I’m really loving the diversity of filming locations recently, from dodgy-looking alley where steph goes to throw bricks sometimes, to beautiful green sunlit field
Immediate correction that is the hill I have chosen to die on:
It is not a giant lobster, it’s a giant crayfish, because fresh water.
The Open World is not enough… but what a perfect place to start, my love.
Finding an open world game that isn’t empty or overwhelming is difficult.
The perfect open world game is great but that’s a rare thing.
I always appreciate you pointing out the flaws in the video game industry, but as an added blessing the lobster was in this video so many times
“Elden ring reminds us that an open world is a world, not a genre”
I never understood the open world fatigue that came with Assassins Creed until Valhalla. I was willing to excuse it up to that point, but that was when I finally had enough. Even a game like Ghost of Tsushima had me groaning when I’d discover the 40th Fox Den to follow
The thing I find hilarious is that Elden Ring has both parts of radio towers, but absolutely nailed them. The vague map becoming distinct (not to mention totally gorgeous) when you find map fragments, and then the process of finding the great towers to activate your shards of the elden ring once you’ve attained them. Towers and map revealing done oh so right.
It helps that after a while, you can recognize landmarks and what to expect and know you’ll be rewarded. Ruined churches? High chance of a very useful tear for your flask. Ruined village? High chance of a art of war to find in a small dungeon. Equipment or more if it’s behind an imp/boss. Minor Erdtree? Boss and crystal tears.
James Stephanie: “And that is a giant fucking lobster.” Me: “Dinner has arrived.”
J double S continues to sum up the souls Bourne games in single sentences.
“I want some of this! I want some of I WANT NONE OF THIS I WANT NONE OF IT!”
Those bits with the lobster where just brilliant. Such a good game.
I love the sweaty palm wipe after defeating the enemy. That’s a legitimately relateable experience for me.
I think it’s clear that a hybrid model is very effective. Open world to choose where you want to go and tackle, but in that open world is the hand crafted more “linear” experience. Horizon’s Cauldrons for example, and many of its story missions as well.
I love how the director lied about the size of the map, making it out to be smaller than it actually was, and said that the playtime would only be around 30 hours, as to not build hype around the size of it, only for the game to dwarf our expectations in size but also be incredibly dense and full of meaningful content aswell. I’m now 117 hours into the game and still haven’t finished it and it the game lasted another 100 hours I still wouldn’t be tired of it.
These other open world chore games usually get boring after 20 hours, I usually skip most of the side content in other games for that reason because other devs/companies seem to think scale means “theres over 200 bandit camps in this game and the map is 6x bigger than our previous game” expecting some kind of trophy for just being big, even though most locations will usually all be the same loop of kill the enemies, burned the supllies, kill a ring leader for some generic loot…
I don’t have that issue with Elden Ring. I went into a cave in the Mountain of Giants and walked out with a weapon that looks and feels like a boss weapon with a completely unique playstyle, just from some random miniboss in the middle of nowhere. If this was another open world game, that weapon would just be a “legendary weapon” and it would function identically to every other weapon of that type and just have better stats or something… there wouldn’t have been a unique boss encounter either.
There is also one thing I admire about Elden Ring, it isn’t afraid of players missing the fun bits! It doesn’t feel the need to mark off where it’s fun bits are, and it just lets you loose on the world to find your own fun. Because if you are looking for the fun bits there isn’t a wrong direction you can take that won’t take you somewhere fun and interesting.
I’ve kept saying this about Elden Ring, it goes back to what open world games once were. One of the first proper open world games is Morrowind as far back as 2003. It feels like a proper world, where towns are scattered but placed near something of importance, the quests are given via reams of information from a character and you have to figure out where to go. If you are tasked with speaking to somewhere specific, you have to ask where they are, the directions to that place, and so on. Your journal keeps track of key words to make it easier to look through. But you’re not handheld to go to this place or that place to continue the game.
If you want to go to caldera or vivec or anywhere from the getgo, you can. You can go level up yourself your own way. Quests give you money and that’s pretty much it. You can grind for cash or do quests for money, but the world is your oyster. Side quests are placed everywhere, along roads or in towns, waiting for you to find them on your own. They’re not on the map, you’ll just find people on the side of roads and have to make up your own mind.
Alchemy as well is something you experiment with, getting help and hints from books but you are tasked with experimenting with what works and what doesn’t. No waypoints or fast travel, besides silk striders which costs money per trip. If you want a pure open world experience, Morrowind is there.
The only acceptable version of “climbing radio towers” I’ve ever seen is the Tallnecks from Horizon Zero Dawn/Forbidden West, because the process of hunting down those towers is made 100% cooler by them being giant dinosaurs you have to hunt down and scale like it’s Shadow of the Colossus.
All things aside It’s good to see a game that genuinely interests and excites you. It’s far too rare these days.
Re: the intro
Oh dear Steph. Is it the consequences of your actions again?
Incidentally, stellar work as always. You go Them Fatale!
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