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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Tight Level Design vs Open World

 

Which ones you like better

Open world / Sandbox 3 8.33%
 
Tight Level Design 14 38.89%
 
An in-between 19 52.78%
 
Total:36

I prefer linear games but some of the open world can be good as well. I think the issue with "open world" for me is how spoiled it has become recently because the modern "open world" games are usually just sandboxes filled with boring and repetitive quests made specifically to artificially increase the game's length. If you think about games like original Zelda or Metroid, they were definitely open world games but their game mechanics were based around exploration of such worlds instead of just repeating the same activity over and over again.



 

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It depends.

I like open world games where there is a clear central goal. Good examples of this would be something like Breath of the Wild or Xenoblade Chronicles X (which I think inspired BOTW more than it gets credit for). The world is very open, but at the same time everything you do has a clear connection to your central goal of finding the lifehold, or defeating Ganon.

On the other hand, I tend not to like games in the style of Skyrim, where the sidequests are sort of their own isolated thing that don't have much intrinsic connection to the central plot.

Just my tastes.



I way prefer a tight linear game if playing single player. A lot of open world games have a tonne of filler content (collectathons and require some grinding to get gear/skill ups) and side quests to prolong the journey which can get a bit tedious. Plus game progression can get fragmented causing me to lose focus on the main story and lose interest in completing it.

Saying that, a bit of both worlds wouldn't go amiss. Like FF games of old where you have a big map to explore but its a linear path. But generally prefer linear games in general - not counting MMO's.

Last edited by hinch - on 24 February 2021

Problem with most open is that it can get boring or just be ok, a point from a to b, without much to see or do that's different. I feel like alot of us here have put up and just went along with the open world design but if you really question youself " was this fun", or "great", the answer would be no. The best option would be smaller open worlds, with variety of content and visual world design. Games like fallout have suffered from that, and especially assassins creed games, with repetitive side quests and level design structure. Then you have games that try to do too much, like the last gta game. You add all these unnessary game features that aren't needed and is not what made the earlier games so memorable , like give us more of what is fun and works and not other things to do for the sake of being bigger. And now the issue of having big open worlds, opens the door for micro transactions etc



Well, both can be great, though I feel it's harder for me to feel really engaged in open worlds, like, they need to give me a great sense of discovery and certain sense of progression so I don't feel like I'm just wasting my time running around.



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Otter said:

Using Zelda as an example: Linear >>> Open

Using Mario as an example: Open >>> Linear

Totally agree.



I am currently sigless.

Open world must die.



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Deus Ex (2000) - a game that pushes the boundaries of what the video game medium is capable of to a degree unmatched to this very day.

Both can be great. If an open world game has a main storyline, it can be useful to implement some measures to avoid free roaming accidentally make the main goal impossible, but as long as RAM size and CPU power don't allow to make open worlds where the players can even destroy any place and building they want, it's often not necessary to temporarily hard limit free roaming, it can be enough to protect in any way key NPCs and unique mission items and/or making hard to reach some places until the PC is really ready, although the most nonlinear games can also provide multiple legit ways to complete the main storyline and its objectives. There are non open world games too, like Deus Ex in some key moments and even more Planescape: Torment, that offer multiple paths.



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Most open world games - the main quests and locations not withstanding - tend to be empty wastelands with boring, meaningless and repetitive tasks or collectibles scattered around. All that space for pretty much nothing. Instead of that, I'd rather have all that effort put into the storyline. All that open world stuff is usually just filler to bloat the game up, whereas the main storyline always seems to be comparatively short. I'd like better quality over a smaller area. Linear games tend to be the most amazing when it comes to the quality aspect and storytelling. Then again, it's nice to have a bit of choice and freedom in there.
Witcher 3 comes to mind as a game that somehow managed to marry an open world with storytelling pretty much perfectly. You could explore and pick up quests here and there pretty freely and even side quests felt like main quests of some lesser games. There was freedom without any tedium. It's a shame what CDPR has come to.



Dante9 said:

Most open world games - the main quests and locations not withstanding - tend to be empty wastelands with boring, meaningless and repetitive tasks or collectibles scattered around. All that space for pretty much nothing. Instead of that, I'd rather have all that effort put into the storyline. All that open world stuff is usually just filler to bloat the game up, whereas the main storyline always seems to be comparatively short. I'd like better quality over a smaller area. Linear games tend to be the most amazing when it comes to the quality aspect and storytelling. Then again, it's nice to have a bit of choice and freedom in there.
Witcher 3 comes to mind as a game that somehow managed to marry an open world with storytelling pretty much perfectly. You could explore and pick up quests here and there pretty freely and even side quests felt like main quests of some lesser games. There was freedom without any tedium. It's a shame what CDPR has come to.

TW3 was also bloated with filler content though, tons of ? scattered around the map with a couple repetitive things attached. Fallout 3 And RDR2 had a lot of empty space, yet the things you find were more rewarding. Beside the side quests in TW3, most of it was Ubisoft filler.

TW3 did turn into tedium for me after exploring the map, and exploring the map was over far too fast due to less interesting things to find. Death stranding was more fun to explore, turning things upside down. The 'quests' merely repetitive fetch or rather delivery tasks. Exploring the terrain to find and build routes was the main draw of the game and that worked really well in the open world setting.

God of War struck a good balance for me, open enough but also detailed enough and the area gradually opening up kept it interesting. And sometimes you don't need anything at all in between, the open world of SotC worked very well for me. The vast open empty landscape is a huge part of the game. Adding 'content' would only lessen the experience. Finding apples and lizards was enough of a reason to explore and enjoy all the amazing vistas.


For racing games I prefer hand make tracks. While Burnout Paradise and Forza Horizon are fun places to hang out in, the actual racing suffers compared to Driveclub's handmade tracks and GT Sport / Forza's track roster. All these 'ribbons' turn into following the gps while racing, distracting and you never get to memorize the tracks. Plus all that time wasted driving to the next race, fun at first, tedious later on.


Currently playing the most open world game there is, FS2020. No quests, no story, just explore. More fun than NMS and Elite Dangerous. Procedural generation can only keep a game fresh for a limited time until it turns into procedural repetition. Of course FS2020 'cheats' by having a couple billion people make the map :)


The biggest problem with open world games is, how do you fit an urgent timeline into it. Nothing breaks immersion more than messing around for weeks (game time) with side quests and filler content before continuing the perilous rescue mission. And many times I've simply forgotten what the main story was about when I get back to the next main quest. The "you can't turn back from here, finish up other stuff before continuing" is the worst game mechanic ever. It pretty much ensures that by the time I'm done finishing up, I have no clue anymore what was going on in the main story. Perhaps the original Dead Rising had the right idea. Open world on a timeline, can play as many times as you like with knowledge and other things carrying over, but you can't faff around in between.