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Submitted by jedoran 1049d ago | opinion piece

"Linear" is not a dirty word

Article defending linear games and why player choice and freedom isn't necessarily the pinnacle of video game narrative. (Culture, PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

WolfLeBlack  +   1049d ago
I'm in agreement that linear is not a dirty word. Like free-roaming games, there's a place for linear games as well. Each style has its own strengths and weaknesses. When I played Call of Duty I don't class its linearity as a negative, because it's trying to be linear, that's the style it's going for because, as the article says, it's a Micheal Bay type of game, a rollercoaster ride.
MikeMyers  +   1049d ago
Being linear suits some games and it doesn't in others. I like more free-roaming games because I like to take my time and explore but there are several games with a linear style that works very well like The Walking Dead.
dedicatedtogamers  +   1049d ago
Some open-ended games simply suck. If your game is going to be free-form and have multiple pathways, you'd better make sure all the paths are entertaining. A lot of developers don't manage to make open-ended games very fun, so I'll take linear if it's a fun game.
Ezz2013  +   1049d ago
it's really simple
not every game should be open world
and not every game should be linear

that's why we need both ...not just one
#2 (Edited 1049d ago ) | Agree(11) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
ape007  +   1049d ago
well said +1
Star Fox N64 is one of my FAV. Games ever and it's completely linear
BanBrother  +   1049d ago
Exactly. People seem to think bigger = better, which is not always true.
The only thing people have on Uncharted is that it is linear. Some of my favourite games are linear, as they usually have better stories.

We need both absolutely.
ape007  +   1049d ago
"We need both absolutely"

100% agree with that statement...... BUT I SO MISSED some old school game design that you rarely find these days, games like Shadow Man, games like Soul Reaver, like DOOM, Turok, half life, Golden eye, Perfect Dark, these game have SO MUCH SUBSTANCE, I have nothing against linear games, im fan like i said but I badly missed those games with rich design and a lot of substance in them
#2.2.1 (Edited 1049d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report
WitWolfy  +   1049d ago
Every game is linear if you think about it.. You cant make the game your own... It has a story already laid out... Making choices is just a smoke screen or a gimmick the company promises you to buy it.... I had to learn that the hard way with the Mass Effect trilogy.
#3 (Edited 1049d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
floetry101  +   1049d ago
Linearity is an interesting complaint. There is nothing inherently wrong with it, but there is an art to making a linear game feel big.

Half Life 2 is obviously the blueprint for phenomenal linear game design that feels large. You seemingly always know exactly where to go, despite the fact that there are no objective markers to tell you where that might be.

3 of the most important linear story factors? PACING, PACING, PACING. You get the pace and momentum of the game right (Uncharted 2 hombre), you can't stop playing. Good story beats, intertwining suspense, explosive action, catch breath, do it all again.

I will say that certain games feel RESTRICTIVE *cough* FFXIII. Games that needed to branch out. Linear titles that weren't ambitious enough.
Picnic  +   1049d ago
I recently made a post stating 'When people play videogames they don't necessarily want the same linear structure that they get in a book.
Even in a light gun game people like to see branches that they can choose from'.

and I got 3 disgarees and no agrees.

Figure that out! So what the disagreers are saying is that when people play videogames they do NECESSARILY (i.e. everyone, every single time) want the same linear structure that they get in a book. So they're saying that EVERY single person can't stand games with even a small amount of choice. In that case they must hate practically every videogame made for the over 3s.

They're also saying that people prefer their linear light gun games to be as linear as it is humanly possible to make a game. No branching paths. Probably auto aim for them too- what could be more linear? Heck, make the game play itself and make it entirely linear to please these 3.
#5 (Edited 1049d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
jedoran  +   1049d ago
Well, with your example of a light gun game the player might feel as though there's going to be content that they won't see if the game branches. There's something to be said for simply experiencing something as a whole, linear package.

As other have commented above, it's nice to have a mix though.
pandaboy  +   1049d ago
kind of a sexy word actually, turns me on a bit.
InTheLab  +   1049d ago
It's a dirty word when your game once sported open ended gameplay (Mass Effect) only to have it stripped a few games later (Mass Effect 3).
PooEgg  +   1049d ago
I suppose the trick is to make a linear experience not feel like a linear experience. Some developers are able to do this, while others are not.

If you want to lead me down a road for hours on end, that is fine, but please make it an interesting road.
shahrukh339  +   1049d ago
Walking dead had an amazing story line and a terrific experience... but no way it should have been a game of the year anywhere. game play makes a game game of the year... and in walking dead there wasn't any true game play...

Still walking dead is a very very well made expereince..
Nac  +   1048d ago
Need both kinds of experiences IMHO.
Jek_Porkins  +   1048d ago
I agree 100%, I honestly don't play very many open world games. Where as my favorite games like Gears Of War, Halo, Uncharted, God Of War and Alan Wake are all linear and fun as hell.

I think people just like to complain, we've seen that more and more this generation.

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