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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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If you are going to tell a story, linear or wide linear is best. You are correct there.

If you are going to go open world then one goal that is far away and then having a bunch of intertwined systems that the player can mess with is perhaps a better option. I hate that most open world games are just filled with collectibles and menial tasks to do in between story beats. Survival games do well with open world because it’s about exploring, building, surviving, etc. You always have something important to do.

Horses are better at going off-road than a vehicle, unless that vehicle is specialized for it. Horses can go anywhere, they’re a metal gear made of meat.

Can anyone tell me why linear is better than open world for story?

Red Dead Redemption 2 is probably most people's story of the generation. Plus, the feeling of being funneled down hallways is way less immersive than having an open world to tell a story.
 

Eric187

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While I don’t agree all developers should drop the open world design there is no doubt they are the undisputed king of the genre. Like at this point no one is even close. There games have it all. Story, settings, cutting edge graphics, realistic AI and physics, sound design, an actually enjoyable world you can just explore and have fun, yea they do it all. Every other open world game tends to excel at maybe one or two things but in the end they don’t compare in any manner. Red dead 2 came out in 2018 and shits on every game since. GTA5 is still by far the most realized urban environment ever designed... and released in 2013. I’ll take a new R* game every five years knowing that it’ll be the pinnacle of the generation. You can keep the copy/paste ubicrap thanks.
 

Umbral

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Can anyone tell me why linear is better than open world for story?

Red Dead Redemption 2 is probably most people's story of the generation. Plus, the feeling of being funneled down hallways is way less immersive than having an open world to tell a story.
Linear is better for story because of focus. The hand of the writer can direct what the player is doing when and how. A sense of urgency in the story can be forced into the interactivity and when playing a game you know is linear, there is little resistance from the player to go along with it. This type of structure plays off the strengths of film and TV, a curated experience, which runs opposite to the strengths of games as an interactive medium. I don’t know that games should be telling these types of stories if it requires so much restriction to do it well.

In open world games, the story, no matter how urgent, can be brushed aside if the player wants to instead hunt 5 elk to get pelts so they can go make a cool coat or satchel. When a player gets thrown on rails for the story in an open-world game it tends to elicit frustration or anger because of the sudden restrictions. The story in Red Dead Redemption 2 was good but it was not served by the open-world. The open-world detracted more than it added, though this could be argued both ways and is a huge discussion.

I have played a lot of games over the years and I can’t think of any games that are open-world and tell their story well within that structure. Death Stranding comes to mind, but that’s debatable. It would also depend on what you consider “open-world,” since every game has boundaries somewhere. At what point does linear become wide-linear and when does wide-linear become open-world? Is a game restricted to one large island open world? What about a game restricted to one very large building? Prey is restricted to Talos-I, is that open-world, or wide-linear, or something else entirely? This is the muddy part of game criticism that isn’t fun because everyone can be right due to the inherent subjectivity of such conversations. Parameters must be established to proceed productively.

Sorry for the fucking essay.
 
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Woggleman

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Rockstar games are served very well by being open world. Even in RDR2 the extra makes sense because you are going out and helping to provide for the camp.
 

V4skunk

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The problem with open world is that they keep making them bigger instead of making a more dense meaningful world.
I am excited to see what Elden Ring brings though and I don't think we will be disappointed.
Edit: To all the people that think RDR2 has shitty controls!
Play in first person!
It changes the game making it much easier to control and you'll see details in objects that you don't see in third person.
Gunplay is good as well, like a regular fps but with Metroid Prime lock on.
 
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Certinty

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I see your point, GTAV and RDR2 are miles above any other open world game out there and it’s not really even comparable.

But I do think some games make use of open worlds fairly well like Spider-Man, the Forza Horizon games, Far Cry 5 and some others.

But in general I do agree most are pretty bland and would be better if more linear, like the Assassin’s Creed games have totally lost the plot and gone crazy over the top with huge boring lifeless open worlds and it’s just offputting.
 
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Umbral

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Rockstar games are served very well by being open world. Even in RDR2 the extra makes sense because you are going out and helping to provide for the camp.
If I’m not mistaken, doing nothing for the camp does not alter anything significantly, which renders it almost pointless.

If people left, starved, or turned on Arthur it might be cool, but there’s no consequence for just doing what you want, which brings us right back to open-world games not weaving their gameplay into their narrative. They stand apart and each one is used based on the ”mode” the player is in. If you could walk into camp and kill everyone there and still finish the game, I’d be impressed. Monumental request, I know, but still.
 

Woggleman

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I think they wanted it to be optional so players who want some more immersion can have it. There are games that shouldn't be open world but Rockstar games are a bad example. Say what you want about the controls but there is all kinds of stuff you can run into in RDR2.
 

Dee Dah Dave

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Rockstar have the luxury of spending 6+ years making a game with a near unlimited budget, so it’s unfair to compare them with most other devs.

But yeah I agree with the general premise.
 
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Nemesis Prime

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yes!!!.... and no

too many open world games these days, idk why every game needs to be open world, some benefit from the transition, many do not.

and i am sick of the ubisoft esque open world trends
 

Woggleman

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Rockstar have the luxury of spending 6+ years making a game with a near unlimited budget, so it’s unfair to compare them with most other devs.

But yeah I agree with the general premise.
They didn't always. Vice City and San Andreas were made on a much smaller budget and were miles ahead of what anybody else was doing at the time.
 

CuteFaceJay

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Pretty much, Ubisoft Open world games are like what Fifa is to EA. Same old shit with nothing of entertainment or value.
 

Umbral

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I think they wanted it to be optional so players who want some more immersion can have it. There are games that shouldn't be open world but Rockstar games are a bad example. Say what you want about the controls but there is all kinds of stuff you can run into in RDR2.
I haven’t done any extensive examinations, but I think those things you run into operate just like Ghost of Tsushima. The game sees the player hasn’t had any ”random interaction” in a moment and so out of the game’s rendering field they spawn an instance of something happening so the player feels the world is alive. I could be wrong and I’d love to see examples if I am.

Clockwork would be a better and more realistic simulation, like a tavern owner who works Monday through Friday and takes the weekends off, on Saturday he goes to the river and fishes for 3 hours then comes back and whittles some wood on his porch, then his wife cooks the catch he brought home and he’s in bed by 9. Sunday he goes to the church up the hill in the morning, etc. You get what I’m saying.
 

EverydayBeast

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GTA is one of the best but one of the things I love about open world games is that they aren’t linear, things like Skyward Sword’s skyloft, Day’s Gone post apocalyptic Oregon are gutsy, GTA’s worlds are a little more safe thus clicking with the masses more. I actually look at Ocarina of Time as an open world game and give Nintendo respect for it.
 

Men_in_Boxes

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Linear is better for story because of focus. The hand of the writer can direct what the player is doing when and how. A sense of urgency in the story can be forced into the interactivity and when playing a game you know is linear, there is little resistance from the player to go along with it. This type of structure plays off the strengths of film and TV, a curated experience, which runs opposite to the strengths of games as an interactive medium. I don’t know that games should be telling these types of stories if it requires so much restriction to do it well.

In open world games, the story, no matter how urgent, can be brushed aside if the player wants to instead hunt 5 elk to get pelts so they can go make a cool coat or satchel. When a player gets thrown on rails for the story in an open-world game it tends to elicit frustration or anger because of the sudden restrictions. The story in Red Dead Redemption 2 was good but it was not served by the open-world. The open-world detracted more than it added, though this could be argued both ways and is a huge discussion.

I have played a lot of games over the years and I can’t think of any games that are open-world and tell their story well within that structure. Death Stranding comes to mind, but that’s debatable. It would also depend on what you consider “open-world,” since every game has boundaries somewhere. At what point does linear become wide-linear and when does wide-linear become open-world? Is a game restricted to one large island open world? What about a game restricted to one very large building? Prey is restricted to Talos-I, is that open-world, or wide-linear, or something else entirely? This is the muddy part of game criticism that isn’t fun because everyone can be right due to the inherent subjectivity of such conversations. Parameters must be established to proceed productively.

Sorry for the fucking essay.

I think my issue with linear story based games is that there's such a disconnect between what I want to do vs what the story tellers want me to do. The fight between the two is always so jarring that it constantly feels inauthentic.

Movies don't feel inauthentic.
Books don't feel inauthentic.

But linear games do.

That's why I think Subnautica was probably the best story based game I played last gen. I wasn't fighting with the protagonist on what to do next. I was the protagonist.

It's also why RDR2 got so much flack from gamers. Beautiful open world you could immerse yourself in but as soon as a mission starts you take a back seat as the player and start playing Simon Says with the story tellers. Incredibly jarring.

In other words, the hand of the writer needs to blend into the background so that the player can feel immersed. Otherwise, might as well watch Netflix.
 
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Umbral

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I think my issue with linear story based games is that there's such a disconnect between what I want to do vs what the story tellers want me to do. The fight between the two is always so jarring that it constantly feels inauthentic.

Movies don't feel inauthentic.
Books don't feel inauthentic.

But linear games do.

That's why I think Subnautica was probably the best story based game I played last gen. I wasn't fighting with the protagonist on what to do next. I was the protagonist.

It's also why RDR2 got so much flack from gamers. Beautiful open world you could immerse yourself in but as soon as a mission starts you take a back seat as the player and start playing Simon Says with the story tellers. Incredibly jarring.

In other words, the hand of the writer needs to blend into the background so that the player can feel immersed. Otherwise, might as well watch Netflix.
Movies and books are non-interactive. There’s a place for games like The Last of Us: Part II and that format is best, but still not perfect for telling a story.

Open-world games should have minimal story or maybe an entirely different format to it. I don’t know.

Speaking of Subnautica, that’s ringing praise. I played The Forest a while back and was looking for something in that same vein but heard Subnautica performed poorly on PS4 Pro, so I didn’t get it. If you’ve played it on PS4, should I pick it up?
 
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prag16

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Rockstar's games are fucking boring and they play like shit. Yeah they put a lot of attention to detail, but the actual stuff you can do and way you can interact with the world is shallow as hell.
And really, how would games like TES or Witcher be better as linear games? I got far more lost and immersed in Morrowind than I ever have in any GTA.
Agreed on Rockstar games. They are amazing in a way, but bore me to tears. Their last actual good game imo was San Andreas.

That said, The Witcher and especially TES also bored me.

I do agree with the OP in principal. "Wide linear' is almost always > open world. But that includes Rockstar sucking too. Mass Effect 1 is the sweet spot imo for how "open" you can go without becoming bloated and boring in terms of structure. (Though I liked ME2 and 3 more for other gameplay reasons; talking strictly about the structure there.)
 

Kamina

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Stongly disagree
I have been in love with Open World Games since Zelda.

Yes, there are some games that are weak in content, and few really stand out.
I agree that RDR2 was very good
But I also think AC Valhalla turned out well.
As mentioned here before, Majoras Mask is king for me.
 

Halo is Dead

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I actually agree with that comment a lot more than I agree with the OP.
 

Men_in_Boxes

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Movies and books are non-interactive. There’s a place for games like The Last of Us: Part II and that format is best, but still not perfect for telling a story.

Open-world games should have minimal story or maybe an entirely different format to it. I don’t know.

Speaking of Subnautica, that’s ringing praise. I played The Forest a while back and was looking for something in that same vein but heard Subnautica performed poorly on PS4 Pro, so I didn’t get it. If you’ve played it on PS4, should I pick it up?

I played Subnautica on my PS4 Pro...and loved it. If you're OK with 30fps, definitely jump in. Awesome game.
 
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Balducci30

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I genuinely don’t understand how you could say skyrim or botw are similar to Ubisoft open world games. I understand preferring rockstar open worlds if that’s your taste but I found both those games just as good as any rockstar game personally
 
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tassletine

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Linear is better for story because of focus. The hand of the writer can direct what the player is doing when and how. A sense of urgency in the story can be forced into the interactivity and when playing a game you know is linear, there is little resistance from the player to go along with it. This type of structure plays off the strengths of film and TV, a curated experience, which runs opposite to the strengths of games as an interactive medium. I don’t know that games should be telling these types of stories if it requires so much restriction to do it well.

In open world games, the story, no matter how urgent, can be brushed aside if the player wants to instead hunt 5 elk to get pelts so they can go make a cool coat or satchel. When a player gets thrown on rails for the story in an open-world game it tends to elicit frustration or anger because of the sudden restrictions. The story in Red Dead Redemption 2 was good but it was not served by the open-world. The open-world detracted more than it added, though this could be argued both ways and is a huge discussion.

I have played a lot of games over the years and I can’t think of any games that are open-world and tell their story well within that structure. Death Stranding comes to mind, but that’s debatable. It would also depend on what you consider “open-world,” since every game has boundaries somewhere. At what point does linear become wide-linear and when does wide-linear become open-world? Is a game restricted to one large island open world? What about a game restricted to one very large building? Prey is restricted to Talos-I, is that open-world, or wide-linear, or something else entirely? This is the muddy part of game criticism that isn’t fun because everyone can be right due to the inherent subjectivity of such conversations. Parameters must be established to proceed productively.

Sorry for the fucking essay.
I disagree. RDR2 especially showed how videogames can eclipse the linear form. A massive world with multiple characters that you get to know intimately from a variety of different angles. A sense of place that is unrivaled.
It's those multiple perspectives where open worlds shine and can do something new with narrative.

Linear games on the other hand are constantly trying to be movies (and mostly failing) rather than attempt what Rockstar do, which is to see if they can make it feel like you are the one propelling the story. I would also say that if a player gets put on rails in ANY game, let alone an open world one, then it elicits frustration.

Rockstar's games are always about rebellion and that sense of freedom is very important. People call RDR2 boring, but I see that game as being relaxing -- because riding around on my horse looking at nature IS relaxing. It's chilled in the way a western is chilled. Nothing much happens most of the time then there's a big firefight, then it goes back to being relaxing again. That's what westerns do.

And none of this would be possible to the degree it is here with a linear game. You couldn't make a game about actually being free, being an outlaw and living on the fringes of society if you were forced to do everything.
So I disagree that the story in RDR2 was not served by open world. The themes of man vs nature, man ruining / conquering nature and people being pushed out by industry are all served extremely well by that open world structure.

It's not that I'm arguing that linear games aren't better at stories, they usually are, but I think open world offer up a new way of telling stories that can be superior -- Linear games are headbutting a brick wall right now. Mainly because defining a character ONLY through violence limits possibilities -- so seeing our character have more free will, acting in an open world rounds them out.
 

Danjin44

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I disagree. RDR2 especially showed how videogames can eclipse the linear form. A massive world with multiple characters that you get to know intimately from a variety of different angles. A sense of place that is unrivaled.
It's those multiple perspectives where open worlds shine and can do something new with narrative.

Linear games on the other hand are constantly trying to be movies (and mostly failing) rather than attempt what Rockstar do, which is to see if they can make it feel like you are the one propelling the story. I would also say that if a player gets put on rails in ANY game, let alone an open world one, then it elicits frustration.

Rockstar's games are always about rebellion and that sense of freedom is very important. People call RDR2 boring, but I see that game as being relaxing -- because riding around on my horse looking at nature IS relaxing. It's chilled in the way a western is chilled. Nothing much happens most of the time then there's a big firefight, then it goes back to being relaxing again. That's what westerns do.

And none of this would be possible to the degree it is here with a linear game. You couldn't make a game about actually being free, being an outlaw and living on the fringes of society if you were forced to do everything.
So I disagree that the story in RDR2 was not served by open world. The themes of man vs nature, man ruining / conquering nature and people being pushed out by industry are all served extremely well by that open world structure.

It's not that I'm arguing that linear games aren't better at stories, they usually are, but I think open world offer up a new way of telling stories that can be superior -- Linear games are headbutting a brick wall right now. Mainly because defining a character ONLY through violence limits possibilities -- so seeing our character have more free will, acting in an open world rounds them out.
Funny thing is RDR2 has absolutely worst kind of linear designs in its mission, you have to do EXACTLY what the game ask you and if try to do anything different even slightly, you failed the mission.
 
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Someone hasn’t played Ghost of Tsushima....
Im a big fan of edo japan settings but man, GoT at times was repetitive and boring. Especially sidequests. Lets not mix great visuals with storytelling.

By the end, i was really looking forward to that conclusion because i got tired of killing warlord to free up villages and get a bigger view of the map. Same goes for lighthouses or anything that resembled farcry gameplay.
 
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Allandor

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Really, gta? Gta is totally lifeless. Yes there are things to do, but it is still a big city with almost nothing. But that is just my personal opinion.
It does not even get the driving mechanics right.

IMHO a good open world game was /is the Witcher 3. Full of wild animals, bandits,...
Or Gothic, Risen and Elex. More or less all the same games. But with a big open world, npc do there jobs,...
 

Rickyiez

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Yawwnnn... GTAV and RDR2 is some of the most boring games I ever played. I hope not

So what if it has tiny bit of better world interaction if anything else other than that has depth of a puddle.
 
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Icymanipulator

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I have no idea how one could ever come to this conclusion. Especially comnparing it to other games in the genre...

None of those games are special. Especially bland ass Ghosts of Tsushima.

"Cringe"? Go back to Era lol. This was a rant, not an argument.
I make my shit easier to read so people actually read it. And my rant made perfect sense. Its all laid out in bold.
How about you read it.
Ok lol. If you knew who I was you definitely would not say that I have anything to do with Era LOL. Turns out I was right tho, There’s nothing of substance here.
 

Aenima

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For sure Rockstar is the only one doing open worlds right. Except when u fart in the wrong directions and Mission Failed.

Only good thing about RDR2 world is its visuals, thers nothing to do in it except for hunting animals. Sense of exploration and rewarding curiosity is pretty much absent. Not even a good sanbox is.
 
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Umbral

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I disagree. RDR2 especially showed how videogames can eclipse the linear form. A massive world with multiple characters that you get to know intimately from a variety of different angles. A sense of place that is unrivaled.
It's those multiple perspectives where open worlds shine and can do something new with narrative.
Open-worlds can be good for creating a sense of place, but everything else mentioned does not require an open-world to do.

Linear games on the other hand are constantly trying to be movies (and mostly failing) rather than attempt what Rockstar do, which is to see if they can make it feel like you are the one propelling the story. I would also say that if a player gets put on rails in ANY game, let alone an open world one, then it elicits frustration.
No, because with a linear game you already know you’re going to be on rails to some extent, hence less frustration. You are not told “You can go anywhere and do anything.” by a linear game.

Rockstar's games are always about rebellion and that sense of freedom is very important. People call RDR2 boring, but I see that game as being relaxing -- because riding around on my horse looking at nature IS relaxing. It's chilled in the way a western is chilled. Nothing much happens most of the time then there's a big firefight, then it goes back to being relaxing again. That's what westerns do.
I don’t find it boring but I do find it restrictive when you’re on mission. What good is an open-world if during missions I have to do exactly what the director wants exactly when they want or it’s mission failed?

The Metal Gear Solid V approach to missions is the better design. Here’s a big base, your goal is to rescue Miller, figure it out, we don’t care how you do it you just need to get him to the chopper. Here’s a bunch of tools. Have fun.’

And none of this would be possible to the degree it is here with a linear game. You couldn't make a game about actually being free, being an outlaw and living on the fringes of society if you were forced to do everything.
Sure you could, movies do it all the time. Linear games are simply aping movie tropes to tell their stories. It would depend on if you’re interested in telling a story or interested in providing the feeling of being an outlaw through play. I loved RDR2, but it did not provide that feeling through play on missions. On missions, I may as well have been playing The Last of Us. The game is strongly directed inside a mission.

So I disagree that the story in RDR2 was not served by open world. The themes of man vs nature, man ruining / conquering nature and people being pushed out by industry are all served extremely well by that open world structure.
All those themes can be conveyed in a linear format as well. They didn’t need the open-world to work. Now, the way it is done in RDR2 is unique, I suppose. You may have a point there.
It's not that I'm arguing that linear games aren't better at stories, they usually are, but I think open world offer up a new way of telling stories that can be superior -- Linear games are headbutting a brick wall right now. Mainly because defining a character ONLY through violence limits possibilities -- so seeing our character have more free will, acting in an open world rounds them out.
Open-world games do offer up new ways of telling stories, but we’re not getting that. We’re getting ”open-world mode” and “on-mission mode.” In the former you are free to go where ever you want to do what you like, in the latter you better do exactly what we want or it’s a restart. Open-world games have an opportunity to experiment and find a new way to do it, but nobody is experimenting that I can think of. It’s all the same design we’ve had forever or variations on it.

It takes time to work these things out and I’m sure no publisher wants to pay a developer for a year or more to brainstorm and figure this stuff out. The market doesn’t seem to care one way or the other, so I figure we probably are reliant on independent developers to crack the problem, once again.
 

Exoil

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That's weird, I couldn't even be bothered to finish GTA5 back on neither the PS3 or PS4 because the world felt big for bigness sake.

RDR2 had a Great story and I like the hunting in the game but other than that?
 

raduque

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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? ".
Never done any of this garbage in a Rockstar game. Only ever just went from main quest to main quest. Now, a Bethesda or Obsidian game...
 
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tassletine

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Open-world games do offer up new ways of telling stories, but we’re not getting that. We’re getting ”open-world mode” and “on-mission mode.” In the former you are free to go where ever you want to do what you like, in the latter you better do exactly what we want or it’s a restart. Open-world games have an opportunity to experiment and find a new way to do it, but nobody is experimenting that I can think of. It’s all the same design we’ve had forever or variations on it.

It takes time to work these things out and I’m sure no publisher wants to pay a developer for a year or more to brainstorm and figure this stuff out. The market doesn’t seem to care one way or the other, so I figure we probably are reliant on independent developers to crack the problem, once again.
I agree with most of what you've said, but I think open world storytelling is worth perusing and Rockstar seem to want to do that more than most, so I tend to agree with the OP, although not quite in such strong terms.

I haven't seen much progression in terms of storytelling in a linear games since The Stanley Parable (and more recently Hades) but I have in Rockstar titles, especially in terms of believeability -- and using a wide canvas, time and the interactions of the various characters to do a character study (rdr2) where the character is you.

Rockstar are really one of the the only developers that make "hangout games" where you really get a feel for the place and the people in the same way you would a book. Even something like LOU2 which tries very, very hard with it's characters is constrained by it's theme, and that becomes overly oppressive by the games end, to a somewhat ridiculous degree.

If you start to tell any sort of story in a linear game you're always going to come up against the fact that people expect those sorts of stories to have a particular pace to them, and if you're dealing with a linear story you better not repeat yourself. With an open world the themes tend to emerge, as in real life, and can be entirely up to the player whether or not those themes come through, depending on what part of the game they played. Something like DS is kind of in between and all the better for it --- That story is expertly told in a way that never gets in the way of gameplay.

A lot of what you talk about is gameplay, and I completely agree that desperately needs a shake up but that applies to linear games too.
The gameplay mechanics in open world games usually stinks, and in that regard linear games are definitely better, but since I haven't seen anyone come up with a great videogame story in 30 years, I've come to the conclusion that whilst I prefer linear games, that is certainly not the best way to tell stories in games.
 
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Umbral

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I agree with most of what you've said, but I think open world storytelling is worth perusing and Rockstar seem to want to do that more than most, so I tend to agree with the OP, although not quite in such strong terms.

I haven't seen much progression in terms of storytelling in a linear games since The Stanley Parable (and more recently Hades) but I have in Rockstar titles, especially in terms of believeability -- and using a wide canvas, time and the interactions of the various characters to do a character study (rdr2) where the character is you.

Rockstar are really one of the the only developers that make "hangout games" where you really get a feel for the place and the people in the same way you would a book. Even something like LOU2 which tries very, very hard with it's characters is constrained by it's theme, and that becomes overly oppressive by the games end, to a somewhat ridiculous degree.

If you start to tell any sort of story in a linear game you're always going to come up against the fact that people expect those sorts of stories to have a particular pace to them, and if you're dealing with a linear story you better not repeat yourself. With an open world the themes tend to emerge, as in real life, and can be entirely up to the player whether or not those themes come through, depending on what part of the game they played. Something like DS is kind of in between and all the better for it --- That story is expertly told in a way that never gets in the way of gameplay.

A lot of what you talk about is gameplay, and I completely agree that desperately needs a shake up but that applies to linear games too.
The gameplay mechanics in open world games usually stinks, and in that regard linear games are definitely better, but since I haven't seen anyone come up with a great videogame story in 30 years, I've come to the conclusion that whilst I prefer linear games, that is certainly not the best way to tell stories in games.
I think we’re on the same wavelength overall. I feel you on the hangout games and I need one of those sometimes where there’s no urgency to charge forward.

I want more innovation in mechanics in all games. I want more risks to be taken. Easy for me to say when I’m not footing the bill, but it is what it is. As a buyer of games, I’m bored with most of what they are doing.

If there’s an ideal format for storytelling in open-world games, I want them to find it. Just as linear games have found their format for stories, however imperfect or conflicting it may be with the medium. Perhaps we are just in the finding phase and we’ll get there and in the meantime have endure middling achievements until someone or several people have “Aha!” moments.
 
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cyber69

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RDR2 is the only Rockstar game that I haven’t finished. Pretty open word, with tedious gameplay.
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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For sure Rockstar is the only one doing open worlds right. Except when u fart in the wrong directions and Mission Failed.

Only good thing about RDR2 world is its visuals, thers nothing to do in it except for hunting animals. Sense of exploration and rewarding curiosity is pretty much absent. Not even a good sanbox is.

Nominated for reply of the year 2021.
 

01011001

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For sure Rockstar is the only one doing open worlds right. Except when u fart in the wrong directions and Mission Failed.

Only good thing about RDR2 world is its visuals, thers nothing to do in it except for hunting animals. Sense of exploration and rewarding curiosity is pretty much absent. Not even a good sanbox is.

yeah I stopped playing that shitshow of a game after a mission failed because I literally stepped one step backwards... the context of the mission didn't show any urgency or anything that would make it illogical for me to step in that direction... the exact opposite was true, an NPC walked in that direction and I tried speaking with that story relevant NPC. could be in a textbook under horrid game design.
I almost stopped at the intro mission in the snow after I felt those absolutely god awful controls

it's such a terrible game... fucking hell
 
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Danjin44

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What I want see more in open world is free climb system, In Monster Hunter Rise the traversal is much better because you literally can climb anywhere. to me game with uncharted style climbing that can be used in very specific and marked rocks really hurts the exploration in my opinion.
 

Balducci30

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Never done any of this garbage in a Rockstar game. Only ever just went from main quest to main quest. Now, a Bethesda or Obsidian game...
Yeah I mean does that not get boring for people? I find myself bored pretty quickly if I stop the quests and just interact with the world. I mean it’s all right but I don’t feel like I’m interacting with some crazy next level deal in any meaningful way - get that far more in Bethesda games frankly
 

Balducci30

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Come to think of it, I’m just gonna say this. I loved RDR2 and the attention to detail - but the level of interaction is vastly overstated. It doesn’t feel like I’m having any meaningful interactions with anything outside of the main quests in the game. Like the little activities and mini games get real boring, real fast - and the NPC AI is fine but in no way do I feel like I’m actually having some next level interaction with a simulation or something - there’s cute little details but none of it screams super advanced AI things going on to me. Maybe it’s because I get bored with this stuff fast but I straight up didn’t notice the liveliness people talk about. It all felt illusory.
 

mcjmetroid

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I agree to a point. I think a lot of Ubisoft games would be exposed if they was a linear game.

It comes down to boring missions.

Games like Breath of the Wild fully operate within the open world concept and use it to its fullest. There are barely any missions in that game.

Games like the Witcher 3 I cannot imagine as a linear game either. It just works as a world but almost everything else I'm with you.

I'm with you generally until you mention Rockstar. I'm not the biggest fan of their games. Something about them I just can never get into them.
 

BigTnaples

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No.



Less open world? Maybe.

But plenary of open worlds are absolutely fantastic. Including ones you mentioned.
 

TheGejsza

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Someone hasn’t played Ghost of Tsushima....
IMO GoT is the best example where gettig rid of open world would help flesh out game better. GoT is a great game but beside the beauty the "open world" is mainly a filler. Where is a fun in riding to another ? just to find fox to follow for 50 times.

I mean in the first 10 hours you can see everything the game has to offer (beside ghost stance mechanic which does not change the gameplay loop in any significant way) and then you just rinse and repeat it for the next 40+h.

Where Got shines is in its heavily narrated side-stories (Masako, Monk, Archer sensie) and they still suffer from the open world formula...
 
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tassletine

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I think we’re on the same wavelength overall. I feel you on the hangout games and I need one of those sometimes where there’s no urgency to charge forward.

I want more innovation in mechanics in all games. I want more risks to be taken. Easy for me to say when I’m not footing the bill, but it is what it is. As a buyer of games, I’m bored with most of what they are doing.

If there’s an ideal format for storytelling in open-world games, I want them to find it. Just as linear games have found their format for stories, however imperfect or conflicting it may be with the medium. Perhaps we are just in the finding phase and we’ll get there and in the meantime have endure middling achievements until someone or several people have “Aha!” moments.
I agree. I feel that the process of making open world games probably leads to better stories myself as each little 'story' tends to be self contained and so can be concentrated on in a more thorough way. The Witcher 3 is filled with crappy writing but people always remember the Bloody Baron, so it raises the whole affair as that section is very well written.

I think the market hampers good stories, both in Hollywood movies and in games. Just the fact that most AAA games have to be 30 hours min, means a linear story will almost always out stay it's welcome. Valve are one of the only companies that seemed to realise that 8 hours or so was the optimum length here.
With linear games, just the playtesting alone seems to result in large gaps that make those sorts of stories incoherent. The fact that the game can have a large section taking out of it, just because it ultimately isn't fun to play, makes things very difficult, both from a storytelling perspective and a 'morale of the crew' perspective. That these sections are often tested out of context makes things especially hard -- But I guess explains the amount of useless action sequences in games.

I would frankly just like to see a game that had a story to tell -- someone who wanted to actually pass down information to the player rather than just gripe about how oppressive the world is as they mow down person after person.
I did see this, both in Death Stranding and Red Dead but I think the lack of focus definitely hurts those games in that regard.
Kojima especially is great at getting a story out of gameplay mechanics -- I'll never forget that long drawn out sniper, fight in mgs3 for example -- And at least he's always trying something new.
 
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Concern

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I disagree. Sure R* are the best at open worlds but there are still great, if not at least good open world games like GoT, SR2, and Spiderman just to name a few.

But it ruined some games like MGV for me. Gameplay was great but everything else was repetitive and bland af. After about 18 chapters I stopped playing it.
 

Cyberpunkd

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The problem with open world is that they keep making them bigger instead of making a more dense meaningful world.
This right FUCKING there. Cyberpunk 2077 is the latest offender - imagine how much time you could've saved if you cut the city in half, increase NPC interaction, increase verticality, etc. Most development on a game is always asset creation and graphics, you can do so much more by just narrowing the scope a bit.
 

Kadayi

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From a technical perspective, I can appreciate the work R* put into their titles but from the gameplay perspective, I find the A - B mission design boring as hell. I had to force my way through GTA V and I pretty much gave up on RDR2 despite 3 or 4 attempts because Arthurs companions are pretty much all imbeciles.
 
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