted to keep replaying over and over again?

CaitSeith:

Phoenixmgs:
I'll take those over a collect-athon open world game because I only wasted 5 hours then.

Wasted...

...

If playing games is a waste of time, isn't the problem then that the games you chose to play weren't good? Haven't you ever played a game that you wanted to keep replaying over and over again?

Most games don't respect the player's time nowadays. How much time over the course of an open world game is wasted in just traveling to content? It's probably longer than a MMS campaign. And, said campaign at least knows enough to only give me what it feels is the good stuff. And, RPGs are probably the worst at not respecting a player's time; "Xenoblade 2 consistently displays a frustrating lack of respect for the player's time."

I avoid pretty much all open world games and RPGs nowadays unless they look to be something special. It's hard to make just 10-20 hours of great, engaging content let alone the 50+ hours most games want you to play for. Every publisher is trying to get everyone hooked on their "live services" that are more akin to work than they are fun and enjoyment.

I've played games over and over again, which are the ones with top-notch gameplay in their genre whether it was playing Bayonetta 3 straight times through when it launched, playing Mirror's Edge multiple times, or playing Metal Gear Online weekly for 4 years. Open world games rarely have top-notch gameplay because it's usually a jack-of-all-trades. I'd much rather replay through say BulletStorm or Vanquish than any FarCry game (outside of Blood Dragon) because of all the filler.

Board games are much more replayable than video games nowadays. I've played Terraforming Mars 50+ times (maybe 100 at this point) at 2.5-3 hours a pop.

Seth Carter:

Which is fine and all, but there's really no need for the open world to exist. Rather then selecting missions to go visit that valley or ruin off a list or even off a map.

That is actually a fairly good litmus test for the validity of an open world. If fast travel can exist in the game and not be a terrible detriment, then the open world has failed to be relevant. When teleportation around the world doesn't strip away the games content (or worse, is the preferable means), it means that the journey in that open world is itself not living up to its design.

The best genre (at least so far) to make use of open world is Survival games. Because that resource management and en-route scavenging style is all part and parcel of the gameplay. The meat of the game is managing the journey from place to place. Most are far from a perfection of the concept (most are also indie level, so they probably don't have the tech for a more realized world). A runner of up of sorts might be the Dead Rising model, where events are occurring continuously, and the hows and whens of how you get around do factor into how the game plays out.

I don't know of any open world games that don't have fast travel. Even the best ones have fast travel of some sort. I would point to World of Warcraft or Horizon Zero Dawn as being exemplars of open world, but they both have fast travel mechanics. For people who need to get from point A to point B, taking the portal/griffin/campfire is there, but in doing so you miss out on all the scenery/story/events in between. WoW and Horizon pack their worlds to the brim with things to see, they give a compelling reason to visit off the beaten path.

Phoenixmgs:

...Whereas in Horizon, the travel and discovery was the content. I was actually somewhat sad when I saw there was no more "clouds" on the map, meaning that I saw everything. I can count on one-hand when an open world has done that for me. I really loved Horizon and it was one of the few games, open world or not, that I didn't want to be over when I finished it.

Same here! Horizon really provides a unique "hunting" atmosphere. It is genuinely fun to sneak up on robots, plan your traps, etc. There are many types of robot that you won't meet on the main quest alone, and each is so different. It's a thrill to find new ones! Even though the game offers fast travel, I rarely use it, because I had more fun stumbling into packs of robots along the way.

skywolfblue:

Seth Carter:

Which is fine and all, but there's really no need for the open world to exist. Rather then selecting missions to go visit that valley or ruin off a list or even off a map.

That is actually a fairly good litmus test for the validity of an open world. If fast travel can exist in the game and not be a terrible detriment, then the open world has failed to be relevant. When teleportation around the world doesn't strip away the games content (or worse, is the preferable means), it means that the journey in that open world is itself not living up to its design.

The best genre (at least so far) to make use of open world is Survival games. Because that resource management and en-route scavenging style is all part and parcel of the gameplay. The meat of the game is managing the journey from place to place. Most are far from a perfection of the concept (most are also indie level, so they probably don't have the tech for a more realized world). A runner of up of sorts might be the Dead Rising model, where events are occurring continuously, and the hows and whens of how you get around do factor into how the game plays out.

I don't know of any open world games that don't have fast travel. Even the best ones have fast travel of some sort. I would point to World of Warcraft or Horizon Zero Dawn as being exemplars of open world, but they both have fast travel mechanics. For people who need to get from point A to point B, taking the portal/griffin/campfire is there, but in doing so you miss out on all the scenery/story/events in between. WoW and Horizon pack their worlds to the brim with things to see, they give a compelling reason to visit off the beaten path.

Minecraft (and basically any survival game, as I pointed out. Teleporting kind of eats out the meat of the gameplay there). Fairly sure most of the Zeldas have had none, or very limited. Dying Light (to my recollection). All the Arkham games. Any of the myriad open world RPGs before Oblivion or so. You could make an argument for Morrowind.

Actually, the first game I recall "Fast Travel" as it were in was a fairly interesting case. It was Baldurs Gate. You had that big old map with those tiles you clicked on and whoosh, off you went. Being D&D you might get a random fight on the way, but its basically fast travel. But there's a good note to be made, that all those tiles had some kind of purpose to them. You had this sprawling wilderness to wander around in, but they didn't shove a dead tile in to pad out the space.

This came up a fair bit when I was playing/creating Neverwinter Nights modules too. Periodically you'd stumble across one where someone decided to litigious scale a map into tiles, and they'd usually be just awful dulling filler. I remember on my own Persistent World I drew the map and my build team was aghast that it'd be impossible to render, then the actual design layout was something more like a spider web and certainly not to scale, but with purpose to every location.

With Horizon, there's definitely "tiles" that are just filler. Either nothings in them but sticks and heal berries, or they double up dino encounters. Sometimes the freedom even bites the game in the back end when you stumble on and clear out a dino herd, only to stumble on the quest that was supposed to send you there afterwards and have to redo the entire thing. I got the quest to find the guy eaten by crocobots after having wandered through that spot a couple of times already. What is clearly meant to be the cinematic intro for the big Rex-stand in on the road to Meridian was spoiled because I trotted a bit too far north and found one already. I'd say the same of the big thunderbird too except that just seems like a miscommunication, because the one on the desert road and the one in a quest are both presented well in their own way.

Yeah they didn't go nuts with it. Its not a giant procedurally generated nothingscape. Or the equally empty but reality based desolate terrain of some Ubisoft's stuff (other then their obnoxious random spawns in some). And they didn't do the Mad Max/Far Cry thing where completing an area literally obliterates the core gameplay from it (Biggest sin of Mad Max really. Engaging with the open world just gets rid of *all* the enemy cars, which is the only unique point of the game).

Seth Carter:

skywolfblue:

Seth Carter:

Which is fine and all, but there's really no need for the open world to exist. Rather then selecting missions to go visit that valley or ruin off a list or even off a map.

That is actually a fairly good litmus test for the validity of an open world. If fast travel can exist in the game and not be a terrible detriment, then the open world has failed to be relevant. When teleportation around the world doesn't strip away the games content (or worse, is the preferable means), it means that the journey in that open world is itself not living up to its design.

The best genre (at least so far) to make use of open world is Survival games. Because that resource management and en-route scavenging style is all part and parcel of the gameplay. The meat of the game is managing the journey from place to place. Most are far from a perfection of the concept (most are also indie level, so they probably don't have the tech for a more realized world). A runner of up of sorts might be the Dead Rising model, where events are occurring continuously, and the hows and whens of how you get around do factor into how the game plays out.

I don't know of any open world games that don't have fast travel. Even the best ones have fast travel of some sort. I would point to World of Warcraft or Horizon Zero Dawn as being exemplars of open world, but they both have fast travel mechanics. For people who need to get from point A to point B, taking the portal/griffin/campfire is there, but in doing so you miss out on all the scenery/story/events in between. WoW and Horizon pack their worlds to the brim with things to see, they give a compelling reason to visit off the beaten path.

Minecraft (and basically any survival game, as I pointed out. Teleporting kind of eats out the meat of the gameplay there). Fairly sure most of the Zeldas have had none, or very limited. Dying Light (to my recollection). All the Arkham games. Any of the myriad open world RPGs before Oblivion or so. You could make an argument for Morrowind.

Actually, the first game I recall "Fast Travel" as it were in was a fairly interesting case. It was Baldurs Gate. You had that big old map with those tiles you clicked on and whoosh, off you went. Being D&D you might get a random fight on the way, but its basically fast travel. But there's a good note to be made, that all those tiles had some kind of purpose to them. You had this sprawling wilderness to wander around in, but they didn't shove a dead tile in to pad out the space.

This came up a fair bit when I was playing/creating Neverwinter Nights modules too. Periodically you'd stumble across one where someone decided to litigious scale a map into tiles, and they'd usually be just awful dulling filler. I remember on my own Persistent World I drew the map and my build team was aghast that it'd be impossible to render, then the actual design layout was something more like a spider web and certainly not to scale, but with purpose to every location.

With Horizon, there's definitely "tiles" that are just filler. Either nothings in them but sticks and heal berries, or they double up dino encounters. Sometimes the freedom even bites the game in the back end when you stumble on and clear out a dino herd, only to stumble on the quest that was supposed to send you there afterwards and have to redo the entire thing. I got the quest to find the guy eaten by crocobots after having wandered through that spot a couple of times already. What is clearly meant to be the cinematic intro for the big Rex-stand in on the road to Meridian was spoiled because I trotted a bit too far north and found one already. I'd say the same of the big thunderbird too except that just seems like a miscommunication, because the one on the desert road and the one in a quest are both presented well in their own way.

Yeah they didn't go nuts with it. Its not a giant procedurally generated nothingscape. Or the equally empty but reality based desolate terrain of some Ubisoft's stuff (other then their obnoxious random spawns in some). And they didn't do the Mad Max/Far Cry thing where completing an area literally obliterates the core gameplay from it (Biggest sin of Mad Max really. Engaging with the open world just gets rid of *all* the enemy cars, which is the only unique point of the game).

Mad Max has some of the funnest open world mechanics I've played with, and they feel awesome if ultimately very repetitive. Whether it's harpooning towers down, or ripping the guards themselves out sending them flying backwards over you, or pulling the wheels or back ends off of enemy cars before blowing them up or ramming them to hell, launching explosives at enemy gates, or even just uncovering a hidden area it's a pretty satisfying loop. I haven't finished it yet but sad to hear all that kind of disappears when you finish the story quests.

The sound design is also incredible with a home theater. Every impact feels like it should driving around a metallic beast of a vehicle and the melee feels tougher and crunchier than anything from the Arkham games.

Seth Carter:

skywolfblue:

Seth Carter:

Which is fine and all, but there's really no need for the open world to exist. Rather then selecting missions to go visit that valley or ruin off a list or even off a map.

That is actually a fairly good litmus test for the validity of an open world. If fast travel can exist in the game and not be a terrible detriment, then the open world has failed to be relevant. When teleportation around the world doesn't strip away the games content (or worse, is the preferable means), it means that the journey in that open world is itself not living up to its design.

The best genre (at least so far) to make use of open world is Survival games. Because that resource management and en-route scavenging style is all part and parcel of the gameplay. The meat of the game is managing the journey from place to place. Most are far from a perfection of the concept (most are also indie level, so they probably don't have the tech for a more realized world). A runner of up of sorts might be the Dead Rising model, where events are occurring continuously, and the hows and whens of how you get around do factor into how the game plays out.

I don't know of any open world games that don't have fast travel. Even the best ones have fast travel of some sort. I would point to World of Warcraft or Horizon Zero Dawn as being exemplars of open world, but they both have fast travel mechanics. For people who need to get from point A to point B, taking the portal/griffin/campfire is there, but in doing so you miss out on all the scenery/story/events in between. WoW and Horizon pack their worlds to the brim with things to see, they give a compelling reason to visit off the beaten path.

Minecraft (and basically any survival game, as I pointed out. Teleporting kind of eats out the meat of the gameplay there). Fairly sure most of the Zeldas have had none, or very limited. Dying Light (to my recollection). All the Arkham games. Any of the myriad open world RPGs before Oblivion or so. You could make an argument for Morrowind.

Actually, the first game I recall "Fast Travel" as it were in was a fairly interesting case. It was Baldurs Gate. You had that big old map with those tiles you clicked on and whoosh, off you went. Being D&D you might get a random fight on the way, but its basically fast travel. But there's a good note to be made, that all those tiles had some kind of purpose to them. You had this sprawling wilderness to wander around in, but they didn't shove a dead tile in to pad out the space.

Hmm I dunno- it can go too far the other way as well. Far Cry 2 had abysmally sparse fast travel options, and as a result just getting to a mission could take 10 minutes or more of hard slogging through endlessly respawning checkpoints, losing half your ammo along the way. So if a sandbox has insufficient fast travel options and going cross country is either too boring or too frustrating to be worthwhile, then that's another failure state.

hanselthecaretaker:

Mad Max has some of the funnest open world mechanics I?ve played with, and they feel awesome if ultimately very repetitive. Whether it?s harpooning towers down, or ripping the guards themselves out sending them flying backwards over you, or pulling the wheels or back ends off of enemy cars before blowing them up or ramming them to hell, launching explosives at enemy gates, or even just uncovering a hidden area it?s a pretty satisfying loop. I haven?t finished it yet but sad to hear all that kind of disappears when you finish the story quests.

The sound design is also incredible with a home theater. Every impact feels like it should driving around a metallic beast of a vehicle and the melee feels tougher and crunchier than anything from the Arkham games.

The story quests don't do anything. Its actually the open world stuff that decreases the enemies in the open world. It makes for a weird paradox in that engaging with the content starts removing that content from the game entirely.

Its not uncommon in the "regional takeover" mechanism in general. Whether its Mad Max, Saints Row (3 at least, I forget about 4), or Far Cry. As you do the stuff to liberate or takeover a region, the enemies all just vanish away until you're left with a big patch of peaceful nothing. Which might be a satisfying conclusion narratively speaking, but makes the continued sandbox become ever more lifeless.

So yeah, if you want to keep car fighting in Mad Max. Stop pulling down the towers and other such checklist items.

Phoenixmgs:
How much time over the course of an open world game is wasted in just traveling to content?

Traveling is part of the content. Lots of people appreciate it when done right, and, yeah, it's wise to stay away from it when it doesn't seem worth of your attention.

Seth Carter:

hanselthecaretaker:

Mad Max has some of the funnest open world mechanics I?ve played with, and they feel awesome if ultimately very repetitive. Whether it?s harpooning towers down, or ripping the guards themselves out sending them flying backwards over you, or pulling the wheels or back ends off of enemy cars before blowing them up or ramming them to hell, launching explosives at enemy gates, or even just uncovering a hidden area it?s a pretty satisfying loop. I haven?t finished it yet but sad to hear all that kind of disappears when you finish the story quests.

The sound design is also incredible with a home theater. Every impact feels like it should driving around a metallic beast of a vehicle and the melee feels tougher and crunchier than anything from the Arkham games.

The story quests don't do anything. Its actually the open world stuff that decreases the enemies in the open world. It makes for a weird paradox in that engaging with the content starts removing that content from the game entirely.

Its not uncommon in the "regional takeover" mechanism in general. Whether its Mad Max, Saints Row (3 at least, I forget about 4), or Far Cry. As you do the stuff to liberate or takeover a region, the enemies all just vanish away until you're left with a big patch of peaceful nothing. Which might be a satisfying conclusion narratively speaking, but makes the continued sandbox become ever more lifeless.

So yeah, if you want to keep car fighting in Mad Max. Stop pulling down the towers and other such checklist items.

I read on YouTube comments that what some people did was make a save that left most/all the convoys in place to keep replaying. I might do this for a few areas, especially around Gas Town.

Seth Carter:

hanselthecaretaker:

Mad Max has some of the funnest open world mechanics I?ve played with, and they feel awesome if ultimately very repetitive. Whether it?s harpooning towers down, or ripping the guards themselves out sending them flying backwards over you, or pulling the wheels or back ends off of enemy cars before blowing them up or ramming them to hell, launching explosives at enemy gates, or even just uncovering a hidden area it?s a pretty satisfying loop. I haven?t finished it yet but sad to hear all that kind of disappears when you finish the story quests.

The sound design is also incredible with a home theater. Every impact feels like it should driving around a metallic beast of a vehicle and the melee feels tougher and crunchier than anything from the Arkham games.

The story quests don't do anything. Its actually the open world stuff that decreases the enemies in the open world. It makes for a weird paradox in that engaging with the content starts removing that content from the game entirely.

Its not uncommon in the "regional takeover" mechanism in general. Whether its Mad Max, Saints Row (3 at least, I forget about 4), or Far Cry. As you do the stuff to liberate or takeover a region, the enemies all just vanish away until you're left with a big patch of peaceful nothing. Which might be a satisfying conclusion narratively speaking, but makes the continued sandbox become ever more lifeless.

So yeah, if you want to keep car fighting in Mad Max. Stop pulling down the towers and other such checklist items.

Though sometimes you get bits where clearing forts and camps doesn't mean much other then getting the xp and loot. AC:Odyessy/Origins will have enemies repopulate the forts at some point even if you clear them(granted, clearing is just finishing whatever checklist is attached) and even in early AC games, liberating a region, destorying a fort or taking down the towers just meant you had less hassle to deal with in that area and unlocked some kind of bonus for you(such as being able to recruit more assassins to train and call upon).

And of course, there's MGSV where clearing outposts didn't mean much of anything because they'd alway repopulate some time later and half the time you'd end up going to the same damn places over and over again in missions or free roam. The only real reason to clear them was so you could kidna....er, recruit more minions for your pirate ga.....,er private army.

Dalisclock:

Though sometimes you get bits where clearing forts and camps doesn't mean much other then getting the xp and loot. AC:Odyessy/Origins will have enemies repopulate the forts at some point even if you clear them(granted, clearing is just finishing whatever checklist is attached) and even in early AC games, liberating a region, destorying a fort or taking down the towers just meant you had less hassle to deal with in that area and unlocked some kind of bonus for you(such as being able to recruit more assassins to train and call upon).

And of course, there's MGSV where clearing outposts didn't mean much of anything because they'd alway repopulate some time later and half the time you'd end up going to the same damn places over and over again in missions or free roam. The only real reason to clear them was so you could kidna....er, recruit more minions for your pirate ga.....,er private army.

Its probably some of a distinction of where they draw their influence.

Region control/territory wars/what have you tend to stem from a sourcepoint in GTA. Games that were large scale and sandboxy, but meant to actually be completed.

On the other side, you had MMOs where the player is 1 dude amongst thousands, and clearing a zone permanently would be both nonensical and actually break the game (there's actually a funny Youtube interview with the Ultima Online guys where they mention how their original realistic wildlife system was basically just made extinct within days by players).

The specific mechanics and terminology shift of course, but those bandit camps and forts respawning in Origins and Odyssey are just world events or dungeon dives from an MMO re-purposed to single player.

Its kind of wobbly which style suits the narrative. Some work. Some don't.

The Boss in Saints Row is a conquering near demigod, so crushing all rivals into nothingness is basically part of their characterization. It dulls the game out certainly, as you get ever increasing skills (or outright superpowers) with ever less to wield them upon, but it makes sense given the characterization involved. Similarly the AC protagonist never being able to make a definitive conquest also flows into the narrative, because we know they never truly defeat the Templars and the battle continues on into the present day.

Far Cry gets a little weird, because while you could clean out the opposing side with the aid of the guerillas you're inspiring, you're generally capable of doing so well before you eliminate Vaas, German Dude, Pagan Min, or other figureheads. The clears can come before they really make sense, and your opponents are mostly content to just sit their as you push them back. Mad Max for his part, seems decidedly unlikely to singlehandedly tame vast stretches of the Waste, particularly given that few of your allies in that game are invested in taking the field to help him. Delsin in Second Son becomes a folk hero (in the good path anyways) and rallies public opinion against the DUP, but we don't really see any logic as to how this ousts the DUP, or why they can't just restock from Curden Cay or call in additional military aid.

I think it was one of the Dead Risings that actually took it to the logical extremes and actually had a zombie count that you could (with difficulty, and not accomplishing much else) clear out.

If you asked me years ago I would probably lean towards preferring open-world stuff but as it is now I generally prefer linear experiences and stories. Which probably makes sense considering my preferences lean towards things like JRPGs and such. Or CRPGs. The regular formula for popular open-world games just became exceedingly stale to me. Which isn't to say that you can't absolutely fuck up a linear experience to the point it's awful both to play and follow as a story.

I'd probably take a middling but still fun open-world game at this point over something like, say, FFXIII, which screams and bleeds linearity to ridiculous extremes. All while basically being a notably shittier version of FFX which preceded it by nearly a decade. Yikes.

I don't think either is bad in and of themselves, but when the games industry focuses on doing one thing and nothing else, that thing get tiresome and dull.
Besides can we just all agree that lootboxes are the worst thing to happen to video games ever?

Canadamus Prime:
I don't think either is bad in and of themselves, but when the games industry focuses on doing one thing and nothing else, that thing get tiresome and dull.
Besides can we just all agree that lootboxes are the worst thing to happen to video games ever?

Nah, I'll 100% fight you on that and say "Early Access" is.

The utter normalization of
a)Paying for a game before its actually out
b)Paying for an unfinished game
c)Letting a game take a year (or more) to "fix" itself
d)Definitely a big contributor to the obnoxious hype train to releases. That one's more of a mixed bag, because it can help expose a terrible products.
e)Helped to kill the actual demo. Now its just "Well go watch the youtubers playing the early access or whatever".

Lootboxes comparatively are a minor annoyance. Basically already on their deathbeds. And mostly absolutely bypassable in all but a small handful of titles.

Seth Carter:

Canadamus Prime:
I don't think either is bad in and of themselves, but when the games industry focuses on doing one thing and nothing else, that thing get tiresome and dull.
Besides can we just all agree that lootboxes are the worst thing to happen to video games ever?

Nah, I'll 100% fight you on that and say "Early Access" is.

The utter normalization of
a)Paying for a game before its actually out
b)Paying for an unfinished game
c)Letting a game take a year (or more) to "fix" itself
d)Definitely a big contributor to the obnoxious hype train to releases. That one's more of a mixed bag, because it can help expose a terrible products.
e)Helped to kill the actual demo. Now its just "Well go watch the youtubers playing the early access or whatever".

Lootboxes comparatively are a minor annoyance. Basically already on their deathbeds. And mostly absolutely bypassable in all but a small handful of titles.

Ok you've got some pretty good points there. Although I wouldn't say that lootboxes are on their deathbed and many times they are only bypassable if you have a metric fucktonne of patience.

Your generic linear game is at least to the point. Your generic open world game is in fact a linear game cut up, scattered across an unnecessarily huge world and mixed up with random collectibles and lots of unnecessary travel time.

I always prefer games that offer a bit of a middle ground. Games like Deus Ex or Hitman or even Crysis which offer some degree of freedom as to how you move forward, give a bit of exploration but are ultimately linear in terms of objectives without too much chaff in between.

Linear games don't even necessarily have to be short. RPGs like Dragon Age or Mass Effect(at least 2/3) are ultimately linear in execution - there's just a few central hubs to chat up before you move onto your next main task. JRPGs are ultimately mostly linear, pushing you forward across a fairly linear path before as kind of a bonus towards the end - allows for open world exploration. Which is really more optional than anything and mostly exists to revisit places where you might have missed stuff or for bonus content.

And honestly, play hours is hardly the best gauge of value these days for games. A lot of the hours of longer playtime games are indeed spent twatting about rather than y'know, actually playing the bloody game. A Call of Duty campaign might be short, but I'm at least doing stuff throughout it. I probably spend the duration of a CoD campaign just driving between destinations and finding upgrades in a GTAesque game. And collecting stuff isn't even real gameplay ultimately - they are all marked on the bloody map so it's just... twatting about.

CaitSeith:

Phoenixmgs:
How much time over the course of an open world game is wasted in just traveling to content?

Traveling is part of the content. Lots of people appreciate it when done right, and, yeah, it's wise to stay away from it when it doesn't seem worth of your attention.

But traveling in open world games almost always is just a time waster and is rarely done right because almost no devs understand how to make an open world game. Most of the time when traveling is fun is only due to the core mechanic just lending itself to travel like Spiderman's web-slinging or Just Cause's grappling hook/parachute. Traveling was just a time waster in an open world platformer Mirror's Edge Catalyst.

I played the beta of Ghost Recon Wildlands and deleted it after an hour because of all the wasted time in that game. I infiltrated a camp and secured a VIP and that should be mission complete. But what did the game have me do? Fly a freaking helicopter to bring the VIP back to our base with shitty ass controls and just wasting minutes of time for no reason. Flying helicopters adds nothing to the core of what a Ghost Recon game is, which is infiltrating and securing that VIP, that's your job. In any other Ghost Recon game, you get a cutscene of the helicopter ride with some after mission chatter because that's all you need. It would be like a Hitman game making you drive a boat for 5 minutes or so when you "escape" after a successful hit, you're not playing the game to drive a boat.

Wings012:
Your generic linear game is at least to the point. Your generic open world game is in fact a linear game cut up, scattered across an unnecessarily huge world and mixed up with random collectibles and lots of unnecessary travel time.

I always prefer games that offer a bit of a middle ground. Games like Deus Ex or Hitman or even Crysis which offer some degree of freedom as to how you move forward, give a bit of exploration but are ultimately linear in terms of objectives without too much chaff in between.

Linear games don't even necessarily have to be short. RPGs like Dragon Age or Mass Effect(at least 2/3) are ultimately linear in execution - there's just a few central hubs to chat up before you move onto your next main task. JRPGs are ultimately mostly linear, pushing you forward across a fairly linear path before as kind of a bonus towards the end - allows for open world exploration. Which is really more optional than anything and mostly exists to revisit places where you might have missed stuff or for bonus content.

And honestly, play hours is hardly the best gauge of value these days for games. A lot of the hours of longer playtime games are indeed spent twatting about rather than y'know, actually playing the bloody game. A Call of Duty campaign might be short, but I'm at least doing stuff throughout it. I probably spend the duration of a CoD campaign just driving between destinations and finding upgrades in a GTAesque game. And collecting stuff isn't even real gameplay ultimately - they are all marked on the bloody map so it's just... twatting about.

Pretty much completely echos my feelings on it. At least linear gives me what it thinks is the "good stuff" and doesn't care about keeping me occupied with copy-pasted low-quality content.

Phoenixmgs:

CaitSeith:

Phoenixmgs:
How much time over the course of an open world game is wasted in just traveling to content?

Traveling is part of the content. Lots of people appreciate it when done right, and, yeah, it's wise to stay away from it when it doesn't seem worth of your attention.

But traveling in open world games almost always is just a time waster and is rarely done right because almost no devs understand how to make an open world game. Most of the time when traveling is fun is only due to the core mechanic just lending itself to travel like Spiderman's web-slinging or Just Cause's grappling hook/parachute. Traveling was just a time waster in an open world platformer Mirror's Edge Catalyst.

I played the beta of Ghost Recon Wildlands and deleted it after an hour because of all the wasted time in that game. I infiltrated a camp and secured a VIP and that should be mission complete. But what did the game have me do? Fly a freaking helicopter to bring the VIP back to our base with shitty ass controls and just wasting minutes of time for no reason. Flying helicopters adds nothing to the core of what a Ghost Recon game is, which is infiltrating and securing that VIP, that's your job. In any other Ghost Recon game, you get a cutscene of the helicopter ride with some after mission chatter because that's all you need. It would be like a Hitman game making you drive a boat for 5 minutes or so when you "escape" after a successful hit, you're not playing the game to drive a boat.

Says who? I quite like it when a game charges you with getting important item X from base Y to extraction zone Z, and leaving it up to you how that gets done. And nothing accommodates player choice as well as a good sandbox. I say 'good', because as you've pointed out there are many quite rubbish ones out there. But exploration and traversing can be done in a compelling way, and that's a job all sandboxes are supposed to perform. Hell, the first Driver and Crazy Taxi were nothing but the traversing, and they were smash hits. Just because some handle that aspect poorly, doesn't mean none of them do it well period.

And lets face it, something like Shadow of the Colossus would have been garbage if you just selected each Colossi from a menu and just got spawned into the arena right in front of it each time.

I am sure someone else has pointed this out, but they are plenty of other linear games that came out during 7th generation that weren't COD clones or Gears clones. There were plenty of racing games, before they started petering our before end of the generation, God of War clones (by extension DMC clones), and let's not forget all of the XBLA/PSN/Wiiware games going for 2.5d or 2d gameplay for the most part. The only reason we remember the COD/Gears clones so much was because of the over saturated market, just like this gen. Though the Japanese developers going through their dork age and trying to copy the Western market verbatim in either tone or story wasn't helping either. Hell, aside from COD4, I went out of the way to not play games that played follow-the-leader to that genre of FPS or TPS. The only exceptions were the Ghost Reccon games (which are way more tactical), Vanquish, and Bulletstorm. The latter that punishes you for using too much cover and is all about speed. And the second latter which can be described as Mad World if it were an FPS.

I know I got tired of the open world formula by the time of Sains Row 2 and GTA IV. So this generation wasn't doing me any favor with that either. I did what I did best, play games that interest me. Which is what I've usually done any way. If you're sick and tired of either of these genres, there are plenty of different games to pick and play. What I like about this generation is most of the Japanese developers have gotten act together and making games that cater to their audience instead of "broadening the appeal", though Capcom still has little bit of it in them. Then you have games that realized, "oh, my FPS doesn't have to look like dog shit brown/gunmetal grey, and a two/three weapon". Like I said before, there is plenty of different games to play. Sony and Nintendo at least no how to give variety for their first party and third party games.

On a side note, people seem to forget the industry doesn't learn its lesson 90% of the time. Look at all the Fortnite/PUBG clones that came out the past 2 years. Very few were a commercial and success, and once again, the market got over saturated.

Squilookle:
Says who? I quite like it when a game charges you with getting important item X from base Y to extraction zone Z, and leaving it up to you how that gets done. And nothing accommodates player choice as well as a good sandbox. I say 'good', because as you've pointed out there are many quite rubbish ones out there. But exploration and traversing can be done in a compelling way, and that's a job all sandboxes are supposed to perform. Hell, the first Driver and Crazy Taxi were nothing but the traversing, and they were smash hits. Just because some handle that aspect poorly, doesn't mean none of them do it well period.

And lets face it, something like Shadow of the Colossus would have been garbage if you just selected each Colossi from a menu and just got spawned into the arena right in front of it each time.

I said when the core mechanic is traveling, it usually works. Most games don't lend themselves to open world coupled with barely any dev knows how to execute an open world game. Linear naturally gives focus to the game with most games these days lack pretty heavily. An EA or Activision or Ubisoft would never make a game like Shadow of the Colossus because there would just not be enough for the gamer to do even though adding stuff to the game would only make it worse.

Squilookle:

And lets face it, something like Shadow of the Colossus would have been garbage if you just selected each Colossi from a menu and just got spawned into the arena right in front of it each time.

SotC is to my recollection (admittedly I've only played it 1 and a half times or so), a fairly sequenced experience though.

Linear isn't exclusively Cutscene-Fight-Cutscene-Fight-Cutscene-Fight. Lots of linear stuff has had atmospheric levels and such.

As someone mentioned with HZD, there's a carefully laid out sequence of fighting one Watcher, two Watchers, two Watches and a Scrapper, etc. the game is designed with a linear sequence in mind, but then just pasted into an open world.

You get a similar case with Zelda, and to my recollection, SotC. Barring a few occasions where you can go to one of a pair, but you still need to complete both to get to the next one. Everythings meant to go in a sequence, so having access to stuff outside the sequence is just kind of fluff, or at worst might spoil or disrupt the presentation and gameplay curve.

I like linear story driven games that respect my time, so to me the open world bloat of 8th gen is far more annoying.

Well, if you are looking at the worst examples of each:

Im playing through 2011's Homefront right now (clearing out my backlog), and I don't think that a lot of people remember just how bad linear games used to be. Want to open a door? Better wait for your squad mate to come over and bash it in for you. Want to climb a ladder? Can't just walk up to it and climb - not only is it a scripted button prompt, but you need to wait for squadmate 1 and 2 to climb first for... reasons. Managed to slip past the squad leader? Thats a shame - have to wait for them to catch up at their slow, slow pace.

As for open world games, though - the bad ones are just big open spaces, with little justification for it - filled with copy/paste side missions that play more like mini-games than actual sidequests. Want some more world building that isnt integral to the main plot? Thats a shame - go hunt down this tiger, but this time the tiger is white - oh, and you can only use a shotgun for some reason. Make sure you climb that tower to see the world map. Oh, and no need to actually explore the world - feel free to just fast travel everywhere.

At least the bad linear games are over, sooner.

As for which I prefer, given good examples of both - I prefer linear games. I find that open world games tend to struggle with pacing quite a bit. The main plot is always some big event that is super important for either your character or the world, but because the mechanics encourage side-quests for gear/levels/story, you are constantly sidetracked doing random quests for strangers, leaving the main plot alone.

I'll grant that it's easier not to screw up a linear game than a sandbox, but making your game linear brings no guarantee that it's going to be any good. At least in a sandbox, if the story sucks you can go off the rails and find your own fun with the physics and vehicles. This pretty much single-handedly saved the first Just Cause. But with linear, the bad story is forcefed down your throat, having to listen to all the awful dialogue, yawn at all the set-pieces that took months to make but wear out their welcome on the second viewing, and the game treating you as if you care about these one dimensional characters and causing just as much narrative dissonance as sandboxes can do. A game not allowing a player to exercise their imagination is a far bigger sin than having sparse ground with nothing to engage the player in it, I reckon.

 Pages PREV 1 2

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here