Open world has been done a lot better than GTAV

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#1 Posted by darkspineslayer (19564 posts) -

I'll admit right off bat, I popped my proverbial GTA cherry with the newest installment. I was expecting a revelation in game design and how open world games are handled. While I'm quite enjoying the game, the characters and the story, the mission structure is just eating at me.

I'll use Far Cry 3 as an example. You would be giving an assassination mission and a general area. It was up to you to scout the target, take out his team and move in for the kill. It was incredibly satisfying taking out camps without triggering an alarm, because it was just you, a target and your imagination. Perhaps you set a mine and a bomb near each other to group some enemies and take them out in a huge explosion. Perhaps you picked them off from the next mountain over, maybe you let Mr.Whiskers out to play. The point is, because you could plan your attack on your own and improvise when you screwed up, it was all the more satisfying.

Now don't get me wrong. The sandbox of Los Santos is vast and impressive, and sometimes just fun to screw around in. As soon as you go take care of a mission though, your a dog on a leash. You drive where they tell you to, wait for who they tell you to wait for, can't kill who isn't marked and god forbid you try to improvise and the game says "the route was abandoned". There isn't nearly the kind of freedom afforded to you by other games in the design, and the game clearly suffers for it.

Has GTA done better before? Right now, it's not even top three in my open world games.

#2 Edited by musicalmac (22935 posts) -

I can support this opinion. Agreed. Saints Row 3 did better, too.

#3 Posted by jg4xchamp (47536 posts) -

GTA has never been this good as a game on a fundamental game level. The problem is last gen they were head and shoulders above their competition, because they were the only ones making games in this genre that were actually fun. This gen you had plenty of games in the genre that were good, and one very good game that used a sandbox like hub world(Arkham City for whatever reason gets snubbed in this discussion).

The usual brand of shits and giggles blow shit up that GTA was so awesome for back last gen is less impressive now, and frankly its competition does it better: Just Cause 2, Crackdown, and Saints Row as a whole. So they don't even have the benefit of that. As GTA 5 stands it's a fun game, but everything that is talked about in describing that game as "impressive" or "ambitious". Is entirely superficial. It's a whole lot of more Grand Theft Auto and a bunch of missions that fit the GTA build. Their newest addition the heists are frankly underdeveloped from a mechanical standpoint, and don't ever really evolve into anything more intricate or interesting. Frankly there also wasn't enough of them in the game as they are easily the best moments of the game.

The series has always been a jack of all trades on the gameplay front, and the heists are able to mitigate the drawback of being a jack of all trades by simply having you deal with multiple gameplay mechanics. The online is pretty legit fun though. Not sure how much of that is "of course it's fun, it's with your friends" or an actually well thought out multiplayer game.

#4 Posted by Couth_ (10030 posts) -

Yeah missions are missions... It's the do whatever you want when you are not in a mission that has always been what people obsess over in GTA

#5 Edited by darkspineslayer (19564 posts) -

@Couth_: Yeah, but like Champ brought up, other games do that better too.

#6 Posted by Couth_ (10030 posts) -

@darkspineslayer:

Yeah but like Champ also brought up, last gen they were head and shoulders above the competition. Had you played GTA 3, being the first of it's kind, you would think of the series in a different light entirely.

#7 Edited by Ballroompirate (22578 posts) -

I like it how you gave pretty much no example of games besides FC3 (which was a good game btw) which do open world/sand boxing better than GTA V. While FC3 was an amazing game and it's open world was pretty damn great, it's not better than GTA V's open world.FC3's open world is set in stone from the moment you start playing and the pacing/gameplay rarely changes, what you do the first 30 min of FC3 is pretty much what you're doing rest of the game. The only game that could stand up to GTA V's open world/sand boxing is probably RDR and maybe a modded Skyrim, if State of Decay had a sand box mode I'd say it would be a big contender as well (probably being in the top 5 sand box games this gen).

While games (this gen) like RDR, FC3, State of Decay, Sleeping Dogs and Skyrim had pretty amazing open worlds in their own right, none of them can beat GTA V's open world.

#8 Edited by freedomfreak (39378 posts) -

Yes. Missions are like that.

Far Cry 3 was a snoozefest though. So despite its open-endedness approach, it still failed to keep me awake. That's Ubisoft, I guess.

#9 Posted by SNIPER4321 (10143 posts) -

Yes. if Original mafia count than that game was best of its kind.

it dominate GTA in every way. GTA only carter towards mainstream audience

#10 Posted by 15strong (2806 posts) -

To me, Far cry 3 has very little choice. The AI and options for combat were not robust enough to warrant the hub world mission designs. It seemed like you had choice, but you stealth enemies or go full out commando the same way every time.

And GTA does have some options for some of its missions, specifically driving ones were you can choose where to evade or the chase can bring you down different paths. That is in there a little. The assassination missions give you a target and you can choose to do it how ever you want.

Outside of missions, GTA gives you many more options than the very limited far cry.

#11 Posted by lostrib (34991 posts) -

Yes. if Original mafia count than that game was best of its kind.

it dominate GTA in every way. GTA only carter towards mainstream audience

Crap, Sniper is still here

#12 Edited by darkspineslayer (19564 posts) -

@Ballroompirate: Do I need to list every game that does this? Far Cry 3 got my point across IMO.

I'm afraid I don't quite follow the rest of your post. You think the missions are more varied in GTAV? Linearity affords that in most cases.

#13 Posted by WilliamRLBaker (28365 posts) -

@musicalmac: lol saints row 3 was shit just like saints row 2, and just like dlc saints row 4.

#14 Posted by drinkerofjuice (3171 posts) -

I don't mind the linearity in the game's mission design since they're generally well paced (particularly the heists). My issues with the game more so involve features like hunting and deep sea diving being seriously underutilized, as well as the fact that you can't enter the interior of the properties you own. Not to mention how Rockstar has been technically been going off the same groundwork since GTA3, leaving little room for a revelation in open world design.

Even with all of it's issues, the game is still pretty great (GTA Online is too much fun). But Rockstar better have the word "overhaul" into consideration when developing the next big GTA title.

#15 Edited by seanmcloughlin (38214 posts) -

Yeah it isn't perfect but take your example of FC3, it's freedom in mission design is better but almost everything else is worse. The story, characters, physics and environment interaction, NPCs, atmospehre they're all better in GTA V.

There are a lot of games that do certain things better than GTA but as a whole GTA always walks all over them. Just cause 2 is fun for shits and giggles but the actual ground level stuff like NPCs and the atmosphere or detail in the cities is awful. It feels lifeless when you're not exploding eevrything.

The linearity in GTAs missions help drive the story more and keep it a bit more focused or restrained compared to other open world games. I usually couldnt' give a toss about open world game characters or stories but GTA always does make me care.

Also none of these games are sanboxes. You don't have tools to change the game while playing like Minecraft

#16 Posted by TruthBToldShow (328 posts) -

I agree a little. Far Cry 3 was/is a phenomenal game.

Anyone even mentioning Saints Row is clueless

#17 Posted by TheEroica (13339 posts) -

@jg4xchamp: yeah, I can get behind that champ... GTA has always been "jack of all trades master of none" and this gen the competition caught up in many respects... The best aspect of gta5 to me is the seamless integration of three protagonists done well.... Not perfect but we'll.

#18 Posted by LegatoSkyheart (24996 posts) -

There are better Open World games than GTAV.

but don't let that stop you from playing one of the best games of 2013.

#19 Posted by PAL360 (26749 posts) -

Far Cry 3 is an excelent open world game, but not any close to GTAV, in my opinion. The only open world series i prefer over the Rockstar ones are Bethesda's TES games.

#20 Posted by uninspiredcup (7976 posts) -

Saiints Row 3 kicks both GTA4/5 ass. The only reason people will not admit or attempt to scorn it is fanboy loyalty.

It's basically a next generation GTA3.

#21 Posted by Ballroompirate (22578 posts) -

@Ballroompirate: Do I need to list every game that does this? Far Cry 3 got my point across IMO.

I'm afraid I don't quite follow the rest of your post. You think the missions are more varied in GTAV? Linearity affords that in most cases.

Honestly yea you do need to list game(s) that do open world better and not just use one game as an example, you just can't say other games do it better then not say anything. Which btw FC3 was a pretty poor example and this is coming from someone who loved FC3. You made a poor argument saying other games do open world better but you never explained what those other games are and what they do better besides FC3 which actually has a worse open world (as a whole) than GTA V.

Like I stated earlier what you do the first 30 min - an hour of FC3 is what you're gonna do for rest of the game, GTA V is no where near that lvl of linearity, actually I can't take anyones opinion seriously if they actually call GTA V linear. Without going to much into the game w/o doing spoilers all I have to say is do heists then come back and say missions are linear, then there's the different missions you can do between Trevor, Michael and Franklin.

#22 Posted by Bigboi500 (29401 posts) -

I have a feeling that Watch Dogs is going to show GTA V how modern open world games should be done.

#23 Posted by seanmcloughlin (38214 posts) -

I have a feeling that Watch Dogs is going to show GTA V how modern open world games should be done.

I can almost bet money that it won't. It's an Ubisoft game, it's gonna be incredibly padded and repetitive

#24 Posted by Bigboi500 (29401 posts) -

@Bigboi500 said:

I have a feeling that Watch Dogs is going to show GTA V how modern open world games should be done.

I can almost bet money that it won't. It's an Ubisoft game, it's gonna be incredibly padded and repetitive

Just like every other game these days...

#25 Edited by ExtremePhobia (227 posts) -

@darkspineslayer: I can agree for the most part but it all depends on the person. A true sandbox game? You'd have to go to Far Cry 3 or Just Cause 2 for that. You are just given tools and a direction that you can choose to follow. After that, you're on your own. I don't know that Sandbox entirely does the game's style justice though. The point of this game isn't "Sandbox" but "world". And at the moment, in that regard, few games can compare and most of them are R* games (RDR for instance). When you jump into Los Santos, you feel like you're part of a place and that it's not just your toy box. When you leave, the world continues on without you. But Far Cry 3 or Just Cause 2 don't have the same detail and at the end of the day seem to exist for you to do things to, rather than do things in.

It's not as much of a Sandbox game but I've never looked at the landscape of most Sandbox games and wondered what kind of people lived here and what they did for a living (beyond "Good Guys" and "Bad Guys").

#26 Posted by Ballroompirate (22578 posts) -

@Bigboi500 said:

I have a feeling that Watch Dogs is going to show GTA V how modern open world games should be done.

I can almost bet money that it won't. It's an Ubisoft game, it's gonna be incredibly padded and repetitive

If I was a betting man I would bet money on it, cause Watch Dogs is not gonna show "how modern open world games should be done". I was highly hyped for that game when it was announced but now it's died down to the point I don't care about the game, the lack of gameplay shown recently has me worried. I hope Ubisoft proves me wrong since they burned me on Assassin's Creed 3.

#27 Edited by RR360DD (11635 posts) -

Yeah but the difference between the two is that the story in Far Cry 3 was complete garbage. It just depends on where the dev wants to strike the balance. And those assassination missions in FC3 were fun at the start but they were just all the same, they became too repetitive.

#28 Posted by madskills6117 (4023 posts) -

@Ballroompirate: I'm not sure Watch Dogs will be a better overall game then GTA5 but i'm sure the core gameplay mechanics such as player movement and shooting won't feel as clumsy as it does it GTA5.

#29 Posted by Zensword (3885 posts) -

I'll admit right off bat, I popped my proverbial GTA cherry with the newest installment. I was expecting a revelation in game design and how open world games are handled. While I'm quite enjoying the game, the characters and the story, the mission structure is just eating at me.

I'll use Far Cry 3 as an example. You would be giving an assassination mission and a general area. It was up to you to scout the target, take out his team and move in for the kill. It was incredibly satisfying taking out camps without triggering an alarm, because it was just you, a target and your imagination. Perhaps you set a mine and a bomb near each other to group some enemies and take them out in a huge explosion. Perhaps you picked them off from the next mountain over, maybe you let Mr.Whiskers out to play. The point is, because you could plan your attack on your own and improvise when you screwed up, it was all the more satisfying.

Now don't get me wrong. The sandbox of Los Santos is vast and impressive, and sometimes just fun to screw around in. As soon as you go take care of a mission though, your a dog on a leash. You drive where they tell you to, wait for who they tell you to wait for, can't kill who isn't marked and god forbid you try to improvise and the game says "the route was abandoned". There isn't nearly the kind of freedom afforded to you by other games in the design, and the game clearly suffers for it.

Has GTA done better before? Right now, it's not even top three in my open world games.

Completely agreed. I enjoyed FC3 way much more than GTA V. GTA just doesn't allow us player to use our creativity to tackle missions, and that's a major flaw of GTA.

#30 Edited by Gue1 (9570 posts) -

Far Cry 3 and Mafia better than GTA V... lol, don't kid yourself guys. Don't hate on stuff just because they're popular!

#31 Posted by bobbetybob (19211 posts) -

@Couth_: Yeah, but like Champ brought up, other games do that better too.

Eh, that's all opinion, I personally don't find Saints Row or Just Cause 2 that much fun, just constantly blowing stuff up isn't particularly enjoyable to me in games like that, and whilst JC2's grappling hook is great it was all I really enjoyed. Plus I much prefer GTA4 and 5's more realistic physics, it makes even the small stuff extra funny and the fact that the shooting is actually satisfying rather than the 2003 TPS quality of SR or Just Cause helps a lot.

However I do agree with TC that the missions should definitely have allowed for some more variety in how you tackle them, but at the same you're comparing main missions to Far Cry 3's side missions which is a tad unfair since FC3's story missions are just as limited as GTA's.

#32 Edited by speedfreak48t5p (7107 posts) -

@lostrib said:

@SNIPER4321 said:

Yes. if Original mafia count than that game was best of its kind.

it dominate GTA in every way. GTA only carter towards mainstream audience

Crap, Sniper is still here

I wonder if Michael is still around. I want to see SNIPER bullying him for the lulz.

#33 Posted by k2theswiss (16599 posts) -

@darkspineslayer: farcry 2 made a big push on "choose how you play" just too bad game sucked all over. Have yet to get around to farcry 3 mostly due to the bad time i had in farcry 2...

#34 Edited by Wasdie (49654 posts) -

That's always been the structure of GTA games. They are very sandbox experiences but usually hold your hand while on mission. I think it works well for the series.

Open world games can be huge hit or miss. I enjoyed Far Cry 3, but it became extremely repetitive. Having little to no scripting throughout the entire game and a very weak AI system with no other players to interact with ends up with a game feeling shallow and repetitive. I got bored of Far Cry 3 about half way through. The core game was just alright and things like the crafting felt tacked on at the end.

Usually if a game lets you choose your own way to finish a mission, I find I always follow the exact same tactics and always have the same results.

I've never played an open world game that's ever truly taken advantage of its open world. The closest I think I've gotten has been Minecraft. Otherwise all open world games just come off as a gimmick that in some cases don't even deserve to be there.

#35 Edited by LadyBlue (3927 posts) -

They should do a zombie dlc like they did for RDR. It was much better than the actual game. It will probably hold the same for a GTA Undead Nightmare.

#36 Posted by dogfather76 (588 posts) -

I don't think GTAV is the best open world game, but it's better than Far Cry 3.

#37 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (10571 posts) -

Nobody has mentioned Dark Souls world design yet. I haven't played it yet but its "go where you want...... At your own risk" philosophy interests me alot. Most open world games just don't put that much effort into the structure. They let you run off free as bird with no consquences whatsover. I think total freedom is boring, eventually ofcourse ! Theres gotta be elements influencing where you decide to go and what you decide to do without using forced linearity or scripting. Its gotta to be like driving to work in the big city, traffic reports or how late you are will influence which route you decide to take, its calculated freedom of choice.

#38 Posted by darkspineslayer (19564 posts) -

@bobbetybob: Many main missions had the same formula. I clearly remember a late game one where you have to get a piece of Intel from somewhere in a camp, it's on one of three VIPs.

#39 Posted by SexyJazzCat (910 posts) -

Ragdoll physics *drops mic*