A Revelation on Open World Gaming

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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A Revelation on Open World Gaming

So far, I've played four open world games on the Xbox One, and with the conclusion of the fourth, a point has been driven home with all the force of an axehead on a plate of Jell-o. That point in particular is that games are really stepping up their game, so to speak, and we may well be approaching a point where the game is getting a bit too big.

I've talked about this before, but usually from the perspective of looking at the games. But now, having played a few through, it's clear that games are getting a whole lot bigger. This has me at once excited and unnerved, because I've already seen what these games can do, and I'm kind of scared that these could get bigger. So far now, I've tried out "Dying Light," "Sunset Overdrive," "Dead Rising 3" and of course "Minecraft," and it's clear that things are starting to get appreciably out of control.

What's more, it looks like this particular development isn't going to change any time soon. Three of those four took us to a particularly expansive city: Harran, Sunset City and Los Perdidos, in order. But look where the future is trending; the upcoming "Tamriel Unlimited" is set to cover a hefty dollop of a continent, though how much of that will actually be available in the console version is still somewhat unclear. What's more, the upcoming "Elite: Dangerous" is going to cover large portions of galaxy.

Sure, in a very real way this is nothing new. The earlier Elder Scrolls titles had us rampaging around entire small countries. The Mass Effect series was a galaxy-trotting adventure, even if it really only showed a few points of interest along the way. But I can say this: after experiencing these open-world adventures, games are not only starting to look like they will be bigger, but they're starting to feel a lot bigger as well.

What does this mean for us? Well, it likely means games which can't be taken down in a particularly frantic weekend are going to be par for the course for the next while to come. It might well mean a sort of spur upward in terms of casual gaming; old-school gamers desperate for the kind of experience that can be powered through in a couple hours might well crave a return to that old style of play. But looking at what's already hit, and what's in line to come, I can say this: if there's any kind of logic to this process, the next Fallout may well be one of the biggest games we've seen in some time. The next Elder Scrolls--the actual next one, not this MMO thing--could be bigger still. That's going to put pressure on a lot of gamers to find the time just to keep up. Given what we know so far, that may well be the problem to have, but it's still likely to be a problem nonetheless.

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