Linear Games Are Not a Sin, and We Need More of Them

It’s one of the biggest complaints gamers level at developers these days – that games are too linear. The word is almost used to describe a sin, or a regrettable attribute. If a game is too “linear”, it’s seen as another reason to avoid it.

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The Matrix2863d ago (Edited 2863d ago )

While I play (and enjoy) games like Red Dead Redemption and RPGs like Fallout I prefer a more linear game myself. My time is quite limited and I no longer care about riding my horse across the entire game space for 10 minutes (just for 1 quest) when I could be having an epic fighting sequence for 10 minutes. Keep them short, fast-paced and super polished. That's how I like my games.

On a side note: The biggest downfall of linearity? Being scared out of my mind playing Dead Space but having NO fear on the second playthrough.

rdgneoz32863d ago

*Looks at FFXIII* Do you really want more games like that?

mintaro2863d ago

*Looks at Uncharted 2* Guess you don't want more games like that.

Trevonn2863d ago

diffrence is uncharted is ment to be linear final fantasy definately isnt

ExplosionSauce2862d ago

Uncharted is a proper "linear" game.
Final Fantasy is supposed to be an RPG.

Linearity depends a lot on the genre and overall style of the game.

candystop2862d ago

So sick of Linear games this generation. It's nothing more than a cheap trick to paint beautiful worlds you cant explore.

ExplosionSauce2862d ago

Like I said above. It really depends on the type of game.

Some games just don't call for it and having free roam at a certain point can break the momentum of the storytelling.

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Mr_Shuttlezworth2863d ago (Edited 2863d ago )

We have plenty of linear games as it stands. What we need is better games in general. Quality control in this generation of gaming has gone wayyyy downhill.

We now live in the world of rushed games, and the "Launch day update"


And don't forget the day one DLC or content on disc that you have to buy a key to unlock. Many developers this gen won't finish a game before releasing and between those that finish games, a good part won't you access the whole game unless you pay more.

sich922862d ago

god of war is f*** yes we do


There's nothing wrong with linear games, but to make 'em work devs have to pace 'em right.

Look at Uncharted as someone already mentioned that... It has a formula that take you into a mix shootouts, climbing/platforming, puzzles and story parts. You don't feel limited because you are compelled to move forward. When you make a game linear you have to add gameplay mechanics or different enemies throughout the game and keep the story interesting (and if it's level based, better have a replay level feature and many hidden stuff, it adds replay value) or things are going to get boring, like in FFXIII.

If you look into open flow games like assassin's creed, you still are compelled to move forward in the story, but the gameplay is enterily up to you what you'll be doing next, you may want to just go to every eagle view point, so you can climb for hours long, or you can make some side missions that get you more into combat... But when on the story mission is practically the only moment you get a mix of gameplays. So the challenge for devs is to keep the story compelling enough for you to make the follow through but insert breaks that are enough to compell you to make some side missions, but not so much they become boring or story breaking, as people will fall into endless side mission and felt the game much repetitive. If you make an open game you need more diversified side missions, like in GTA SA where you have a ton of different things to do, but they can't become an annoyance, like GTA IV phone call missions.

It's all about balancing things right, a game can be good don't matter how linear or open. As I'm all about the story, I find myself likeing more games that have a linear structure, although I definetelly like the open structure more as it has more possibilities.

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schaffey2863d ago

Great article, I totally agree with you. Approved. :)

Optical_Matrix2863d ago

Real talk. Uncharted 2, God of War 3, Mario Galaxy, Bayonetta, Metal Gear Solid 4 (linear in terms of going from point A to B),....most of this generations best games have been linear. And they have the best stories too it seems.

Ninver2863d ago

Agree. Very good example of some great linear games.

Ninver2863d ago


Linear "story driven" games are not a sin. I'd rather a solid single player linear game than an open world mess.

byeGollum2863d ago

I agree, that open world sh*t gets boring quick.. at the end of the day, chances are you may not finish the game.

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