Feature Games

Open-World Games: What Defines Them?

Open-World Games: What Defines Them?

    Last Updated on March 8, 2023

What manner of games gets the distinction of being open-world games? If you enter any game, there is a story you play through which the game hinges around. Open-world games are different because they involve many subplots. 

The playing field of an open-world game is the world at large. Anything you say goes in this place, and there is little to stop you, aside from progress-locked places.

This leaves the genre with the obvious challenge of filling up the world with things. An empty open-world game doesn’t make for a timeless classic. Too many elements can also lead to an open world feeling a bit cramped and closed off. 

Striking a balance makes great games stand apart from the good. If you chance upon an open-world game that works for you, then take your time, stop, and smell the flowers. You can also check out other articles on the website while you slow down.

A Vast Open-World

This genre would not be without this fundamental design element. Don’t let this component fool you—size doesn’t mean great. The Yakuza series features a small map packed with interesting ways to keep the player engaged. 

Skyrim features a sizeable map with intricate storylines and lore. There is no real way to play open world because it is your appetite for the game that dictates your preference.

Vastness in an open world doesn’t account for size only. There is a challenge that comes with vast maps, and that is diversity. When going into a new area, there are bound to be expectations of it being different. 

Open-world developers stress the nuances in different areas to make sure the game doesn’t feel stale. Ghost Recon: Wildlands features a fictitious Bolivia, and it ranges from the lush jungle, whiteout tundra, and desert.

What is Real in Open-World Games?

Image of GTA San Andreas Open World Games

An open-world game simulates some real-life elements in its gameplay. One example of this is the day-night cycle. This change in time adds a layer of realism, all the more if there are events that require certain timeframes. 

In GTA: San Andreas, you can rob houses only during nighttime, which makes sense. These time-sensitive events also reflect in NPCs and how they interact with the player. 

These interactions include enemies being asleep, or having lesser vision range. In the daytime, your solar-powered gizmos are usable, or switch to breathable clothing. When these elements come together, the game feels better and much more realistic, even those with silly art directions.

The Stories

A vast land of adventure is not complete without opportunities to fill out a mission. This is perhaps the best feature of open-world games. When you venture into a settlement, there could be characters who need help. 

Whether you help them out or not, the genre doesn’t compel you to help them right away. What does compel you is the fact that some good stuff is locked behind game progression.

Game quests can be one-off things or a convoluted sidewinder with story arcs featuring many people. Trust in the developer to give you the right compensation for seeing them through. There is a correlation between difficult quests and great rewards. 

The main story is the one that drives you to unlock places and things. If you complete the game in its entirety comes the final category. When the open-world game doesn’t have a new game plus, it’s a bit hard to be engaged in it longer.

Written By
Jean Salgados

Spent all the years of his college writing for the school newspaper and transitioned to casting Dota 2 games shortly after graduation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *