How to ruin an open-world game?

How to ruin an open-world game?

Now Trending 23/06/2021

Many developers have fallen in love with the concept of a sandbox. That’s why we have tons of open-world games today. Unfortunately, some producers keep making mistakes that affect their games badly. We gathered the gravest sins of open-world games.

Unnecessary sandbox

Some releases were not meant to be open-world games. Unfortunately, during development, someone decided that an open world must be included since players like sandboxes. As a result, we get a bigger but less entertaining game. For instance, if Mass Effect: Andromeda or the recent Lego games hadn’t implemented open worlds, they probably would have received better reviews.

Big but borning

Probably the deadliest sin that developers commit is to make a vast world without any fascinating places to visit. There’s no point in exploring the empty land where every square meter looks almost the same, and you see identical faces around every corner. This is the problem that occurs when a small team tries to carry out an overly ambitious project. The other reason could be following fashion, thus developing an open world to advertise the game as a sandbox.

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Meaningless collectibles

One sin leads to another. If the world is unengaging, developers may try to force players to explore it. They try to achieve it by larding the map with meaningless collectibles. Those items, however, could provide players with important information and build the game’s lore. Unfortunately, they are often useless, but players have to find them to reach the 100%-completion threshold. It’s one of the most annoying plagues in modern video games. We can notice it even in racing games such as the latest installments in the Need For Speed series.

Filler quests

As uncle Ben would say: with a great world comes great responsibility. Therefore, trying to fill the game with fetch quests is an easy yet lazy way. To be honest, traveling across the map to bring ten carrots is as annoying as looking for worthless collectibles. 

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Hollow world

In the best sandbox games, players feel like they are just guests, and the world lives without them because NPCs have their habits and occupations. In games like Mafia or The Witcher 3, we’re just a tiny part of a complex ecosystem. Sadly, in some games, every character looks like a statue that comes to life only when our protagonist appears. It makes the world unbelievable and ruins immersion.

Luckily, some developers avoid committing those sins, so we get such engaging open-worlds like in The Witcher 3, GTA V, Fallout: New Vegas, or Red Dead Redemption 2.


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