Games like Red Dead Redemption and Fallout: New Vegas give players the freedom to explore unfamiliar worlds to their hearts' content, but is it too much freedom? Commenter GeneralissimoFurioso explores the price of free-roaming in today's Speak-Up on Kotaku.
Freedom, is it really all that it's cracked up to be?
Not freedom in the sense that we should all be spending our days calculating the digits of pi at the hands of our robot overlords, but games that tout open-world interactivity and then proceed to do nothing of note with that openness.
Is there anything inherently wrong with regulating a game to a set amount of areas nowadays? Do I really have to physically (game-ically if you want to be all technical) walk from one end of the world to another just because some people find it to be more immersive?
As much as I enjoyed Fallout: New Vegas, I would've enjoyed it a dozen times more if it simply implemented a map system like Fallout 1 & 2. For those of you not familiar, it was essentially a map with locations marked on it, you clicked a destination and watched your little map icon move towards the destination at speed (just like Indiana Jones!). You could have random encounters while this was going on and it wouldn't be like watching a group of assassins suddenly appear in front of you demanding that you die for them!
Developers wouldn't have to spend vital resources ensuring that you wouldn't get stuck between two rocks and could instead focus on the individual areas making each one as unique and memorable as the one that came before it.
Before anyone says anything, yes, I am fully aware that many games have fast travel and no it is not the same as what I am talking about as it doesn't have the same panache. I want my little blips and more detailed fun-zones please.
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