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By Jean-Luc Seipke on January 18, 2017 at 6:24PM PST
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No, Phantom Pain DID NOT DO OPEN WORLD WELL.
Just because it allowed you to experiment doesn't mean it was good or deep. Now if the game actually changed depending on your tactics while in mission, yeah but it didn't. It didn't adjust during the missions themselves. The world was empty, flat, boring. The ONLY good thing about Phantom Pain was the controls. Outside of that and the graphics, everything else was done POORLY.
Stop being fanboys and look at things OBJECTIVELY.
why keep showing dragon age inquisition when you're talking down about open world games? it came out in 2014, has a very enjoyable open world system that works for both completionists and the casual player and is a great overall game.
The Witcher 3 did quite well when it abandoned the linearity of the first two games and made an open world experience for the third installment.
Does the company creating the open world game have the experience, talent, and budget to create a compelling world that's going to meet the standards of open world games like GTA, Witcher, or Elder Scrolls?
It's possible to have an idea for a game that's too ambitious for the available talent, limited development time, and limited available funds.
I haven't yet played an Elder Scrolls game and said, "That would have been better as a linear title," so my question is whether or not they can pull it off.
As an aside, I have no problem with violence in video games, but I do have a problem with the sensual content.
We've reached the point in the mediums of TV, movies, and games where the sexual content is so extreme it borders on softcore pornography. Otherwise great pieces of entertainment for their medium (Witcher 3 for games, Game of Thrones for HBO) have entered this arena where some of the content makes people uncomfortable to watch.
I can be happy with the fantasy genre without including this stuff in there.
Let's get over the idea that incorporating softcore nudity in visual mediums makes the medium appeal more to adults.
Lord of the Rings is a million dollar fantasy franchise and it attracts plenty of adults without incorporating these elements.
@Jeremy012: elder scrolls isn't good and The latest LOTR game i saw was open world...
Open world adds mostly to the lenght of the game. They are usually repetitive missions and places so although you have the feel of being able to explore freely around the map. you end up doing the same thing again and again.
@khatibi22: that's exactly why witcher is so fucking good. the side quests are uniquely voice acted and the only repetitive part is the overall tone - like follow the tracks, kills the monster, meet the hunter, etc. all of it has a unique story, unlike fallout 4 where the uniqueness is in the environments (tho sometimes you don't even get that, for example repeat visits to corvega for every reason) and the story is on computers and notes.
@magnusm14: I really should play Wichter some time soon. Not a big fan of sword-fighting/horse riding sort of games, I have recently played Assassin Creed 2 and loved it! Have installed Fallout 4 but haven't started it yet.
ps. It is nice to post in GS after a while. I should do it more often.
Developers shouldn't be creating open worlds just for the sake of it if they can't fill those world with interesting things to do. Catalyst, for example, should never have been open world because the game is more about parkour and there is only so much you can do with that. They should have given us a smaller Arkham Asylum like world that we could memorize with time trials (that I hate but fit the parkour style of the game) forcing us to find the shortest paths and some collectibles that are actually along these same paths. And the campaign missions should have been unique areas that pushed our parkour skills to the limit. Another good example is Mafia III but I won't get into that lest this become an even greater wall of text.
Then you have games like Inquisition that are suited for open worlds but don't use them properly. Collectibles are fine but should not be actual side quests. Side quests in games like this should always involve at least one character, a goal and conflict and how that goal is achieved or not achieved in spite of or because of the conflict. They should, basically, be short stories.
I think that to many of us are focusing to much on the past. For me gaming has just gotten better year after year. Some open worlds may feel bland but I feel like devs are testing the water. Once they get open world develoment down we'll get some truely fantastic titles. MGSV is amazing for me. Xenoblade X had a beautiful open world but lacked some depth but made up for it with fun side quests and funny NPC's. I think we just need to understand that gaming is in a growing phase with so much more system power. Soon we'll get that depth you all want. Good things come to those who wait....
Phantom Pain was crap.
I am sick of this stupid open world trend. It has basically put me off 99% of the games out there today because most of them are open world.
It's lazy game making in my opinion. Just because GTA is good at it doesn't mean every game needs to be. But like Hollywood now, they smell money and they come sniffing around trying to get that money, Hollywood is doing that with the whole copying Marvel's shared universe idea and failing at it big time just like most open world games these days are falling flat on their faces. Sure they sell well and get this big hype for the first few months, then all of a sudden public opinion starts to shift as people get bored and see the games for what they are. It's happening to Phantom Pain right now, it used to be a favorite to allot of people when it came out, now most people are turning against it because now they have their eyes open and can see the mess it truly is.
@rwolf: Open worlds feel bland and/or lacking in depth in a lot of games because developers have nothing to put in them and are a telltale sign that the game shouldn't have been open world in the first place. I can understand a growing phase but that is no excuse to slip backwards and forget the basics. We shouldn't be seeing games like FF 15, one of the most archaic rgs I've ever played. It's as if that long development cycle caused the developers to develop amnesia and forget the basic things that most well rounded rpgs do in their sleep. Is FF 15 a fun game? Yep. I have about 60 hours in and have just reached Chapter 8. Is it a good rpg? Nope.
I agree and disagree with the vid. I believe there is a extreme to everything that needs to be taken into account and i think finding a balance is key to creating a experience the audience for titles to enjoy. Creating the balance between linear and open paths for the player to follow can become difficult FF15 has shown the pitfalls to the approach. Hopefully square can take steps in future titles to dance on the line between linear and open paths better but that is yet to be seen.
Pretty fair take, Jean-Luc. Thanks for the video.
Having just finished Final Fantasy XV, I really enjoyed the open world they created. I side quested like a crazy person and didn't regret it one bit. While I had a lot of fun with it, I hope it doesn't become the be-all-end-all standard.
A large amount of the best games of all time were not open world so I do not understand why people want to make all games open world. Why does Zelda need to be open world when it's considered one of the best game series even to this day when none of the games were completely open world?
In my opinion, some of the best games give you the illusion of open world without absolutely and truly being open world. For example Zelda threw you into these worlds but because you lacked abilities or weapons, you couldn't really get too far ahead of yourself. There was a place you really did have to go to linearly at that point in time. In many JRPGs, you have a world map you can "freely" explore, but you lack the means to get to many places at that point in time. Or, if you go somewhere too far ahead, the enemies will be too strong. The good thing about that though is that it's rewarding if you want to overlevel and beat those enemies, only to find either sidequests ahead of where you were or seeing the reason the game developers came up with to prevent you from skipping too far ahead of the story.
I couldn't agree more with this. I thought I was the only one who felt this way. But I honestly feel that games in general are missing the creative heart that made them so special back before there was online gaming and all the other trends now. MGS in particular was an amazing game but they certainly ruined the over all appeal with phantom pain. Haven't played FF15 yet and probably won't. Even the witches 3 bores me at times but still it's the best open world game to date. Just to many fetch quest. But at least you have the option to complete them.
Just boring and pointless time wasting side quests you have to take on because you will be under-leveled and besides I just have to get rid of all those uncompleted blips on my map (my OCD showing - that I don't really have but have that tendency I guess). Side quests should be completely optional and not be required to move on in the main story. I like cutscenes too. Open world seems to replace cutscenes and good story telling in general. You get lots of bs missions instead. 20 - 25 hours in a game is plenty for me (less in many cases). I'm ready to move on to another game at that point. Just my opinion.
Get a new video player Gamespot. This one keeps freezing, doesn't show how much is buffered, and doesn't show the total runtime of the video (apparently I'm at 1:10/0:00). Better yet, embed a Youtube video - at least they usually work, and don't rely on Flash.
I loved open world but MGSV made me sick of it all!
Coming from an MGS fan.
@reza_razor: yeah, love mgs but mgsv was my least favourite. There wasn't so much 'open world' just empty space between things.
I'm over open worlds. They are being overdone lately..
I've been over open world for a long time. It needs to take a big break. Yes, series like Fallout, The Witcher, Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age, etc... should be open world, but stuff like Metal Gear definitely shouldn't. Metal Gear V did not feel like a Metal Gear game. I don't honestly understand the appeal of certain games as open world.
Open world is just the new hottest like how stealth was. I personally don't care for open world games, you just end up with open environment that are filled with boring fetch quest and after a few hours everything just becomes a chore.
Great video and well explained. Nice work Jean-Luc!
I like open world games such as Fallout, Elder Scrolls and my favorite one the Witcher 3. Not every game or franchise needs to be an open world. FF XV did a great job until you reach Altissia. It should have stayed true to open world with a better story. Hopefully, the DLC with correct some of this and the next FF will be even better
I find open world games to be repetitive and boring after a while. Got bored of GTAV and Metal gear solid after few hours play and didn't finish both and do not intend to.
@valduramma: I think a lot of them carry over a particular problem of AAA linear games, they're constantly trying to distract you. They think you'll get bored if you have to go more than 10 feet without positive reinforcement, so they lay little treats everywhere, but they can't think of more than 8 things to litter the map with so they just copy-paste them. The end result being: boredom.
I definitely think open-world design is bringing down a lot of games. I could write a whole article on this myself, the whole open world trend is one I've had an issue with for a number of years now, but I'll just cut to the single biggest element of open-world design that I dislike.
Environmental variety and general level design... it takes a serious hit with most games that have gone open world. As an accessory to that, the mission design and variety has also taken a huge hit in so many open world games.
Personally I prefer a blend of open world and actual stages... basically stages like traditional games, but much larger than in the past. We don't see much of this though!
@nl_skipper: so hub levels?
jean luc picard?
Final Fantasy should not have made the move to the type of open world it created. The format it had was fine. Square should've kept an open world like in 7 or 8 and just had the cities you entered larger.
Another problem with FF15 was the king was wanted and yet the world acted like it was no big deal that he's just wondering around doing fetch quest.
Good material. I think I like it when an open world is implemented in games but I see some downsides as well.
it's up to the developer to make the "change" to open world work of course. if you take simple close-quarters and/or games based on-rails and just drop them into a large open-world scenario, 99 out of 100 times it will just ruin the original confined space game design and end up with a bad free-roam design.
i can't think of any on-rails or small corridor game that even compares to the good open-world designed games though
when it's done correctly; open-world scenarios add a lot to the stories, the environments, and the gameplay options and are generally better games.
I actually prefer open world games. There is more freedom and room for cool stuff to happen.
The issue is the game still has to be made to a high standard. If not a HIGHER standard than linear games because there is exponentially more work to do in a large world compared to a corridor.
It is no wonder that EA can't make open world games they are fucking shit. They can't make linear games either.
If done properly I'll take open world over linear corridor any day of the week.
Probably a testament to how utterly shit this generation has been that there have been so few open worlds done right.
@deactivated-587fad00e2b09: I agree with you I also prefer open world.
Wow I'm surprised by how many people that agree with this. I thought i was alone. I can't think of a single game that went open world where i liked it better. I think a good example is the Batman Arkham games.. the first one was so much fun and i played the others but something was missing. The best games seem to strike a balance somewhere in the middle of linearity and open world. I think Arkham asylum and the dark souls/Bloodborne games are perfect examples of this. Really hope the open world fanaticism will go away so devs so doing it.
@riseagainst976: I'm not against open world, I like it for GTA. But not every franchise has to open world. I completely agree with your batman example, I felt the same way.
I've never played the witcher, so i can say if the open world was an improvement or not. I personally felt it hurt FF15 going open world.
@gamerguy7: ya i haven't played the witcher either so i wouldn't know. And also agree on ffxv
@gamerguy7: There was more than one factor that hurt FF15. The story was super short and suffers from the disconnection as mentioned in the video. It is a beautiful world, don't get me wrong. The issue is there is nothing interesting to do in it. Sure you can do side quests/hunts, but it's always the same. Kill this/these thing(s), fetch that thing, take down that base, rinse and repeat just to get money and xp. Additionally, I did not favor the combat. It was cool at first, but after awhile I felt it just became a hot mess. Wait mode made it bearable for a little while.
@riseagainst976: The Witcher 3. The first 2 games (the first in particular) are drawn out and dull because they try to convey a complex and intricate world but only show you tiny pieces at a time. Whether you like the game itself or not, the move to open world definitely improved it.
@pongley: I don't really agree with that, especially in TW2, the stages that are crafted are wonderful, not open world, but they're not exactly linear either. TW1 was the same way, but the drab graphics didn't do much to make the world attractive.
However, speaking of TW3, I think they did a great open world and the game IS better because of it. One thing in particular I liked was how it still has several major areas, the games isn't ONE open world, it's 2 or 3 different open worlds... that way you can still show larger expanses of area, more variety in the environments without it feeling like a desert is 5 mins away from snow capped mountains (I feel like the upcoming Ghost Recon is going to have that issue).
imo too many games create just ONE open world that all feels too similar, but I really like the approach TW3 took... and it was something I had be begging to see in open world games since like GTA SA... about time we got it!
Dragon Age Inquisition kind of had a similar approach, but each area just felt barren... the variety was nice, but no single area was really fleshed out enough. I think the game would have been much more enjoyable if each area had been scaled back by about 50%.
@nl_skipper: That's a fair take, though I think the point still stands that TW3 improved it by going open world, whether you like the earlier games or not.
I definitely agree that too many developers stick to this "one massive world" thing. I mean look at The Crew, it's a big open world but it's really, really bland. On the other hand you've got American Truck Simulator (or Euro Truck Simulator 2), which is probably a bit smaller (of comparative areas) and less detailed, yet it's more enjoyable to drive around and I honestly can't tell you why. So it can definitely be done, but it's not an automatic process of just making the map bigger.
Even Witcher 3's main story suffered from going open world.
Yeah I felt that both Mirror's Edge Catalyst and Shadow Warrior 2 had the same case. Both improved the controls and graphics, but story and level design suffered after they went open world. It changed a lot of the feel of the game.
@meedokicky: Catalyst is really bad. And it's such a shame.
The game would have benefited if it was linear, with more interesting level design and action set-pieces.
The game was about fluidity, not running fetch quests and killing guards with a forced depressed goth protagonist.
@meedokicky: The open world wasn't the problem in Catalyst though, it was that they focused on the worst aspects of the first game, time trials and combat (I'm amazed people haven't compared the magic guard spawning with Far Cry 2). That would have been the problem whether it was open world or linear. The game is supposed to be about freedom of movement, and they focused on the two most restrictive gameplay mechanics.
Even the level design. The missions, the part he seems to think are the appeal of the game (?) are all drawn from the worst parts of the original, the enclosed set-pieces that make you run down a narrow pathway with much more interesting things around you that you can't get to. The first half of the original game was all about fluidity, when you were mostly outside and had some freedom to move about. The open world in Catalyst does a decent job of that.
The problem was all the inane mission design they drew out of the Ubisoft well, but that would've been a problem if the game was linear too.