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Old Jun 23, 2014, 08:18 PM   #1
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yoz
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Default Open world games...

Basically consist of: main story arc, filler content (collectibles, activities) and lots of commuting.

I can't think of one open world where i continued playing after finishing the story. There is just no incentive to go do 100 stunt jumps, or liberate 15 outposts, or win 10 races after that, unless you obsess about these things. It's just boredom.

I much prefer linear games which offer a tight challenge and set pieces, or hub based/semi open world games like Deus Ex which have actual exploration (and reward it) as well as dense content, without any pointless filler crap and shopping lists of repetitive tasks just to bloat the game time.

Only decent open games are RPGs, mainly because they have no tacked on activities, and have meaningful exploration and side quests.

But stuff like Far Cry3, Assassins Creed, Just Cause, GTA, Saints Row, Watch Dogs etc etc is just boring, repetitive and tiresome, unless you just want to fool around for a bit.

True open world (sandbox) are games without side quests or main stories. Games like X series, Patrician, even 4X games like Civilization or even Anno, which just work through the setup of the AI and game rules, and evolve accordingly.
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Old Jun 23, 2014, 09:12 PM   #2
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Vampire: Bloodlines handled their HUB system quite nicely. You never felt lost, benefitted from exploring areas but still felt open ended enough to not feel restricted. Good balance between structured and open world IMO.

Edit: Morrowind's hand placed world and items really kept the world alive post-MQ. There's a ton of great loot to find, quests to do and factions to work for. Subsequent open world RPGs have really fallen flat with random generated worlds, level scaling and/or lack of political and world lore to keep the world interesting.
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Old Jun 23, 2014, 09:16 PM   #3
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Yeah games like that work well. I still need to play Bloodlines some day.
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Old Jun 23, 2014, 10:19 PM   #4
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Early GTA games I kept playing for quite a bit after the story (e.g. gta 3 and vice city). I did races and just messed with cops or got cars delivered. Part of that was because that type of game was still new, another part was probably due to lack of games at the time.

AC2 and ACIV kept me entertained with side missions for quite a while too, either finding glyphs, doing assassinations or collecting equipment. Looking back at those games, the ones that offered story based incentives or exploration incentives were most enticing.

I think another important factor is that you probably do side quests through the campaign, to inject your own variety. So when you finish the campaign you've had enough of the side stuff anyway.

Some of the RPG games have better side content than main story (e.g. Fallout 3)
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Old Jun 23, 2014, 10:24 PM   #5
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I logged so many hours into morrowind and Skyrim... Open world games rock.

Let alone minecraft, gta's, just cause 2... Can always log time there!
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Old Jun 23, 2014, 10:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by yoz View Post
Basically consist of: main story arc, filler content (collectibles, activities) and lots of commuting.

I can't think of one open world where i continued playing after finishing the story.

There is just no incentive to go do 100 stunt jumps, or liberate 15 outposts, or win 10 races after that, unless you obsess about these things. It's just boredom.
I resemble this as well, except when it comes to the Batman games. Not sure why, but just the mechanics of being Batman are fun in and of themselves, so I usually crave everything about them (except for collecting Riddler trophies). Even started a New Game+ in Arkham City, which is unthinkable for me!

Every other open world game I either uninstall or try to push through the main story just to get it over with...
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Old Jun 23, 2014, 11:03 PM   #7
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Love open world games. Filler content has to be interesting for me to spend hours on them. Skyrim was a great example. Also Ass Creed 2 and 4, GTA IV and presently having fun with Watch Dogs. Also let's not forget the awesome Fallout 3 and New Vegas.
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Old Jun 23, 2014, 11:39 PM   #8
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New vegas was awesome, I love open world games. They need to feel alive though. I played the piss out of skyrim, GTA 4, GTA 5, oblivion god only knows how many hours I put into that game.

I dunno I just like not being restricted to a tight corridor.

Hitman Blood Money was perfect.
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Old Jun 23, 2014, 11:57 PM   #9
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Open world games that include a bit of Metroid-vania elements in them can be very fun and interesting. I'd consider the Arkham City games to be along those lines. And I thought the open world aspect was very well done in that series.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 12:06 AM   #10
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Steam Achievements help; they become sort of extended storylines.

I played a TON of Fallout 3, and got all the achieves (GFWL).

I'm working on doing the same with FONV.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 12:15 AM   #11
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Steam Achievements help; they become sort of extended storylines.

I played a TON of Fallout 3, and got all the achieves (GFWL).

I'm working on doing the same with FONV.
You will have to do multiple playthroughs to get all achievements in FONV.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 05:02 AM   #12
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But stuff like Far Cry3, Assassins Creed, Just Cause, GTA, Saints Row, Watch Dogs etc etc is just boring, repetitive and tiresome, unless you just want to fool around for a bit.
I agree on those, especially open world games set in cities.
Never been able to get into those.

Elder Scrolls series is really huge for me though, but they spend ages putting in enough unique content to make it worth while exploring and roaming about.
Most open world games have a few template activities and some token collectables for you to hunt down and that´s about it.
With TES, and similarily the Fallout games, I usually spend weeks or months before even going into the story in any meaningful way. (think more then a year had passed before I started the mainstory in Morrowind from when I started playing it).
Roaming the wilderness you can run into all kinds of stuff, but driving around a city in Watch Dogs or running around in Assassins Creed seems really bland and shallow.
FarCry 3 was fun for a bit when I was just out hunting and crafting stuff, but after that everything else sucked, just moving around the landscape killing people, or even going after the main cutscene chain was just boring.
The formulaic hunting for collectables doesnt do anything for me either, there seems to rarely be even a decent context for you to get them and they might aswell just be labeled "Generic Reward GameObject".
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 06:34 AM   #13
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Yeah games like that work well. I still need to play Bloodlines some day.
oh man. complaining there are no games like you describe, but haven't played the one that fits like a glove

Play it now?
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 07:30 AM   #14
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Fallout made me discover every square inch after completion. Bloodlines as mentioned, but that's a god tier game to never be repeated.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 08:12 AM   #15
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I loved ES: oblivion and it's expansions but for the life of me I just couldn't continue to play skyrim after I reached the last main quest, I never completed the main quest because for me it felt like I reached it way too soon and without some form of overall goal to work towards it just felt pointless to go and do anything else if I could complete the game at level 10 or so. I still haven't actually completed it but I can't enjoy doing side missions anymore either, I simply lost all enjoyment of the world all because the main end game quest was too simply reached.

I love open world games in general but I enjoy them much more when the main story quest / mission requires you to have experiences most the world has to offer before you are powerful enough to take on the end game.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 10:33 AM   #16
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You guys really need to play Dark Souls 1, Skyrim feels such a POS after that.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 10:43 AM   #17
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You guys really need to play Dark Souls 1, Skyrim feels such a POS after that.
They´re not really the same type of game.
DS core is the combat, Skyrims combat is somewhere in the periphery.
Playing DS did nothing to my appreciation of Skyrim.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 11:15 AM   #18
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I mean i tried playing GTA4, but dating and bowling? Seriously?

And i read that GTA5 has some button mashing mini games like cycling?

As i said, filler. Maybe fun for an hour.

The only open world games worth playing i found are RPGs, and only for a while.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 11:27 AM   #19
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Only open world game I liked was RDR.

Well and WoW/FFXI I guess if you count them.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 12:40 PM   #20
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Wing Commander Privateer got open world pretty right. You start the game open world and have to find the plot. Then the plot becomes primary since it doesn't suck and you can still take on side missions.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 12:51 PM   #21
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And i read that GTA5 has some button mashing mini games like cycling?

As i said, filler. Maybe fun for a minute.
Fixed. And you know I love the Grand Theft Auto series, so I'm not just trolling. Some of GTA5's content is absolutely ridiculous. A main storyline with 'missions' where you button-"bash" your way through a yoga session. Not my idea of having fun with a game of unlimited capabilities.

Rockstar is getting better and better at building large worlds, but not better at creating interesting missions that keep up the pace.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 01:10 PM   #22
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Just Cause 2 for modding and trolling. Now there's JC2: MP...

Red Faction: Guerrilla I love destroying things.
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Old Jun 25, 2014, 12:41 PM   #23
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When I play an open world game I want there to be excitement in what unknowns I will find. You could stumble upon a new cave or unique area to explore or possibly a cool side quest. I like to look down over a cliff and wonder what I will find when I finally walk down there. This is what I loved about the Elder Scrolls, Witcher and Fallout games. The world needs to feel alive and that the people in it fit and seem to have a place in the overall lore. Overall it needs to feel like an open "world", not just a large piece of the same land. There were so many different things in Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim for example that happily pulled me away from the main quest for so long that I had to actually focus on getting back on track. Things like the guilds and such add so much extra unique content that feel like a full game within the game. The downside of these games though is that there is often a lot of underutilized features because they can't guarantee that you will have certain skills or be a certain level when you approach that area. At the same time, you can easily feel overpowered if you reach an area after playing for a while that they expected you to reach much sooner.

While I did beat Farcry 3 there was really no wonder to exploring. Every new tower I climbed revealed yet another group of diamonds or relics to find, deliveries to make, animals to hunt and camps to liberate. Sure they were cool environments but there was never any joy of finding something you didn't already know was going to be there. Plus, because it took place on a big island, that's all there really was to discover in terms of new areas and landscapes. The land never really changed, nor technically should it have for that game.

GTA games are fun for me for a bit but all the extras they pack in there just seem like mini-games to me. I just focus on the main quest in those until the game is over and rarely ever go someplace the main quest doesn't take me. I could care less how many cars, outfits or extras I acquired. I have never understood the obsession with buying clothes from the stores in those games.

I do enjoy a good linear quest game though as I feel more focused and I believe they can tighten things up when they don't have to worry about at what point will you reach this area and what level and skills will you have.

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Old Jun 25, 2014, 12:59 PM   #24
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Only open world game I liked was RDR.

Well and WoW/FFXI I guess if you count them.
Man so many hours logged into FFXI and i never even got any class "done", i still have my account that i activate every now and then, the latest expansion brought in so many changes it's a different game now...


JC2 is a great game for dicking around, making things explode and whatnot, i never played many story missions, i just launched the game, started running around until i found things to explode and went to town
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Old Jun 25, 2014, 01:12 PM   #25
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When I play an open world game I want there to be excitement in what unknowns I will find. ......
I agree, which is why RPGs can work with an open world. But as you said in FarCry3, it's a few copy pasted tasks and areas that you do over and over again.
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Old Jun 25, 2014, 09:25 PM   #26
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State of Decay is a fun open world game. I also always enjoy the lego and Spider-Man games
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Old Jun 26, 2014, 02:15 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Nytehawk View Post
When I play an open world game I want there to be excitement in what unknowns I will find. You could stumble upon a new cave or unique area to explore or possibly a cool side quest. I like to look down over a cliff and wonder what I will find when I finally walk down there. This is what I loved about the Elder Scrolls, Witcher and Fallout games. The world needs to feel alive and that the people in it fit and seem to have a place in the overall lore. Overall it needs to feel like an open "world", not just a large piece of the same land. There were so many different things in Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim for example that happily pulled me away from the main quest for so long that I had to actually focus on getting back on track. Things like the guilds and such add so much extra unique content that feel like a full game within the game. The downside of these games though is that there is often a lot of underutilized features because they can't guarantee that you will have certain skills or be a certain level when you approach that area. At the same time, you can easily feel overpowered if you reach an area after playing for a while that they expected you to reach much sooner.

While I did beat Farcry 3 there was really no wonder to exploring. Every new tower I climbed revealed yet another group of diamonds or relics to find, deliveries to make, animals to hunt and camps to liberate. Sure they were cool environments but there was never any joy of finding something you didn't already know was going to be there. Plus, because it took place on a big island, that's all there really was to discover in terms of new areas and landscapes. The land never really changed, nor technically should it have for that game.

GTA games are fun for me for a bit but all the extras they pack in there just seem like mini-games to me. I just focus on the main quest in those until the game is over and rarely ever go someplace the main quest doesn't take me. I could care less how many cars, outfits or extras I acquired. I have never understood the obsession with buying clothes from the stores in those games.

I do enjoy a good linear quest game though as I feel more focused and I believe they can tighten things up when they don't have to worry about at what point will you reach this area and what level and skills will you have.

-Nighthawk
Agreed. I've never understand the current fascination with "open-world" action games (often with second-rate "action" part) with "main plot" and assortment of boring tasks/minigames. They may have a lot of (copy&pasted) contents, but do not have quality contents or unique contents. Minigames are the worst offender (with the exception of Space Rangers, but it really is the exception that proves the rule), they are just sad excuses of game design. Even Witcher 3 is going this route, sadly.

I general, I agree that it works much better with RPGs -- although I do think TES games could benefit from cutting down the scope and increasing the quality of the content. Of the games mentioned here, titles such as V:BL, Dark Souls, and Fallout strike the best balance for me -- but then, none of them are true open-world games.

Of course, sandbox games are the entirely different story.
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Old Jun 26, 2014, 09:17 AM   #28
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Just what's the point of making FarCry3 open world when everything is marked on your map and there is no point to exploration? And no point in going back to visited areas? And there are markers and icons everywhere? And the actual missions are scripted and limiting?

A mission based game like Thief2 for example, in the end offers more freedom than a game like this.
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Old Jun 26, 2014, 10:40 AM   #29
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I also loved games where i actually could explore the world. Finding stuff, secrets and so on. A "perfect" open world game would sure be one in which you could reach every single point you can see. Nothing frustrates me more than the overuse of "invisible walls". I hate it. I've played games where the char couldn't even walk over an 1" stone which totally ruins a game for me. It drives me crazy, really. The best games so far were those who let you stroll around as long and as much as you want.

I also loved RDR for the "wideness" of the landscape. Limiting the range of your movement is always bad, if you want to make it even worse, give the player a penalty if they don't follow the right "route" or even just let em fail the complete quest simply due to the fact that he went 2 steps too far from the given road. That's ridiculous and DUMB.
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Old Jun 26, 2014, 04:12 PM   #30
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Just what's the point of making FarCry3 open world when everything is marked on your map and there is no point to exploration? And no point in going back to visited areas? And there are markers and icons everywhere? And the actual missions are scripted and limiting?

A mission based game like Thief2 for example, in the end offers more freedom than a game like this.
Yeah, many of so-called "open-world" games do not give you true freedom. I think theme park analogy is a good one when it comes to these "open-world" games; you can choose whichever ride you want to ride, but all you do is the same -- sitting on your ride.
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