Let's get this straight. What qualifies as an open world?

#1 Edited by MDK12345 (1358 posts) -

I know this sounds like a stupid question. But me and my friend were debating over this. I guess he only likes to play games that are 2.5 d or games like Crash or Time Crisis. Are Bioshock and Uncharted open world games? Because when I'm playing them I feel like I'm just following an unofficial path. I'm getting from Point A to Point B and am not getting lost. What about games like GTA? Don't they have a map? Does having arrows and/or a map make the world a non open game or does it not matter? The way I feel is that if there are maps that help you find your way it's not really open. To me, open is like Zelda or more like Myst, where you really don't know where to go, you have to figure it all out. So what games qualify as open and what ones don't?

#2 Edited by Jacanuk (4770 posts) -

@mdk12345 said:

I know this sounds like a stupid question. But me and my friend were debating over this. I guess he only likes to play games that are 2.5 d or games like Crash or Time Crisis. Are Bioshock and Uncharted open world games? Because when I'm playing them I feel like I'm just following an unofficial path. I'm getting from Point A to Point B and am not getting lost. What about games like GTA? Don't they have a map? Does having arrows and/or a map make the world a non open game or does it not matter? The way I feel is that if there are maps that help you find your way it's not really open. To me, open is like Zelda or more like Myst, where you really don't know where to go, you have to figure it all out. So what games qualify as open and what ones don't?

Bioshock and Uncharted are not open world games, they might seem like it but they have nothing to do with open world. All you do is basically backtrack on the same path,

Open world games are Just Cause 2, GTA, Saints Row, LA Noire, and games like that.

#3 Edited by MDK12345 (1358 posts) -

But in GTA there is a map. So it's still open with a map?

#4 Posted by SoNin360 (5506 posts) -

In open world games you have all or most of the game's space to explore at your leisure. You must be able to explore almost any part of it an any given time. Of course, some open world games put some sort of limitation as to when you can explore certain parts of the map, but they're still open world games. You aren't being forced to travel in a linear path. You can do plenty of things outside of the story. You can completely ignore the story if you want. I don't know if that helps any, but in my mind there's a pretty clear distinction between open world games and non-open world games. Some games might fall pretty close between the 2, but Uncharted and BioShock aren't one of those games.

#5 Edited by The_Last_Ride (72488 posts) -

@mdk12345: No they are not. GTA V, Saints Row, Far Cry, Just Cause 2, etc are all open world

#6 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

an example off the top of my head that i would easily qualify as an open world is in TESIV. yeah, there's a brief tutorial path that you have to make your way through but 99% of the map is open to you after that.

i remember reading the deus ex: HR devs calling their game open world. i was taken aback at first, but i kind of agree with them that most of the levels are small open worlds. you get the hub-like level design with multiple objectives to choose from in various different orders in a pretty seamless manner. those levels are sectioned off, but you see that in games like GTAIV and infamous too.

#7 Posted by Jacanuk (4770 posts) -

@mdk12345 said:

But in GTA there is a map. So it's still open with a map?

What do you mean with a map? open world usually has a big map but its not a deciding factor if something is open world.

#8 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (13770 posts) -

So when are we gonna a get a side scrolling 2.5D Open World game ?

#9 Edited by MDK12345 (1358 posts) -

But are you supposed to get lost in an open world? My friend always gets lost and gives up. But sometimes it's something really simple like he forgot to punch the door open, you know simple stuff and then he thinks it's an open world because it's not like Crash where it's just jumping. So are you supposed to get lost and find your way out in most open world games or is it somewhere in between?

#10 Edited by zeroyaoi (1934 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu: Megaman ZX?

#11 Edited by foxhound_fox (88791 posts) -

A game that allows the player to progress through it's goals in a non-linear fashion. In a traditional game, the player is forced to complete the tasks set before them, usually in direct order as they are presented (or won't be given new ones until particular ones are completed). And open world games let's the player decide the order, or ignore it entirely. The mechanics of the game can be used to create one's own goals, rather than follow any given.

#12 Posted by cooolio (498 posts) -

@mdk12345 said:

But are you supposed to get lost in an open world? My friend always gets lost and gives up. But sometimes it's something really simple like he forgot to punch the door open, you know simple stuff and then he thinks it's an open world because it's not like Crash where it's just jumping. So are you supposed to get lost and find your way out in most open world games or is it somewhere in between?

You first have to explain what game syou have played that are open world. What games are your friend playing, and why does he have trouble? In a game like GTA V, the game is open world, but you will know what to do due to things like mission icons, objectives and the story itself which guides you.

Now, I have not played a lot of RPS, but I know from experience that with some of those you have to pay attention when talking to someone. Maybe they will tell you to head west of current town you are located at. They will basically give you directions. Infamous Second Son is still considered to be an open world game even though it is more of a sandbox game that is no way near as open as GTA V. It clearly tells you where to go. You just have to head towards missions markers.

#13 Posted by Jacanuk (4770 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu said:

So when are we gonna a get a side scrolling 2.5D Open World game ?

You mean like Zelda, Mario and other Nintendo RPG games ;)

#14 Posted by turtlethetaffer (16793 posts) -

A game that allows freedom of exploration when you're not doing main missions. Think Just Cause 2. Definitely an open world game.

#15 Posted by MDK12345 (1358 posts) -

So like, Resident Evil 1, 2 ,3 would be open worlds right? When I play those games, I definitely have to think about what I'm doing. It's not as straight forward as other games. Myst and Riven are open worlds. Would you consider GTA like those games?

#16 Posted by PyratRum (561 posts) -
@mdk12345 said:

So like, Resident Evil 1, 2 ,3 would be open worlds right? When I play those games, I definitely have to think about what I'm doing. It's not as straight forward as other games. Myst and Riven are open worlds. Would you consider GTA like those games?

I think you're getting a bit confused with your own definitions. GTA is open world, Resident Evil is not.

In GTA you have a huge open map which you can explore at your own leisure. Resident Evil, while not entirely linear in the strictest sense, has you following a set path throughout the game world.

#17 Edited by illmatic87 (15293 posts) -

I think it's seamless exploration across an environment consisting of varying locales.

#18 Edited by MDK12345 (1358 posts) -

@pyratrum said:
@mdk12345 said:

So like, Resident Evil 1, 2 ,3 would be open worlds right? When I play those games, I definitely have to think about what I'm doing. It's not as straight forward as other games. Myst and Riven are open worlds. Would you consider GTA like those games?

I think you're getting a bit confused with your own definitions. GTA is open world, Resident Evil is not.

In GTA you have a huge open map which you can explore at your own leisure. Resident Evil, while not entirely linear in the strictest sense, has you following a set path throughout the game world.

In Resident Evil you do have to backtrack a bit and really think about how you are going to use your items. So there may be times where you're not sure where to go. I don't get that sense in GTA.

#19 Posted by mattykovax (22693 posts) -

@mdk12345 said:

@pyratrum said:
@mdk12345 said:

So like, Resident Evil 1, 2 ,3 would be open worlds right? When I play those games, I definitely have to think about what I'm doing. It's not as straight forward as other games. Myst and Riven are open worlds. Would you consider GTA like those games?

I think you're getting a bit confused with your own definitions. GTA is open world, Resident Evil is not.

In GTA you have a huge open map which you can explore at your own leisure. Resident Evil, while not entirely linear in the strictest sense, has you following a set path throughout the game world.

In Resident Evil you do have to backtrack a bit and really think about how you are going to use your items. So there may be times where you're not sure where to go. I don't get that sense in GTA.

But its a closed linear map, Even when backtracking. thought has nothing to do with it. I have to think a lot in Metal Gear but up till now its not open world. I don't think at all with saints row but that is open world. You are overthinking it. All open world means is large map that you can explore freely. It does not even have to be sandbox really. SOTC was open world but not sandbox. It had a large open world and you could explore freely.

As for a map and markers that is for to either just play missions or not get completely lost. If most traditional open world games had no maps and markers people would not buy them. I want to explore freely not get frustrated because there are no clear goals and I do not know where the hell I am.

#20 Edited by trugs26 (5595 posts) -

Most open world games have a map. Both Zelda and Myst have maps.

#21 Posted by MDK12345 (1358 posts) -

Okay well this is helping me clear things up. My buddy says it's very easy to get lost in Resident Evil or Metal Gear Solid. So while that doesn't make them open, are you supposed to get lost a lot in those games?

#22 Edited by Krelian-co (11227 posts) -

@mdk12345 said:

Okay well this is helping me clear things up. My buddy says it's very easy to get lost in Resident Evil or Metal Gear Solid. So while that doesn't make them open, are you supposed to get lost a lot in those games?

no and if he does he must have really bad memory, is not like the areas are so huge to get lost. Resident evil is made of small zones and corridors, therefore not open world.

Open world would be described in my opinion one huge map that you can go anywhere anytime (with obvious exceptions like missions and so on)

#23 Edited by Dannystaples14 (970 posts) -

@mdk12345: I don't think Bioshock was open.

A good example I find is Mass Effect and Dragon Age Origins. In Mass Effect the Citadel is an open world part of the game. When you are out on missions on the other hand you run from A to B down a corridor that is not open.

Same with Dragon Age Origins. The cities were all open, but the missions outside of the cities, like in the caves and dungeons and castles you visit are not open.

Witcher 2 was open albeit limited to reasonably small areas to explore. GTA V is open, Fable is open, COD is not open, Gears of War is not open, Halo is not open, The Last of Us is not open. In fact most games last gen were not open.

I would call something like Resident Evil 1 - 3 open since you could go anywhere in the mansion within reason whenever you wanted. For example when you were just about the enter the lab where Tyrant was in Resident Evil 1, you could turn 180 at the door of the lab and run all the way back to the front door of the mansion where the game started if you so wished.

I mean you could say Resident Evil is not as well because while you CAN go all over the map at will, there is no real reason to.

For me personally an open world is one in which you can get to any one place from a number of different directions.

Like if I get to a fork in a road in the game and I choose to go in one direction if that direction is different to another but gets me to the same place I would consider that open.