Let’s Make The Ultimate Open World Video Game

Open world games have great mechanics, but don’t you wish you could have them all in one? Paul Collett has devised the perfect open world game.

Us gamers have been spoilt in recent years with the influx of vast open worlds to explore. Thanks to these worlds we have been given the opportunity to explore cities we’ve never seen,  go places we’v never been and carry out some of the most heinous crimes and not have to worry about the long arm of the law. Hell, I’ve never laughed so much as I have while playing GTA V with my buddies. It’s been a good ride.

But, I fear that there is a danger of saturation of this gaming genre, and that would be devastating to me because I love an open world game. If you take a look at past gaming trends, they all have a peak, and then die out. Back in the heady days of the arcade you couldn’t move for one-on-one beat em ups, or side scrolling hack and slashers. Skip forward a few years to the PS1& 2 era and you couldn’t walk into GAME and not be bombarded with some cutesy 3D platform game desperate to emulate  what Mario 64 did.

So now it seems, we have arrived at that place for open-world games. Every other game you see now, thanks to the leap in technology is an open world game, and that suits me of course, but even I, the greatest advocate of the open world sandbox game, am slowly getting bored with having these amazing locations to explore, but with very little to do in them. A prime example being Sleeping Dogs. A fantastic game for the most part, but the further you get into this game (and any other of the genre for that matter) you find yourself repeating the same old mission structure. Go to point A, do a deed, drive to point B. Deliver deed or shoot a person. Drive to point C mission over. No matter what mission you do, they all take the same structure making them boring. Side quests are the same, just on a smaller scale.

Open world games need a revolution, something that can push them to the next level. Something that will keep pushing the boundaries of what gamers can do in an open world game. So how does one create the ultimate open world? Well technology would help, but we aren’t due another round of more powerful consoles foe another four or so years. So, in the mean time you take the best bits of all the open world games and put them in to one game. Simple right? Below you will find a list in no particular order of what elements can be taken from other games and added to my ultimate open world which I shall name Grand Cause Sleeping Division Watch Recon Dogs Craft V.

  1. Watch Dogs – Hacking.
    This has to be in any open world game. It just adds a whole new level of interaction with the world. It doesn’t always have to be shooting. There is something quite special about causing a power outage to the whole city, or making a guards phone ring to distract them as you sneak past. Despite what you may think of Watch dogs, The hacking mechanic is great and will I will gladly accept it into my ultimate open world game.

2. Horizon Zero Dawn – Hunting.
We’ve seen in various games like Far Cry and Tomb Raider that hunting is a handy skill to have. But no game has done it quite as well as Horizon Zero Dawn. The stalking in the long grass,  tracking the path of your prey, and taking down great big giant metal monsters. It was almost a game in a game and was so enjoyable. So in my open world game. I would like to hunt so I can make my character more powerful. Besides, that’s more fun than just walking into Ammunation right?

Just Cause 3  – Grappling hook/parachute combo.
We’ve all been there, we’ve messed around in a plane or a car and ended up in the middle of nowhere in some open world game. Normally you would have the long boring slog of walking to the nearest road to steal a car.  Not in Just Cause 3, the grappling hook made it possible to attach onto anything, a passing plane a tree, a mountain, a pylon, pull yourself up and launch off using your parachute. Getting around Just Cause 3 was just so easy, and so much fun. Plus, you could attach one end to a bad dude, one end to a gas tank, shoot the gas tank and watch it launch into orbit, taking the dude with it. Top fun.

Sleeping Dogs – hand to hand combat.
While I was playing Sleeping Dogs recently it dawned on me how good the fighting system was. It’s almost like every kung fu film you’ve ever seen. It was easy to master, a lot of fun and upgradable. It was only when I jumped into Watch Dogs 2 that I realized how much I miss the Sleeping Dogs fighting system. It felt kind of bare. A snooker ball rope thing just didn’t cut it. everything else seems so tame in comparison. So my character in GCSDWRDCV will have the kung fu skills of Wei Shen. That’s a must

Grand Theft Auto V – the world.
Of course any open world needs an open world to play in. and there is no better example than that from GTA V. Not only does it look amazing, it was huge, and had such a diversity in locations, from the sprawling streets of Los Santos to the desert rough lands of Blane County with beautiful forest land in between. There are mountains too, it’s a world that is just ripe for exploring and experimenting to see what is possible. GTA V also had perhaps the biggest variety of vehicles to explore the world in, so my ultimate open wold would be set in San Andreas.

Watch Dogs 2 – The people
Now although San Andreas is arguably a better open world location, the people of Watch Dogs 2’s San Francisco are incredible. They are alive, they talk to each other, they work, they get drunk, the play games, They all have lives. It’s a living breathing population that hasn’t really been seen before in an open world game and makes everything seem much more believable Kudos to Ubisoft on that front. So my open world game would be populated with the fine folks of San Francisco

L.A. Noire – Lip Sync
With all these wonderful people now populating the world, they will need to speak, and have emotion. That’s where the technology found in L. A Noire comes in. When released  the lip syncing and facial expression were far beyond anything we’ve seen before, and in my opinion yet to be bettered. It was so accurate you could tell if a NPC was lying, or hiding something all by their facial expressions. It was quite incredible. So I’ll too have some of that for all NPC characters in my open world, to keep things believable.

Assassin’s Creed Black Flag – Boats
The one thing with wrong with most open world is that they are land locked. Not with AC:BF, here you could board your Gallion and set sail to uncharted lands. The sailing was top-notch, and there were even missions you could do while on the open water. It was more than just a journey it was part of the game. I would love to set sail in a tall ship or one of the mega million dollar yachts and sail to another part of the map, another city or another land. Would be amazing. Would of course need to keep the whale hunting, Naval battles and underwater treasure hunting. Standard.

Red Faction Guerrilla – Geo-Mod Engine
Most open world games encourage big explosions and destruction. No game has quite portrayed destruction like that of Red Faction: Guerilla. It’s super snazzy Geo-Mod engine made sure that everything fell down in real-time and not scripted animation in sight. It looks incredible (even today) and the satisfaction you felt by felling a 10 story building with your weapon of choice and watch tumble with realistic physics was a sight to behold. All buildings in my open world would utilize the Geo-Mod engine.

Minecraft – buildability
One of my gripes with open world games is there is no end goal. Sure you get the story but what was point of earning all that cash? So why not use that cash to build the ultimate base, or home or skyscraper or whatever you want that will make you cream of the crop. Complete a mission, buy blocks or tools or whatever, build base, customize it and keep on going until you’ve built a monstrosity that only you will love and prove to everyone on-line you’re the best. It’s not fun just tore given a building or a condo or a base. I want to build it. I want to spend all that hard-earned cash on more than just cars and clothes.

Assassin’s Creed series – Parkour.
I know it’s cool to have realism and stuff in games (sometimes, GTA I’m looking at you) but in open world games it’s a chore. Sometimes you just want to get from point A to point B without having to run around an entire block or a mountain or whatever. Sometimes you just want to be able to climb up and over stuff to get where you want to go. That’s where the parkour from AC comes in. Sure it’s been in other games, but no one climbs a building or an obstacle quite like the Assassin’s.

There, that’s quite a list, don’t you just wish you could do all those things in an open world game? Don’t you wish you could just climb the buildings in GTA V, fly a plane in Watch Dogs, or build your empire in Sleeping Dogs? Every open world game has its merits and of course its minus points too. But if all those different mechanics and gameplay elements were available in one game, I think that is something you could get lost in for a very long time. At least until developers come up with the next big open world revolution. Until then, I’m off to hunt a wild deer, to create a bow, so I can rob a bank, and escape via my grappling hook, onto a waiting yacht where I kung fu my way to the cabin, hack the controls, and sail off to my underwater base I’m in the middle of building.