Attack Of The Open-World
Open-world games have always been my personal favourite. If a game gives me the ability to dick around as much as I want and do crazy stuff on a whim then I’m instantly attracted to it. Most of my Top 10 games have open-world elements within them because they provided me with an avenue to just mess around if I felt like it. Skyrim, Fallout, GTA IV, Far Cry 3 are just a few examples of games that embraced the openness. Now with the arrival of next-gen, it seems like we’re going to be bombarded with open-world games.
Watch Dogs, GTA V (totally counts), AC4, Destiny, MGS5, Sunset Overdrive, Dead Rising 3, Witcher 3. All bear the hallmarks of open-world. This might be seen as an oversaturation, but I think it’s just a natural evolution. With the current pricing structure of AAA console games, we are expected to flog an obscene amount of money for every new release. What would be unacceptable is buying a game for full price, playing it for 4 hours, getting a mediocre experience and then you have nothing else to do with it except multiplayer if it has that feature (which can be an unreliable asset too).
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With open-world games you can expect hours of content guaranteed just because of the very nature of it. I think the game that I spent the less time in that had an open-world was Mafia II and that still totalled around 15 hours. 15 hours for a game that most considered had a pseudo open-world and was still linear. Why did I total so many hours? Because I dicked around. I explored the city. Looked at landscapes and such. If it was a strictly linear game I would have probably finished it in 8 hours at the least.
With next-gen titles embracing the open-world, I think we can start seeing some real value for our hard earned cash. Games could potentially last us hundreds of hours if we choose to be completionists and even if we don’t we would still get a very robust package (sex joke not intended). I firmly believe that it’s better than the previously mentioned full price 4 hour corridor fest that we so often get.
I personally hope open-world is the future of gaming, but I do understand that some people don’t prefer it that way. I also think linear games have their place within the gaming landscape. BioShock Infinite and The Last of Us are both linear games (have some open-world facets, but not enough to fully fall under the open-world moniker) and they are two of the best games of this generation. But speaking out of the perspective of a poor university student, I would love to know that my sizable investment would give me a proper experience that would last me for a long time.
But that’s just me. What do you beautiful people think of open-world games? Do you think they are the future or do you still prefer your linear games?