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A Straight Path to Success - The Brilliance of Linear Gaming

GameGrin's Ryan Davies writes: "How many times have you heard someone reject Call of Duty due to its linear story mode? Or ignore a game because it doesn’t make any bold (arguably fickle) claims of player choice? Linear games have had a bad reputation throughout the now declining seventh generation of consoles; in my humble opinion, that’s a reputation that hasn’t been well earned. In fact, I’d argue it’s one of the greatest injustices within the collective opinion of the gaming community."

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Thatguy-3102103d ago

I dont have a problem with linear games when the story is well told. However if the story has no sense of depth or direction then I'm going to tear in to it. I actually enjoy when a game is linear because I get to focus on the story a lot more than I would in open world games with side missions.

TitanUp2103d ago

if i buy a game and within 30 mins the game doesnt grab me im out.

have no problems with linear,open world, sandbox, side scrolling all genres and all play styles ill play any type of game i dont really have a preference

Audiggity2103d ago

So, basically, the author of this article just said that non-linear games are bad because they require discipline and focus to appreciate the storyline? Or else the user will go off the rails and "block the narrative".

And gives linear games "the win" due to the focus on story you can achieve?

I just can't agree with that logic. I'll take Fallout, Elder Scrolls, GTA, Watch Dogs, Crackdown, Saint's Row, Assassin's Creed, etc. any day over most linear games.

There is a time and place for linear and non-linear games. Non-linear games simply need more time and have far more places!

Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course. But, if you disagree, spend 10 hours in Skyrim until you hunt a dragon down, kill it in the middle of the same town that he ate the blacksmith (who is gone for the rest of the game), being sure to notice his dragon bones in the middle of town, and tell me that isn't awesome. Those are the things that don't happen in linear games. And if* they do, they don't matter because it was all scripted.

Ghost_Nappa2103d ago

Watch dogs can't be used as an example because it isnt out yet

Audiggity2103d ago

Ok, so, you are banking on the world ending then? Because it is going to be a non-linear game with a story... pretty sure Ubisoft is going to keep it that way considering it is out in less than a month.

BTW, it was used in my example as a game I would personally prefer to play vs. a linear game. So, I'll keep it in. Thanks.

RGDfleet2103d ago

I very much see your point, but I would argue that just because something is scripted doesn't mean it doesn't matter. Far from it, the point of a scripted event is to evoke emotion or establish a point.

Put it this way, I'd rather see an emotional joel and ellie scene than pondorously take down a dragon in Skyrim.

As you rightly say though, to each his own :)

Audiggity2103d ago (Edited 2103d ago )

True, saying "it doesn't matter" was a bit extreme. What I meant to say was that it doesn't feel authentic or unique (to me!). There is just something about a crazy one-time stunt in GTA: Online, an impossible to recreate trick in Skate, a ridiculous battle in Skyrim or an ambush in Fallout that let's you win a battle you should never be able to actually win... etc. Those things feel "real" because they aren't predetermined.

To be fair however, there are plenty of linear games that I thought were fantastic. The entire Half Life series, Splinter Cell, The Walking Dead, Metro, Tomb Raider... and of course, Hitman (but that's largely due to the non-linearity within each level).

Linear or non-linear, the biggest hurdle in the industry IMO is the application of realistic physics to everything from character models to the environments!

Wni02103d ago

The half lifes and uncharteds of the world still have better level design than open world fetch quests. Its funny how limited sandbox games are despite their potential.

Mr Pumblechook2103d ago

Exactly this. Open world doesn't automatically mean a good game, and linear a bad game. Some open world games I've played have a big 3D map which you can travel in but offer basic fetch missions that must be completed in sequence - this doesn't mean better. Linear when done right can be amazing as the gameplay and narrative are combined to make (in the case of The Last of Us) an intense but rewarding game.They both can offer great experiences if they play to the strengths of the design.

bjmartynhak2103d ago

Nice article.

But taste is taste. In my case, except for Infamous and Red Dead, I can't get into open world games.

SamPao2103d ago

Ha true that. And just cause maybe ^^

Pillsbury12103d ago

Most "open world" games still funnel you into an end point. I'm waiting for the game that truly let's you carve your own experience.

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