10 Single-Player Games Should Not Be Open World:
Open-world games have captivated the gaming community with their level of freedom and abundant content. However, while we at Gaming Bolt are avid fans of open-world experiences, we firmly believe that certain franchises are best left untouched. These franchises have their own unique pacing, design philosophies, and focused gameplay that would be compromised if they were to adopt an open-world format. In this article, we will explore a few such franchises and discuss why they should remain true to their roots.
Resident Evil – Maintaining the Core Pillars
Resident Evil, known for its survival horror genre, has successfully delivered meticulous-level designs and trademark settings throughout its series. The immersive experience of navigating these intricately crafted environments is a core pillar of the franchise. While Resident Evil Village experimented with more open-ended design on a macro level, fully embracing an open world approach would dilute the essence of the game. The intricate level designs and atmospheric horror would be compromised, ultimately diminishing the Resident Evil experience.
Dead Space – Atmosphere and Claustrophobia
Dead Space is deeply rooted in its atmospheric horror and claustrophobic environments. These elements are integral to the franchise’s DNA and are incompatible with the open world genre. From the Ishimura to the Sprawl, Dead Space has thrived on placing players in expertly crafted and horrifically realized settings. Creating an open world Dead Space game that maintains the same level of horror and immersion would be a challenging task.
Splinter Cell – Laser Focused Stealth
Splinter Cell has always been known for its laser-focused stealth mechanics and meticulously designed levels that cater to these mechanics. While an open world stealth game is not entirely implausible, the risk of losing the core focus that Splinter Cell is renowned for is significant. The franchise thrives on delivering the best stealth experiences within handcrafted levels, making it questionable whether an open world format would truly capture the essence of Splinter Cell.
The Last of Us – Storytelling and Pacing
Naughty Dog, the studio behind The Last of Us, has mastered the art of linear storytelling. While the studio has dabbled with more open-ended design in recent years, fully transitioning The Last of Us into an open world game would pose challenges to the storytelling and pacing that define the series. The heart and soul of these games lie in their immersive narratives, and replicating that same level of depth and cohesion within an open world experience would be nearly impossible.
Uncharted – Cinematic Set Pieces
Uncharted, another Naughty Dog creation, is renowned for its cinematic set pieces and exhilarating linear action sequences. The introduction of semi-open world sections in Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy showcased Naughty Dog’s ability to create engaging exploration and side content. However, a fully open world Uncharted game would compromise the series’ strengths. The loss of cinematic set pieces would fundamentally change the essence of what makes Uncharted so thrilling.
Densely Packed Ingenious Puzzles
The Portal series has garnered continuous praise for its densely packed, ingenious puzzles within tight, handcrafted spaces. An open world approach to Portal would risk diluting the core focus of the franchise. The brilliance of Portal lies in its intricate puzzle designs, and straying from that formula may undermine the unique experience that fans have come to love.
Half-Life – Emphasis on Storytelling
Half-Life has consistently emphasized storytelling and seamlessly blended it with linear gameplay, creating a unique identity within the gaming landscape. While there is a possibility of adapting the formula to a more open-ended structure, as exemplified by Metro Exodus, Half-Life thrives on delivering guided, authored experiences. The series’ allure lies in its meticulously crafted narrative-driven gameplay, where the player is taken on a carefully designed journey. Abandoning the linear roots of Half-Life would risk compromising the storytelling and the immersive experience that fans have come to cherish.
Dishonored – Staying True to the Immersive Sim Framework
In the past, the idea of an open world Dishonored game might have intrigued many. However, recent events have shaken our collective confidence in Arkane Studios’ ability to craft a compelling open world experience, as evident in their title, Redfall. If Arkane were to develop Dishonored 3, it would be preferable to see a game that remains faithful to the immersive sim framework of its predecessors. Dishonored has excelled in delivering immersive, intricate simulations that challenge players with choices and consequences. Preserving this framework would ensure that the franchise maintains its distinct identity and continues to captivate fans.
Wolfenstein – Embracing Linear Narrative-Driven Shooters
While the future of the Wolfenstein series remains uncertain, if a new game were to be developed, it would be best if it stayed true to its roots as an exceptional linear, narrative-driven shooter. Wolfenstein: Youngblood attempted a semi-open world structure, which received mixed reactions. The strength of the franchise lies in its linear storytelling and immersive narrative experiences. By maintaining a focused, linear approach, machine games can deliver the same level of excellence found in titles like The New Order, The Old Blood, and The New Colossus.
Max Payne – Pacing and Riveting Cinematics
Similar to the franchises mentioned above, Max Payne thrives on its emphasis on narrative and pacing. While compelling stories can be told in an open world setting, maintaining the intense pacing required for a Max Payne game becomes exceedingly difficult. A healthy blend of riveting cinematics and adrenaline-fueled shootouts within tightly designed levels defines the essence of Max Payne. Remedy’s upcoming remake of the first two games will serve as a testament to the significance of preserving the franchise’s distinctive style.
While open world games have their own allure, certain franchises should remain untouched to preserve their unique identities. The Resident Evil series excels in its meticulously designed levels, while Dead Space relies on atmospheric horror and claustrophobic environments. Splinter Cell, The Last of Us, and Uncharted thrive on their focused gameplay and linear storytelling. Portal’s brilliance lies in its densely packed puzzles, Half-Life is renowned for its guided, authored experiences, Dishonored excels as an immersive sim, Wolfenstein shines as a narrative-driven shooter, and Max Payne thrives on its intense pacing and cinematic experiences. By embracing their core strengths and avoiding the open world format, these franchises can continue to captivate and delight fans while preserving the essence that makes them truly special.