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7 Games with Lousy Gameplay but Great Open World Designs

You would think those game designers who put thousands of hours into a game’s open world design would put at least that much time into the actual gameplay but that’s not always true. Some designers seem to have decided that the design is the most important aspect of the game. That’s resulted in online poker games and other video games that have amazing open world plans but lousy gameplay.

About Open World

Open world video games are online casino games and video games designed with open areas so players can reach their objective through a variety of options. The games are non-linear though some have multiple levels including both traditional and open world.

The main attraction of an open world game is that it balances the structure of a dramatic storyline with an open world. Players can perform actions that the game designer didn’t program into the game which means that gamers have a lot of freedom.

Open world games often break the game’s story into a series of missions or side-missions within the main mission. Some open-world games guide the player towards major story events so the player doesn’t receive the entire map at the start of the game – rather, the player must complete a task to obtain the next section of the map where they can identify missions and points of interest.

Sometimes the designer becomes over-involved in the open-world design and seems to forget about the gameplay. Here are a few examples of games where better gameplay should have been integrated into the game’s high-quality open world design.

Post-Apocalyptic Earth – Rage

Post-apocalyptic open world games should have run their course by now but they remain a popular type of video game, especially for fans of open world games. Be that as it may, Rage’s open world really felt like a place where humanity was trying to rebuild. The shooting, however, was quirky and the storyline is a little sketchy, plus the game seems a bit quaint and old-fashioned (it must be noted that this is a 2011 release so some of this can be forgiven).

That said, Rage II is about to be released and it seems to have fixed the problems with the original Rage gameplay. It’s an immersive first-person-shooter game with a solid plot and different types of abilities that you can unlock as you head into any direction that you want to keep the mutants from overrunning the town. The map isn’t huge but it’s dense, packed-full of missions and tasks.

Rage II has also spent needed time focusing on gameplay with some unique elements such as the Nanotrites who deliver more and more abilities as the player climbs higher and higher in the game’s levels. The abilities merge to allow you to mix and match the actions further.

The Entire USA – The Crew

Ubisoft brings this racing game to life in a game that sends racers around the USA using one single map. The game has been described as “loveable but a mess” and that’s how many players see it – the map is an open world race track that takes players from one city to the next and one state to the next. The travel feels like an actual road trip.

However, the game seems to have gotten a little too big for its britches and details are often lacking. The actual races themselves are kind of boring and the experience doesn’t offer the type of interactive excitement that gamers have come to expect from open world games.

Paris – Assassin’s Creed: Unity

Ubisoft has a lot of hits in the open world genre but Paris – Assassin’s Creed is a miss. This game, which was released under Ubisoft’s premier franchise, was full of bugs including faces that melted off the characters’ skulls.

The latest version of the game runs much more smoothly but Ubisoft wisely left the original open world design intact. That involved a recreation of Paris during the era of the French Revolution. The developers attended to every detail and both the exterior and the interior held up under scrutiny.

The designers made sure to focus on the period architecture so it was a disappointment when the final product didn’t have the power to support it.  This is one “classic” that’s best to pass up for a more recent version.

New Bordeaux – Mafia III

Considering the public’s fascination with the underworld, Mafia III could have been something unique. The protagonist was compelling, the plot was emotionally affecting, there was a socio-political climate just ripe for mining and a lifelike world was there to be explored. New Bordeaux provides a dichotomy between the city streets and nearby, alligator-infested swampland. The setting is vintage 1970s and includes period-authentic architecture that gives the open world a distinct, unique look and atmosphere. The design combines with a pitch-perfect soundtrack that bolsters the period setting.

Unfortunately, the repetitive mission design makes it hard to enjoy the other elements and this game didn’t stay on the shelves for long.

20th Century London – Vampyr

This Dontnod supernatural RPG has a haunting early-20th-century  setting but didn’t feature the type of refinement that gamers have come to expect from an open world game.

The problem was that the atmosphere is all the game has going for it and no one was surprised when it disappeared from the shelves, even though many fans felt that it could have been re-developed with better gameplay.

Chicago – Watch Dogs

Ubisoft has become better at combining open world with quality gameplay but some of their earlier games missed the mark completely. Chicago – Watch Dogs is one of those games and this time, it’s not because the gameplay was lacking but it’s because the open world version of the classic game was lacking dynamism and grit.

The gameplay on this game, however, kept players on their toes with missions, side-missions, innovative tasks and more.

The second Watch Dogs Game, which was set in San Francisco, corrected many of the mistakes of the first game.

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