Anyone else feel intimidated by open world games?

How do you feel when you see this?

I've started playing Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning for the PS3. I started enjoying the combat, but as the game progressed I was soon introduced to an open field with newer tasks to accomplish. It wasn't as massive as Skyrim's open world, but it was big enough for me to explore. Now I'm continuing my trend of doing every little side quest and out right ignoring the main quest. I don't do it for enjoyment though, I'm doing it in order to feel like I'm doing everything. At times I question this sense of dread deep down while I play open world games. I feel compelled to see everything that an open world game has. Every nook and cranny has to be seen by me because of an unknown reason. As I'm growing older, I've realized that my love for open world games is decreasing as I continue to play more open world games. I have limited time as each passing day goes by and I worry that I may have more fun with a shorter game. This is why I'm forcing myself to stop caring about everything that KoA has and instead focusing on the essential content that should be completed. I still feel that I'm betraying a part of myself in being so close minded, yet I believe that this is the right course of action. I used to see big maps in games as an endless ocean of possibilities. Now I see huge amounts of content that I'll never be able to accomplish with my limited time. Does anyone else feel this way or am I strange? I'd love some discussion of this exact situation and I'm hoping that you duders can help out. I'll also be writing my thoughts on KoA in a review soon.

40 Comments
41 Comments
Edited by Phatmac
How do you feel when you see this?

I've started playing Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning for the PS3. I started enjoying the combat, but as the game progressed I was soon introduced to an open field with newer tasks to accomplish. It wasn't as massive as Skyrim's open world, but it was big enough for me to explore. Now I'm continuing my trend of doing every little side quest and out right ignoring the main quest. I don't do it for enjoyment though, I'm doing it in order to feel like I'm doing everything. At times I question this sense of dread deep down while I play open world games. I feel compelled to see everything that an open world game has. Every nook and cranny has to be seen by me because of an unknown reason. As I'm growing older, I've realized that my love for open world games is decreasing as I continue to play more open world games. I have limited time as each passing day goes by and I worry that I may have more fun with a shorter game. This is why I'm forcing myself to stop caring about everything that KoA has and instead focusing on the essential content that should be completed. I still feel that I'm betraying a part of myself in being so close minded, yet I believe that this is the right course of action. I used to see big maps in games as an endless ocean of possibilities. Now I see huge amounts of content that I'll never be able to accomplish with my limited time. Does anyone else feel this way or am I strange? I'd love some discussion of this exact situation and I'm hoping that you duders can help out. I'll also be writing my thoughts on KoA in a review soon.

Edited by SexyToad

You're just strange. But actually I love open world games. Its just fun roaming through out the world.

Posted by ImmortalSaiyan

I'm playing Kingdoms of Amalur currently as well. Strangely I do doing 95% of the side content, usually I don't do this but Amalur compels me to. I've yet to burn out on the game, but I feel it may happen suddenly. It is daunting however, the world is huge and I have not even seen several zones in the first continent. I'm including the entire green section in the top left, from dalentarth to rathir.

Posted by Canteu

@Phatmac: "How do you feel when you see this?"

I feel "oh god fucking Amalur, what a piece of shit"

But otherwise no, I'm not intimidated by open world games as they generally all follow a specific formulae, which is generally easy to exploit or just outright ignore a lot of the features.

Posted by BlueLantern1995

I am intimidated but fascinated by giant open worlds. But I do love them a lot and would rather have them than straight mission games.

Posted by Cloudenvy

I need to do everythiiiiiiiiing.

Posted by Brodehouse

I really want to explore that specific map and learn all of its intricacies, but man I don't want to do uninspired busywork, which is the main thing open world games give you to do.

Posted by Morrow

@Phatmac:

I feel the exact same way you do. I still have the inner urge to immerse completely in a game, yet real life keeps me from doing so. This kind of failure leaves me feeling detached and incomplete.

I tried to compensate this by focusing more on trophies. Once I've got a good portion of the trophies a game has, I feel a little less incomplete and more like I actually saw a decent amount of things the game has to offer. You cannot imagine the relief I felt once I platinum'd Skyrim.

Posted by Ares42

It's just a question of quality. If it's all good you won't care if it takes you 5 months to finish the game having done everything, however if it's tedious and unrewarding then ye it just becomes a nuisance. The biggest problem we usually see is side-content that doesn't actually do anything. It's just there to be "interesting content". But most of the time it's just another half-ass story and another task you've already done plenty of times. The one great excpetion from the last few years is Arkham City. Even though there was much chagrin about the amount of collectibles in that game, almost every single one that you wouldn't just stumble over while playing the story actually had it's own little puzzle or challenge. So, to repeat myself, if it's interesting it's a sea of possibilities, but most of the time it's just not interesting.

Posted by Phatmac

@Cloudenvy said:

I need to do everythiiiiiiiiing.

Well we can't agree on everything, now can we? :P

Posted by Fallen189

I end up just main lining stuff, because almost every "open world game" has such a stale and non living aspect to it. It's why I'm already bored of Arkham City after beating the main story. There's just not enough to it that's interesting.

Edited by Phatmac

@Morrow said:

@Phatmac:

I feel the exact same way you do. I still have the inner urge to immerse completely in a game, yet real life keeps me from doing so. This kind of failure leaves me feeling detached and incomplete.

I tried to compensate this by focusing more on trophies. Once I've got a good portion of the trophies a game has, I feel a little less incomplete and more like I actually saw a decent amount of things the game has to offer. You cannot imagine the relief I felt once I platinum'd Skyrim.

Haha, oh man Skyrim still bums me out cause I'm only missing one more achievement. It's the one with the bullshit Thieves guild in which you have to do randomly generated quests for like 3 hours or so in order to do it or something. I still feel burned on that game because of that. I'm still glad that at least someone can relate to me!

Posted by Phatmac

@Brodehouse said:

I really want to explore that specific map and learn all of its intricacies, but man I don't want to do uninspired busywork, which is the main thing open world games give you to do.

Same here.

Posted by Cloudenvy

@Phatmac said:

@Cloudenvy said:

I need to do everythiiiiiiiiing.

Well we can't agree on everything, now can we? :P

Considering that you're pure evil and wishes for the destruction of humanity! No, no we can't!

Posted by Quarters

I'm not big on open world games anymore. It's why I will never touch Skyrim. I have too much crap to do, and other games to play, than to spend 100+ hours on a single game. I could do that crap when I was a kid, but I just can't now. So it just becomes this very daunting, morale dropping thing when you pull up your map and it's just littered with missions. It's part of the reason why I still haven't made it through all of the Assassin's Creed games yet. They just take forever to beat, and my completionist character traits make it hard to just ignore side stuff.

Posted by Hizang

When I started Skyrim and was greeted by the open world there was like 10 seconds of panic and fear oh of my god what do I do where do I go. But after a few seconds that wears off and it becomes a fun adventure stumbling across caves and mines and random events.

Posted by BobSully

I am not intimidated by open worlds, but I would agree that I am intimidated by games that expect you to spend hundreds of hours in an open world. You have to just forget about how big the game is and just pick and choose what you want to spend your time doing. At-least that's how I go about games like Skyrim. As far as MMO's go, forget it... Grinding, time consuming, boring and pointless come to mind when I hear MMO.

Posted by mandude

Yeah, I'm exactly the same. I think it's because in older games like Baldur's Gate, nearly every quest, side or main, felt important to me. They were all unique and interesting in some way. In later games, it seems you can categorise them neatly into "proper" and "filler", but I'm still compelled to see everything the game has to offer. Skyrim is by far the worst offender. I love the sense of accomplishment in completing an entire quest-line, so I fucking hate having those radiant quests forever stuck in my journal.

Posted by Phatmac

@Hizang said:

When I started Skyrim and was greeted by the open world there was like 10 seconds of panic and fear oh of my god what do I do where do I go. But after a few seconds that wears off and it becomes a fun adventure stumbling across caves and mines and random events.

Skyrim is actually one of the few open world games that I sunk far too much time in. It's probably one of the best open world games that I've ever played.

Posted by Phatmac

@BobSully said:

I am not intimidated by open worlds, but I would agree that I am intimidated by games that expect you to spend hundreds of hours in an open world. You have to just forget about how big the game is and just pick and choose what you want to spend your time doing. At-least that's how I go about games like Skyrim. As far as MMO's go, forget it... Grinding, time consuming, boring and pointless come to mind when I hear MMO.

Yeah MMO's are kind of bullshit when you think about it.

Posted by fugie7

I wouldn't say Intimidated. More like Overwhelm.

Posted by Phatmac

@mandude said:

Yeah, I'm exactly the same. I think it's because in older games like Baldur's Gate, nearly every quest, side or main, felt important to me. They were all unique and interesting in some way. In later games, it seems you can categorise them neatly into "proper" and "filler", but I'm still compelled to see everything the game has to offer. Skyrim is by far the worst offender. I love the sense of accomplishment in completing an entire quest-line, so I fucking hate having those radiant quests forever stuck in my journal.

That's one of the worst aspects of Skyrim's open world. I still found a ton of compelling side quests with faction stuff and Deadric quests. I love Skyrim's open world.

Posted by Hizang

@Phatmac said:

@Hizang said:

When I started Skyrim and was greeted by the open world there was like 10 seconds of panic and fear oh of my god what do I do where do I go. But after a few seconds that wears off and it becomes a fun adventure stumbling across caves and mines and random events.

Skyrim is actually one of the few open world games that I sunk far too much time in. It's probably one of the best open world games that I've ever played.

It comes down to Skyrim/Oblivion VS Minecraft for me, Minecraft is just such an amazing place.

Posted by Phatmac

@Quarters said:

I'm not big on open world games anymore. It's why I will never touch Skyrim. I have too much crap to do, and other games to play, than to spend 100+ hours on a single game. I could do that crap when I was a kid, but I just can't now. So it just becomes this very daunting, morale dropping thing when you pull up your map and it's just littered with missions. It's part of the reason why I still haven't made it through all of the Assassin's Creed games yet. They just take forever to beat, and my completionist character traits make it hard to just ignore side stuff.

Strangely enough I love AC's open world. I mostly enjoy traversing my way around it and doing some side quests.

Posted by Phatmac

@fugie7 said:

I wouldn't say Intimidated. More like Overwhelm.

Sure, that's another way to describe it.

Posted by CaLe

You really need to be in the mood and have the time to fully enjoy open world games. This was definitely the case for me with Skyrim. When I was in the mood, it was the best game I'd played in years and I played for hours at a time. When I wasn't, I stopped playing within 10 minutes.

Posted by Phatmac

@Canteu: So far KoA seems good to me. I've heard people complaining about too many side quests, but we'll see.

Posted by Phatmac

@Ares42 said:

It's just a question of quality. If it's all good you won't care if it takes you 5 months to finish the game having done everything, however if it's tedious and unrewarding then ye it just becomes a nuisance. The biggest problem we usually see is side-content that doesn't actually do anything. It's just there to be "interesting content". But most of the time it's just another half-ass story and another task you've already done plenty of times. The one great excpetion from the last few years is Arkham City. Even though there was much chagrin about the amount of collectibles in that game, almost every single one that you wouldn't just stumble over while playing the story actually had it's own little puzzle or challenge. So, to repeat myself, if it's interesting it's a sea of possibilities, but most of the time it's just not interesting.

Agreed. I would also add that having a great way to traverse an open world is also vital to my experience. This is why I love infamous's open world as it can be fun to go around and explore with relative ease. Batman: AC accomplishes this as well.

Posted by Canteu

@Phatmac: Don't get me wrong, there were some things I enjoyed about it. But mostly I hate that game, for a lot of reasons.

Posted by Phatmac

@CaLe said:

You really need to be in the mood and have the time to fully enjoy open world games. This was definitely the case for me with Skyrim. When I was in the mood, it was the best game I'd played in years and I played for hours at a time. When I wasn't, I stopped playing within 10 minutes.

Agreed. This is why I'm playing KOA during summer break as I have too much time on my hands. A good open world game is ideal right now.

Posted by Phatmac

@Cloudenvy: I'm not that bad, now am I? :P

Posted by Sooty

@BobSully said:

Grinding, time consuming, boring and pointless come to mind when I hear MMO.

Any game is time consuming and pointless in the grand scheme of things.

As for boring and grinding then that depends on what you are doing. I don't think Guild Wars 2 focuses on grinding at all, more about shit going down and you jumping in. It doesn't use the 'standard' MMO questing.

Posted by Lunar_Aura

I excited by glitches to find.

Posted by huntad

I do everything, but I don't do it all at once. I do the stuff that seems feasible, and leave the trivial collectibles or whatever for another time.

Posted by Phatmac

@Lunar_Aura: They're certainly prevalent in open world games.

Posted by gunninkr

I am not intimidated at all but in the begining of all open world games I play I feel a bit overwhelmed at first until I am familiar with the world and most importatnly how the quest tracking system works. I am cursed with wanting to do all the side mission as much as possible. The questing system/interface is what can ruin open world games for me if they are crap.

Edited by Hamst3r

I generally find sidequests to be boring, not-all-that overwhelming or intimidating.

Posted by Phatmac

@gunninkr: Yeah, UI is important in open world games.

Posted by Phatmac

@Hamst3r: That can also be the case.

Posted by MariachiMacabre

Nothing I love in a game world more than the feeling of freedom an open world gives.

Posted by stryker1121

@Phatmac said:

I've started playing Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning for the PS3. I started enjoying the combat, but as the game progressed I was soon introduced to an open field with newer tasks to accomplish. It wasn't as massive as Skyrim's open world, but it was big enough for me to explore. Now I'm continuing my trend of doing every little side quest and out right ignoring the main quest. I don't do it for enjoyment though, I'm doing it in order to feel like I'm doing everything. At times I question this sense of dread deep down while I play open world games. I feel compelled to see everything that an open world game has. Every nook and cranny has to be seen by me because of an unknown reason. As I'm growing older, I've realized that my love for open world games is decreasing as I continue to play more open world games. I have limited time as each passing day goes by and I worry that I may have more fun with a shorter game. This is why I'm forcing myself to stop caring about everything that KoA has and instead focusing on the essential content that should be completed. I still feel that I'm betraying a part of myself in being so close minded, yet I believe that this is the right course of action. I used to see big maps in games as an endless ocean of possibilities. Now I see huge amounts of content that I'll never be able to accomplish with my limited time. Does anyone else feel this way or am I strange? I'd love some discussion of this exact situation and I'm hoping that you duders can help out. I'll also be writing my thoughts on KoA in a review soon.

KoA in my estimation is the worst kind of open world game - there's so much to do but majority of the content is not that interesting. You and I very alike when it comes to these types of games in our compulsion to squeeze as much out of the world as possible. For KoA, i'd suggest only do the sidequests that interest you and completely ignore all "tasks" which are basically fetch quests.

I love open world games, but unless I focus a bit and not try to do everything the world has on offer just cuz it's there, I'll never finish the game.