Does Size Matter? My thoughts on Open World Games.

Open world games over the years, to me have been in competition with one another, in who can create the largest map possible. And yes, it is impressive the size and density in which that some developers manage to create within a game. But my question over the last few years has been this – does size matter? Are open world games becoming too big?

I feel myself becoming intimidated by the prospect of ever playing an open world game because I know it will require 20+ hours of game times easily before I get even a quarter of the way through a game. Now I am growing older, I have less and less spare time to spend playing video games and I find myself wondering whether I even have time to dedicate to these massive games. At least with other genres, such as fighting or indie games, I can pop in and out of them without feeling guilty and actually being able to complete them within a good period of time. I completely skipped playing Red Dead 2 just because I knew the world was so incredibly vast and I was never going to have the time to see it all…..or even half!

Now the reason I have been contemplating this question is because I have recently started playing Ghost of Tsushima and I am absolutely loving it! But I also know that if I want to achieve the platinum trophy, I am going to have to spend a considerable amount of hours playing the game. At the moment I am hopeful. Sucker Punch have got something right in this game, that I find other open world games such as Assassins Creed or Days Gone fail in. Those games have crafted massive and interesting worlds but force you to travel for huge portions of time before reaching anyway…….I don’t want to sit travelling for 10 minutes…. I want to play a game! Especially in Assassin’s Creed, travelling via ship is one of the most boring experiences in any video game! Ghosts however have collected objectives at a sensible distance and the missions have been fun so far, so I didn’t mind the distractions from objective to objective. Want seems like a long distance, actually disappears in no time and you get a few fun side missions on the way.

The other difference is the combat – Sucker Punch have created a combat system that is pure satisfaction. So when I leapt from my horse straight into a pile of Mongrols, it broke the longer journeys up and restored my vigour for the quest at hand. But when I played Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – the combat lasted as long as the travelling – so I just ended up border of both!

Overall, Ghosts of Tsushima has restored my faith in playing open world games in the future but I will always by wary before purchase. And I have a feeling that the worlds will only get larger in size and therefore more intimidating. My final question is – do the world’s really need to be any bigger?

6 thoughts on “Does Size Matter? My thoughts on Open World Games.

  1. I have the same problem – open world RPGs are my favourite genre of games, but I just don’t have time to play them anymore. Also I find few of them ever really justify those massive maps. But then again I’m something of a gaming heretic, because I’d include Oblivion and Skyrim in that category.

    There needs to be more than just seven different types of collectible to make it worth it. For me, Horizon Zero Dawn and Fenyx Rising did the best jobs of making their maps worthy of their size, but I’m not a hardcore gamer, so perhaps I’m missing out on a lot of good ones.

    The other big issue for me is that being open-world tends to compromise on mission quality, because the devs can’t craft the levels to the same degree. Just Cause 3 springs to mind: there’s a mission that involves following, hijacking and blowing up a train, which should be the best thing ever. But it just seems a bit, well, dull…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely agree on mission quantity ¹

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    2. I absolutely agree with the point about missions, i do feel developers fail sometimes to makes the filler missions more interesting. Taking the classic fetch quest for instance. I also feel they just copy each other so from game to game it feels very samey.

      If you get a chance, Ghost of Tsushima is a excellent open world game. But Skyrim is a great shout because there was enough on the map and it was just so beautiful thay traversing it wasn’t so bad. Plus you were always bound bound run into something crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Especially when they just resort to loads of ‘escort the NPC’ missions!

        I’ll have to pick up Ghost of Tsushima next time it’s on sale.

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  2. I used to live for games that were going to take me 40+ hours to beat – because I bought one game at a time and that was the only thing I was going to play. Now I’m juggling a dozen games at once, and these open world games are daunting. I’ve put over 130 hours into AC Valhalla (let’s say 30 of that was DLC) and I STILL haven’t beaten the main storyline. That’s….a lot of content. I’m with you on skipping things like Red Dead because they seem overwhelming. In fact, I haven’t gotten Ghost of Tsushima yet because I already had an open world game going and just couldn’t bring myself to add another one! Definitely craving more contained stories these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 130 hours is crazy, that’s like my old pokemon play times! I think I’m just going to limit myself to a certain amount of open world per year so i don’t feel overwhelmed!

      Liked by 1 person

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