Unstructured, open-ended play gives gamers a great deal of choice about how to behave in videogames - but is that a good thing?
Just over 10 years ago, the edge in emotive, immersive and cinematic game design was the FMV (full-motion video) game. Constructing its complicated gameplay sequences out of live-action footage, these movie/game hybrids had a distinct advantage over their pixellated peers: they looked fantastic because their visuals were sourced from the real world.
Things have changed. The obvious pitfall of this type of game - completely static, restrictive, and linear gameplay thanks to expensive, prerecorded footage - is now anathema. Gamers want to make their own choices about how to interact with their virtual worlds.