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What Game Element Should Be Most Improved Next Generation?

Everyone is looking forward to improvements in the next generation, which are inevitable.

However, what specific elements of interactive entertainment will receive the biggest improvement is up for debate. The technical aspects are bound to get better, so we can probably expect better artificial intelligence, enhanced control, and ultra-realistic graphics.

But personally, I'm looking forward to a big quality increase in terms of writing. The scripts we've seen this generation have been pretty good, and they represent a huge step forward for the industry. After all, despite the obvious inherent flaws, games like Heavy Rain have shown us that video games can produce fantastic emotion, present moral conflict, and portray excellent character development. The only problem is that we still can't rival movies or books when we talk about story creation and development, but I don't believe we have to settle for mediocrity in that sphere.

I'm hoping it's inevitable that we see better and better writing as time goes on. Professional writers are being tapped every day and we've already seen some pretty damn good examples of engaging, well-presented plots and storylines. Of course, story is never the most popular aspect of any form of entertainment these days (sad but true), but I'm sure at least some developers will attempt to set new writing standards for gaming.

Tags: next generation, next generation consoles, gaming industry, video games

2/6/2013 12:19:16 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (41 posts)

Underdog15
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 12:25:06 AM
Reply

Dialogue.

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Bonampak
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 11:16:01 AM

A great story and dialogue is nice. But if the gameplay is built around that or shoe-horned in to fit the plot, that is why we get scripted games that don't feel like games at all. But more like an interactive storybook.

I don't think going about it that way is ideal. Videogames are always meant to be played.

Any time that you're sitting on your couch holding the controller and doing nothing with it, because you're watching a long intrusive cutscene, that is less time that you are being allowed to be an active participant in the game. And that's not good because games are suppose to be interactive, unlike books or movies.

IMO, next-gen games should get the balance right in terms of how much dialogue and gameplay a game should have. Ideally, there should always be more gameplay. And the story should always be built around it, not the other way around.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 12:16:14 PM

I'm sick of excellent stories being ruined by awful dialogue.

Put some damn effort into the dialogues. What year are we in? Are games art, or what?

Excellent gameplay doesn't keep me coming back if I just don't care about what's going on. Why can't I have both.

My answer is:


Dialogue.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 2/6/2013 12:17:08 PM

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Bonampak
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 4:03:11 PM

Excellent gameplay is what makes a GAMER go back to a GAME every time. People that mostly want to sit down and have a nice story told to them, should watch a movie.

There is a reason as to why people look with fondness to games from previous gens that had almost no dialogue but a ton of gameplay. And it's also why people look back to the golden age of gaming (when dialogue was kept to a minimum) and wished that games had the same amount of addictive & challenging GAMEPLAY as they once did.

For instance, no amount of good writing could've saved Resident Evil 6 from having repetitive gameplay with almost no challenge (on a first run) and that bores you to tears with its convoluted plotline and overrated characters.

Besides, once you watch the cutscenes and know the story of a game, there is no reason to go back to it. Unless it has great gameplay. That's the only thing that will make anyone go back for seconds or thirds.

But then again, opinions.

Last edited by Bonampak on 2/6/2013 4:04:40 PM

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Underdog15
Friday, February 08, 2013 @ 8:57:31 PM

Then again, it's 2013 and a real gamer would want the industry to move forward and prove to the entertainment world it is capable of art and expression through inclusion and challenge.

A real gamer never has enough and wants nothing more than the industry to thrive and advance beyond stagnation.

But opinions.

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Twistedfloyd
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 12:49:56 AM
Reply

To me that's what has improved the most from every generation. Writing and story construction excelled in games like Heavy Rain, Uncharted trilogy, Bioshock and Red Dead. And some game called MGS4 is the most beautifully shot game ever, and despite some over the top dialogues, it's a wonderfully designed and presented game with a very touching story.

Arcs are starting to happen as well. Something that Kojima really busted open with MGS in 98 was Snake undergoing a vast character arc and Kojima once again did it with MGS4 by sending Snake on another fantastic arc that really made him a changed man by the end of the journey.

We need more arcs though where characters really develop and grow more over the course of the game.

Writing is improving and another aspect that is improving is Voice Acting. Voice acting is getting better and better as time goes along.

Cinematography is getting better, editing crisper and seamless interaction between the gameplay and presentation was at an all time high with Heavy Rain.

I love how with the games I mentioned and with Journey and Flower, designers are also looking at different ways to make the experience more interactive while combining cinematic technique without taking away agency from the player.

The brutal crawl of Snake in MGS4 is one example, the split screen of gameplay along with the presentation is one of the most powerful examples of emotion displayed in any game, and it was done while giving the player control over the situation.

Heavy Rain... the whole game.

Uncharted with the seamless big action set piece going back and forth with the gameplay seamlessly was a big step forward.

Games are really coming along in this respect and it's something I'm looking to implement in my own games is finding that balance between storytelling and gameplay without taking away too much (or any) agency from the player.

That's what I want to keep seeing. Cutscenes are great, I adore them, but we must keep moving forward as an industry to give the player the best possible presentation. There's still room for cutscenes, but at the same time, iteration on presentation is key. And that balance still hasn't been fully ironed out.

That's what many of us are striving to do. And the writing is getting better and even though it's not all the way there, as a whole as an industry, this is the best it's ever been. So I can only hope it's going to continue to improve


Last edited by Twistedfloyd on 2/6/2013 12:57:23 AM

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clockwyzebkny
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 1:01:33 AM
Reply

I would love a grander scale in some of the gaming worlds. Not just as a backdrop, but a background that is reachable.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 10:43:40 AM

yeah like in jrpgs of old

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clockwyzebkny
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 7:44:28 PM

nice avatar!

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Temjin001
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 1:17:52 AM
Reply

I want better AI for certain. I don't necessarily mean smarter, but more believable in behavior and emotional response.
I also want someone to really evolve the traditional platformer. I feel that the Jak and Daxter and Ratchet types saw pretty limited exposure on Ps3 relative to prior gens. I think if more demand was there for those types of games( thanks Sony for the expensive ps3 hardware that may have pushed away the younger audiences ;) this gen we'd have seen more evolution. For example I've been playing Jak 3 and the franchise was really evolving into something quite a bit more, more than the traditional platformer. It had a platformer base to its design but had a level of breadth that few games I know of that type attempt. It nearly feels like a bigger version of Rage. Yes, Rage. But it uses a platformer base instead of an fps one. Anyway, so genre wise I'd like Sony's powerful tech to evolve game play specifically in the platformer realm. I suppose Infamous deserves a nod for being almost that, not as slow and cumbersome as an AC game.
I'm pretty satisfied with the dialogue these days. Sure it could get better but when I think new hardware I don't necessarily think better scripting because I feel that's something that's achieved independent of tech. I do think facial animations will improve significantly so perhaps dialogue will seem better because facial muscles will react more realistically.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 1:22:18 AM

btw yes I know there's lbp but I mean 3D platformer, not sidescroller platformer.

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Neo_Aeon666
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 1:25:59 AM
Reply

I say we should regress to PS1 era!

OR

Now that they got the mainstream's attention, go back to making real games that let you actually think of solutions and contains less brainless boring things. Seriously... If you start wandering around a little in a game nowadays... It won't take 30 seconds that they will POINT OUT where to go with a GIANT ARROW. Now all you gotta go is... Aim and fire... Aim and fire... FOLLOW THE ARROW... Aim and fire (repeat for all types of games but you can replace FIRE for *mashing the X button* in certain games. (cough final cough))

So yeah. I realized that while playing Persona 4 Golden Vita (Noticed how I actually had to think about what was going to be my next move and felt extreme joy out of it lol). We lost our freedom in the majority of the game types and are taken for retards. So yeah now that they got mainstream on board... Please let go of our hands and let us think about solutions or other routes in games of ANY genre.

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Knightzane
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 1:27:38 AM
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Longer campaigns. Im tired of playing through a game in 5 hours. During the ps2 era, i swear almost every game FORCED you to play at least 12 hours per game. Better stories. More in depth character customization. And probably some longer campaigns. Yeah, i said it twice. I feel its that needed.

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 1:40:11 AM
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Yes, longer "Single Player" campaigns, and more DLC geared to us "Single Players" too.

Also better storytelling &/or more intricately woven back-stories between characters, not only just in RPG's.

Last edited by BikerSaint on 2/6/2013 1:41:20 AM

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Beamboom
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 1:59:47 AM
Reply

One word: Persistence. That's what I want more than anything else.

To not have everything reset to default the moment you turn your back on it would affect *everything*, from AI to game mechanics, visuals to narrative.
It would open up completely new opportunities to the games designers.


Last edited by Beamboom on 2/6/2013 2:02:19 AM

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homura
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 2:15:17 AM
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The Element of Awesomeness

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Hand_of_Sorrow
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 2:21:32 AM
Reply

some games could use better voice actors.

take for instance, the voice actor for vaas in fc3 he really made
vaas come to life.

longer sp campaigns and more sp dlc.

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 3:14:13 AM
Reply

b

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 8:04:32 AM

Sorry I can't stay logged in for some reason. When I tried to edit it says says error it appears you are no longer logged in. When I try to report the problem in the site feedback section I get internal server error 500 the resource you are looking for is unavailable.

Okay, what game element shoud be most improved? I don't see why it has to be limited to one element. I want it all. Better graphics, better AI, better framerates, better load times, and improved physics.

I really hope Sony's next console will have better anti aliasing capabilties so we can kiss those jaggies good bye. There are many games that look like they are running without any anti aliasing at all.




Last edited by Excelsior1 on 2/6/2013 8:39:38 AM

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Bonampak
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 11:03:09 AM

Well it was well worth the trouble you had there because you mentioned something most here didn't:

BETTER FRAMERATES

Better frame-rates, no screen tearing or choppy animations. Not having any of that in a next-gen game will tell me that I'm really playing a next-gen game.

I mean seriously, many games this generation killed the sense of immersion because the inconsistent framerates, choppy animation and screen-tearing would be a constant reminder that I was playing a videogame.

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 11:42:17 AM

I completely agree. Screen tears accross a giant HDTV look awful. It does kill the sense of immersion. You know what else kills immersion? The awful shadows we have seen this generation. Gran Turismo 5 had terrible shadows that were embarrassingly blocky. If you are going to put shadows in a game that otherwise looks pretty good then why ruin it with shadows like that? If they are going to look that bad then just don't even have them at all.

The first Dead Space game had really pixalated shadows as well. Isaac's shadow looked like it was made out of lego blocks. Countless games out there with awful shadows.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 12:18:53 PM

I like the idea of better anti-aliasing or better yet, ray tracing. As for frame rates, I couldn't care less. Once you reach 60, I'm happy. As far as I'm concerned it's just a bell or whistle.

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Bonampak
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 4:10:18 PM

"As for frame rates, I couldn't care less. Once you reach 60, I'm happy"

you're 60 years old?

You weren't talking about 60fps, right? Because you said you don't give a damn about framerates.

And we barely had games running at a decent 30fps this gen. Without lots of tearing and choppy animations, lousy shadow effects and the like.

So we should expect PS4 games to run at 60 FRAMES per second at a steady rate. No less.

Last edited by Bonampak on 2/6/2013 4:10:59 PM

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Underdog15
Friday, February 08, 2013 @ 8:59:28 PM

Are you seriously struggling with what I meant?

Yes. Once you hit 60 fps, I'm happy. It didn't need intricate explanation because itwas a thought

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___________
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 4:26:08 AM
Reply

im hoping for much more evolved characters, and more so character development.
one thing i hate about allot of recent games is you start the game, and 2 seconds later a character dies and your like WTF!?
how are you suppose to develop a relationship with said character after knowing them for 24 seconds?
and more so character development, show how the characters change and evolve over the series of events and time passing.
we need to get away from this choose your own story BS because it really just does not work!
it leaves you feeling empty and is that all i changed, cough the walking dead.
make characters allot more in depth, have them change during the course of the game, and hopefully that will make the player invested in said characters, really make them care about the characters and enstil a real emotion.
ill NEVER forget the scene in heavy rain where you have to cut your own finger off, man that made me feel sick!
or even the time where your asked to shoot a father.
games need to be more like that, make a statememnt and stick with it!

one other thing we need to do is stop pussyfooting around the bush!
its ridclious the amount of times developers come out and say oh, no, but, ah, thats not what we meant.
for f*cks sake grow some f*cking balls and stick to your decisions!
the rape contrevercy from tomb raider for instance, the developers really shouldent of had to come out and justify it.
or the removal of the interrogation from the E3 demo of blacklist.
developers should be free to do whatever they want in their games, just like hollywood is!
you cant tell me the E3 demo from blacklist is worse than what hostel, or another torture porn movie has done, so why can hollywood do it and not us?
one thing i have to applaud the walking dead for, they did something truly sick and disturbing in that game, how you unlock the door and get into the house.
and i gotta say thank you for that, because not many developers would of done that, they would of pussyfooted away from it in a instant!
and you know what?
the media has not said boo, and the worlds still spinning!
funny that.

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deadmanwithin
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 5:52:15 AM
Reply

Ben, you said it. Writing. I want to know why I(or the character I'm controlling) would want or need to get from point A to point B. A lot of games still have a huge amount of plot holes, that needs to be remedied.

I would also like for more games to adopt the 3rd person perspective and do more with it. Seeing my entire character really helps me to care for him/her/it, especially if he/she/it is animated well.

And if they must continue to use a first person perspective, for the love of science, do something with that. Watching only arms(armored, armed or not) is not a very satisfying experience for me. I've always thought that camera placement wasn't the greatest idea and by tweaking it they can do much better.



Last edited by deadmanwithin on 2/6/2013 5:53:26 AM

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Underdog15
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 12:20:27 PM

There are certainly a lot of gaps in story. But very rarely have I seen a plot hole. Almost never, in fact.

As for me, there are a lot of good stories out there, and plots are easy enough to follow as a framework. But the dialogue destroys so much possible emotion and transparency in characters. So I'm gonna key in on dialogue.

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Dancemachine55
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 6:15:19 AM
Reply

1. Smarter AI

2. Shorter load times

3. Better writing and dialogue, make it feel like an interactive movie. (Uncharted and Mass Effect best achieved this)

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Akuma07
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 7:14:28 AM
Reply

Story.

I agree with the other comment, that story on a grand scale. It's cool when the game you play fits into a universe of its own, knowing that what you did made a difference. I feel like a lot of games sacrificed a good story for other improvements.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 8:11:43 AM
Reply

I'd like to see a better balance of open ended freedom based games that also have strong stories. Dishonored dipped a toe into that world.

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 11:17:54 AM

I don't like linear to the extreme games and value player freedom. Batman AC told a decent story while giving us a lot of freedom. I don't buy the argument that a game has to be insanely linear to tell a strong story.

Since I do prefer open ended freedom I have had trouble getting into the Uncharted series. I recognize its quality but struggle with it being so linear. These's usually just one way to proceed. It doesn't even have branching paths. A lot of going down narrow paths to more open areas that feature gunfights or the next set pieces. Even the more open areas are relatively small.

Can't they open up the game just a little bit? It's ironic that a game with uncharted in its title won't let you go off the map even a little bit to explore. For example in UC2 there is the helicopter battle that takes place on the roof in that expansive and beautiful city. When I first saw it I was so eager to take a look around and explore...but the game wouldn't let me. Even just a little. There is just one way onto that roof. Damn, I wanted to see more of that city but can't because all the streets are conviently blocked off. Would it really hurt the story to allow me to explore a even just a little? I can't help but think the reason that street is blocked off is because they want to keep the levels small so more horsepower goes into the UC's graphics. It's not blocked off to tell a better story. Maybe new hardware will allow for a better balance.

Does it have to be that linear and the maps so small to tell a strong story? I don't think so. I'm not saying it has to be an open world GTA like game but it just doesn't have to be that linear in my humble opinion.

I feel bad for only liking UC and not loving it. It feels like I am being left out. If they opened it up just a little it would be much more to my liking. I am hoping that The Last of Us is not as linear as the UC series has been. A post apocolyptic game like that should be more open. I guess it's just my personal tastes that have stopped me from loving the UC series.

I do think the future is looking up for gamers like me. We are trending away from super linear games. New hardware should allow for bigger and better worlds.

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clockwyzebkny
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 7:51:18 PM

I understand what your saying Excelsior. I think the purpose of the linearity in Uncharted is to help with the pacing. Usually there's some sense of urgency. I think too much open-endedness would hinder that a bit And i'm sure that the linearity avoids the graphics not taking too much of a hit

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bebestorm
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 10:11:15 AM
Reply

Yeh writing would be a good one because we have had well written games but plot/story is typical and predictable.

I would really like to see QTE advanced or upgraded because I think they can do more than being just directed moves with no alternatives.

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Bonampak
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 11:07:30 AM

How about just trusting players with the controls and letting them do all the cool stuff featured in the QTE's?

QTE's are good in moderation. But it doesn't take away from the fact that it's a lazy way for developers to add gameplay to a story. See Resident Evil 6 as an example of that.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 12:21:42 PM

True. Knight's Contract was a decent game destroyed by QTE's. QTE's made it unplayable at higher difficulties.

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Nestore
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 10:51:45 AM
Reply

game play.

just kidding. I want better Android content, VR goggle gaming that is not tied to MS Windows, and a higher CPU/GPU/RAM bar (which is guaranteed).

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Underdog15
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 12:22:26 PM

Really? I don't want to share info via social networking at all, really.

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Natalisrubbish
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 12:51:38 PM
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I for one, I am looking greatly forward to this oncoming Gaming Generation for the PS4. I say that because returning to the PS1 style of development is a good move. The PS1 became so popular in 94-2000 because of it's ease of development and support from Sony. Making less exotic architecture is less impressive, yes, but ease of development will net us many many more impressive 1st and 3rd party games I believe in slightly less time due to a familiar learning curve.

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Dukemz_UK
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 @ 4:23:03 PM
Reply

Original ideas. Developers not scared to develop original ideas. I'd love to see more high quality titles, like Journey and Flower were for this generation.

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___________
Thursday, February 07, 2013 @ 8:14:12 AM
Reply

another thing that really needs to change in games is motive.
its funny, CD project red have been doing interviews for the witcher 3, and one of the things they said they really wanted to change was in previous games you felt like you were doing things because you were told to, not because you wanted or need to.
ironic, because its one of the few games that actually makes you feel like your doing these things because you want to, not because your told to.
i hate it when games just make you feel like a errand boy!

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JROD0823
Thursday, February 07, 2013 @ 2:33:50 PM
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Better writing, acting, and overall presentation.

More beliveable game characters, not stereotypes or caricatures of ethnic groups.

An ever increasing push toward realism...better physics, lighting, textures, more realistic manipulation of the environment around you.

I am also hoping tech-wise for the death of loading screens altogether, just one seamless transition across any part of a game.

Imagine an Elder Scrolls game (without the bugs! lol) where you could transition to interior spaces or travel (fast travel even) anywhere you wanted without a loading screen...wouldn't that be awesome?

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