Will open world games ever be good?

  • 57 results
  • 1
  • 2

This topic is locked from further discussion.

#1 Edited by Celtic_34 (1263 posts) -

I still think these games have potential. The open worlds and technology is there. The issue is what is in these worlds. Too much meaningless side activities and collectibles. Stories are terrible. Too over the top melodrama or just cookie cutter poorly told fantasy epics. Throw all that stuff out. The stories need to be more focused and change teh world as you play it sort of thing. GTA has this huge sprawling open world. It looks great. The story, things to do and how you interact with the world around you needs a lot of work. I think the assassin's creed series in general strieks the best balance of fun things to, tied in with a fairly focused story but it's still just a ton of collectibles and tediousness. At least these thngs do have some benefits and reward for doing unlike GTA but it's still tediousness.

It's kind of surprising these developers as far as game design can't get the gamey aspects of these games right.

Can you name 5 things you'd improve in open world games to make them better?

#2 Posted by turtlethetaffer (16767 posts) -

I'm playing Saint's Row 3 right now and it's pretty damn awesome.

#3 Posted by huerito323 (1375 posts) -

Some of my favorite games are open world, so this topic is ridiculous to me. Yes obviously they can improve, but asking if they will "ever" be good as if they've sucked is just wrong.

#4 Posted by RadioGooGoo (210 posts) -

I'm coming to the increasing realization that smaller, taut worlds are the way to go. Fallout size was as the extreme end for acceptability, but Skyrim was just too large. GTA was too big also, and hardly anything happened in the northern part of the map, which went entirely unexplored in the 30+ hours I spent with that game. Of course I appreciate that there are many people who love worlds that are that big. No doubt we'll continue to see games catering for those who like "big" and those who prefer "smaller".

#5 Posted by zaza__ (21 posts) -

Have you played Skyrim or Fallout 3? Pretty sure they fit the bill.

#6 Posted by msulcs (43 posts) -

Open world games already are great, and they're my favorite one's.

#7 Posted by cooolio (476 posts) -

I have faith in The Witcher 3. RDR and Dragon Quest 8 are the only open world games I have played, while also respecting and loving almost every moment. The main thing that i believe the structure of an open world should accommodate is the main protagonist.

#8 Posted by Permerup (35 posts) -

Open world games are generally great, because you choose how they pan out. At the same time, they are flawed, because of that very reason. Freedom has a price, and we call it responsibility.

#9 Posted by firefox59 (4393 posts) -

As someone already said, The Witcher 3. Plus, the Division has a chance to do the same thing for open world MP / co-op.

#10 Posted by sukraj (22800 posts) -

@msulcs said:

Open world games already are great, and they're my favorite one's.

mine too

#11 Posted by Mesomorphin (821 posts) -

most open world games are good, so shush

#12 Edited by yngsten (218 posts) -

@sukraj said:

@msulcs said:

Open world games already are great, and they're my favorite one's.

mine too

Hear hear.

#13 Posted by stizzal13 (602 posts) -

@Celtic_34 said:

I still think these games have potential. The open worlds and technology is there. The issue is what is in these worlds. Too much meaningless side activities and collectibles. Stories are terrible. Too over the top melodrama or just cookie cutter poorly told fantasy epics. Throw all that stuff out. The stories need to be more focused and change teh world as you play it sort of thing. GTA has this huge sprawling open world. It looks great. The story, things to do and how you interact with the world around you needs a lot of work. I think the assassin's creed series in general strieks the best balance of fun things to, tied in with a fairly focused story but it's still just a ton of collectibles and tediousness. At least these thngs do have some benefits and reward for doing unlike GTA but it's still tediousness.

It's kind of surprising these developers as far as game design can't get the gamey aspects of these games right.

Can you name 5 things you'd improve in open world games to make them better?

I think you probably underestimate the amount of work that goes into current open world games, but I will say that there is always room for improvement. And, in my opinion, open world games have been improving in terms of interaction with the environment, side quests, side story, the world changing around you, etc. I think looking at the progression of the Elder Scrolls series serves as a good example.

#14 Posted by wiouds (5206 posts) -

There are good open world games. When a game is open world it gains some good and bad part. Being open world does not make a game better than more linear games.

There are many times that I find more linear levels are more fun.

#15 Posted by good_sk8er7 (4321 posts) -

I agree for the most part, open world games are definitely not my favorite, I'd take a linear focused game anyday.

Assassin's Creed is great though.

#16 Posted by Kevlar101 (6144 posts) -

What do ya know....ignorance DOES have a face.

#17 Posted by SEANMCAD (5464 posts) -

some of the worlds being described as 'open world' really are not.

GTA is a perfect example. About 1/2 of the map is closed from players when they start until they finish a good amount of quests. All the entries into various buildings are locked until you do a side quest.

That is not an open world, Skyrim doesnt work that way. Skyrim is a much better example of an open world.

I love open world games.

#18 Posted by SoNin360 (5483 posts) -

Open world games are definitely my favorite kind of game overall. I'll agree that there are aspects such as the narration that are generally less exceptional, but the freedom, vast size, and sheer amount of content within open world games make up for what they sometimes lack in other areas.

#19 Edited by edinsftw (4238 posts) -

I want to like open world games, but I don't anymore. I find that more linear shorter games with a semi-open world aspect strikes the best balance. You can put more care into the encounters, story, level design, and art. It allows side quests to become something more meaningful and related to the main story and more time to be put into the main quest line.

#20 Posted by sukraj (22800 posts) -

GTA V for the win.

#21 Edited by bussinrounds (2170 posts) -

@edinsftw said:It allows side quests to become something more meaningful and related to the main story and more time to be put into the main quest line.

New Vegas does this. (as opposed to Bethesda's 'theme park' approach, of just throwing in what they think is 'cool')

And it has reactivity to your actions also. (which Beth games fail to have)

#22 Posted by bowchicka07 (1075 posts) -

@Celtic_34: Maybe you just have unrealistic expectations on open world gaming. Sounds like an MMORPG would fit you the most.

You might look up some info on destiny. I think that is what you're looking for.

#23 Posted by nicecall (428 posts) -

@turtlethetaffer said:

I'm playing Saint's Row 3 right now and it's pretty damn awesome.

totally agree, great game.

#24 Edited by ACP_45 (429 posts) -

Skyrim has one of the richest open worlds I’ve experienced. Skyrim wasn’t really a master piece in terms of plot or story.

But TES games always had DAT LORE. Skyrim gave us a lot of Lore to add to the TES series World.

I played Skyrim not only because it was awesome being a Dragonborn but because the Lore is so rich and every single thing has certain history. I don’t think Skyrim should be played for a story or narrative but I think you need to see how richer The Elder Scrolls gets after every TES game. More and more depth in the world of Nirn.

Fallout 3 was also very good.

GTA V had a massive open world but this does not mean there should be something to do everywhere on the map.

I think Rockstar did a good job. Giving us tons of things to do.

I don’t get where Open World games suck...

They are the pinnacle of video games for me at least.

#25 Posted by Kevlar101 (6144 posts) -

@edinsftw said:

I want to like open world games, but I don't anymore. I find that more linear shorter games with a semi-open world aspect strikes the best balance. You can put more care into the encounters, story, level design, and art. It allows side quests to become something more meaningful and related to the main story and more time to be put into the main quest line.

Dishonored was an excellent example of this

#26 Edited by Boddicker (2744 posts) -

@huerito323 said:

Some of my favorite games are open world, so this topic is ridiculous to me. Yes obviously they can improve, but asking if they will "ever" be good as if they've sucked is just wrong.

Same here, but there's always room for improvement.

When we reach "The Matrix" levels I'll be satisfied lol.

#27 Posted by Motokid6 (5639 posts) -

All Skyrim needed was animations. And characters with personalities. Every single npc is just a dead dialogue stick. Better, more immersive voice acting be nice too..

#28 Posted by Ish_basic (4019 posts) -

A lot of the open world games out there are just a single story arc, empty space, and a bunch of mini-games. Sure you have the freedom to run around in circles, but if you want to do anything meaningful, you're on rails, with virtually no control over how the story progresses.

I much prefer the ability to make choices and then experience the consequences than the "freedom" to drive/ride/walk through empty space, which is all games like AC, Farcry and GTA really offer. Most open world stuff is tedious and boring. At least in a game like Skyrim there are multiple story paths, radiant quests, and one-off quests for dungeon areas you find while exploring. It still has its issues - like being heavily on rails with simplistic level design that often fails to allow you to take advantage of your particular skill set...but it does a fairly good job providing a world filled with meaningful activities...at least when you compare it to things like Farcry, where your only activities outside of the storyline are generic, repetitious mini-game strings like races or kill X amount of Y at point Z.

#30 Edited by edinsftw (4238 posts) -

@Kevlar101 said:

@edinsftw said:

I want to like open world games, but I don't anymore. I find that more linear shorter games with a semi-open world aspect strikes the best balance. You can put more care into the encounters, story, level design, and art. It allows side quests to become something more meaningful and related to the main story and more time to be put into the main quest line.

Dishonored was an excellent example of this

Yes it is, I played it but couldn't get through it because it was too easy and I ended up getting bored.

#31 Posted by Kevlar101 (6144 posts) -
@edinsftw said:

@Kevlar101 said:

@edinsftw said:

I want to like open world games, but I don't anymore. I find that more linear shorter games with a semi-open world aspect strikes the best balance. You can put more care into the encounters, story, level design, and art. It allows side quests to become something more meaningful and related to the main story and more time to be put into the main quest line.

Dishonored was an excellent example of this

Yes it is, I played it but couldn't get through it because it was too easy and I ended up getting bored.

Too easy? How is that even possible?

Ah, You probably just ran through the map killing everybody.

#32 Posted by 1PMrFister (3134 posts) -

@Ish_basic said:

A lot of the open world games out there are just a single story arc, empty space, and a bunch of mini-games. Sure you have the freedom to run around in circles, but if you want to do anything meaningful, you're on rails, with virtually no control over how the story progresses.

I much prefer the ability to make choices and then experience the consequences than the "freedom" to drive/ride/walk through empty space, which is all games like AC, Farcry and GTA really offer. Most open world stuff is tedious and boring. At least in a game like Skyrim there are multiple story paths, radiant quests, and one-off quests for dungeon areas you find while exploring. It still has its issues - like being heavily on rails with simplistic level design that often fails to allow you to take advantage of your particular skill set...but it does a fairly good job providing a world filled with meaningful activities...at least when you compare it to things like Farcry, where your only activities outside of the storyline are generic, repetitious mini-game strings like races or kill X amount of Y at point Z.

Hit the nail on the head. Skyrim is the only open-world game where I can recall still playing and exploring long after I had finished the primary campaign missions. I always find that once I finish the campaign in an open-world game (be it GTA, Saint's Row, or what have you), the enjoyability of the world drops off rapidly. I'm hoping this ends up becoming the next big breakthrough for the sandbox genre this generation, because they've been otherwise stagnant in this regard for quite some time.

#33 Posted by firefox59 (4393 posts) -

@Kevlar101 said:
@edinsftw said:

@Kevlar101 said:

@edinsftw said:

I want to like open world games, but I don't anymore. I find that more linear shorter games with a semi-open world aspect strikes the best balance. You can put more care into the encounters, story, level design, and art. It allows side quests to become something more meaningful and related to the main story and more time to be put into the main quest line.

Dishonored was an excellent example of this

Yes it is, I played it but couldn't get through it because it was too easy and I ended up getting bored.

Too easy? How is that even possible?

Ah, You probably just ran through the map killing everybody.

Doesn't matter. Deus EX HR does everything better than Dishonored, including waht edinsftw was talking about. Dishonored's world was too empty and it was too easy. The sequel has a chance to be really good though.

#34 Posted by Black_Knight_00 (18477 posts) -

It's not easy to write a story for an open world RPG. When you allow the player to play for a hundred hours while deliberately ignoring the main questline, you inevitably give up any pretense of urgency the plot may have and most of the drama. There is really no way around it other than scaling down the epicness factor and focusing on the smaller picture.

#35 Posted by edinsftw (4238 posts) -

@firefox59 said:

@Kevlar101 said:
@edinsftw said:

@Kevlar101 said:

@edinsftw said:

I want to like open world games, but I don't anymore. I find that more linear shorter games with a semi-open world aspect strikes the best balance. You can put more care into the encounters, story, level design, and art. It allows side quests to become something more meaningful and related to the main story and more time to be put into the main quest line.

Dishonored was an excellent example of this

Yes it is, I played it but couldn't get through it because it was too easy and I ended up getting bored.

Too easy? How is that even possible?

Ah, You probably just ran through the map killing everybody.

Doesn't matter. Deus EX HR does everything better than Dishonored, including waht edinsftw was talking about. Dishonored's world was too empty and it was too easy. The sequel has a chance to be really good though.

I actually agree that Deus Ex was alot better.

Also to person above I actually sneaked the whole time. The problem was the teleport was op and the level design was obvious.

#36 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (13075 posts) -

As always my oppinion is the genre is absolute rubbish and is seriously behind.

#37 Posted by Ish_basic (4019 posts) -

@Black_Knight_00 said:

It's not easy to write a story for an open world RPG. When you allow the player to play for a hundred hours while deliberately ignoring the main questline, you inevitably give up any pretense of urgency the plot may have and most of the drama. There is really no way around it other than scaling down the epicness factor and focusing on the smaller picture.

It's more about a dev's fear to relinquish control. I'm fully ready for a developer to trust me as an audience. Just let the world happen; don't water it down because you're afraid I'll wander off. If I see the world shifting in a direction I don't want it to go, than that's just going to make me more invested in what's going on. I want my open world games to truly deliver freedom, and that includes the option to just sit back and watch the world burn.

I thought Way of the Samurai was brilliant expression of this in the way that the world just moved and you could choose to be a part of events...or not. Scenarios had a default way of ending if you weren't a part of them, but if you were, there were usually a few ways things could go...and that would ripple through to following events. It introduced the idea that exploration isn't just about finding collectible doo-dads, but also about finding ways to change the fate of the world around you.

Now, ultimately it poses scripting issues in that it's a lot of work to actually deliver this kind of freedom, so a single run through of WotS was only about an hour or two long, but it's worth it, imo. At the very least it's worth more than empty space. Why not subtract the time devs spend adding another 10 blocks of nothing to their virtual city and instead spend it building a city across time, where the very same space can be very different for the player that made a different decision? Probably because devs don't want to do the work. Easier to add another 10km of uninteractive clutter and talk about how much bigger your world is.

#38 Posted by Black_Knight_00 (18477 posts) -

@Ish_basic said:

It's more about a dev's fear to relinquish control. I'm fully ready for a developer to trust me as an audience. Just let the world happen; don't water it down because you're afraid I'll wander off. If I see the world shifting in a direction I don't want it to go, than that's just going to make me more invested in what's going on. I want my open world games to truly deliver freedom, and that includes the option to just sit back and watch the world burn.

I thought Way of the Samurai was brilliant expression of this in the way that the world just moved and you could choose to be a part of events...or not. Scenarios had a default way of ending if you weren't a part of them, but if you were, there were usually a few ways things could go...and that would ripple through to following events. It introduced the idea that exploration isn't just about finding collectible doo-dads, but also about finding ways to change the fate of the world around you.

Now, ultimately it poses scripting issues in that it's a lot of work to actually deliver this kind of freedom, so a single run through of WotS was only about an hour or two long, but it's worth it, imo. At the very least it's worth more than empty space. Why not subtract the time devs spend adding another 10 blocks of nothing to their virtual city and instead spend it building a city across time, where the very same space can be very different for the player that made a different decision? Probably because devs don't want to do the work. Easier to add another 10km of uninteractive clutter and talk about how much bigger your world is.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. does that: things happen with or without you and some side missions will fail or complete themselves if you dawdle too much and don't show up when you were supposed to. While I appreciate that, I think the world should still be crafted around the player, allowing him complete freedom without constraining him to deadlines, only we need to figure out a less transparent way to do that, so that the player doesn't feel like the party boy at all times ("Ah, the hero of Kvatch!").

As I said in other threads about this subject: they key is to marry exploration and plot. Let's set aside the epic storytelling and try hiring some good writers who can pull something engaging out of a simple revenge plot. Not knowing where you need to be is the best incentive you can find for exploration. FarCry 2, with all its flaws, did this admirably: all you are told is "Somewhere out there there is an arms dealer called The Jackal. Find him and kill him" and then it cuts you loose.

#39 Posted by iCurtis (21 posts) -

Elder Scrolls games have always been good to play in my opinion. Get plenty of your money's worth off that game alone.

#40 Edited by baoxiaotian (16 posts) -

Decreased Lunatic would be the only world-weary monster in Diablo 3, its world-weary is rather hateful to Diablo 3 Gold get the affiliate hidden with the dead. Usually, if this finds the potential, the great top top quality of dead could be enhanced as well as the devastation is excellent.

#41 Edited by jun_aka_pekto (16151 posts) -

Far Cry 3 does it for me especially after finishing the SP campaign and Reset Outpost Mode becomes available. All my abilities are intact (wing suit, parachute) and the ability to liberate as many or as few outposts as I like alters the friendly/enemy territory layout of the islands. I'm free to go back and forth between the merc and pirate islands by (air or by sea). The setting too has a lot to do with it. I love Far Cry 3's tropical island setting. I love exploring on foot.

The best $50 for a Day 1 game I've ever spent.

#42 Posted by ShangTsung7 (247 posts) -

@edinsftw said:

@Kevlar101 said:

@edinsftw said:

I want to like open world games, but I don't anymore. I find that more linear shorter games with a semi-open world aspect strikes the best balance. You can put more care into the encounters, story, level design, and art. It allows side quests to become something more meaningful and related to the main story and more time to be put into the main quest line.

Dishonored was an excellent example of this

Yes it is, I played it but couldn't get through it because it was too easy and I ended up getting bored.

too easy!? o_0 only if you're stealthing your way through it, try beasting your way through and actually fighting, they will kick your ass with the quickness! ESPECIALLY on the dlc's, omg those brigmore witches don't play.. ;)

#43 Edited by dethtrain (414 posts) -

I enjoyed Skyrim, Fallout 3, the PS2 Grand Theft Auto games and Saints Row 3.

I think it's just the ubisoft open world games I found horrible and bizarrely similar to each other.

Sleeping Dogs is alright.

Loved Arkham City.

It's just the pointless side activities are... TOO pointless.

#44 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (13075 posts) -

@ dethtrain

And you think the ones is TES, Fallout and GTA are not pointless. And even if they did have a point, would they be good points. And consider this scenario: Smashing Wheatley's monitors in Portal 2 was absolutely pointless but damn it was fun.

So whats the point of a "point" ? I think some points are pointless.

#45 Edited by Jacanuk (4547 posts) -

@Celtic_34 said:

I still think these games have potential. The open worlds and technology is there. The issue is what is in these worlds. Too much meaningless side activities and collectibles. Stories are terrible. Too over the top melodrama or just cookie cutter poorly told fantasy epics. Throw all that stuff out. The stories need to be more focused and change teh world as you play it sort of thing. GTA has this huge sprawling open world. It looks great. The story, things to do and how you interact with the world around you needs a lot of work. I think the assassin's creed series in general strieks the best balance of fun things to, tied in with a fairly focused story but it's still just a ton of collectibles and tediousness. At least these thngs do have some benefits and reward for doing unlike GTA but it's still tediousness.

It's kind of surprising these developers as far as game design can't get the gamey aspects of these games right.

Can you name 5 things you'd improve in open world games to make them better?

I disagree here open world games are great when its done like GTA, SR, AC could it be better, sure bigger worlds more to do would be nice but im not complaining.

But ya over 100mill copes sold combined for the open world genre is not that good so lets go play Dark Souls which didn´t even hit 2.5mill.

So sorry your opinion is moot.

#46 Edited by jscoolen (18 posts) -

How about Guilds Wars, the worlds keeps changing with new events, also the storyline is pretty good.

I like the balance between heavy players and beginners.

#47 Posted by SEANMCAD (5464 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@Celtic_34 said:

I still think these games have potential. The open worlds and technology is there. The issue is what is in these worlds. Too much meaningless side activities and collectibles. Stories are terrible. Too over the top melodrama or just cookie cutter poorly told fantasy epics. Throw all that stuff out. The stories need to be more focused and change teh world as you play it sort of thing. GTA has this huge sprawling open world. It looks great. The story, things to do and how you interact with the world around you needs a lot of work. I think the assassin's creed series in general strieks the best balance of fun things to, tied in with a fairly focused story but it's still just a ton of collectibles and tediousness. At least these thngs do have some benefits and reward for doing unlike GTA but it's still tediousness.

It's kind of surprising these developers as far as game design can't get the gamey aspects of these games right.

Can you name 5 things you'd improve in open world games to make them better?

I disagree here open world games are great when its done like GTA, SR, AC could it be better, sure bigger worlds more to do would be nice but im not complaining.

But ya over 100mill copes sold combined for the open world genre is not that good so lets go play Dark Souls which didn´t even hit 2.5mill.

So sorry your opinion is moot.

I also think that GTA is a HORRIBLE example of a good open world game.

They are good games yes...but they are really not 'open world' by pretty much any standard

#48 Edited by The_Last_Ride (71828 posts) -

@Celtic_34: Far Cry 3, Batman Arkham City, Ni No Kuni, etc are all amazing and open world games

#49 Posted by dethtrain (414 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@ dethtrain

And you think the ones is TES, Fallout and GTA are not pointless. And even if they did have a point, would they be good points. And consider this scenario: Smashing Wheatley's monitors in Portal 2 was absolutely pointless but damn it was fun.

So whats the point of a "point" ? I think some points are pointless.

Things like shooting targets in the different areas in Tomb Raider. FarCry 3's joke of an attempt at crafting and hunting (and the annoying assassin's creed like map reveals - nice graphically but unnecessary IMO). The activities/side quests that open up the story more, such as character backgrounds/personalities, lore of specific in game locations - these I do not find pointless.

As I mentioned in Tomb Raider, shooting various objects was pointless. Going out of your way for tombs and relics was enjoyable.

Looking for packages of cocaine in GTA 3 - pointless as well as shooting white pigeons (forgot which game did that - Saints Row?)

#50 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (13075 posts) -

@ The_Last_Ride

You know what sucks, when a game doesn't make gameplay its own reward. Nowa days I've noticed developers putting important Rewards behind boring tasks, most of the Time, the reward is story, you gotta mow down a couple bad guys to see the next cutscene, and you know what... Thats not so bad. But some games make you loot and scavenge, which I'm 100% positive is not fun at all ! But the Rewards, the resources and upgrades you might find make it all seem worth it. I think if a game is confidenr in its design will only offer cosmetic rewards for doing side quests. For me the closest game to get this concept is Arkham City's Riddler Trophies, Finding the Trophies is easy, most of them are in plain sight, behind a lil puzzle. The fun is in solving the puzzle, not getting the actuall trophy (Granted you get XP for each Trophy, but thats for just in case).

Oh forgot to mention, even well designed tasks can be boring, like scavenging in some TLOU, it could be well designed but still be boring, which means developers need to give you an incentive to do it.