Open World RPGs – What Else Can Be Done?

Games like Skyrim and Fallout have done a fantastic job of bringing otherwise disinterested people to the RPG scene.  Yet, it feels like once you finish the main quests the games can lose their luster titles that are more action-packed.  Some games like Borderlands do a really nice job of taking the boring exploration for explorations sake out of the mix and inserting crazy bad guys and mutant creatures for you to shoot and explode at your leisure.  Even after a couple hours of that type of gaming you will find yourself bored of treasure hunting and shooting random baddies.

Is this what your character is saying?

What else is there to do at this point?

You can kill things, you can amass wealth and you can even find relationships with other digital ‘people’.  Granted, when all is said and done – you are still roaming a world that doesn’t seem to have a reason to be booted up.  Sure, there are side-quests and random things you can do for people… like kill a guy for the Night Mother or maybe collect a trinket for some lazy scared guy.  Regardless, it is an important question that might not really have an answer.

Outside of turning open world RPGs into another version of Second Life – what can really be done at this point?  Leveling up doesn’t matter after awhile.  Not to mention to never-ending stream of DLC that seems to seduce people regularly into forking over another $10-20.  Some DLC is well worth the payment but at what point are we going to expect something more and realize that there really isn’t more to be had?

Is it a sign that perhaps it wouldn’t hurt if games started having some sort of finality that pushed to you play through the story again and again in different ways?  Mass Effect did this and it was nice that they actually tied Achievement Points to playing through the game multiple times.  Even games like Diablo 3 and Borderlands give you multiple character types to build up and roam around with.

What is your take?  Is there anything more that can be done for open world RPGs?  If you say yes, what are your suggestions?  Post in the comments below!

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The Dark Knight Rises – Could It Change How People Want Games To End?

If you consider how the upcoming movie The Dark Knight Rises it is a distinct possibility that Batman could die.  This isn’t really much of a spoiler.  You can look up any of the Batman vs. Bane battles and see that Bane actually breaks Batman’s back.  This isn’t really meant to be a rundown of Batman’s comic history however.

Could this movie change the entire landscape of entertainment if Batman either dies or ends up eating through a straw?

It should be known that the target audience for the new Batman movie is also the same target audience that many gaming companies push their products to as well.  As much as fans of the Dark Knight series seem to worship the story and characters involved with Christopher Nolan’s epic trilogy they don’t really question the story – they enjoy the movie for what it is and go on to buy it on blu ray and tell everyone how great it is/was.

This drives us to wonder what will happen if Batman either dies or ends up like Christopher Reeve… Will fans keep their unwavering support?  That question then branches into a new direction.  If people love the ending of The Dark Knight Trilogy with Batman either dead or a vegetable – how can they keep getting annoyed with games like Mass Effect 3 when they pretty much end in tragedy as well?

The point is that we have turned into a society (especially in gaming and film) that demands for the hero to save the day, kill the bad guy or simply wait for the credits to end for some hope that we will get to follow the trailers to yet another sequel.

Is it a cop out for people to write a story that ends with a brief glimmer of hope after the credits?  Is it considered a failed story about a heroic journey if the hero dies in the process of saving everyone?  That strategy seems to work well for The Bible (the best selling book of all time) and even The Matrix (check out a nice rundown of that series over at The Cool Ship) or does it simply not translate to games?

Without spoiling anything (too much) we will leave this as an open discussion but also provide you with some games that have some of the best endings.


Red Dead Redemption Game of the Year
– One of the best games available on this generation of consoles.  The story is well written, the voice acting is top notch and the side-quests are numerous enough to keep you playing forever.  Without spoiling the ending we can tell you that it is pretty much perfectly scripted in every way a western can be.


Batman: Arkham City (Game of the Year Edition)

– It is hard to tell you that any game is the best you will ever play, but in the spirit of Batman… this is hard to pass up.  The game plays smoothly and the story and voice acting is amazing.  With the likes of The Joker, Harley-Quinn, Two Face and others it is a game that demands your time.