After seeing various news stories, trailers, and other assorted fluff about Ubisoft Montreal's Watch Dogs, I found myself wondering about something. Why aren't there more open world games set in the future?
We have Assassin's Creed, wich has gone up to 900 years into the past. This is part of a framework story set later this year. Two months into the future isn't exactly what I'm referring to.
The rest of the open world games are apparently set in various modern day settings: Saints Row is in the fictional city of Stilwater, Just Cause 2 is on the island nation of Panau (HUGE map), Grand Theft Auto has several different locations, Yakuza, Prototype, Infamous, and a few Spider-Man and Batman games. Even Watch Dogs seems like it's set in the near future, between 15 and 25 years.
So why haven't we seen any open world games set 100 years in the future? We'd see the same open world game play, the same means of story progression, and the same stress on freedom and exploration. It would all be in a 22nd century setting.
Consider LA Noire. In the one we have, Detective Cole Phelps drives around 1940s Los Angeles investigating crimes ranging from stolen cars to serial murders. Shift everything to 100 years in the future and we have roughly the same thing. The note pad would be replaced by a PDA of some sort. the cars would look more like something out of Blade Runner or Minority Report and instead of some of that old jazz and swing we heard on the radio, we would get the likes of Gravity Kills and My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult.
Spider-Man has already been done in comic books and a few linear games, Spider-Man 2099, but he's never gotten the same kind of open world game that classic Spider-Man has gotten three times.
Saints Row would have a lot of the same features as LA Noire, but it would be wildly different in terms of story. We might finally get to fly one of those Ultor gunships we had to take down in Red Faction Guerrilla, and if you were paying attention, you saw one hanging in the science museum in Saints Row 2. Throw in the ability to create alien characters, or robots, and you have all the loopy fun that Saints Row is known for, in a futuristic setting.
Assassin's creed could really only happen if Ubisoft dropped the animus. If that happens, we'd see something like All Desmond All The Time. But imagine this: climbing, jumping, diving, and even hang gliding on buildings 150 stories high in a massive metropolis.
If none of these ideas appeal to you, I have two words: Blade Runner. That would make for a nice Open World game.
Come on guys. You've given us a ton of futuristic, dystopian first person shooters, third person shooters, and even a few RPGs. Why haven't we seen the big city, open world style game play in a dystopian futuristic setting? Make it Happen, preferably soon.
PS.... arbitrary bonus points for spotting the Rush reference.