Sessler's Soapbox: Open Worlds Need Direction

Posted: March 23, 2010
Sessler's Soapbox: Open Worlds Need Direction
Adam uses Just Cause 2 to point out how open world games are very common, but sometimes lacking in direction, progression, or story.

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  • topgamer101

    I have no problems with either kind of game, but I have noticed in games like Fallout I can get ADHD and find so much random crap to do that it almost takes me days to get back on track where I was before. Does it bug me much? Not really, but story is an important part to me gaming in some games.

    Though with Open World games I've come to the understanding that I'm not going to be following a straight path.

    Posted: March 23, 2010 4:22 PM
  • Paragon V

    I'm also a big fan of open world games as a wonderful setting for storytelling. I think Rockstar has developed a very good formula regarding that kind of dynamic. For example, San Andreas was a very good gaming environment, with excelent transitions between urban, sub-urban and rural areas. And I've enjoyed GTA4 for months, especially thanks to the extensions Lost and Damned and Ballad of Gay Tony, but what really amazed me about it was the city as a character in itself, the transitions between night and day, the weather changing from sunny to foggy and rain.
    So I'm currently very curious to see how Rockstar develops things in Red Dead Redemption, especially regarding cities, because it's something R* is not showing much in the previews. I wonder if we'll see any young thriving cities, and if the inhabitants will be different from rural areas in the way they're dressed and their mannerisms and stuff. It has the potential to be a huge huge game...
    Anyways, since I'm currently playing Mass Effect 2 to death, I'm kind of dreaming about the day BioWare will create a game in the Mass Effect universe that is not open world, but open universe. That, my friends, will be pure awesomeness...

    Posted: March 23, 2010 4:14 PM
  • spicypooptastic

    best open world game I ever played was Red Faction. It encouraged exploration through what you can destroy!

    Posted: March 23, 2010 3:54 PM
  • JimMD102

    I love open world games, but I much prefer linear games that give the illusion that I'm exploring the world. RE4 is a good example. I also think that great art direction makes me want to explore the next area more, which I think made FF13's linearity work.

    Posted: March 23, 2010 3:36 PM
  • EdSabre

    I agree with flaminghobo about Fallout3. The smaller side stories that you discover from exploring the world were much more interesting than the main story itself. Unfortunately, that's one of the few games that employs this. Most other open world games have a main story and then everything else is just there to be shot or blown up. I'd like to see more open world games that are filled with different types of stories and narratives for you to find if you so choose.

    Posted: March 23, 2010 3:32 PM
  • Really_another_Sequel?

    I agree with flaminghobo I enjoy a great story, but in Fallout 3 I always felt I was creating a unique story for my character just by exploring and doing the secondary quests.
    Good Soapbox.

    Posted: March 23, 2010 3:26 PM
  • Kaos24

    I honestly like both open world and linear games.
    I play a game like Fallout 3 for the "go do anything" attitude that it has.
    Then I play a game like Final Fantasy XIII for the focused story.
    I like them both alot although I tend to enjoy the linear games more because I really like directed and focused experience that they deliver so well.

    Posted: March 23, 2010 3:10 PM
  • Hasao

    I am a huge fan of stories in games (final fantasy 13, Lunar silver story, Persona 3 etc) and I find that when a game becomes more open world I tend to just look around and not really focus on what needs to be done. After a while losing track of the story and getting bored. Basically what you said Adam I tend to "dick around"

    Posted: March 23, 2010 3:10 PM
  • grayk47

    it Depends, really if you get games like Godfather II, dont even bother (infact dont even bother making the game), its better to make it more linear

    With Rpgs as long as it continues to give you fun and meaningful quests or jobs to do, in which where story becomes more important b/c other wise there is no use.

    So in a sense i think that in order to make a openworld game succsesful you must have a good story structure

    Posted: March 23, 2010 3:09 PM
  • bolo73

    Another great Soapbox Adam. I love open world games and open they continue to grown (not in size but events) and different enviroments to explore.

    Posted: March 23, 2010 2:54 PM
  • GatsuBlackSword

    I Went To PAX 08! Wish I Could Afford PAX East But I Got "Recession-ed" So Don't Have A Job Anymore. But I Hate Open World Games The Closet's Thing I Have Gotten To That Is BioShock. I like a story driven game that is why i play games a good story. Good Soap Box Adam!

    Posted: March 23, 2010 2:50 PM
  • Reign90

    What about a system where the game is played liner-ly at first, and the story is accomplished. But then after playing the game you can explore the world and use your abilities (from leveling up) to unlock new places/quests. And from those you get even more abilities.
    Similar to Fallout 3, except you can only explore the Wasteland AFTER you finish the main quest. And depending on how you finished the main quest (choices, abilities chosen, etc) it effects the outcome of your newfound open world exploration.

    Posted: March 23, 2010 2:32 PM
  • askanison

    I've found that my favorite games are the pseudo-open world titles like Ocarina Of Time, Turok 2, and Batman: Arkham Asylum. They feature linear levels but allow you to freely travel between them whenever you like. This encourages exploration and backtracking to unlock new items once you've earned new abilities, and allows the story development to remain a huge aspect of the game.

    I just completed Arkham Asylum a couple days ago and it was so refreshing playing a game in that style that seemed to have kind of been killed off once GTA introduced truly open-world gaming. It's a style of game I hope makes a resurgence because I really feel it's the best of both worlds.

    Posted: March 23, 2010 2:08 PM
  • flaminghobo

    I like a good story but I prefer those small stories that you would come across in fallout 3 from exploring places like the vaults and places like oasis that make open world games fun for me. I didn't really care about the main story in fallout 3 but at the same time I felt that I was creating my own story just by exploring the wasteland.

    Posted: March 23, 2010 2:06 PM
  • Atavax

    i wish that this show was longer.... Adam typically has such great views on things... in Feedback, i often feel like the other people's opinions are just fluff and that im anticipating the next time Adam speaks...

    Posted: March 23, 2010 1:56 PM
  • Bass.EXE

    I prefer a great story to open-world games; it's much easier to tell a good story through a linear game. That isn't to say open-world games can't be fun, though, but I never feel the drive to get to my next objective. I usually either get confused as to where I'm supposed to go or just find myself messing around the world.

    Kudos, once again, Sessler. I've always loved your Soapboxes, and this one follows suit.

    Posted: March 23, 2010 1:54 PM