Why Open World Games Can Be So Engrossing

After months of setting on my shelf, I have finally picked up Dragon Age: Inquisition. Part of the reason it sat there for so long was because I wanted to play some of my smaller games before I became engrossed in yet another massing open world RPG. After learning how addicted I could become to a game with the Mass Effect Trilogy, I was a bit wary about jumping into the new experience too quickly. However now that all the other games were out of the way and I just wasn’t hooked by Shadow of Mordor, I figured it was time to pick up Inquisition.

In the 30 hours I’ve so far sunk into the game, I’ve explored the world, talked to many people, and discovered my method of traversing the land. I’ve tended to a bunch of side questions and amusements in the world. And I’ve only just reached Skyhold. My journey is only just beginning even though I’ve reached half of the soft level cap (Yes, you can go beyond 20, but I’ve heard there isn’t much point past 20). I’m hooked. This is a great game and sure there are some people who love The Witcher 3 more. I may as well, but right now I’m fully absorbed into this world and all the things that I can do.

This all got me thinking about open world games and what they have to offer. Over the years I’ve experienced my fair share of open world games as well as linear games. Yet, I’ve found that I tend to enjoy the games that give me the opportunity to run free.

You get two very different experiences from the kinds of games. Yes, with a linear story the actual story that you are experiencing is a lot more cohesive. It is concise and as a result they tend to feel tighter and better. When I think of games in which I love the story the most they tend to be games that run mostly on rails with only maybe a few side quests. The world in these games may be somewhat open, but they are focused with little deviation. Whereas an open world is a massive playground. It’s filled with side missions and trivial quests. There are people to interact with a lots of trinkets to collect.

The reason I’ve discovered that I tend to prefer open world games comes when I’m able to interact with NPCs. The result is that the world fills fuller and lived in. Not evveryone has dire needs that relate to plots. Instead they are just people. And there’s something that I can get lost in when I’m able to just take things in at every corner. Most importantly I feel that I’m being thrown into more than just the plot of the game, but the world as a whole.

Do you enjoy open world games?

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2 thoughts on “Why Open World Games Can Be So Engrossing

  1. I recently bought Skyrim, but haven’t had much of a chance to play it. I was worried I would get sucked in and I was about to start student teaching…not a good time to get addicted. I used to play World of Warcraft until I ran out of money for the subscription!

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