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Thread: Large empty sandbox games

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    Default Large empty sandbox games

    You know what I'm talking about. You see a massive map and think "woah I'm gonna be playing this game for hundreds of hours!" but then realize most your time is spent walking... walking... walking... and occasionally you run into an enemy. I noticed this trend starting with GTA San Andreas where most of the map is just empty space. I get that there are the hidden seashells scattered about but really I dont want to spend a ton of time running around looking for them.

    Breath of the Wild seems to have this same problem. Even Ocarina of Time annoyed me with the massive Hyrule Field that you had to traverse to get from point A to point B.

    Morrowind is a game with a massive sandbox BUT it seemed like there was actually a payoff to your exploration. it was always fun to see those Daedric ruins come into view as you turn a corner or come across a random NPC standing off to the side.

    Mass Effect is another "empty sandbox" game. Whats the point of exploring these planets if they are mostly empty with the exception of a few mineral deposits with the stupid keypad thing you had to beat.

    World of Warcraft is another one where it just seemed like this vast expanse of pointless terrain. True Crime Streets of L.A. is a massive game with essentially nothing in it. Mercenaries 1 was an awesome game with tons of area to explore and had an actual payoff with things hidden everywhere and structures to blow up.

    Developers: if you're gonna create a huge play area, give us something to do!!

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    Mass Effect an "empty sandbox"? Are you talking about the first game or the sequels? I never played the first (what seems like an action 3D shooter/adventure with RPG elements but somehow I miss shooting a big robot head in my cross hairs at point blank? Nah...) but the other two seemed linear. Yeah there was some wandering but it wasn't like you had to meander for hours.

    My definition of "sandbox" is a game like "Amazing Frog?"- there's a big world with "toys" to play with (cars to drive, helicopters to fly, frog citizens to stick to buildings or moving vehicles with a grapple line) and with little things to do (pick up trash, find and blow up a megaladon, etc.). Like a virtual play area with action figures and models to virtually play with. Or Minecraft-build with Legos but your little action figure can be attacked. In games like GTA, I never saw the point of wandering. I just did missions

    WoW-well, there IS grinding....

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    I completely agree and it's became more and more of an issue with modern games.

    There's a lot of games, too many infact, that often have you just chasing a marker on a mini map over and over. Ubisoft games are the worst. Far too much a waste of time, I could just Cry.

    Now I like The Witcher 3 in some ways, but the game never did deserve the praise it's received. This game is a 6/10 at best one and only thing this game absolutely nails is the incredible voice acting alongside some rather great writing. But whether you're playing just the main storyline, you are walking five, 10, 20 minutes from one point all the way to another point across the map. Once you get there, the game without fail has you go into witcher sense, have you find some clues, and then ALWAYS has you follow either blood on the ground, a smell, or something to another target location in which you happen to look for more clues or kill something. Each and every single story mission in the entire game both side and main quest follows this. It's a step above Ubisoft fetch quest garbage, but it's still an open world that does not respect the players time with just how much following a market on the map you're doing, because that's literally all you're doing. You're looking at the mini map, aiming towards a marker, and then just holding up until you get there.

    However, I do also want to defend developers who actually do it well and I will state that with the GTA games, atleast the newer ones, and most driving games such as Driver 1, 2, and Parallel Lines, Watch Dogs 1(and only the first one,) Scarface the World is Yours, True Crime, Sleeping Dogs, and The Saboteur are all great games. You've also got games like Test Drive Unlimited 1 and 2 that are nothing but driving and these are great games.

    There are good games in the genre, Infamous 1, 2, Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Yakuza series, etc) which are also great games. I'd even say that there are some games that pull off the game well despite some of the game feeling empty and barren. Metal Gear Solid 5 is one of those games that takes two minutes to just get dropped off from the helicopter and the game itself really does feel empty and barren.... atleast while you're outside of a base. Once you make your way to one of the bases in the game and you're doing a mission, Metal Gear Solid 5 at that point is quite amazing. It's sad that I would actually say that MGS5 Ground Zeroes, the paid demo, is an altogether better game because it lacks the open world in MGS5 Phantom Pain, despite it only having one base. If the entire MGS5 was like this with just drop zones within the bases themselves, the game would have been as perfect as they come for a stealth game.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kupomogli View Post
    I completely agree and it's became more and more of an issue with modern games.

    There's a lot of games, too many infact, that often have you just chasing a marker on a mini map over and over. Ubisoft games are the worst. Far too much a waste of time, I could just Cry.

    Now I like The Witcher 3 in some ways, but the game never did deserve the praise it's received. This game is a 6/10 at best one and only thing this game absolutely nails is the incredible voice acting alongside some rather great writing. But whether you're playing just the main storyline, you are walking five, 10, 20 minutes from one point all the way to another point across the map. Once you get there, the game without fail has you go into witcher sense, have you find some clues, and then ALWAYS has you follow either blood on the ground, a smell, or something to another target location in which you happen to look for more clues or kill something. Each and every single story mission in the entire game both side and main quest follows this. It's a step above Ubisoft fetch quest garbage, but it's still an open world that does not respect the players time with just how much following a market on the map you're doing, because that's literally all you're doing. You're looking at the mini map, aiming towards a marker, and then just holding up until you get there.

    However, I do also want to defend developers who actually do it well and I will state that with the GTA games, atleast the newer ones, and most driving games such as Driver 1, 2, and Parallel Lines, Watch Dogs 1(and only the first one,) Scarface the World is Yours, True Crime, Sleeping Dogs, and The Saboteur are all great games. You've also got games like Test Drive Unlimited 1 and 2 that are nothing but driving and these are great games.

    There are good games in the genre, Infamous 1, 2, Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Yakuza series, etc) which are also great games. I'd even say that there are some games that pull off the game well despite some of the game feeling empty and barren. Metal Gear Solid 5 is one of those games that takes two minutes to just get dropped off from the helicopter and the game itself really does feel empty and barren.... atleast while you're outside of a base. Once you make your way to one of the bases in the game and you're doing a mission, Metal Gear Solid 5 at that point is quite amazing. It's sad that I would actually say that MGS5 Ground Zeroes, the paid demo, is an altogether better game because it lacks the open world in MGS5 Phantom Pain, despite it only having one base. If the entire MGS5 was like this with just drop zones within the bases themselves, the game would have been as perfect as they come for a stealth game.
    True Crime you thought was great? I liked it for the most part but it seemed like the map couldve been a fraction of the size

    Test Drive Unlimited had hundreds of acres of beautiful scenery and even though you werent exploring, there was a lot to see. my problem with the action adventure genre games is that often times, there ain't much *action*

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    Quote Originally Posted by YoshiM View Post
    Mass Effect an "empty sandbox"? Are you talking about the first game or the sequels? I never played the first (what seems like an action 3D shooter/adventure with RPG elements but somehow I miss shooting a big robot head in my cross hairs at point blank? Nah...) but the other two seemed linear. Yeah there was some wandering but it wasn't like you had to meander for hours.
    Don't forget about another great sandbox game, Micro Machines. This is just all around fun to play.



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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    True Crime you thought was great? I liked it for the most part but it seemed like the map couldve been a fraction of the size

    Test Drive Unlimited had hundreds of acres of beautiful scenery and even though you werent exploring, there was a lot to see. my problem with the action adventure genre games is that often times, there ain't much *action*
    From what I remember, I thought the first one was, but I didn't really care as much for the second, and then I really liked Sleeping Dogs which at one time would have been True Crime 3 but it was cancelled and Square Enix bought the ip and did nothing with it beyond the first game.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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    The sandbox level in Micro Machines is more fun than the first hour of Breath of the Wild. and I know its not just because I like racing games more... some games are just too stretched out I feel like. I dont know if I missed sometning but I still dont have a sword. I'm given twigs to fight with. I dont know why gamers put up with that

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    I actually decided to play some more of MGS5 today and it's just like I stated. When you get to a base, it's great. The experience with the bases when you're trying to complete the objective is excellent, but it's everything between the base and getting to the base. It takes two minutes to get dropped off at the base, in the mission that I did today(it was a new character because when I purchased the collection with both games on one disc, it doesn't carry over your save data so I was playing mission 13.) It took me literally, and this isn't an exaggeration here, around two minutes to skip past one of the bases and then from there running about five minutes or more to the base where the objectives are at. So after about nine or 10 minutes you finally, FINALLY, got to the section that you get to do the objective. This is actually when the game is actually good.

    Now, I was trying to actually get an S rank. Since it was awhile since I played the game I didn't exactly know everything I could do, didn't exactly know the visibility ranges, a few times I screwed myself, each time I screwed myself I wasted 10 minutes running back because you can't really load from a checkpoint to get an S rank. So it was around thre fourth time that I completed it while alerting someone but shooting them before they sounded the alarm(basically the game has a sort of slow mo surprise system.) Unfortunately despite doing everything perfect, because I was seen I didn't get an S rank, got an A rank. So I did it again, again, got an A rank, so I decided to turn it off.

    The thing is, that not only did it take me 10 minutes, but each cutscene that happened whenever I completed one of the objectives happened again. And you can't skip cutscenes in this game at all, whether you've watched them or not.

    This is just common between a lot of these games. And it's modernization. Now most games do allow you to skip cutscenes, but even when they do, I feel that most modern games add these issues within them to create their own pacing issues, so they can artificially increase playtime. It's stupid when a game like MGS5 gives you the option to replay the mission over again and it continues to make you watch these story scenes, make you watch the two minute or longer helicopter ride each and every time, don't give you an option to drop closer to the base you're completing a mission with(and there was a landing zone right outside of the base to escape from so they could have.)

    It's all to do nothing more than artificially increase playtime to make it look as if the game is such a gigantic game and by doing so, these games are worse experiences than they should be.

    As I stated, MGS5 Phantom Pain would be the best stealth game if it got rid of the open world and just had you drop right outside the base for every mission.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    The sandbox level in Micro Machines is more fun than the first hour of Breath of the Wild. and I know its not just because I like racing games more... some games are just too stretched out I feel like. I dont know if I missed sometning but I still dont have a sword. I'm given twigs to fight with. I dont know why gamers put up with that
    Well I don't put up with that, I basically avoid most modern games as I don't find them enjoyable.

    It's already been mentioned by you and other people what the problem is, everything is stretched out too long so the developer can market the game as having additional content. They make the map larger to brag about how advanced the game is compared to old titles, but the actual content of things to do isn't expanded. Apparently wasting your time counts as additional gameplay now. Old games had higher difficulty or a harder challenge that added hours of gameplay while making you feel like you accomplished something, modern games make you walk further which just wastes your time. It isn't hard or challenging to do, it's just time consuming.

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    BOTW is far from empty. It's full of stuff to discover/explore and do.

    Rage 2 or most AAA modern open games do not. BOTW is like the only one doing it right.

    Rage 2 is a great Doom like FPS hidden in a bland boring empty open world.



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