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Fromsoft have literally made the best open world game on their first try, change my mind.


robdood
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In terms of impact and mindshare, let's be realistic - GTA5 is the most important open world game released in the past decade, and will continue to be until GTA6.

 

It's also the most fun online open world game by a country mile.

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I mean I certainly enjoyed snowboarding down a slope on my shield towards the 15th skull cave full of goblins, hitting them with the legendary master sword only for it to break before doing another shrine around “move that ball from there to there”. 
 

See, we can be reductive about BotW, too. 

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Elden Ring doesn't even feel like an "open world" game, it's not in competition with other games in that genre because it follows its own template and doesn't really reference anything else. To me it's a natural extension of FROM's world design and the culmination of all of their previous Miyazaki games. I don't think it was a conscious decision to "make an open world game". It was just where they naturally had to go next. It's an enormous, cinematic and sprawling adventure with more in common with obtuse 8-bit adventure games than what we know as "open world" games.

 

As a technical and artistic achievement it is absolutely peerless and kind of resets everything in the AAA space. We can hope it inspires and encourages other games to aspire to its greatness.

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1 minute ago, Uncle Nasty said:

Elden Ring doesn't even feel like an "open world" game, it's not in competition with other games in that genre because it follows its own template and doesn't really reference anything else. To me it's a natural extension of FROM's world design and the culmination of all of their previous Miyazaki games. I don't think it was a conscious decision to "make an open world game". It was just where they naturally had to go next. It's an enormous, cinematic and sprawling adventure with more in common with obtuse 8-bit adventure games than what we know as "open world" games.

 

As a technical and artistic achievement it is absolutely peerless and kind of resets everything in the AAA space. We can hope it inspires and encourages other games to aspire to its greatness.


Nah mate, doesn’t have any towers to climb. 

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BotW took the tired, identikit open world template proliferated by Ubisoft and the like and gave it a good shake, keeping the good bits (and some of the bad) and adding their own, special sauce in the way only Nintendo can. 
 

From Software just threw the template in the bin. 

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I’ve not put enough time in to have much of an opinion, but I think the climbing, gliding and puzzles in Zelda are all brilliant and are missed here.

 

I’ve also not found any real use of the environment in the same way I might in Zelda - using my ipad thing to pick up a giant block of Ice and drop it on an enemy’s head, vault off my horse’s back and shoot a flaming arrow into an exploding barrel, that kind of thing.

 

So it feels a lot more limited in that respect as well. It feels like a big open world with lots of Dark Souls happening in it, but not that much which I would point to as wonderfully new. But like I said, still early days.

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I haven't played either of them so I have no horse in this race.

 

But if we're making direct comparisons between the two, I found this short video interesting.

 

(The text in the thumbnail - "How Elden Ring and BotW dealt with the same problem" - is a more accurate reflection of the contents than the slightly clickbaity video title.)

 

 

 

 

Summary:

 

* BotW: in order to encourage exploration, chests dot the open world. In order for it to be practical for the developers to to fill so many chests, weapons are changed from equipment into a consumable resource. Unfortunately this discourages combat.

* Elden Ring encourages exploration by having Ashes of War as the main chest filler reward. These are less time-consuming for developers to create than fully new weapons or equipment. Plus they're relevant in many situations, so players aren't likely to be disappointed to find them.

 

(In the video's pinned comment, the video creator adds that BoyW's approach is good because it means the player can never find a single overpowered weapon that invalidates all other loot. And that both games' approaches are preferable to other systems they could have used, like weapons with randomised stats.)

 

Of course, that video was made after the Elden Ring network test - so it's possible that design philosophy doesn't apply to all of the final game! Those who've played a good way into the game: is it an accurate description?

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6 minutes ago, Opinionated Ham Scarecrow said:

Why has no one mentioned Horizon?

 

Actually, nobody has mentioned any racing games at all. Burnout Paradise should be right up there.

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2 minutes ago, Nick R said:

I haven't played either of them so I have no horse in this race.

 

But if we're making direct comparisons between the two, I found this short video interesting.

 

(The text in the thumbnail - "How Elden Ring and BotW dealt with the same problem" - is a more accurate reflection of the contents than the slightly clickbaity video title.)

 

 

 

 

Summary:

 

* BotW: in order to encourage exploration, chests dot the open world. In order for it to be practical for the developers to to fill so many chests, weapons are changed from equipment into a consumable resource. Unfortunately this discourages combat.

* Elden Ring encourages exploration by having Ashes of War as the main chest filler reward. These are less time-consuming for developers to create than fully new weapons or equipment. Plus they're relevant in many situations, so players aren't likely to be disappointed to find them.

 

Of course, that video was made after the Elden Ring network test - so it's possible that design philosophy doesn't apply to all of the final game! Those who've played a good way into the game: is it an accurate description?

 

 

BOTW does not use chests to encourage exploration, or at least, it’s not shy about giving you crap rewards - see those Kokiri spirit things.

 

I think it is more to encourage moving into different weapon types, which is funny because they all feel broadly the same in BOTW. If anything, Elden Ring would probably do better out of having breakable weapons, for all the people who are going into their third or fourth souls game with a big, heavy sword.

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25 minutes ago, Opinionated Ham Scarecrow said:

Why has no one mentioned Horizon?

Because it's a Sony exclusive, and and many won't have played it because so many rely on their lord and saviour, Gamepass.

 

Forbidden West's Open world is right up there, with plenty to discover, explore, and delight. Also, one of the main complaints about Zero Dawn's open world when compared to BotW at the time is that in Zelda you can climb anywhere, but couldn't in Zero Dawn. Elden Ring doesn't have any climbing or gliding, but no-one's grumbling about that now are they? Double standards ahoy! 

 

Zelda's weapon degradation however is said by many to be really good, and actually makes the game better ... serious mental gymnastics there.

 

Besides, the best open world game ever made is Skyrim. ;)

 

Basically, this is a highly subjective topic. Is Elden Ring up there? Sure, as is BotW, Skyrim, GTA 5, Witcher 3, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, both Horizon Games etc. It's nigh on impossible to rate them in a definitive list.

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1 minute ago, Thor said:

Because it's a Sony exclusive, and and many won't have played it because so many rely on their lord and saviour, Gamepass.

 

 


Actually I’d gladly play it (despite finding Zero Dawn and Aloy quite boring), but I can’t get a ps5. You’re the one who brought console warz into this. 

 

Climbing was cool in BotW, but it wasn’t what made it a good game. 

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BotW made me so happy at one point it made me cry.

 

Elden Ring just has me playing with constant expressions of 😬 and 😤 and 🤯 and 🤩

 

So it's a tough one.

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BotW is my favourite ever game at this stage, and although I'm only 11 hours into Elden Ring I think it could well end up being one I have a similar opinion of.

 

What really excites me is the potential that we could have both Elden Ring and BotW2 in the same year; even without considering other releases it could well be one of the best gaming years in some time.

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38 minutes ago, Nick R said:

In the video's pinned comment, the video creator adds that BoyW's approach is good because it means the player can never find a single overpowered weapon that invalidates all other loot. And that both games' approaches are preferable to other systems they could have used, like weapons with randomised stats.


I have no issue with the BOTW weapon degradation, and I’m bemused why anyone is ever against it, because as above it’s an interesting combat resource mechanic.

 

It runs into the same problem from another angle though. In my playthrough (300+ hours) I’ve got a whole series of ultra rare weapons that I never used, because I was always saving them for ‘something’. After you get to a certain level any second or third string weps are fine because your armour selection will give you the edge anyway, either through attack up or resist. So you ‘invalidate’ your rare weapons by essentially turning them into souvenirs.

 

So it ‘solves’ the problem, but only until Link gets other stuff.

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1 hour ago, the_debaser said:

 

In its open word, Zelda at least had you chopping trees, rolling logs and rocks down on enemy camps, starting fires which let you leap high in the air, snowboarding down slopes, you could glide off mountains after climbing them. There is a reason for Nintendo developing an open world in BOTW. I don’t honestly know why From made an open world game. 

Its funny actually, those features like log and boulder rolling in zelda are pretty much useless and unneeded for the whole game once you leave the tutorial. 

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