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On 01/21/2016 at 03:09 PM by transmet2033

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This will be the third iteration of this blog so far this week. I just can't seem to nail down exactly what I want to say. Let me start with what I have been up to and go from there. My wife and I finished up all of the Star Wars movies and it was fun seeing all of the little things that they brought over from all the old ones to Episode VII. I finished up Part 1 in Abomination and took a little break, I hope to get back to it shortly. I have gone indie at the moment, in regards to games. I booted up Knytt Underground and The Adventures of Pip, enjoying both of them. I just wish Pip was on Vita like Knytt. Indie games just FEEL better on Vita. Thankfully Banner Saga is still coming to Vita and Volume was just released. My brothers and I have started to brew beer, and we are about to start our third batch... the one that I am most excited for, a Heady Topper clone. CANNOT WAIT!!!

Over the past couple iterations, I have been thinking about whether or not I am experiencing AAA fatigue, or if it is open-world fatigue. I do not know exactly where my thoughts will lead me, so I would like to preface this blog. I picked up Vice City and Mad Max recently, so take any "hate" or bashing with a grain of salt.

I began to question myself when I thought back to the AAA games that I played in 2015 and realized that the ones that came to mind were also open-world games. I played through 60% or so of Far Cry 4, beat the Arkham Knight campaign, and started The Witcher 3. In some ways it seems to be a trend for series to move into an open-world structure. The Witcher 3 and the Arkham games did that to mixed results. We have discussed this topic in other people's blog, probably better, so I will try to be brief. Arkham Knight was awesome, but once I finished the campaign, I had little desire to go back and work through any of the other side-quests. To me, the game was set up like the typical Ubisoft game and you had a massive checklist to work through. Not really bad thing, just not for me. I have not put enough time into The Witcher 3 to make a proper judgement call, but I can say that I really liked The Witcher 2's 3 act structure and each act had a somewhat open-world to it, but they were more akin to Arkham Asylum than the whole of Gotham.

What happened for me in Arkham Knight is a common story with me and open-world games. Fallout: New Vegas I finished up having only completed half or less than half the side-quests. Far Cry 4 held me for a good 30-40 hours, but then the game became a grind and I couldn't finish it. I played through all of Havana in Assassin's Creed IV, but once I got the boat I was done with the game. I expect myslef to finish the Witcher 3, but I will probably burn out long before I hit 100%, same with Mad Max.

So, is it open-world fatigue for me? I don't really think so. The majority of the AAA games that I played throughout the year weren't really open-world games. Dishonored, Call of Duty, The Last of Us, Bloodborne and Destiny are not open-world. MGS V claims to be, but I really don't think it is... at least in the traditional sense.

Until next time... Hopefully I will have started Until Dawn, and finished Pip.



Matt Snee Staff Writer

01/21/2016 at 03:17 PM

I'm trying to finish Arkham Knight but I've gotten distracted by the sidequests. I want to just put this one away though. I got Witcher 3 for $25 during a PSN sale, but I haven't started it yet  I told myself I would finish Batman first. 

maybge half-open worlds are the games of the future, with some freedom, but not to a distracting level.  


01/22/2016 at 08:00 AM

I was thinking about Dishonored's levels while writing.  I like how the levels are fairly open, but you can do whatever the heck you want.  In some ways, that is what I want...  and now the thought just occurred to me is that Arkane may be making more of an open-world with Dishonored 2


01/21/2016 at 06:54 PM

My problem with open world design is that some games don't transition very well into it, or devs don't know what to do with them. I've been complaining about JRPGs recently in blogs- about how they have these open worlds now, like Zesteria or Neptunia, but are mostly empty and just provide padding to the length of the game on top of the usual xp/loot grinding which is already padding in itself. Some games would be better served with a more linear, closed-world structure. I'm playing the latest Atelier game on Vita right now, and its wholley built around crafting and gathering, but the battle fields are bite sized and condensed, which makes it easier to grind and gather, otherwise you'd have to run around open empty fields for hours with not much to see or do. I'm not a fan of poorly implemented open-worlds, or uninspiring open worlds. 


01/22/2016 at 08:14 AM

Specifically in Far Cry 4, the first 30 hours didn't feel like a grind.  Once the game feels like work, that is when I quit.

Zestriria seems like it would become work way to quick for me, especially since its an RPG.


01/22/2016 at 08:06 PM

This makes me want to play the first 30 hours of FarCry4 now. I prefer games that are tightly designed. 

On Zestiria, in it's defense it has fun combat system mixed with elemental magic, which lets you defeat enemies and even bosses with levels much much higher than your characters, making xp grinding really unnecessary- which I found refreshing. It has characters that I like and I liked their dialog cut scenes. My only real issue with the game was that I found the 'open-world' and dungeons a bit bland and empty, but there is plenty to love and there is a fast travel to save time.  


01/22/2016 at 08:25 PM

Here is the thing with Far Cry 4.  The map is huge, and they split it up into 2.  You have to work through the campaign to get to the second part.  i did everything in the first part of the map and by the time I opened up the second part all that stuff became a grind.


01/22/2016 at 10:14 PM

This is how Shadow of Mordor worked too. Except, I think the second map was greener and more colorful if I remember correctly. 

Julian Titus Senior Editor

01/21/2016 at 08:30 PM

It's definitely open world fatigue for me, especially in games like MGS V where the world feels needlessly huge with not a lot to do in between the actual missions. The only open world games to really pull me in recently have been Saints Row IV and Shadow of Mordor. In the case of Saints Row the humor and robust create a character mode kept me invested. It was so awesome to play that game as President Jason Statham. As for Mordor, the Nemesis system was truly unique and needs an open world to work.

However, both games share a crucial point: they are around 25 hour games. I am getting sick of open world games crammed with feature bloat. I played over 13 hours of GTA V and 8 hours of MGS V, and in both cases I hadn't scratched the surface. Compare that to the previously mentioned games, where I was reading the halfway points by then. I logged 35 hours into Mordor, but that was because I got the platinum trophy.

I love this. I think we're going to talk about this on NWP next week.


01/22/2016 at 01:45 AM

I want to play Saints Row IV so badly now. 


01/22/2016 at 08:08 AM

I need to remember to come back to this comment later.  I can already see a blog topic brewing in the back of my mind.

40 hours seems to be the maximum number of hours into a game.  I put down MGS V around 32, New Vegas I quit around 40 my first playthrough.


01/22/2016 at 08:28 PM

I think MGSV is not intended to play like the typical open world game. I never travel in real time. I always return to the ACC and select missions from the menu.  For me, the world serves the purpose of selling the internal reality of the game.


01/22/2016 at 01:45 AM

Some open world games just overwelm me with choices. Like the Elder Scrolls games. I get lost in them and then quit. 


01/22/2016 at 08:11 AM

in some ways I would rather have a 4 hour game that I replay 10 times than a 40 hour game that I only play once.  I will most likely revisit this thought later.


01/23/2016 at 01:32 AM

Yea, short games are nice.


01/22/2016 at 09:06 PM

Open world has become just another feature checklist, the game design equivalent of "keeping up with the Joneses." Thus these games often lack hollistic structure, or have jack of all trades design. This is considered a bad thing in nearly every other field of design and construction. Think about it how many open world games today excel in any core area (i.e. shooting, melee, platforming, tactics, etc.). Not many.

On the other hand, they can serve as buffet games for the general population who just want to have some easy fun, in which you take what you want from the table and ignore the rest.  I usually have well defined goals when I play an open world game, and have only ever completed a handful of them.


01/25/2016 at 08:14 AM

That is also part of my issue with the focus on building the open-world, gameplay always seems to take a backburner.  I have heard that non-car combat sucks in Mad Max.  I typically hat shooting and driving in GTA, I like exploring San Andreas or Vice City, but actually playing it isn't my cup of tea/coffee.

Super Step Contributing Writer

01/23/2016 at 02:11 AM

I'm actually playing a lot of GTA games now, but I mostly stick to missions. I do get sick of findig shit in open world. They all need a teleport option. 


01/25/2016 at 08:15 AM

That is part of the reason that Saint's Row 4 appeals to me.  You get all the super powers, which means you can fly across the city.

Super Step Contributing Writer

01/26/2016 at 01:01 AM

Yeah, I really want toplay a Saints Row title. They look more like pure fun as opposed to the more realistic/social commentary vibe of GTA.

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