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Linear Games

Discussion in 'Video Games' started by Wizard, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. Wizard

    Wizard Do you feel it? The moon's power!

    Level 1
    Jan 18, 2016
    In times past, a lot of video games have had "linear" plots, which means that there is pretty much only one path through the game. However, in recent years, games with a linear story seem to be more and more frowned upon.

    I personally think that linear games are fine. I like making decisions in games, but it doesn't make or break the world for me in the slightest. Linear stories allow the directors of the game to do whatever they want with it.

    Do you like linear games? Why or why not? Should they continue to make linear games?
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  2. Vaquero

    Vaquero Member of the Charicific Valley

    King Crimson
    Level 41
    May 29, 2018
    I’m cool with either. However,games with options don’t always have the options you want. Like, I seats if punching someone in the face, you actually just shoot them a nasty glare. Seriously?!?!!?! I want to smoke the dude, not look at then funny.
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  3. Dawn

    Dawn La vie est drôle

    Level 1
    Oct 21, 2014
    Ah yes, the "open world" craze sweeping video games these days. The funny thing is that these are STILL linear games - you have to go somewhere and do a specific thing in order to advance the game. The illusion of freedom might be there, but that's still all it really is: illusion. There are not that many games out there that are truly non-linear in the sense that you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, and it makes no difference. The majority of video games are still inherently driven by a narrative, and a narrative cannot really be anything BUT linear, whether you make choices as a player to affect the outcome or not: it has a beginning and an end, and you go from one to the other. How you get there is irrelevant - you have to get to the end to finish the game, and that is linear.

    I have no issue with open world games as long as they remember to actually put something in the open world. A lot of these open world games that try to hide or outright shun the idea of linearity do not - it's a lot of empty space and pretty scenery with no practical or meaningful purpose. Maybe you can climb the trees for the hell of it, and if you're lucky you'll find a few enemies here and there, collectibles (which do not equate to actual content, as far as I'm concerned) or even an NPC or sidequest. But you still have to go to a specific place and do a specific thing. Sounds pretty linear to me.

    If I wasn't fine with linearity in gaming, I wouldn't be playing very many video games. In fact, I love it - a compelling narrative is worth far more than any amount of supposed freedom of movement to me, and not having to hunt for content in a pointlessly open world helps me to fully experience a game without getting bored to death or irritated as hell trying to find things to do. I'm really not into making my own entertainment - or paying for the privilege to do so, anyway - so sandbox titles do nothing for me.
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    #3 Sep 23, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
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  4. ChocoChicken

    Krysmus Azelv (lol)
    (Krysmus Azelv)
    Level 38
    May 28, 2018
    Misty's EmblemLegendary Triforce ★★
    For me, it depends on how linear the game is. I know a lot of games have a linear plot, and that's okay. But I want there to be some variation, some room for thought, and yet linear enough that you know where to go. There has to be an objective, a story to push you forward. Games that do this well for me are EarthBound, A Hat In Time (well, most of it), Mario Odyssey (goals are still highlighted) and a few more. I don't really like platformers for that reason, because most of the gameplay is literally just confined to how good your skills are and if you can time all these perfectly, while at the same time being WAY too linear for me.
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  5. Gazi

    (Litleo ♀)
    Level 9
    May 27, 2018
    Dawn Stone ★★★★Legendary Triforce ★★Reaper Cloth ★★★
    I'm actually super cool with linear games. It feels much less overwhelming to explore every inch I can of a particular area than it is to just be left free to explore wherever I want. I wouldn't know where to start. I do enjoy sidequests though.
  6. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

    Level 19
    Mar 17, 2015
    I agree with this. There is indeed a huge difference between the setting being open and the story/progression being open. You might say that Zelda OoT is open world because you can go from here to there to the other place on your own two feet, everything is connected, etc. But the game clearly tells you "go to the Deku Tree! Go check out the Goron Village! See what's going on on Zora's Domain! Do all of it in this order!" In which the openness of the world is secondary. It could very well be reformatted to be. Level 1: Kokiri Village, Level 2: Death Mountain etc and not even have the illusion of openness and the game would be mostly the same.

    That also applies to Nier Automata, Dragon's Dogma, arguably even Fallout 4 (though previous ones are less obligatory linear). The world is open, and the character might be of your own creation, but the story is not open. You are following a path laid before you. Even if it is geographically overlapping and knotted and frayed into sidequests at times, it's still a line. And it's not a bad thing. Books are linear, movies are linear, games can still be linear and great, and of course they should continue to be made (who's going to tell them not to, the Art Police?).

    All of that said, I prefer a partially open world. If it's like pre-release Starbound or 3DRPG or Minecraft, it gets boring to me. I need my quest, that one central line around which everything else is truly open. Elder Scrolls and Fallout tend to scratch that itch for me: I have the main quest pulling me forward, but I have the absolute option to go wherever I can survive and do what I want there, a truly open aspect.
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  7. Hraesvelgr

    Hraesvelgr Snek in Your Boot

    Zapdos Egg
    (Zapdos Egg)
    Level 21
    Aug 2, 2014
    Trainer Card - Cave ThemeDragon Fang ★★★★Philosopher's CowlWater Stone ★★★Great Ball ★★
    Linear games can be very good and still have replay value even if there's really only one path you can take, I barely remember the names of any of the linear games I played but I know I played quite a few as a kid but i remember enjoying playing them a lot and replaying them frequent.
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  8. BZRich64

    BZRich64 The Mustachiod Machamp

    Late For A Date
    Level 16
    Jun 12, 2017
    I have no problem with linear games and I'm honestly not sure why anyone else would have an issue with them. In fact, I feel like the industry has been drifting away from linearity for no other reason than to jump on the bandwagon of 'open world' style gameplay. Not that I have anything against open world stuff, either. I just think that they should make games to be what they should be and not whatever happens to be in style.
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