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I really cant think of an OPEN WORLD game that wouldn't be better as a Wide Linear one. Its time to leave Open World games strictly to R*

Men_in_Boxes

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Open world games are just less bespoke in terms of gameplay. The world is created then gameplay elements added with tweaks to the map. A wide linear game is often created with the gameplay in mind first. This isn't an automobile vs horse situation where one has replaced the other.

I don't know. We all just played The Last of Us II, which had like 4 different kinds of enemies and rote stealth gameplay we've all seen a million times before.

I think videogame historians will view the last generation as the time open world games overtook linear games.

Breath of the Wild, PUBG, Fortnite.

Those games hit the hardest and will influence the next 20 years of games more than any linear game released throughout the generation.

Open world simply gives players more choices. That's more interesting than carrot - stick game design.
 
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Daymos

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In the tree
What about Dragon's Dogma? It's small, and instead of being filled with the typical things (Ubisoft style) it's filled with handcrafted dungeons, unique locations and even bosses out of nowhere.

It also has the pawns, which I think add a lot to the experience of exploring the world, as the help a lot with the immersion with all the things they say to you during the journey.
That was a great 'open world'! Big enough to get lost, but small enough become familiar with in a dozen hours or so. Plus tough enemies that rip you to shreds when you decide to go wander early on. The game also has that deep job system, hours and hours of perfecting your character in ways that drastically change who you become.
 
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Phase

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You don't always need a dense open world. You can fuck around in a world map without much to do and still have a good time without 100 scripted events happening. You simply like linear game design more, and that's okay.

Horizon doesn't need things to do everywhere. It's the world after humanity's extinction and the apocalypse, having large areas of the map without humans or quests is realistic.
Came in to say similar sentiments. Sometimes I like the feeling of complete openness and doing what I want when I want. I think the context matters a lot.

For example, I thought Dying Light was an open world zombie game. The thought of going where I wanted and selecting what is important as I get stronger appealed to me. But after playing it a while I realized it wasn't and a more linear zombie game is not something I enjoy. Some games can benefit from being more focused, but some flourish unrestricted.
 
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CartoonsNCereal

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Wait can explain what the qitcher 3 did wrong in its open world?

And GTA is more story focused than open world interactive focused than skyrim or elder scrolls...
 
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MiguelItUp

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I think R* does an exceptional job at open-world games. I don't think anyone would deny that, at least they shouldn't. But I still think it's important that other developers continue to dive into their own open-world iterations. Primarily because there have been several times in the past where another dev did something different with their open-world that R* ended up implementing into their future games.

Thing is we need more devs to be more creative and unique with their open-world experiences. GoT was one of the most memorable open-world games I've played in awhile.

Same as every other shit. Absolutely a crap open world. Wind. Yay.
 
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ksdixon

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Is The Division 1 / 2 an open world game? Those seem pretty succinct, with different missions you can enter?
 

carlosrox

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Watch Dogs Legion is the way to go. Probably my favorite style of open world yet.

WDL is a GOD's game.
 

Stuart360

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Yeah thats bullshit for me. In fact i struggle to play none open world games these days. Its probably the reason why Ubisoft made some of my favorite games last gen.
Linear is fine for some games, but i find it hard now to play very linear games, outside of Indies or retro games.
Hopefully open world games are hear to stay, and judging from how many open world games make theTop 20 in sales every year, they are here to stay.
 
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diablos991

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I would much prefer more linear experiences. Open world games are full of fluff and filler. Just feed me a finely crafted story and I’m good.
 
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Hudo

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Dunno, I really really liked Breath of the Wild and I think it dabbed on every open world game released before it. On the other hand, I left being disappointed by RDR2 because it felt like there were two game designers arguing about everything. One who wanted a living, breathing, "systemic" open world and the other who wanted to tell a cool story and neither could agree on anything, so the producer decided on the worst compromises possible. It's like they worked against each other.

So it's really a subjective thing and depends on what you want from your experience with a game.
 

Belmonte

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Dragon's Dogma
Morrowind
Far Cry 2
Earthbound Beginnings
Elex
Ultima series

All of them uses the open world aspect very effectively and would be inferior games if they were linear games.
 

bender

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Wait can explain what the qitcher 3 did wrong in its open world?

And GTA is more story focused than open world interactive focused than skyrim or elder scrolls...

Witcher doesn't really do anything wrong, it just an also-ran open world game with a map littered with points of interest like just about every other open world game out there. To it's credit, the majority of the side content is meaningful or well written unlike the copy/past you see in most open world games (hello Ubisoft). While it presents a beautiful world, it doesn't have a strong sense of exploration. It doesn't have a fun traversal system and mechanically it really doesn't do much to use the open world as a sandbox.

I don't really agree with the OP's premise but I do wish developers would stop cramming massive amounts of throwaway content into their open world games. I play through SOTC once a year or so, it's world is a treat to be in and explore. For the most part, it is barren save for fruit, lizards and the colossi.

R* creates great worlds, I just think the content within has gotten far less interesting. Mission design peaked with GTA3 as that's the last time it was truly a sandbox. Side content peaked with San Andreas.
 
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GymWolf

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Yeah no, a lot of people like me just enjoy going from point A to point B in a huge map while exploring, seeing enemies on the horizon, reaching a new beatiful area, finding secrets etc.

There is a certain magic in open world games, some people call it "open world formula" and they are tired of it, but a lot of people just enjoy having freedom to go at their pace in a vast world.
 
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HAHAHAHA no! Rock Star is a joke, they've not made a fun game since Bully! Which is ironic since it's "wide linear"! Nintendo makes better open games FFS!
 

Stuart360

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If people dont like the 'fluff' or side content, just dont do it. Thats why its called 'side content'.
 
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Liberty4all

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I really liked Planetside and Planetside 2. We made our own emergent gameplay as everyone was real.
 

Fbh

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I'm not that much into Open world games, but I don't think all of them are bad. From time to time there's a great game like Breath of the Wild or The Outer Wilds that really takes advantage of the format.

Rockstar is really good at putting a lot of details in their worlds that make them feel alive. But I don't think they are particularly great at designing open world gameplay. None of their recent games have given me a sense of exploration and discovery like Breath of the Wild, Dragons Dogma, the newer Deus Ex or The Outer Wilds. Their gameplay design is basically having you walk to a specific spot on the map to launch a rather restrictive and linear mission with a surprising amount of hand holding.
 

01011001

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Rockstar makes the worst open world games nowadays... so fuck no, don't leave it to those incompetent idiots.

and from what you write, it sounds to me like you don't like open world games. you like linear games but you also like to drive around a city with nothing to do... may I recommend Driver 1 on PS1 to you... free ride mode to just waste time and look at the city, campaign mode to have a linear mission structure
 
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ItsTheNew

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It's easy to outsource a bunch of outdoor textures models etc versus creating something highly realistic or even small like a town.
However I agree with you for the most part I'm 30 hours deep into assassin's Creed Valhalla and I was comparing it to a jrpg from back in the day. There would have a full storyline, a dozen villages, I would have seen a bunch of different monsters, npcs, etc. Instead I'm just going to non descript town #3 which looked like muddy hovel #5. Bring back linear games.
 
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I'm going to have to agree, as I can barely think of any games that are absolutely better as an open world recently besides Forza Horizon lol. I do think the older GTA games (III/VC/SA/IV) were much better when they locked you out of other areas until you hit certain story points were much better. GTA IV is trash and a big downgrade from IV.

Someone hasn’t played Ghost of Tsushima....
I get that it's better than most but I wouldn't disagree that it would have been better as a "open linear" game. My draw to that game had absolutely nothing to do with the open world aspects.
 
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Zefah

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I get what you're saying, but I've long stopped going into open worlds expecting them to be life simulations. They're just large stages in which the gameplay takes place. You rightfully shit on Cyberpunk's NPC AI, but I still get a lot out of just roaming that city. It has an incredible sense of place even if you can't do much more than just take in the sights and have fun shoot outs.
 
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Danjin44

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Rockstar can only make detail open world that you can admire from a far but actually playing them is not fun at all.....not one bit.
 
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Ixiah

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R* ?
The masters of boring "Cinematic" gameplay where every step you take outside the narrow path they want you to use
will result in a mission failed ?
BotW is inferior in almost everything compared to RDR2, but i had immensely fun, so i rather play BotW 2 than GTA 6.
 
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Kuranghi

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People like to feel like they are living in a world and travel to locations on their own path, thats why its popular. You can't get that from a wide linear game. As I get older I'm starting to realise the absence of "stuff" in a game (or other media) can be just as if not more important than it being filled with content.

Also Burnout Revenge is better than Burnout 3.
 

Bryank75

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No idea what you're talking about... especially when RDR2 was completely bloated and lacked the impact of the first game.

Even though Ghost of Tsushima is a game about samurai, it has more of the feeling of the first RDR game.
The Witcher 3 is another open-world game that is above what R* generally achieve.

In GTA5 the only good character was Michael DeSanta.... the rest were just meh, especially Trevor, an edgy try-hard character, mostly used as a plot device to swing the story where they wanted.

Horizon has an incredible topography influenced by it's post post apocalyptic setting and the best enemy design in recent memory with each robot having it's own weakpoints, armor and weapons.... taking on a ThunderJaw was a really incredible feeling.

BOTW also brought things to the open-word games, that sense of discovery was definitely to the fore in that game.


R* combat is very very lacking, there is no feeling and a game like Ghost of Tsushima just smashes it in that regard....


Even just playing around with the combat in GOT is a joy and you can invent different combos and chain different things to make something interesting happen.

Rockstar are great but this idolization of them has to stop, they do have faults and many of them are big faults, like laggy controls, putting animation before gameplay, very underwhelming combat and mechanics, bloat is becoming a serious issue in their games as well as story flow. The island part of RDR2 being a clear example of that.
 

King_Mandu

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If anything, Rockstar should make less open world games. They made or published some fucking gems in the PS2/Xbox and PS3/360 days. The Warriors, Manhunt, Max Payne games, etc. All these decades of success and billions of dollars from GTA Online and they still haven't matched Max Payne 3's shooting. For a studio that's so obsessed with details and sound, it's really inexcusable how bad shooting sounds and feels in every GTA and RDR game.

Also, if all you got from Ghost of Tsushima was "Ubisoft icons" then you are lost. GoT is about bushido, friendship, family, home, the riddle of steel and spontaneous flute jams with online strangers.
 
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Yoboman

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Well, one place I feel I really miss wide linear is MGS. MGSV was terrible compared to the older games and the best bits of MGSV were on rails more or less.
Agreed that's the best example of open world worsening the experience
 
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driqe

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No idea what you're talking about... especially when RDR2 was completely bloated and lacked the impact of the first game.

Even though Ghost of Tsushima is a game about samurai, it has more of the feeling of the first RDR game.
The Witcher 3 is another open-world game that is above what R* generally achieve.

In GTA5 the only good character was Michael DeSanta.... the rest were just meh, especially Trevor, an edgy try-hard character, mostly used as a plot device to swing the story where they wanted.

Horizon has an incredible topography influenced by it's post post apocalyptic setting and the best enemy design in recent memory with each robot having it's own weakpoints, armor and weapons.... taking on a ThunderJaw was a really incredible feeling.

BOTW also brought things to the open-word games, that sense of discovery was definitely to the fore in that game.


R* combat is very very lacking, there is no feeling and a game like Ghost of Tsushima just smashes it in that regard....


Even just playing around with the combat in GOT is a joy and you can invent different combos and chain different things to make something interesting happen.

Rockstar are great but this idolization of them has to stop, they do have faults and many of them are big faults, like laggy controls, putting animation before gameplay, very underwhelming combat and mechanics, bloat is becoming a serious issue in their games as well as story flow. The island part of RDR2 being a clear example of that.
Yeah Ghost of Tsushima has great combat
 
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Iorv3th

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This is like me making a post saying Racing Games are shit and they should all be like mario kart because that's the only one I can enjoy for a little bit.

If it's not your style or genre then you don't have to participate.
 
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vpance

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Kinda funny how the OP doesn’t even mention any wide linear game as examples.

The reason why all those games were made open world was because they didn’t want to make intricate smaller levels. That takes a lot of work that many devs aren’t suited for.
 

Vidraino

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Because they are the only ones that get it right, consistently. They simply just do it better.

This trend goes way back to Burnout on the PS2 days. Burnout 3 was the last great Burnout title, as soon as they went to open world, with Burnout Paradise, the franchise became stale, samey, lost focus, and fucking died shortly after.

Rockstar Games like RDR and GTA, they are quite frankly the only developers that get open world RIGHT.

Almost all open worlds are lifeless as fuck. NPC's are always janky and goofy in their movements. They say stupid shit, have terrible AI, towns are always empty and quiet. Layout is trash. Repetitive missions. Lack of intensity and a sense of urgency in the story. HUGE, REPETITIVE maps, collectathons, big for the sake of being big. Overly bloated with copy and paste content. Open world game design is Corporate trash meant to check off boxes.

Assassins creed. Watchdogs. I don’t give a fuck. Witcher. Fallout. Skyrim. Spider-Man. Ghosts of Tsushima. All Ubisoft titles.

None of these dudes can make an open world like Rockstar. And it's time they stop trying. Focus your gameplay and narrative and produce Wide linear games. Games will be better for it.

Other devs simply don't have the R* magic. None of their open worlds are even close. None of their graphics are worth a damn when you compare it to RDR2. CDPR had fucking 7 years to make a competent, living breathing city, and the citizens in that city cant even drive around a stopped car. Pathetic really. Just focus on wide linear.

The stories they're trying to tell are all worthless in comparison to what R* does.

You ever get lost for hours in these other games not doing missions? Just driving around the city and taking it in, taking in the world? Going on cop chases. Marvelling at random events? You ever do that in other games? Nah. You don't. You go right to a mission or side mission. Theres nothing else to do in these "open worlds".

What the fuck is there to do in Horizon Zero Dawn? The world is literally lifeless and has absolutely no personality or character to it. So WHY is it open world? It would be a much more impactful and memorable experience had it been a tighter one.

More focused wide linear with great level design, less bloated disasters with zero focus and repetition. Do it right or just dont.

/rant
Yeah? Well, you know, that's just like uh, your opinion, man.
 
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Humdinger

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Apart from GTA 3, I haven't enjoyed any of R*ckstar's open world games, and I've tried half a dozen of them. They certainly aren't what I'd consider masters of the open-world genre. I've enjoyed a lot of open-world games more than I've enjoyed R*ckstar's. Morrowind, Skryim, Horizon ZD, Zelda BotW, many others.
 

Bridges

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Most open worlds suck, but there are plenty of exceptions.
BOTW, Dragon's Dogma, Crackdown, Death Stranding... Plenty of games that would have lost most/all appeal had they been linear

My advice would be to just stop playing Ubisoft games. They tend to be the worst offenders when it comes to needless open worlds.
 

Physiocrat

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Can anyone explain the difference between linear, wide linear and open world games? The terms are used often but seldom defined. I mean I get the general idea but something more concrete would be appreciated. I have heard posters discuss non-linear combat which I don't entirely follow.
 

Balducci30

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Because they are the only ones that get it right, consistently. They simply just do it better.

This trend goes way back to Burnout on the PS2 days. Burnout 3 was the last great Burnout title, as soon as they went to open world, with Burnout Paradise, the franchise became stale, samey, lost focus, and fucking died shortly after.

Rockstar Games like RDR and GTA, they are quite frankly the only developers that get open world RIGHT.

Almost all open worlds are lifeless as fuck. NPC's are always janky and goofy in their movements. They say stupid shit, have terrible AI, towns are always empty and quiet. Layout is trash. Repetitive missions. Lack of intensity and a sense of urgency in the story. HUGE, REPETITIVE maps, collectathons, big for the sake of being big. Overly bloated with copy and paste content. Open world game design is Corporate trash meant to check off boxes.

Assassins creed. Watchdogs. I don’t give a fuck. Witcher. Fallout. Skyrim. Spider-Man. Ghosts of Tsushima. All Ubisoft titles.

None of these dudes can make an open world like Rockstar. And it's time they stop trying. Focus your gameplay and narrative and produce Wide linear games. Games will be better for it.

Other devs simply don't have the R* magic. None of their open worlds are even close. None of their graphics are worth a damn when you compare it to RDR2. CDPR had fucking 7 years to make a competent, living breathing city, and the citizens in that city cant even drive around a stopped car. Pathetic really. Just focus on wide linear.

The stories they're trying to tell are all worthless in comparison to what R* does.

You ever get lost for hours in these other games not doing missions? Just driving around the city and taking it in, taking in the world? Going on cop chases. Marvelling at random events? You ever do that in other games? Nah. You don't. You go right to a mission or side mission. Theres nothing else to do in these "open worlds".

What the fuck is there to do in Horizon Zero Dawn? The world is literally lifeless and has absolutely no personality or character to it. So WHY is it open world? It would be a much more impactful and memorable experience had it been a tighter one.

More focused wide linear with great level design, less bloated disasters with zero focus and repetition. Do it right or just dont.

/rant
Breath of the wild tho

EDIT: and skyrim

EDIT 2: I agree that the Witcher 3’s open world aspect wasn’t amazing tho - essentially exactly the same as the problems with cyberpunk.
 
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Jan 29, 2019
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I can't say I disagree, well designed and controlled encounters are much more interesting than "emergent" random encounters (same is true for randomly generated maps).