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The Onslaught Of Open-World Games Is Just Overwhelming

There was a time when we could play and complete several games in just a month. Hell, we could sometimes complete a couple a week if we had nothing else to do.

Now, with the emergence of open-world/sandbox gaming becoming the norm, it almost feels as if I'll never finish another video game again.

That's an exaggeration, of course; I managed to complete last year's Assassin's Creed Unity, even if I haven't yet finished Grand Theft Auto V. Even so, I feel hemmed in on all sides. It'd be one thing if these games were few and far between but not these days. Batman: Arkham Knight will be here in a few weeks and in the fall, there's Assassin's Creed Syndicate. Even the vaunted, once-linear (or at least more straightforward) Final Fantasy and Metal Gear Solid franchises have opened up, and both MGSV and FFXV should be out in 2015.

And oh yeah, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is right here, eating up any ounce of spare time I might have. I don't expect to finish any time soon. On the flip side, I look back to The Order: 1886 and obviously, it's a whole different thing. Is it a lesser experience because it's just so much shorter and so much less demanding from a depth standpoint? No, I've never believed that. For those of us who have lives to which we must attend, a world loaded with open-world games is overwhelming and decidedly unattractive.

I just wish linearity wasn't dying before our eyes because really, linear adventures have since become the only games that seem realistically complete-able. And for some reason, I tend to have more fun with them, anyway.

Related Game(s): The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Tags: the witcher 3 wild hunt, open world games, gaming trends

5/28/2015 9:53:06 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (26 posts)


Bio
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 11:06:25 PM
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I like the freedom, because most open world games let you dictate your investment in them. The first time I played Skyrim, I beat it in 20 hours by pretty much doing nothing but the main questline. My second time through I beat it in 108 hours by doing almost everything. Did the same with Kingdoms of Alamur, Far Cry 3, Fable III etc. I usually get so into the story that I plow through it, so it's nice to know that if I really liked the gameplay, world building, and overall aesthetic I have a really good reason to go back through it and see all the stuff I missed, spend more time with the game without feeling like I'm retreading the same old ground.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 11:38:04 PM
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Freedom is nice sometimes but it makes for a less exciting experience. The devs can't use narrative tools properly to give the player a unique experience. Characters can't be all that fleshed out either, since they have to be ready to change their minds on a dime if you make a decision.

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Corvo
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 12:32:20 AM
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I've actually all but completely replaced with FFX HD on the ps4. Not because Witcher 3 is bad mind you.

Oblivion had the entire world to explore, and things leveled up along with you. Witcher 3 has that annoying thing where if you explore a certain area, you could be facing things you cannot kill. Unlike Dark Souls or Dragons Dogma where everything has to do with your skill as opposed to your level and gear.

Thats probably my biggest and only serious issue with Witcher 3. Its too narrow in its gameplay, yet so massive of a landscape that you feel you have to progress through it grid by grid instead of wherever the wind takes you. Still an awesome game though.

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Temjin001
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 1:31:51 AM

It was their intent all along to try and meet both camps in the middle. You're not the first to express disappointment that the game feels too restrictive for being "open world"
Similarly I doubt anyone who likes a focused narrative without a whole lot of side quests will probably find this somewhat derivative as well. Though considering more narrative driven RPGs are something sorely lacking these days I suppose witcher is a step closer in the right direction.

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FAREEZ
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 1:25:38 AM
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With open world you have so much choice to do with your gameplay, you can forget the main quest and do side quest or roaming the expansive world to see the amazing scenery like the Witcher 3(example).

And don't forget the great replay value that open world game give you, more thing to do even you finish the main quest, that good value for you. BTW that's just my opinion...

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EMax
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 9:39:52 AM

A lot of people talk about value for money where video games are concerned. I greatly prefer a linear, epic 5-hour experience over 100s of hours of mediocre side questing (and let's face it, a lot of the side quests in open world games are very mediocre). However, if that's what the majority of the gamers want, then so be it. The developers and publishers will follow the money trail, so open world is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
I am saddened though that the trends influencing my favourite hobby now has such a wobbly interest in telling a good story but a strong emphasis on many things to do.

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FAREEZ
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 12:00:25 PM

Can't argue with you on that, some people have different opinions. But sometimes I prefer epic 100 hours worth of content over 5 hours of mediocre linear third person shooter that full with QTE and boring cutscenes. Whatever float your boat man...

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Gordo
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 2:19:14 AM
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I've certainly got open world burnout.

I played GTAV and got to a certain point and thought, all I am doing is going here, stealing this and going back again.

Dragon Age Inquisition also I got bored within two hours.

Assassins Creed I cannot even bear to touch anymore.

60 hours later with Bloodborne however. No filler, no busy work, just pure driven, focused gameplay in a wonderfully intricately linked world.

I want to give The Witcher 3 a go, I really do but I am scared that it will be the same old open world too much choice and too little direction and it will end up in the GTAV and DA:I traded-in bin of shame.

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Squirreleatsman
Tuesday, June 02, 2015 @ 6:26:05 PM

Gordo, I think you'll enjoy Witcher 3, as I felt exactly that same about DAI & AC Unity, I haven't touched GTAV, but GTAIV left me with a similar feeling. You're also spot on with my opinion of Bloodborne, while I did have to do some grinding it was solely because of my own lack of skill with the game.

Witcher 3 is a pleasant surprise in terms of open world games in that it actually delivers what the devs were promising. Sadly their are quite a bit in the way of bugs mostly minor, but they're regular enough to seem them repeat even in the same play session.

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Gabriel013
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 2:37:20 AM
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I love open world games. Those are the ones I keep playing over and over again. I like knowing I am paying $60 for what could be months and months of gaming. What's bad about getting a year of gaming pleasure out of a small handful of titles?

If I play a more linear game with a strong narrative and I'm done in a week or two (or around 10 gaming hours) then I do feel short changed because then I have to fork out another $60 for something else. What's worse is that those are also the games I never want to go back and replay.

I must have have sunk over 2000 hours combined into ME Trilogy, DA Trilogy, Skyrim, Fallout (3 and NV). And that's mentioning just $540 of games, assuming you buy brand new full price (I bought all of those new but not on release day so it was even cheaper for me).

I am currently on my 3rd playthrough of Skyrim at around 115 hours thus far and I keep switching out for Project Cars. Will go back to DAI to carry on my 3rd play through soon.

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FAREEZ
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 6:53:22 AM

Yeah open world game is good value for your money, with $60 you can get great entertainment that lasted for a month...

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 9:52:18 AM

Time is irrelevant. Not everyone can spend that much time with a game in the first place and in the second place, I've received more enjoyment from games like Journey, Heavy Rain, the Uncharteds, etc. than I have from any open-world game ever made.

It's not universal. It depends on your preference. "Bang for your buck" is entirely subjective; maybe someone doesn't want to spend a thousand hours running around the same world that has long since exhausted its story and characters. Maybe someone wants a 8-10 hour adventure that can be played and completed in a week or two, and it forges far more memories than GTA.

This idea that "longer and bigger is automatically better" isn't doing anyone any favors.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 5/29/2015 9:53:56 AM

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matt99
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 10:29:27 AM

To further what Ben said, with open world games I sometimes feel like I'm not getting my money's worth if I don't finish the campaign because it takes too long. Now I know that's ridiculous, I've obviously gotten my moneys worth but the point is I would rather be able to complete the entire experience than wonder what I missed. That's what was so great about Skyrim, if you wanted you could complete the main storyline in a reasonable amount of time.

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Bio
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 11:23:25 AM

I'll take a great game that's short over a mediocre game that's 100 hours, which is why I've completed the first three MGS games at least 20 times each over the years.

That said, all things being equal, I'll take a great, open world game with 100s of hours of content over a great, short game with a 10 hour campaign.

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Snaaaake
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 6:31:28 AM
Reply

Just like how beat 'em up games were the thing back then, open-world is taking over now.
Say what you want, but times have changed.
Hell, maybe in 5-10 years time open-world might not be the s*** anymore.

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DocPain
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 9:17:57 AM
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Ben, I think we are the minority here....these people love their open world games....

But I couldn't agree with you more....

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Evil Incarnate
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 10:14:01 AM
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I had to skip Dying Light and The Witcher 3 due to lack of time. I really felt The Order 1886 was a fun experience with a good, engaging story that could, in my opinion, be finished in a perfect amount of time. I miss third person action games that take 10-20 hours to finish one play through. I love a good open-world game but when the market starts becoming saturated with a single genre of game, the fatigue starts to set in and I no longer feel compelled to purchase that genre of game.

I know people feel open-world, or long games in general are better bang for their buck, but is it really necessary for every freaking game to be 30hrs or longer? I have 2-3 hours a night to play if I'm lucky. This hobby is becoming less and less feasible for someone with less then 4-5 hours a night to play. Unfortunately, I believe the PS4 will be my last games console if this trend of making every game take 30-200 hours to complete continues.



Last edited by Evil Incarnate on 5/29/2015 10:17:52 AM

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Squirreleatsman
Tuesday, June 02, 2015 @ 6:27:39 PM

I put a good 20 hours into Dying Light, by the time I had acquired all the skills to actually make it fun to play I had lost all interest. Sadly the world is very lifeless and repetitive.

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shaytoon
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 10:19:42 AM
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im with you on the time part. prolly a main reason i didnt wanna touch dragon age or witcher is bc i know these new rpgs need 70+ hrs for a good experience. i dont wanna rush through it as well just to claim i beat it, i wanna get involved as much as i can. games like gta and ff, i am willing to dedicate the time as it will be the only game ill be focusing on and want to play thoroughly.

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matt99
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 10:34:18 AM
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While we're on the subject, can we also say that not every game requires player choice. In games like Mass Effect it's great but some games I want the devs to write a story and tell it like they want to. TLoU was a great example of this, there are a few points in the game where you could feel a big "player choice" moment coming but ND said no, this is our story now sit back and enjoy.

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JackieBoy
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 10:51:22 AM
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I like both the open-world and linear games, as long as they are fun to play.

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AcHiLLiA
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 11:11:23 AM
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A lot of those people with jobs can't appreciate that much spare time as they use to, getting older, more priorities really emphasis your adult life.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 5/29/2015 11:12:54 AM

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Temjin001
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 11:24:31 AM
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I agree we need more linearity offerings. Order 1886 was a huge reminder of this.

In Batman's case I really like the idea of it being more open. My imaginations of Batman games when I was younger usually always consisted of Batman freely protecting his Gotham City. I also preferred the more Arkham City over Arkham Asylum from the prior games. Once I get my open city fill of the caped crusader perhaps I'll be more wanting of something different.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 5/29/2015 11:31:21 AM

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Squirreleatsman
Tuesday, June 02, 2015 @ 6:40:41 PM

You know it's interesting because I constantly here people talking about replay value with open world games, I'm a firm believer that most open world games have little in the way of actual replay value. They are fun the first time through, but do you really want to restart any of these games and replay them? do you even have the time to do that?

I know when I finish Witcher Wild Hunt that despite how much I love the game I won't want to replay for 2 major reasons. 1. Most of the missions while well crafted in comparsison to all other open world games, they simply don't hold a candle to games Like Last of Us, Uncharted, & The Order 1886 which feature incredibly well paced level and world design. I find myself "replaying" linear games regularly because I know the great experience I'm getting myself into and I know that it holds up over time, where as they're are very few missions it open world games, save for Red Dead Redemption's Mexico introduction that are truly worth revisiting.

While I love the concept of open world I feel like their are still too many sacrifices made in term of gameplay and design quality because they go with the more is better attitude. That said I definitely see the appeal of these games and they're slowly getting there, but for me I still value a shorter better paced game with solid gameplay and a truly intriguing and well crafter story over spending hours and hours wandering through digital space to find one semi decent quest.

EDIT: To be clear by finish the Witcher 3 I mean complete everything including contracts and side quests, plus DLC if it still holds me at that point.

Last edited by Squirreleatsman on 6/2/2015 6:42:06 PM

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SaiyanSenpai
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 1:22:01 PM
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I hope this open world design thing is a fad and becomes a bit more of a rarity soon.

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solidsnakins
Sunday, May 31, 2015 @ 2:31:22 PM
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There have been a few semi open world games that had pretty decent story lines. Red dead redemption comes to mind, as well as La Noir, mafia 2 was somewhat open as well. I agree that longer/more game play is definitely not synonymous with better, also since i have a family now and no longer have a job where i can play videogames at work, my time to play has shortened exponentially. I really would like to play GTA V, but do not have the time to get so involved with it, I would most likely end up just driving around without direction robbing and killing lol.

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