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.

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Jdoki1426d ago

"When Did Linearity Become a Bad Thing?"

When gaming 'journalists' ran out of news to report and positive things to say...

NextLevel1426d ago

Naughty Dog cleaned up on the GOTY awards with the Last Of Us and Uncharted 2.

JohnJ1426d 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.

WickedLester1426d 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.

Sevir1426d 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.

levian1426d 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

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Dark111426d 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


Sevir1426d 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?

Bigpappy1426d 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.

user56695101425d 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

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TGF_Zero1426d 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.

zeal0us1426d 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 Pumblechook1426d ago

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.

morganfell1426d 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-Eater1426d ago

Logically intelligent. Bubble UP!


Christopher1426d 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.

randomass1711426d 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.

uth111426d 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_Carlitos1426d ago

But why does linear get bashed so much even regardless of platform exclusivity?

aragon1426d ago

because of fanboys, i dont think multiplat linear games get criticised as much as exclusive linear games

Spotie1425d 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.

user56695101425d ago (Edited 1425d 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.

lunatic00011426d ago

Because we always have to bitch about something...human nature

MasterCornholio1426d 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.

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