After picking up Far Cry 4 in the Winter Sale, I enjoyed the opening, did the "secret ending" that everyone knows about, did the tutorialish stuff.... then explored the entire map, got every chest, every (possible) craftable upgrade, every propaganda poster, every Rabi Ray mission, every green circle help citizen mission, every unlocked weapon maxed, finished my skill tree with 11 skill points to go because some were physically locked by story progression, and finally, I played the mission where you have to choose a side between Anita and Sabal. (Everything possible, as the north side is locked).
This is a mission people do in the first 15 minutes of the game, and it took me (clicks to bring up Steam playtime...) 51 hours.
This isn't just Far Cry 4.
In Fallout 4 I still haven't visited Diamond City and I'm on my first playthrough. Do you know how hard it is to dodge spoilers? (Boy I hope I'm now not a target...). (130 hours).
Skyrim with 331 mods, 130 hours, still haven't been to Ustengrav. According to the Skyrim wiki, I am still in Act 1!
Assassin's Creed has had me running around the map collecting flags, treasure, feathers, weapons, armour, stores, hideouts, towers since I was 8 (what was I doing playing AC when I was 8...)
Well here's what I say. Open world games have poor level design.
How many times have you grinded in a game, just because you could and it would make the future easier?
Games that are open world, should open themselves slowly. Funny enough that it's on this site that I say it, likwid did an amazing job with Castaway. Seemingly open world, but the "narrative" drives you ever forward linearly. Bosses gives you a key to unlock and go to a new area to fight another boss that will give you a key and unlock another area and the cycle goes on. The only thing that brings you back to old areas in Castaway is quest the you got ages ago, missing talismans because you walked past them, or you are too underleveled and need to grind away at weaker enemies. Other than that, Castaway is wonderful in that it limits your ability to explore, but not too much that it feels like you can't go anywhere.
Games like Far Cry and Fallout give you too much choice. I as an average gamer, do not want to do the main mission until everything else I can do is finished. So, lock off a small area and unlock areas piece by piece until I have earnt them by playing through the main story.
Ultimately doing the chores of video games can lead to boredom and dropping out, meaning future titles and DLC are at risk of being purchased.
Let me know what you think, are you for full map exploration from the get go? Do you hate open world in general? Do you agree with me that open world areas should be restricted until you can unlock them?
I'm curious, so please share you opinions!
Call me by my name if you want (Ashley).