Articles

If This Is an Open World, Why Are All the Doors Closed?

In Uncategorized on 2010-02-14 by Kyle Maxwell Tagged: , ,

I can accept technical issues; I prefer a well-polished game, but I’ll take a fun one with a few hiccups. A strange control system is less forgivable, but I’ll learn it if the game makes up for it in other ways. The real tragedy of open world games is that they are still designed just like linear experiences. There is still a main storyline that the player is meant to traverse, at the end of which something climactic happens and the credits roll. Maybe the game lets the player continue after the end credits, but the narrative is finished.

A truly open world would let the player set their own goal. Maybe they want to end crime in the city, once and for all, by working their way through the crime families and striking fear into street criminals. Maybe they want to be adventurers and thrill seekers, and run a business to finance their every whim. Maybe they just want to find the right person to love, and make sure that they are both safe from the forces allied against them. Adding every option imaginable is an impossible task, but more available storylines will result in a more open world. The credits should never roll on a real open world game. The game world should just present itself to the player and ask them how they want to change it.

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