Four frustrating things about open world games

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Developing open world games take an exorbitant amount of time, effort and funds to make and without a shadow of a doubt; these developing companies and employees probably end up making their butts sore in making such open world games. We commend them on their diligence, seeing as how the longer it takes to develop an open world game; it is proportional to how long it takes us to complete that open world game too.

However, there are times when you are just playing the game just for the sake of killing time and not receiving an ounce of entertainment from it. We have gone through that phase where we would be sitting in an unorthodox position, with our head leaning on one side, mouth opened, drooling and incessantly tapping the mouse button and keys. Here are some frustrating things about open world games. Tell us if you have experienced the same.

1. Too many side missions

Four frustrating things about open world games

So I am (or the protagonist whom I am controlling since the only abilities I can actually master in a game is a quick trigger finger) currently traversing on a perilous journey to prevent some evil force from forcing the earth realm to descend in to chaos and anarchy and while travelling, there are several side missions that pop up during the mission. As if the entire main campaign wasn’t big enough to waste half of our lives finishing the damn game, but the developers actually had a lot of free time (and money) on their hands to stuff in some side missions in order to make sure that we are old, frail and suffering from excruciating pain in our backs and fingers by the time we are actually finished with the entire game. Side missions are a huge distraction because it completely breaks the momentum when we are immersed in our main missions.

If developers are still adamant of inserting the side mission elements in to future open world games, then these side missions should pop up when we are in ‘free roam’, causing havoc around the surrounding areas, or just being plain ol’ adventurous and travelling through the unwelcoming landscape. That is when we are completely bored so toss some side mission notifications at that time and see how our eyes glitter up.

2. Too many collectibles (part 1)

Four frustrating things about open world gamesFour frustrating things about open world games

If you’re the kind of gamer who frequently pauses the game to view the map in order to see which direction you are headed, then while your eyes move across from one end of the screen to the other, there are an abounding number of icons and symbols present across your map. Some of them are important locations on that may that you will need to visit later on in the game. Others; are collectibles. Yes that many collectibles. Okay, we understand that stuffing collectibles in a vast open world game has become a norm for open world games but guys, time out. There is such a thing as a limit. What would be our breaking point of collecting these collectibles? The same number of Riddler trophies found in Batman: Arkham Asylum. Now that was a number of collectibles that gave us enough time to play and enjoy without us having second thoughts about exiting the game, even though the game was not categorized under open world games.

Batman: Arkham City, though it probably was one of the greatest gaming titles when superhero games are concerned; there were some times when I started involuntarily grinding my own teeth. Batman: Arkham Origins; don’t get me started. I hope the developing crew would have learned a great deal when collectibles are concerned and now that Rocksteady games is back to bringing us Batman: Arkham Knight, I have consecrated my faith to the gaming god, praying that they don’t stuff collectibles beyond my patience level. Else I might have not teeth left.

3. Too many collectibles (part 2)

Four frustrating things about open world games

There was only one reason and one reason alone why we ended up collecting all of those collectibles. There were too many skills that needed to be unlocked and the only way we could end unlocking those was to collect as many gadgets as possible. See, we like collectibles when they serve their purpose effectively. Like granting us skill points so that we can upgrade our abilities and our arsenal (similar to Far Cry or Mass Effect), because we always like going in to unchartered territory prepared (that an having completely unlocked weapons strapped to our shoulders to start a whole fireworks show isn’t a bad perk to have as well).

However, if you expect us to start grabbing feathers (Assassin’s Creed) from a wooden beam handing precariously on the top of an insanely tall tower, then find another brave assassin who will risk his life to grab part of a bird’s skin. If developers end up stuffing in loads of collectibles whose only purpose is to add to your statistics tally, then the only thing that you will end up getting is bragging rights, which won’t last long because half the people viewing the screenshot you took of your statistics page, showing how you collected every single item on the map, right down to a single grain of sand will dismiss you as having too much time on your hands. Still, excessive amount of hubris is probably the reason why you will end up uploading a whole album of your achievements.

4. Unlocking obscured parts to reveal the entire map

Four frustrating things about open world games

No! No! Not only do you present us with a map of prodigious proportions, you end up hiding 50 percent of it in plain sight just so we can complete another session of side missions unlocking towers (Watch Dogs and Far Cry) and climbing to the top of viewpoints (Assassin’s Creed) to reveal part of the whole map. Of course you guys would not make to these towers or viewpoints easy to scale; you never do. With a whole new architectural insight, you would end up constructing a tower showing wear and tear, just to ready to collapse and make shish kebab out of our playable character.

Though we have to applaud you; creating such structures to impede our progress to scale to the top of the landmark are one of several challenges that us players covet, only if they are done in minute quantities and if you are bringing something new to the table other than just forcing our player to showcase his / her Tarzan’s gorilla climbing abilities. Regardless, with our perseverance, we are still able to unlock part of map. Happy with our success, we pause the game, remove the sweat off of our forehead, grab a cold one, breathe a sigh of relief and see how far we have progressed in the game. Wow! That is quite impressive. Only 25 more towers left to be unlocked. I’d say in the next month or so, we’ll have easily unlocked all of them.

We sincerely hope that game developers would have received a righteous kick in the head the next time they begin a project to create an open world game. We were looking forward to Watch Dogs (waited a whole 12 months for that game) but certain elements; both gameplay, optimizations and otherwise left the title drowning in abysmal failure. People keep on saying that 2014 is going to be another great year for gaming. Developers; please let that prophecy come true.

Omar Sohail
  • Tobie Moss

    These games might as well be from the same developer. They use the same animation techniques, the same generic voice actors. They copy each others features and say it warrants a new game. I couldnt even bring myself to finish Farcry3, it was that repetitive and lifeless.

  • seagull

    Simply , you nailed it dear author !

  • albatrosMyster

    I like how the too many collectibles points have two UbiSoft games for their screenshots… this is actually what discouraged me from going through a second play through un Far Cry 3…