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[Destructoid] The path of no divergence: Why linear games have their place

post #1 of 12
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http://www.destructoid.com/the-path-...ce-90753.phtml


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In gaming circles, "linear" has become a dirty word indeed, a black mark against an otherwise fine videogame. In this age of choice and sandbox experiences, those games that stick to a more rigid path are often looked down upon by a sneering crowd who wish for every title to be about freedom and overwhelming possibility.

These people, of course, are wrong.

Linearity is not a bad thing, and can even be a most powerful tool in the right hands. Those who would accuse a game of being "too linear" often confuse a strength for a weakness. Indeed, the unwavering path can be as beautiful a route as the one with many winding branches, and I'm going to tell you why.
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post #2 of 12
Nonlinearity is only good if you have a true artist working with the game, which rarely is ever the case.
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post #3 of 12
I kind of like linear games, I'm OCD when it comes to choosing a path...I'll choose one way, but halfway through I'll turn around and go the other way and depending on how it goes, I might go back the other way again...
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post #4 of 12
Lol, I so agree with the above post! I love linear games, they don't give me headaches. I have Mass Effect, The Witcher and Oblivion and despite loving them to bits I have had to restart games on all of them, Oblivion god knows how many times, Mass Effect 3 times, The Witcher 4 times. Most of the time because I've just got lost and too annoyed at doing a certain thing the wrong way. Well wrong to me at least lol.
Edited by Unstableiser - 6/15/08 at 11:46pm
post #5 of 12
I really prefer linear games. Oblivion made me realize this. The only way I can describe it is "paralyzing", there were so many things to do, that I ended up doing nothing.
Edit: The Witcher did it also, now that it was mentioned.

Now even racing games are jumping onto the "open world" trend, burnout paradise, test drive unlimited etc. I like having a clear, set goal, and then working toward that goal.

Haha, maybe that says something about my personality.. afraid of commitment or decisive-o-phobia?
Edited by dthmtlhed - 6/15/08 at 11:51pm
    
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post #6 of 12
I have Aspergers Syndrome so I'm not just inclined to do things orderly, logicaly and in a singular fashion, I've an affinity with doing so lol. If I start collecting more quests or missions than I can handle I would rather just put the game down lol. I try and seperate them and do them individually and in order but sometimes it's no so easy as saying it...
Edited by Unstableiser - 6/16/08 at 12:18am
post #7 of 12
Some linear games are the best out there. HL series for example. If it has a STORY, it is just like playing through a movie.
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post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarySnack View Post
Some linear games are the best out there. HL series for example. If it has a STORY, it is just like playing through a movie.
Or watching a movie (in the case of MGS.)
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post #9 of 12
I hate linear games, look at what happened to GoW because of it. Don't get me wrong, I love the game and really enjoyed it... but damn being stuck on a train track is just no.
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post #10 of 12
Three out of five of my Top 5 favorite games have been linear with variable outcomes. The other two were completely linear. Though I think Vice City would make my top 10 and San Andreas my top 15, Oblivion wouldn't make my top 50.

1. Deus Ex
2. Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
3. Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines
4. Half Life
5. Wing Commander

The more opened the game, the thinner the story becomes until all that you're left with is deathmatch; at that point multiplayer is really closer to what you're after.
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