Does every game have to be open world?
Open world games have become more and more common with the development of gaming technologies. Many unrelated games are now built on this genre. Just like RPG, open world dynamics have become an inevitable part of the gaming world. But should every game be openworld?
Why gamers need open world games?
When we look back a few generations ago, we see that the games in the genre were very rare. Except for some important RPG games, there were games like GTA that were based on this genre. Open world games have always existed, but they weren’t common.
Now, we’ve started to see that even the games that don’t have this genre at their core contain these dynamics. The number of games that fail with their open world and where we get lost in the same missions is quite high.
There are two main reasons why producers chose this genre. First, as I said at the beginning, technological developments. In the past, we used to see dozens of games with fixed camera angle because the technology was not enough. Now it has become much easier to make this kind of games. The power of PCs and consoles, improving game technologies are the first reason for this.
The second and the most important reason is that players want it. If we take a look at the profiles of gamers on social media and forums, we see that productions that are not OW games are heavily criticized. In fact, open world games sell no matter how much they are criticized. Ubisoft‘s Far Cry series are one of the best sample.
Wrong strategy of developers
The developers are also going into the strategy of “everyone else is doing it, so let’s make it open world”. As a result, we see that many games that should have beautiful level designs or semi-open worlds are completely open world.
These dynamics bring dozens of problems with them. First of all, filling this world and adding different missions is the most important issue. But when we look at open world games, we see similar missions and games that look exactly alike. And this brings along the biggest problem, which is to cut corners. For example Metal Gear Solid V. How successful was it in terms of gameplay? Was it necessary to have an open-world game when the game progressed on a single line?
Assassin’s Creed series is in a similar situation. The world of the game is perfect for me. It’s the least criticized aspect. But how successfully does it present the world? How successful are the same style or similar missions that force you to level up? Think about it, how full are these worlds? How many of them have a successful mission structure?
On the other side, there is the God of War series. Santa Monica could easily make the game open world if they wanted to. I think they could have been successful at it. But when we look at God of War’s mission structure and level designs, we see that it’s really tremendously built. Gradual map design is one of the most successful points of the game. Of course, let’s not forget that the whole story is told with a single camera.
All these problems emphasize the logic of “Let’s make the game open world, we’ll continue it anyway”. There are productions that do the job properly and present it the way it should be. But in the same way, there are tons of open world games that are made just to be made.
For this reason, it is unnecessary to discuss the suitability of a game for this genre before the entire fiction is prepared. There is no need for a game to be open world if it is not going to be supported and developed with all its components.