What makes a RPG good? Is it the hours upon hours of gameplay players work their way through? Is it the world that the players find themselves immersed in?
The thought of open world gaming used to excite gamers, but now the concept is like a song being played over and over again on the radio. It doesn’t make me like the song just because it’s getting beat into my head. Open world gaming is no different. In some cases an open world formula works flawlessly, but most of the time it’s just laziness and lack of creativity by developers.
What makes a good RPG is story and pacing. For some reason, we live in a time where developers believe that to make an RPG good it has to be open world. I mean, who wouldn’t want a massive world to explore, and get lost in. It’s that scope of open world that made us fall in love with the likes of Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and so many more. However, not every modern RPG can succeed with their formula.
What makes Elder Scrolls and Fallout succeed is their ability to draw upon 20 plus years of lore. This gives players the desire to search out and explore this world that they have followed for so long. Just knowing I will be able to extend my knowledge of Tamriel in Elder Scrolls 6 excites me.
A good example of unnecessary open world is Ghost Recon. Players take the role of an elite group of soldiers with a single mission in mind. So why am I helping scientists look for blueprints in the country side? It’s an unnecessary addition that bogged down a title with enormous potential.
The open world gaming market has become so over saturated that it’s led to a consumer exhaustion. For a working adult gamer, it’s difficult to find the time to play a 200 hour open world RPG, and with AAA games coming out every month my odds of finishing are slim to none. Hopefully with the new generation dawning we will see a resurgence in story/pacing over the laziness of open world.