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Submitted by Game0N 591d ago | opinion piece

When Did Linearity Become a Bad Thing?

There’s a fine line between using the word linear to describe a narrative-focused game and using it to degrade or devalue the merits of a game. Not every game has to be open world; it’s time to embrace the closed world. (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Final Fantasy XIII, Industry, PS3, PS4, The Order: 1886, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

Jdoki  +   591d ago
"When Did Linearity Become a Bad Thing?"

When gaming 'journalists' ran out of news to report and positive things to say...
NextLevel  +   591d ago
Naughty Dog cleaned up on the GOTY awards with the Last Of Us and Uncharted 2.
JohnJ  +   591d ago
The negative element of a games linearity is that it can hamper the replayability - the longevity of a game can suffer if a second playthrough garners a near identical experience to the first.
A linear game isn't necessarily bad, just easier to get bored of as there's generally less variation in gameplay.
WickedLester  +   590d ago
@ JohnJ

I hear what you're saying but why do we suddenly need game companies to give us reasons to replay a game other than because it's a fun game? If a game is fun to play, it's fun to play. I beat The Last of Us 3 times, once on normal and twice on hard. Why did I play it over and over? Because I freaking loved it and I plan on doing it again with the PS4 version (along with the multiplayer). Did we not play games like Sonic and Mario, Castelvania, Super Metroid, etc back in the day over and over because we loved playing them? Those games weren't open world or had multiplayer.
Sevir  +   590d ago
I'm sorry but there are some open world games which are DEAD after completing the main story since the side content sucks! being open world doesn't automatically mean it has replayability that is worth it.

There are plenty of Games which are praised to no end for their linear presentation. Unchartded, Gears of War, Halo, The Last of US, Call of Duty, Bioshock.

The ire most people have for this game is simply funny.

I'll take a very well done linear progression game with intelligent AI, great set pieces that advance the story, great narrative and gameplay,over an open world populated by some crappy side content just to pad out its main story offerings.
levian  +   590d ago
I agree with JohnJ, that is part of it. The other part is that linear games all seem to be 8-15 hours long which is way too short IMO for a full $70 price tag.

Linear games are the type of game I'd rent, or buy when it drops down to $20
Dark11  +   591d ago
I don't mind linear games like GOW and Metro
my problem is with linear movie games , there is almost no gameplay at all.. half the game is just cutscenes

Sevir  +   590d ago
REALLY, Half the game is MOVIE!? Did you play this game to know or have you been fooled to thinking that simply because of how seemly the game transitions from Cinematics to gameplay?
Bigpappy  +   591d ago
There are different levels of linear. Some games are so linear, I feel like I am being pull through the corridors while the story is being fed to me. An interactive Movie is not a game for me.

I like to feel like I am influencing something in the game, even if it is just strapping on a piece of armor and choosing a weapon. The move I am involved, the better I feel playing the game.
user5669510  +   590d ago
I truthfully Dont get the reason for the hate or hype. Hardly anything was shown to give you how this game will play. I can't wait to play it because of the concept of the story. All of the gameplay vids looked dull tho. The lycon was unimpressive. It thought it was going to look like the Lyons in the movie underworld not a bald man with whiskers . Its also too early to tell how its going to be with little gameplay vids . I'll wait for more info. I'll let the fanboys fight over games with barely any footage. They'll hype or hate anything even without seeing a clear picture of it
TGF_Zero  +   591d ago
It became a bad thing when we saw games like rage and dishonored pretend to be open world when they really werent and it hurt them. I do agree not evry game has to be skyrim.
zeal0us  +   591d ago
I knew from the get-go when I brought Dishonored, that it was not open world. How does it pretend to be open world?
Mr Pumblechook  +   591d ago | Well said
OPEN WORLD DOESNT MEAN GOOD. Fallout and GTA are fantastic examples of open world games. However open world doesn't guarantee a better game that will be more fun. Some open world games are just an empty 3D map that you go anywhere on but are lacking in things to do or well thought out involving missions.

LINEAR DOESNT MEAN BAD. Games like Uncharted, The Last of Us and Gears of War have been criticised for being linear. So what! They have great characters, story, drama and playability. There isn't a map that you can just move across but that doesn't suit these games. They have strong narrative, plenty of action and are FUN to play.

There are all kinds of genre to play from puzzles to platformers. For a person or website to label linear games is to not understand the wonderful interactive contribution they bring to gaming.
morganfell  +   591d ago
The titles where I was most engrossed, where I stayed up all night, most often were those considered to be linear and I was intent upon finding out what happened in the story.

Yes I have stayed up wandering around some open world game - Skyrim is a good example of that - but usually it occurs because a great story entices me to see what happens in the next scene.
Sloth-Eater  +   591d ago
Logically intelligent. Bubble UP!

Christopher  +   591d ago
Not getting your Dishonored reference. They said areas were open to allow player freedom in how they handled each mission. And they were.

They didn't say it was "open world" a la Skyrim or the like.
randomass171  +   591d ago
That didn't really guarantee the quality of Dishonored. While it is a good game, it did have a few bugs here and there, and the story felt a little derivative IMO. With some improvements Dishonored could have been a great game, rather than the "decent but flawed" experience it was.
uth11  +   591d ago
Like it or not, exclusives of one console are going to be criticized by the die-hard fans of the other.

And these people will latch onto any perceived weakness to criticize something even if it seems hypocritical.

So in this case, there isn't much you can criticize The Order for: graphics are stunning, and we haven't seen much gameplay. The only thing they can latch onto is criticizing it for being linear.
TGF_Carlitos  +   591d ago
But why does linear get bashed so much even regardless of platform exclusivity?
aragon  +   591d ago
because of fanboys, i dont think multiplat linear games get criticised as much as exclusive linear games
Spotie  +   590d ago
It really started with Uncharted as part of the graphics debate. In an effort to downplay just how good Uncharted 2 looked, Xbox fanboys said it was only because the game was linear. Same thing happened to Heavy Rain.

Of course, it won't matter when it comes to any Xbox game with any level of linearity. But hey, fanboys never use any sort of equality, only false equivalencies.
user5669510  +   590d ago
Oh llinear( I'm sure you mean corridor= closed spaces, tunnel direction . Linear is story not gfx) games do graphically benefit ffrom in a closed environment and I'm not sure but gears came out before uncharted it was just as linear . I'm not seeing your point. PS do the same bsbe. Stop try to spin ps exclusives looked better than xb360 and multi plats on console sowhats the case, they had no comeback so the spread bs or deflect.

What I do find funny is PS fanboy doing more of what xb fanboys did last gen and ththey is on another level . Completely took over this site and if you Dont think PS is perfect oh boy

Oh and gears had split screen coop. It takes up processing power to do. It wouldn't had help if it didn't have this feature most unreal engine games looked horrible last gen.
#3.2.1 (Edited 590d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(1) | Report
lunatic0001  +   591d ago
Because we always have to bitch about something...human nature
MasterCornholio  +   591d ago
The Uncharted series are very linear games but I had a ton of fun with them. Same goes for Gears 1 and 2 (never played 3 or Judgement)

Anyone saying that linear= bad are just pathetic trolls. Sometimes you need a very linear experience to deliver an incredible story.

I'm going to play Valiant Hearts tonight which is an extremely linear game but it tells a great story.
HRoach616  +   591d ago
I wouldn't say linearity is a bad thing. It just dampens re-play value. Open world games aren't always great, but they offer so much to see and do. If it's going to be linear then it should be relatively long and the story needs to be top notch.

But if you want a good example of linear done right look at the last of us. It's a decent length, the story is top notch, and it's large enough in the areas to give you a few options on how to tackle the objectives. I'm hopeing The Order at least has large enough areas to offer multiple ways to tackle things.
BlackTar187  +   591d ago
But there are so many piss poor open world games.

Replay value is in the eye of the beholder.

I played thru fallout new vegas just as many times as Last of us and i can't say if i had a better time with one or the other.
Game0N  +   591d ago
Dude fallout new Vegas was awesome, better than fallout 3 but I wonder if it wasn't open world...
oODEADPOOLOo  +   591d ago
Resistance Fall of Man was pretty good for a launch title, pretty much had it all great story, coop and multiplayer. Was also a linear title and people criticized it for it, but you couldn't find a grittier and better told story at the time, narration and cinematics were movie-like. Thats one aspect I like about the Order, but the only downside for me is unlike Resistance there's limited replayability since they took out coop.
#6.2 (Edited 591d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Summons75  +   591d ago
The term linear is so misused in gaming. Linear is referring to the chain of events that progress the story. Every story is linear, certain games are able to break it up and let you play at your own pace like Elder Scrolls but if you complete the story you followed something linear.
stavrami-mk2  +   591d ago
About 3 years ago?
urwifeminder  +   591d ago
I love it open world for the sake of collecting crap annoys me more , three cheers for linearity.
EvilWay  +   591d ago
"When Did Linearity Become a Bad Thing?"

I wouldn't say it is a bad thing when done right, but it can be very bad when the game could have been amazing in an open world setting, but instead it is linear
Chapter11  +   591d ago
The probably with The Order is it seems to be an ultra-linear corridor shooter that strings the player along like they're a child. Every story about The Order we've seen so far is pretty much "good graphics, generic/linear gameplay".
Game0N  +   591d ago
I think they've just had terrible demos, I'm sure its actually fun to play
iceman06  +   591d ago
Every story that we have seen with The Order has been of one continuous level. We haven't seen anything else. I can understand where you draw your criticisms from (the limited footage). But, we really have only seen about 8 min. of footage from what seems to be one level. Everybody has their opinion, and I respect yours. But, I think it's a rush to judgement to settle on the idea that it's just a game with "good graphics, and generic/linear gameplay".
Christopher  +   591d ago
So, it's like most other shooters out there?
Minute Man 721  +   591d ago
I bet you loved Gears of War
Pinkdolphinyfg  +   591d ago
Somebody hasn't played gears of war^^^ Your always given multiple paths to tackle an objective throughout the campaign
CervantesPR  +   591d ago
i never understood why linear games get criticized so much for being linear,I prefer linear games because they work like a rollercoster of awsomeness, not just running around an empty open world seeing dumb AI NPC's that you can barely interact with, i want action and i want it immediately. its funny because the best part of these sandbox games are the main missions lol and those main missions never compare to a linear games content, linear games almost always have a better story and characters as well.
i dont hate sandbox games but they just dont compare to a great linear story driven game like bioshock infinite,uncharted,the last of us etc
s45gr32  +   590d ago
That's because open world games still follow a linear game rules. But when Day Z were there's no missions, no regen health and the only goal is to survive the zombie apocalypse by any means necessary including kidnapping fellow gamers then you will truly see the beauty of open world games.
CervantesPR  +   590d ago
i played Day Z and got bored, it was open world but it lacked an objective,staying alive alone is not enough for me to keep playing,it was also very time consuming for the amount of action you would get,same with GTA V online free roam.
Rik_Mayall  +   591d ago
Most games in the 13 years have had risk vs reward/consequences path to follow to make it less linear even if its only a pseudo-linear... but the few games I have played which have been too linear have proved to be tiresome after 3 hours of the same pattern of events.

But as long as the killing is fun, plentiful and varied in especially the ye olde corridor shooter genre then it can occupy some people... Just not me.
LAWSON72  +   591d ago
Both linear and nonlinear offer two different experiences that both need to exist because each their pros and cons.
#14 (Edited 591d ago ) | Agree(7) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
Minute Man 721  +   591d ago
Why the hell did you get a thumbs down?
starchild  +   590d ago
Yep, this sums it up. Well said.
Dualshockers_Carlos  +   591d ago
Reviewers still use linear terminology as negatives. Like if its ign or whatever, one of the negatives would be linear alongside graphics and etc. Its bullshit
kenshiro100  +   591d ago
As long as it's a good game, I don't see what's the big deal.
Stapleface  +   591d ago
I don't recall many people having problems with linear games. I've seen linearity come up when people start comparing certain titles to others when it comes to graphics. Which doesn't really make sense as one uses a lot more assets than the other. As far as linear games not being liked game play wise though, I'd say some of the top selling franchises out there say other wise. A "linear" game can still be very fun, just like an open world game can absolutely suck.
thebudgetgamer  +   591d ago
I'd rather have linear packed with things to do than open and boring. Depends on the developer.
SuperBlunt  +   590d ago
When the order actually looked as good graphically as it was presented
DialgaMarine  +   590d ago
Because even though the majority of open world games suck major ass, people feel the need to have every game as an open world title because they view them as technically superior. I guess it's more about bragging rights these days than it is about being better able to enjoy a game's story and characters.
TGF_Carlitos  +   590d ago
Its like every game has to boast about how large or expansive the world is.
s45gr32  +   590d ago
The world is very tiny and limited on what you can explore.
PiNkFaIrYbOi  +   590d ago
Final Fantasy XIII all three parts were bad, and it wasn't just the linearity that hampered the games. And pretty much every so called game critic anymore gives good scores on any AAA game it seems.
s45gr32  +   590d ago
Easy answer when linear games are too hand-holding, lack of free unlockables, no branching paths, no mini-games, and no consequences of what the gamer does. That's when linear games are bad and no alternate endings. Almost forgot that one.
Dualshockers_Carlos  +   590d ago
Hand holding? How can you differentiate?
s45gr32  +   590d ago
Is easy Metal Gear series except for are all linear games. The first three Metal Gear solid games were very challenging due to having to avoid seen by the enemy. The splinter cell series did it better for if Sam Fisher got spotted it will take one to two shots to kill Sam Fisher. Trine is also linear but those mind inducing puzzles, enemies with Apache accuracy, etc. Basically a challenging, that let the gamer explore via branching paths, or has mind inducing puzzles is what separates a hand holding linear game from a great linear game. A game that has arrows were to go, repeatedly tells the gamer what to do, is very easy. Doesn't allow the gamer how to creatively take out the enemies but has to do it only one way is a hand-holding game.
Illusive_Man  +   589d ago
Halo is open linear. I love it.

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