Topic: Is "Open World" Hurting Gaming?

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Hey ya'll,

I've been thinking about this subject a bit over the last year, since getting back into gaming (shout out to the Nintendo Switch!). Obviously some open world games have been a very true, necessary, and honest step forward that has benefitted gaming as a whole. But, is gaming hitting a rut here? Is the "open world trend" becoming too much?

I know, as a gamer who also lives a productive "adult" life I have become increasingly more picky with the games I get. I love story and don't want to waist 150 out of 175 hours doing random tasks and side-quests that don't benefit or enrich my overall experience or the story at large.

I'm not sure if open world is just the trend right now or if I'm just the odd man out and most gamers are getting exactly what they want in this regard?


Edited on by Gorbash333

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I don't like it much, one of the reasons why Breath of the Wild got boring too quickly. I also feel like MH World is going to be "meh" compared to other games, even though it's not a true open world game.

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Well, let's take a look at the last few open world titles I've played (not counting open world RPGs, cause those really haven't been affected in length):

LOZ:BOTW: There is literally nothing in this game that isn't skippable. If you don't want to play anything besides the main quests and what you find along the way, you're looking at about 20-30 hours I'd wager. No need to do anything else, unless you want to, though towers are probably basically a necessity. Also, quest locations are marked, so it's not like you have to explore to find them even.

Assassin's Creed 3: Pretty much the same, there's basically nothing stopping you from just playing through the main storyline as far as I remember, though it was a while ago.

Far Cry 4: Haven't sunk more than a dozen into this one so far, but same here.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim I'm pretty sure the main quest was laughably short here, but I've never played it myself. Skyrim is basically all about freely doing what you want to do in the world after all. Nothing new here though, series has been like this since 2002 when Morrowind came out, that's just what it is. It's probably the series I've played most in line with the OP though. Technically it's an RPG so I dunno if it even counts for this discussion though.

Batman Arkham City: I'm pretty sure I beat this one without doing much exploration of the city itself anyways. Probably beat this game in what, 15 hours at most? Reasonable amount of time to spend on a game.

So what I think it comes down to is this. IF you don't want to do the side quests and exploration... don't? There's nothing stopping you from making it through the game without completing them. That said, I'm good to play about one open world game every year and a half or so to fill me up on my like for the genre. I can't say that I see any need for so many entries in the genre as there are right now, but at least it means I get my choice of what I'd like to try? There's always going to be a genre getting too many entries, see Collectathons back in the GC/PS2/XBox era or Party games and Shooters during the Wii/360/PS3 era. It's just how the market works. Nothing damaging or worrisome about it, especially when the number of quality entries remains high. Sooner or later there'll be a new fad and we'll see too many AAA titles of another genre.



@Gorbash333 Yeah, I think it's just a trend. Like mascot platformers, collect-a-thons, or FPS. It's the big money-maker now so everyone's doing it.

Personally, I'm not a fan. I'm mainly into games where you problem-solve or mess around with stats; I'm not really much for story, but wandering around a world seems boring to me too.



link3710 wrote:

Well, let's take a look at the last few open world titles I've played


Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim I'm pretty sure the main quest was laughably short here, but I've never played it myself.




@Octane Okay, I've played Skyrim. I mean, I've never played the main quest in Skyrim. I've spend like... 100 hours doing other things. Never even made it past the first main quest marker after you are free to travel.



I haven't played a lot of the more recent open world games that came out on current-gen systems, so I can't speak very much on them, but I will say that Breath of the Wild was definitely hurt by being an open world IMO. By placing the emphasis on exploring the world above all else (and it wasn't even a very interesting world at all IMO. You knew about almost everything there was to find within the first 15-20 hours or so), everything else in the game suffered for it. The big high points in the game for me were the combat and physics systems. Most other things were done better in previous Zeldas IMO.



@KirbyTheVampire Completely agree once again Kirby! Open world isn't necessarily bad inherently but I think designers need to take more time when considering which open world elements would benefit or detract from the game.

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No, not yet anyway. You could say gaming goes through trends, which is true, but at least this new open world trend produces some really high quality games(BotW, Witcher 3, Xenoblade X and 2 etc. etc.)

I just can't imagine that a certain trend or genre is "hurting gaming" when so many great games come from it. And in BotW's case, IMO, game of the generation/decade. I much rather have an influx of good-excellent open world titles than an influx of mostly just decent with a few great FPS titles like we got in the PS3/360 era.

Edited on by KryptoniteKrunch


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I feel it's just a phase now since technology allows developers to do it easier now then in past gens.

I honestly don't mind them if they have a feel of progression to them which is why I didn't like Breath of the Wild and I like something like Shadows of War or why I am enjoying Skyrim on the Switch.

I also don't like open world games like Minecraft that have to story and just let you do whatever I just get too bored of those.

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I really enjoy them. Seems like it gives the game a little longevity with additional side quest which is good IMO. - Dayman
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Some is good, some is bad, that's what happens. I think the recent way of open world with it just being half open, half through story is good, nonetheless. So it slowly opens up and makes it even feel better. (I feel xenoblade 2's slow opening up of world is so much better than the immediate THE WORLD IS MY OYSTER)



Open world gaming isn't hurting gaming. Certain AAA publishers refusing to make games unless they are a very specific type of game (one of these types being open world) IS hurting gaming though.

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It's not hurting gaming. But it also should be treated as more of a type of gaming. Not every game needs to be crazy big free roam open world. I think Mario Odyssey and Xenoblade 2 both prove that with their distinct regions instead of one big world.

Edited on by Heavyarms55

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It's been slightly overused by developers who just didn't need an open world for their games.

I'm reminded of how Arkham Asylum transitioned into Arkham City and didn't really change a whole lot, but probably cost a lot more to make.

I'm not sure Zelda needs something like Breath of the Wild's open world either. It was so unnecessarily big. They probably could've done something better in half the size but more density and detail.

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Open World is hurting gaming ?
Not at all !
It depends on the games.
Open World games are not always portrayed as adult games.
There are some Kid Friendly Open World games.
I played some Kid Friendly Open World games such as Go Vacation Wii, Pokepark 2 Wii, Portal Knights Switch, Super Mario Odyssey Switch, Yonder the Cloud Catcher Chronicles PS4, LEGO CITY UNDERCOVER Wii U / Switch, etc.
Open World is just only the visual presentation style, Full 360' Degree Camera Angle.

Edited on by Anti-Matter

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An open world gives a game longevity, depth, and a feeling of cohesion. It turns what would've just been a point a to point b story into an adventure that feels like a TV show you're making up all by yourself.

@Dezzy I felt like Arkham City was better than Arkham Asylum BECAUSE the world made the game feel like several episodes of BTAS. Arkham City is one of the few games where the open world is justified and helps the game feel better than its predecessor.

Also, on the subject of having a smaller world in the next Zelda, I thought that BotW's world was appropriate in size. The reason we didn't have more things of interest is because the game, honestly, needed more development time in order to reach the peak of what it could offer (making a new engine AND a new landmass all take up a lot of time. The Switch's release was always going to be an internal ultimatum as far as absolute deadlines go). The good news is that they can use all of their new Hyrule as a template landmass for their next game. All they have to do is put interesting architecture, temples, and new towns all over it to make it feel new and amazing.

Edited on by -Juice-

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Open world has been homogenizing gaming since everyone saw Skyrim make an actual billion dollars. So like, it would be great every series that went open world after 2011 would go back to what it used to be and then series that have any buisness being open world like the Elder Scrolls, Assassin's Creed, and new IPs that aren't just OW for the sake of following the trend could provide that sort of experience to the players that want it. Y'know, a system that would provide some player agency, if you will.

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