50°
Submitted by SNESMasterKI 334d ago | opinion piece

Straight to Gameplay: A Defense of Linearity

Calling a game linear shouldn't be an insult, and we need to stop treating it as one. (3DS, Wii U)

wonderfulmonkeyman  +   334d ago
I've never treated it as such, for I recognize that linearity, in the right proportions and with the right games, only enhances the experience into something focused and true to what the designers saw in their own grand designs.

A bit of linearity makes it simpler to set a goal and follow it through; it's what happens on that path that determines whether linearity is a good or bad thing, not whether or not you can stray from it whenever you like.
Conzul  +   334d ago
Journey
TLOU
Uncharted
Heavy Rain

All quite linear and very well off for it.
rlacorne  +   334d ago
Linearity is only bad when it's not what's expected from a particular game.

If Elder Scrolls went linear, people would feel mad about it, for a reason. But no one ever complained about the linear structure of most platformers or jrpgs.

Who uses linearity as an insult anyway?
Last time I heard about that was for the original Final Fantasy XIII, and the problem was not about linearity really, all FF games are linear, but about the lack of side content to explore.
deafdani  +   334d ago
While this is an excellent article that makes a lot of good points, I need to point out two things:

1. The stigma against linear games nowadays isn't because people really think there's anything inherently wrong with linearity; it's more the fact that linear game design seems to be the most popular thing today, and some people may be getting tired of this.

It's similar to how we're seeing fatigue against first person shooters, or 2D platformers (gaming genres that also tend to be pretty linear, BTW). There's nothing wrong ioth the genre, but the market is saturated with these kinds of games, and people are starting to feel it and demanding different experiences, where non-linearity could be a great help to make things feel fresh again.

2. Linearity doesn't always equal to "straight to gameplay". Actually, in some cases, it may be quite the opposite. Take The Last of Us as a prime example of this. This game, while extremely well polished in all areas, doesn't really have anything special about its gameplay (which still controls well nonetheless); actually, a big portion of the game is so tightly driven by cutscenes and narrative devices that the gameplay feels heavily limited in most instances. However, that narrative-heavy focus is possible precisely because of its linearity, resulting in a game that has arguably the best narrative of any game ever made; and it's said narrative what makes the game special, earning itself hundreds of GOTY awards from almost everywhere. It may be a linear experience, but linear or not, people will still take notice of a great game nowadays, even in a market saturated with linear games. :)

Add comment

You need to be registered to add comments. Register here or login
Remember
New stories
30°

Should I play Pillars of Eternity?

20m ago - Does Pillars of Eternity evolve the role-playing genre? Tom Baines looks at the release of Obsidi... | PC
10°

A Crossover Odyssey: The Challenging Yet Rewarding Etrian Mystery Dungeon | Hardcore Gamer

21m ago - The idea of Etrian Odyssey crossing paths with the likes of Mystery Dungeon may not be obviously... | 3DS
Ad

Want to Join the Releases.com Team? We are Looking for News Editors

Now - We are looking for news editors for the following categories. Games, TV Series, Movies and Tech. If you are an aspiring journalist in one of these... | Promoted post
30°

The Fall – Coming Soon | PS4

23m ago - Critically revered, this sci-fi epic adventure delivers provocative action and a narrative that h... | PS4
30°

Knight Squad Preview: Hands-on at Pax East | Entertainment Buddha

37m ago - EB: Knight Squad is an eight player game that throws chivalrous behavior out the door, pitting pl... | PC
40°

In-depth interview with Co-founder of Broken Window Studios about his upcoming game Reflections

1h ago - Dan from PressA2Join.com recently had the chance to chat with Tristan Moore, Co-Founder of Broken... | PC