Open-world games are massive projects undertaken by mammoth developers. They are extremely popular among the gaming community, and all of us have played one or another open-world game at some point in our lives. Open-world games give us many possibilities, including getting it wrong. While some of this is fun stuff, some of these can be extremely frustrating. Especially when 1 bad jump causes you to fail the mission you spent a couple of hours to get through. These problems were more prominent in older games like GTA: Vice City and GTA: III. Modern games have gotten much better with AI that makes sense, and better ledge-grabbing systems. But, irrespective of what has gotten better, we still do commit these mistakes all the time. I am not trying to be judgemental, these are mistakes everyone makes, including me. So, let’s have a look at them.
1. Spend way too much time doing side content and getting burnt out
This is a mistake all of us commit, and it is one of the biggest and worst mistakes one could commit. Open world games are filled with content, starting from side quests, to points of interest, collectibles, and so much. Sometimes, it does feel overwhelming. And that causes issues with people who want to finish these games. There are tons of content in open-worlds, but sometimes it just feels way too repetitive and not in-depth. This can be felt in the side-quests and missions of any game.
A big example can be CD Projekt RED’s Cyberpunk. The game has hundreds of side missions. But, most of them feel the same. So, most players could just get caught up clearing parts of the map and forget to make actual progress through the story.
Let’s agree at a point. Developers put the maximum time into designing the main missions and the story of a game. Thus, those missions feel much better than the side stuff that is packed to make the games last longer. Although, there are exceptions. Like CD Projekt RED’s last game, Witcher 3, is nothing like Cyberpunk. The side quests in that game are awesome. Also, the side quests in Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption 2 feel as good as the main story. But, for most of the open-world games, this just isn’t true. It sucks to see when people give up on such great games because they tried to complete it 100%, but got burnt out and dumped the game completely.
2. Missing a Single Collectible
Some open-world games have tons and tons of collectibles to collect through the gameplay. But, sometimes it gets too overwhelming, and keeping track of the 500 orbs in the first Crackdown game is just too difficult. These might require you to follow a guide all the time to get done, but still, if you miss a single countable and have no track of which one you missed out on, it can get overly devastating. Players end up spending tens of hours to get that last collectible. Most of the time, you have no option but to manually check all the locations and find out the missing one.
Sometimes, games even don’t tell the location of the collectibles. Finding one of them is a total luck factor, and determined players have to do some spot-seeing to locate them. The amount of time and patience spent in collecting all these deserves an award in itself. But, these small things just don’t matter in the course of the main story of the game, and some people just fail to realize that.
3. Stealing cars despite having a maxed out car in the garage
All of us do this all the time. Most games have our cars hidden inside a garage, where they are “safe”. And we just feel overly lazy and don’t get to the garage to get our car. And, what do we end up doing? Steal a mediocre car that is parked on the side of the road and rush to a mission. But, then we find out that we are screwed because the car we stole can either not speed very well or go bananas if the enemies shoot just a couple of bullets at it.
Modern open-world games have introduced features that solve these problems to an extent. In games like Far Cry 6 and Cyberpunk 2077, players can summon their vehicles to their locations, and this saves a lot of time. But, most older games just don’t bother. This especially gets too bad in Red Dead Redemption 2, where if the player gets too far away from their horse, they simply can’t just get them back. And, that involves going back to the horse’s last known position, whistling several hundred times until the game finally decides to respawn it.
4. Running over an NPC of interest
This has happened with all of us at some point or other in our gaming careers, mostly in older games. The game requires players to pick up an NPC because it is important or they had to “catch the damn train” together. But, instead, we end up running over them because the AI wouldn’t move if the car was parked diagonally. Mostly this isn’t the player’s fault as the missions do get tense at times. It happens mostly in older games that pack stupid AI, and whether the NPC gets into the car or not is a matter of life or death.
5. Getting caught at the very last second
Most open-world games have some sort of stealth built into them, and they tend to reward you if you clear out an outpost without getting caught. Every major open-world, like Ghost of Tsushima, Assassin’s Creed, Horizon Zero Dawn, Far Cry, etc. has done this, and it does add some character to the gameplay. This has happened with me several times in Far Cry games, especially in Horizon Zero Dawn. We get impatient and try to make the one risky move between covers thinking the guards won’t spot us, but they turned right when we were making the move, and it gets sour.
Things also take an unexpected turn when the cover gets blown in the very last second as one assassination gets mistimed, or our silencer pistol runs out of bullets. We spent half an hour trying to get that 20% stealth bonus, but now it’s gone. This is simply annoying, and you just can’t help it.
Gaming is meant to be fun, and failing is a part of the fun. Open-world games are huge endeavors on part of the developers, and they play like a dream. Thus, the worst fails in this massively popular genre give only good memories and remind us of that time when we committed the same mistake and regretted it. We are not trying to judge anyone with this article. Even the best players of all time will end up committing these mistakes.