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Would you perfer more linear games than open world?

More open world or linear games?

  • Linear

    Votes: 119 75.8%
  • Open world

    Votes: 38 24.2%

  • Total voters
Gaming in 2022 and 2023 has made me question what gamers are preferring in their game worlds. It's obvious (especially this year) that many gamers are enjoying remakes. For example, both the Dead Space and RE4 remakes were well received. They were very well made with the technology available. Personally, I very much enjoyed both. I also found myself exploring older games like Bayonetta and the Armored core series. 2023 has even one of the most invigorating year for gaming because of these experices.

I noted that most of these games were mostly linear or semi open word at most. There was so much oversaturation of open worlds and especially with games that used an Ubisoft-like formula. Many open world games seem to have shallow side missions that dilute from the focus of their purpose - which is to have fun.

I think that many new remakes have been great with new technology, but I've heard several people say, "They can't be GOTY, because they were already released." I definitely get that. But it also seems there is warm reception to games that seemed to have more depth qnd focus than some current games. I'm looking at games like horizon FW.

So, what I'm asking is would you prefer to have more upcoming games to be linear and focused on a central story or do you have more fun with the current open worlds with more side objectives and progression?

Edit: meant prefer in the title 😅
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I agree. If you ask me "semi open world" is the right path with well fleshed out side objectives
From my perspective, our currently technology is just not enough to make an open world design meaningful. The open world itself act more as a larger hub for you to access different points of interest, the obvious one was of course Ubi-style and its endless clones, but even more creative games like Spiderman and BoTW that added fun mechanic for traversal to make traveling a more engaging experience, the open world itself still did not escape its glorified hub nature.

Maybe in the near future, when the processing power of the hardware and AI technology have reach to a point where it can mimic real life level of detail of interaction, then that would be a right time for true open world genre to shine.
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I don’t prefer one over the other. I do however recognize that you can get more content on open world games. You really have to have a great system for replayability if you ever want a linear game to last as long as an open world.

This is assuming all content quality are equal on the comparison.
a good game is a good game, I don't care how open or narrow it is.

Elden Ring? hell yeah! gimme!
Horizon Forbidden West? throw it in the trash!
Titanfall 2? any time!
The Order 1886? BURN IT WITH FIRE!
That is a good point. I meant to mention a good open world which is ER on the post. But still, I've really enjoyed remakes of games like DS and RE4 which had more depth. I wondered if more gamers would like to see future new IPs be linear because I belive new tech could reinvigorate story based games.

Seems like open worlds were oversaturated in the last decade because it was the new thing.. but I think all this new tech could make for some badass linear games.


Most of the time, yes. Most open worlds are cookie cutter with no thought put in. I'm tired of shitty collectathons with no real reward and mid tier gameplay with no real variance.
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Most of the time, yes. Most open worlds are cookie cutter with no thought put on. I'm tired of shitty collectathons with no real reward and mid tier gameplay with no real variance.
I want everyone to realize with this post that I'm not hating on open world, but I do think for a long time that they have been watered down. I find games like Elden ring as the exception.

I saw so many people saying that ER would cause there to be more depth in open world games. It set a precedent. There were side objectives and loot that was worthwhile. And I do hope more open world games adopt this philosophy.

BUT I have played remakes of linear games this year that blew it out of the water. And I think that studios could start small and make more meaningful gameplay with these games as the blueprint. And hopefully in the future it would make for more thrilling open world games.

Seems like an ebb and flow if that makes sense. Like we're reverting back to enjoying the types of games we had in the x360 and ps3 era

Iced Arcade

Glasses Why Dont We Have Both GIF by nounish ⌐◨-◨
Linear game design is so limiting in terms of level design. Everything has to be ultimately sectioned by some bushes, walls or cliffs. On open world ideally you can sort of think for yourself and drive the game instead of just going to next cut scene. I think elden ring is a good open world game.
I see where you're coming from, but if you ask me DS3 was still better. That's just a personal option. I keep Fromsoft games in high regard because there seemed more variability with the bosses in DS3 than ER. Even though ER was great I felt a big fatigue on so many samey bosses.
As usual it's going to come down to a "depends on the game". While both could make for a fun experience, I do prefer open worlds because they bring the feeling of actually being in a world. Neither is wrong or bad, just based around a personal preference.


I like how Uncharted Lost Legacy handles semi open world sections, I think they used the term wide open level or something. But majority of the game is a linear experience. It's a nice balance.

Ghosts, Spider-man and Second Son were the last open world games I really enjoyed, but they still had good main story. Not time or patience of Assassins creed style. But story driven either way, especially with older gamers.


Eh, I've played some great linear games and plenty of lame open world ones. The big thing for me is agency.

Do I have any meaningful choice in how the battle/story/etc. plays out? If so, I can make my own fun to some degree, and if the systems they have intersect and interplay, all the better.

If not, it's all in the hands of the developer, and there are very few developers that can make a linear sequence that is interesting and challenging all the way through. We get big setpieces and lots of fire, like a second rate Michael Bay is directing, but you're not usually given much to do besides hold the stick forward and press the contextual action button. And the less said about the vast majority of videogame stories, the better.

So, both can be good, open world is just safer for my tastes because there's more agency by default.
Honestly. It really depends on the game. Not every game needs to be open-world, and not every game needs to be linear.
I understand this. But I just think about the trend. I have personally found so much more enjoyment in linear games lately. It's just like what would most people like to see these days with new releases and new IPs. I think that's where there's a difference.


I'm tired of open world genre.
Same boat, but glad almost all open world games i'm done, now i can play metroidvanias, survival horrors, yakuza series and some jrpg games(because most of them is done)
"semi open world" is the right path with well fleshed out side objectives
Finished, Kena Bridge of Spirits few days ago, so i'm like that type, not super long and not open world, that why i'm waiting for Atlas Fallen


Linear. I hate traveling in wide open lands to get to the actual interesting areas. I rather have interconnected worlds.


THE Prey 2 fanatic
I love open world games, tons of my favorite games are open world, but I want there to be way more linear games. There's an oversaturation of open worlds, and too many sequels suffered from going open world (MGSV, Evil Within 2). Of course, Prey 2 would have been the perfect open world sequel.


I'm old school so I prefer more linear games in general. But well crafted open worlds or semi-open worlds can be fun too if they are well crafted.

The gigantic forests where everything looks like something you've seen before can be boring.


Wide linear is best

A clear progression through the game but open enough to allow experimentation with the gameplay and exploration

Open world is okay when done right. I liked open world more when it was a novelty


Linear usually means short. I ain’t paying $70 for a linear short game unless it’s a game that is highly replayable. I want wide open epics that take a long time to beat, but they have to be good. I‘d rather play a good linear game than an ubisoft open world game.


Not really, generally speaking. I like (good) non-linear design in action adventures and RPGs.

But on the other hand the "Ubisoft" type of open world isn't what I want, either.
So yeah, I'd take a more linear game over another wannabe-AssCreed.
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What time is it?
For the most part, I don't like modern open world design.

-Fast travel systems that aren't lore appropriate (Bethesda after Morrowind)
-GPS and waypoint systems that aren't period appropriate (Bethesda again)
-Mini-maps littered with points of interest that are little more than copy/paste filler (Ubisoft)
-Not taking advantage of your open world sandbox in your mission design for the sake of being cinematic (R* after GTAIII)

I wish designers would let their open worlds breath and not feel the need to have content every six feet. I wish designers weren't afraid to let players miss content and understood the irony that most players don't finish games much less need to be able to find every last point of interest in your world. I wish designers would let players get lost as holding a players hand defeats the purpose of an open world and the first place and kills any sense of adventure.

In concept, I'd prefer a well made open world game. In practice, I have more faith in most developers ability to deliver a linear experience.
Semi-open I feel are the best. I think the 2 most recent God of War games do this the best. When going through the story and main quests it's very linear. But allows you to explore a pretty decent sized world (but not overbearing) with side missions.

If I needed to pick one over the other, it's linear by far. A major of open world games just add useless bloat that just brings down the quality of the game and I will always vote for quality over quantity.


I've been waiting for more games with smaller open worlds. Many of the current AAA open world games could have been great if they cut out the filler. I'm talking like 25% of their current size. It would still facilitate exploration, which I love, and could also be more curated to give a more memorable experience.
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The nicest person on this forum
a good game is a good game, I don't care how open or narrow it is.

Elden Ring? hell yeah! gimme!
Horizon Forbidden West? throw it in the trash!
Titanfall 2? any time!
The Order 1886? BURN IT WITH FIRE!
I agree with this, both linear and open world can be great or terrible based on how they are designed.

I can enjoy both as long as they well made.


Gold Member
I enjoy both, but I wouldn’t mind a bit more linearity. Although I think the problem might be how the games are designed/the gameplay loop more than anything else.

I was playing Assassins Creed Origins a while ago and it was just: get quest > go to marked place on map > complete quest > repeat. After a while I pretty much just asked myself why I was wasting my time on it and quit.


A game having an open world is not the issue. The issue is how open worlds are designed nowadays: like complete garbage.

Which is sad because games such as Zelda on NES or Phantasy Star on MS had already understood exactly what an open world should be. That was more than 35 years ago.
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Open world is poor for the most part. I much prefer the conciseness of a linear game. That said, I’ll make exceptions for the exceptional: new Zelda, TES, The Witcher & From Software open worlds.


Good paced linear game.

I'm tired of open world genre.


If I want exploration, I would rather play Metroidvania level design like Souls, RE, or Classic Zelda

For me its either Linear or Metroidvania
I kinda feel the same, I would tick a third option. Non-linear like Dark Souls or Darksiders is the perfect sweet spot, although I loved Elden Ring. But I wouldn't want all games to be that huge!
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