The Rise of Open World Gaming

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

The Rise of Open World Gaming

It's an interesting development, and one that took a little outside prompting to catch on to, but there seems to be a common thread running through a lot of upcoming releases. That common thread is one of open world gameplay, and there appear to be a larger number of games than normal that take advantage of the format.

To some degree, there has always been a little open world gaming going on. The Fallout and Elder Scrolls series have done a great job of this, but they were never alone. Consider the growth of the open world offered by the Grand Theft Auto series, especially the most recent versions. The Two Worlds line also put something similar up, even if it didn't do it quite so well as others. So the idea of an open world, where you went around and did what you liked, addressing the storyline--or not--in whatever order you felt best wasn't exactly new, but wasn't always something that came along.

Well, after E3 came and went, some had begun to notice a common theme of open world gameplay in a lot of titles. Naturally, some were expected: Saints Row IV was continuing the clear open world themes of its predecessors. Assassin's Creed IV did likewise. Watch Dogs and Infamous: Second Son had all brought together the standard, expected, open-world play for themselves.

But what about the rest of the field?

For instance, there was "Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain." "Metal Gear Solid" has never been a series much for open world play, and yet, now, here it is. Granted, it's never been exactly linear, but open world? No, not at all. And what about the new round of "The Witcher" with "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt"? They actually want to capitalize on "Skyrim"'s comparatively short storyline! Of course, the last time I heard someone claiming to be more (Bethesda game) than (the same Bethesda game) I got "Two Worlds," and we all know how that came out. The list carries on from there: "Dying Light," a host of driving games, "Sunset Overdrive," the next "Dead Rising", the next "Dragon Age," the next "Mirror's Edge," "Mad Max," even "Lego Marvel Super Heroes" will get in on the action!

Some are describing it as a reaction to increased "social" in gameplay, with more emphasis put on building teams and potentially even duplicating that MMO experience. Others call it a great way to show off the hardware with things like draw distances and the sheer power necessary to put a whole bunch of stuff in play at any given time. But whatever's behind it, it's suggesting something very important: games are looking to get off the rails and get into gamers' hands, full-time. That's a great development for those out there who, like me, are sick of crawling around in vents and gray walls and doing the go here / shoot this / go there / shoot that / why have you stopped shooting / don't take the disc out / I swear the DLC will be better style of gameplay we've all been facing for the last few years.

It may be very good news indeed, and though only time will tell just how good, for the time being, gaming's future looks pretty bright.
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