Getting in Line with Linear Gameplay

Illustration for article titled Getting in Line with Linear Gameplay

In today's fairly straightforward episode of Speak Up on Kotaku, commenter Monsieur Froid wonders why so many people have a problem with linear gameplay.


Why do so many people dislike linear gameplay? If I'm going to buy a game, then I want for it to have a good story as well as good gameplay. Movies are linear, books are linear...why can't games be linear, too?

A lot of the time people use the map of one of the DOOM games juxtaposed against a fake map of a modern FPS, showing the mass amounts of corridors and walkways next to a single path cut up with cutscenes. This picture is used more often than not to poke fun at the 'problem' with modern FPS games. Why is it a problem, though?! I enjoy these games *because* they are action-packed stories with pretty visuals. Yes, it's linear...but that's not a dirty word. It just means that there is a story that the developers made for you. Take the time to enjoy it, I say.


About Speak Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That's why we have a forum on Kotaku called Speak Up. That's the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Every weekday we'll pull one of the best Speak Up posts we can find and highlight it here.

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Even non-linear games can have a good story. Its just that the play is somewhat limited in exploration and control. Replayability is also a good factor why linear games are disliked by many. You can't play with Lightning with 60+ hours of gameplay the way you play with Cloud, Squall or Zidane.