5 Reasons Why Open-World Is Better Than Linear
Following my most recent column, I would like to discuss why I believe that open-world gaming will always be superior to linear gaming. Before you jump to the comments and call me a heathen, I would just like to clarify that I have absolutely no problem with linear games. I sometimes enjoy a good old military shooter just to get some digestible entertainment and I even consider the Call of Duty games’ stories my guilty pleasure (I always enjoy them for some reason), but you can’t deny the fact that open-world games will always have more entertainment value to them than a game where you’re basically walking in a straight line for the most part and letting stuff happen to you.
Without further ado I give to you wonderful and delicious people the reasons why I think open-world gaming is awesome
5. More Freedom
To start off this list I will give you the most basic and obvious reason: You can do whatever the hell you want. No questions asked, just you, the world and whatever you feel like doing. This is why games from the GTA franchise have become so endearingly loved by so many gamers across the world. You can literally spend hours doing absolutely nothing substantial whatsoever and still have a great time. Want to jump a load of cars off a mountain? No problem. Want to murder everybody within a ten mile radius? Have at it. Want to send a granny flying into the air and onto an oncoming truck’s grill? See a psychiatrist.
The fact remains that linear gaming does not offer you this type of freedom. You are shackled into a pre-determined path doing pre-determined things while following a pre-determined story until the word pre-determined loses its meaning.
4. More Stuff
Loot, loot, loot and more loot. I know this might be etched into my brain because I’ve been playing Borderlands 2 for 50 hours in the past 5 days, but isn’t it wonderful to just be out and about killing monsters and getting some sweet gear along the way? Nothing is more satisfying than obtaining an ultra-rare item that just obliterates everything in its path. Loot has a sort of therapeutic quality within it because I find myself relaxed and happy after a gigantic boss battle where the boss dropped and entire skip full of loot that I can pick up. Linear games does not give you that luxury. In military shooters there aren’t any cool and unique things to be found. It’s the same type of weapon over and over again and they all basically do the same thing.
Bring me my rocket launcher that can be used as a rocket launcher when I’m reloading it.
3. More Exploration
Linear games rarely have you going off the beaten path. Most of the time it’s to collect collectibles or find secret rooms, but most of the time it’s not really that hidden in the first place. Now, with open-world gaming, I can just utter one word: Skyrim. There are numerous upon numerous places for you to visit granted you do the necessary exploration before hand. Sometimes I would just walk around for hours on end and discover new and interesting places. With all this exploration you of course delve into the above entry on this list. Discovery is a great thing that is extremely fun to do. There’s nothing like discovering a place that you have never seen before and searching every nook and cranny for new and interesting things.
It’s certainly better than walking into your five hundred billionth terrorist safehouse that’s for damn sure.
2. More Doing Dumb Shit
We all have our own unique and wacky stories when it comes to any game that offers open-world elements. Hell, I can give you one right now that I experienced in Borderlands 2 just a few hours ago at the time of writing this sentence. I was driving my buggy around as usual and was ramping all over the place for no particular reason and a Raging Goliath was running, just running around out of nowhere. I certainly didn’t cause him to rage. I got this crazy idea to ramp off a nearby ramp and hit him which I promptly did. When we collided I just bounced off him. While I was looking like an idiot he slammed my buggy and sent me flying, doing backflips everywhere.
That’s just the freshest one I have in my memory right now. Besides incidents like that one, we all have done some pretty stupid and downright ludicrous things while we were playing open-world games. Don’t tell me when you played Fallout 3 that you didn’t save your game and slaughter an entire town because… well… LOL or something. Saints Row The Third had an entire game centred around doing dumb shit and just messing around.
Linear games don’t have that element. If you want to mess around you generally get shouted at by a general for taking too long or be bombarded with “hints” telling you what to do and requesting you stop behaving like an imbecile.
1. More Random Events
Have you ever just parked your car in a driveway, behaving normally with nothing out of the ordinary happening and then had a Boeing land on your car? No? Well, that happened to me in GTA San Andreas. I was outside a customizing garage testing out my hydraulics and then out of the blue a plane lands on my car and kills me instantly. At first I had a huge WTF expression on my face, but after a few seconds I just burst out laughing at what happened. There are many instances in open-world games where things… don’t work like they should. This usually makes for comedic events that were not intended in the slightest. I had this weird glitch in Fallout 3 where every NPC turned into something out of the Exorcist i.e. their heads were randomly going in circles. It was a glitch, but fuck if I didn’t laugh every time someone tried to have a serious conversation with me and all I saw were their heads just going round and round.
Glitches can be annoying, but some of them can be quite comedic if you see the funnier side of things.
I’m a sucker for open-world games and love every aspect of them. Don’t get me wrong, linear games are amazing as well. Just look at games such as Portal or Half-Life. I’m just more inclined to enjoy games that give me freedom to do things to my heart’s content. Linear games have their place, but these days they are a dime a dozen and I get more enjoyment out of games that have me going off the beaten path. Sure, open-world games tend to take a lot of time to really get into and some gamers don’t have that luxury. It’s quite sad because it is a magical world. All of life’s great memories weren’t planned.