In Defense Of Big Open World Games

The following is not meant to be a personal attack on anyone and any perceived aggression is almost certainly written in jest.

If you are one of those people that enjoys going on the internet to complain about how long, drawn-out, or packed with dull side quests open-world games are. I have a patented foolproof, risk-free solution that is guaranteed to work with a 100% success rate.

Don’t buy them, play games that appeal to you instead. Thanks for coming to my TED talk, please like and subscribe, bye!

What? I write about games professionally and can’t get away with low effort paragraphs of sarcasm to make my point?

Sarcasm aside, my statements are not entirely wrong. It’s not uncommon to see someone complain about how they were bored to tears playing 100 hours of dull quests in Assassins Creed Odyssey.

Well, why on earth would you play 100 hours of anything that you found dull? Why not play a game you don’t find dull in the first place? It seems like a no brainer to me. Why do I have to tell you this?

Well maybe some people just want to play the story without doing side activities to level up? Well, it sounds like that person would very much enjoy a more linear game as opposed to trying to play an open world sandbox game as if it was a linear game.

Assassins Creed Odyssey is by no means perfect. Yet it is important to understand that the people that dislike the size and scale of the game are likely a minority. Public soapboxes such as internet forums tend to put an overly inflated sense of importance on themselves and their opinions. (The irony of shouting that on my own soapbox is not lost on me).

The game sold exceptionally well, it is highly rated on Open Critic and was a game of the year contender when it released.

Most people playing the game are just enjoying it. A person displeased with the game is far more likely to be spurred to action and complain online than a content person is to scream in your face about how content they are.

You could argue about the quality of the quests, that they are simple, or repetitive. Even that isn’t objective. You don’t need to complete anywhere near all of them. Many of them do have plot connected them and others fill the role of contracts. Fitting for a game about a mercenary. The game’s combat and stealth are really good, quests of any sort are an excuse to use them.

Not all quests are meant to be significant, filler can mostly be ignored but exist for people that want to squeeze more out of the game. Rather than simply clearing an area and moving on to the next. Open world games are popular, that is why they sell. They may not be the perfect flavor for your palette. That is okay.

It’s not all your fault though, hypothetical internet person I’m currently abusing. Marketing for games like Assassins Creed Odyssey is generally dishonest. The game is absolutely for people who like massive open-world games that they can get lost in for hours and hours. The marketing does not reflect that.

The marketing is all, oh look at how cool this is, look at the fancy combat! Oh how pretty! Buy me or miss out! Whoa, Ooooh, Ahhh. Spartans! Oooo. Fear of missing out is one of the worst media phenomenons that exist. It’s okay to miss out on games you aren’t going to fully enjoy.

You don’t need to play everything that is new and shiny. Warzone is the first Call Of Duty related game I’ve touched in nearly a decade and I only tried it because it’s free.

Call Of Duty isn’t for me, it never has been and never will be. That is perfectly fine. It doesn’t need to change to adapt to me. I don’t need to scream on the internet about how it should change for me while attempting to ruin it for the people it was made for.

Don’t confuse this sentiment with criticism. You can criticize games all day and night, constructive criticism is healthy. I can criticize aspects of Call Of Duty design and lord help you if you ever get me started on it. What I can’t complain about is how it’s a run and gun shooter with mass appeal aimed at fast and easy play sessions.

Sure I don’t like that, but that’s the core of the game and what it’s meant to be. I enjoy a slower pace in my online shooters with more complexity, that’s fine. I can play those instead. Complaining about length and size in an open world sandbox is the equivalent of complaining that a horror game is scary.

Well, Gideon I will have you know, I’m an ADULT, with RESPONSIBILITIES and I don’t like long games because I don’t have time to play them!

So make a mature adult decision to not play them? Being an adult with responsibilities isn’t an ace in the hole that makes your opinion apply to the entire world nor does it make you unique. I’m 31, I’m in a position now where I have more free time, but that wasn’t always the case.

It wasn’t terribly long ago that I had almost no time, I worked constantly. I still preferred long games even then. I got more time out of them for the precious money I worked so hard for. Sure that meant I played fewer games as a result, but let me circle back around and say again, screw FOMO. Neither opinion is wrong. Short games for some, long games for others. But you can get off the I’M AN ADULT high horse.

The moral of the story is to play games that appeal to you. If games tried to appeal to everyone, they would appeal to no one. That actually happens frequently as it is because yay capitalism.

If Assassins Creed Valhalla opts for even bigger mass appeal and massively scales down its world and quests compared to Odyssey, I can promise you it’s still going to be too big for the people complaining while simultaneously burning the folks that enjoyed Odyssey for what it was.

A game cannot please everyone, nor should it try too. You have numerous sources of information at your fingertips. There is no reason you should ever be buying into a game that is obviously not to your tastes despite the buy-me-now-marketing. I don’t even request games for review that don’t appeal to me. I criticize games that I’m interested in, my reviews hold more value that way.

Game critics like myself are only one potential source of information you have access to. You have youtube videos, streamers, and even other players you can chat with. You have the tools, use them. Happy gaming!

If you weren’t completely turned off by the equivalent of me arguing with myself in the shower, maybe you could check out my reviews. Or if you are really mad at me, you could buy me a coffee on Kofi. I hate it when people do that. Coffee makes me have to poop.

One comment

  1. No defense provided. Single player games with needlessly large maps, filled with even more useless junk? Are not “open world”. Sure they’re open, they’re not worlds. In a matter of hours of walking around you see how much is copy and pasted. That’s not a world. An open “world” is mankind divided. The depth to one area alone makes you believe its real. That’s the goal.

    Large for the sake of large is the paper mache of game design. Beautiful and ornate from the outside marketing. Hollow POS on the inside.

    Open world games stopped being open world games.

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