Isn't every Zelda technically 'open world'?

Ghostface2206

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The new Zelda game coming to Wii U has a lot of people talking, wha most of them seem to be saying is that this game is 'open world', which it is...but most people seem under the impression that this is the first open world Zelda? If that's true, how are the others not open world? Is it because this new game will have a bigger overworld than previous Zeldas?

Even the original Zelda on NES let you go anywhere you wanted, isn't it considered one of the first open world games?

Also another thing I don't get is why people are calling this game "(an open world game) in the vein of Skyrim"...is Skyrim now the go-to reference point for RPGs and Open World games? Have people forgotten that it's the 5th Elder Scrolls game or that there are other games in the same series with bigger over worlds?
 

Zhukov

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Being technically open world in the sense that you are free to explore and backtrack however you please and being what people generally think of when someone says "open world" are not necessarily the same thing.

As for Skyrim, I think you know perfectly well why it's being used as a point of reference. It was hugely popular and sold a ton. So if you say "it's like Skyrim" then more people are going to get what you mean than if you were to say "it's like Daggerfall." It's the same reason people are more likely to compare an FPS to Call of Duty than to Wolfenstein or Homefront.
 

madwarper

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Ghostface2206 said:
how are the others not open world?
First, you're going to have to define what you think "open world" means.

"Open world" and "free-roaming" suggest the absence of artificial barriers, in contrast to the invisible walls and loading screens that are common in linear level designs.
Even the original Zelda on NES let you go anywhere you wanted, isn't it considered one of the first open world games?
In the original Zelda, everything was divided into individual screens. And, when you got to the edge of one screen you had to go and load the next screen. Thus, that doesn't qualify as an "open world".

Now, I can see one trying to make the argument for Wind Waker being the first "open world" Zelda game, through since the vast ocean was a whole lot of nothing in between the one island on each map section, an "open world" doesn't mean much if you don't do anything with it.
Also another thing I don't get is why people are calling this game "(an open world game) in the vein of Skyrim"...is Skyrim now the go-to reference point for RPGs and Open World games? Have people forgotten that it's the 5th Elder Scrolls game or that there are other games in the same series with bigger over worlds?
I haven't seen anything for this new upcoming Zelda game, so I can't say what it's going to be like.

But, No. It's not that people have forgotten about the previous entries in the Elder Scrolls series, it's just that Skyrim is the latest and freshest in their memory.
 

StriderShinryu

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As Zhukov says, it's more about the barriers put in place than having an explorable map. Open world games generally are designed in such a way that you can go almost anywhere you want without arbitrary restrictions. The less the restrictions, particularly at the outset of the game, the more open world the game is. Most of the Zelda games are famous for putting up at least some roadblocks that limit where you can go and what you can do, sometimes in a very severe manner. A game like Skyrim (and others have covered why this is the frequently named example) lets you wander pretty much where ever you want right from when you leave the tutorial cave. If you wander into a nature spirits cave and get slaughtered by the spirit and it's animal friends or you wander into an enemy held fort without second thought, the game isn't going to tell you no.
 

Goliath100

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I would only say the original is. The rest really aren't.
madwarper said:
In the original Zelda, everything was divided into individual screens. And, when you got to the edge of one screen you had to go and load the next screen. Thus, that doesn't qualify as an "open world".
Are you saying the loading don't make it a open world, or is it the division to individual parts that make it so?
 

madwarper

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Goliath100 said:
Are you saying the loading don't make it a open world, or is it the division to individual parts that make it so?
The division of individual parts, each screen of the world map being its own part.

As opposed to the aforementioned Wind Waker, where you could seamlessly sail all the way from one edge of the ocean all the way to the other.
 

MysticSlayer

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Zelda is sort of an odd case. The maps tend to be large, offer plenty of exploration and item hunting, have "side quests", and allow free exploration towards the end of the game. As a result, it certainly feels open world in a sense. However, it isn't really "open world" in the same sense that Elder Scrolls or even Grand Theft Auto is. The player is often forced down a linear progression of dungeons with no real incentive to pursue side quests other than to possibly acquire more heart pieces and rupees. There also aren't really any "dungeons" that are completely optional. Even games like A Link Between Worlds where numerous dungeons do become available at the same time, there is still quite a major limit on how you can progress through all those dungeons.

Ultimately, based on what Miyamoto has said, Nintendo is attempting to take Zelda away from its standard progression of dungeons and allow more openness and freedom. However, it still isn't going to be an open world entirely [http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/07/04/miyamoto-doesnt-like-to-call-zelda-wii-u-open-world], just closer to one than past Zelda games. Regardless, Zelda does tend to at least give the feeling of being in an open world, so it really seems like they are refining the way that they present that feeling.
 

WeepingAngels

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madwarper said:
Goliath100 said:
Are you saying the loading don't make it a open world, or is it the division to individual parts that make it so?
The division of individual parts, each screen of the world map being its own part.

As opposed to the aforementioned Wind Waker, where you could seamlessly sail all the way from one edge of the ocean all the way to the other.
Loading has nothing to do with open world.

Open world is the ability to go anywhere, doesn't matter if Bruma needs a load screen, you can still go there at will.
 

Someone Depressing

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Not really. Sure, the maps are large and complex and usually full of nothing but fun and stupid things to do. However, the games are incredibly linear. The most non-linear thing you could do in OoT is get the dungeon items out of order, before actually completing the dungeons. And even then, that just sticks you back on the pre-determined path, slaps you on the bum and sends you on your linear way down a linear dungeon, then back to the linear town and maybe a linear stealth section.

Open world implies that you can do things how you want; Fallout 3 and Oblivion let you do what quests you want, in what order, how you want to build your character, ect. In Zelda, you can't. Go here, go there, with some sidequests and items scattered along the way.
 

Guffe

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beef_razor said:
I always thought so. Ocarina was pretty damn open world to me.
Most Zelda games are open world yes, in the sense that you can run in between missions all around places you've been to and so on.

The difference with this Zelda is, that we will most likely have 4 or 5 (or even more?) dungeons, but we can choose ourselves in which order we play them. So if we have 4 temples, Goron, Zora, Kokiri and DarkTower for example, we can now do the temples in any order we want. Before you have had to do everything in a certain order, now we don't :)
 

Ghostface2206

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This makes it a lot clearer, thanks for clarifying it.

This also changes my perception of what this game will be like, when Anouma said it would be open world I thought he meant it would just be a really really big Zelda game but although I realise he's making it similar to the 1st one on NES, I can't wait to find out how the game will let you interact with the world.
 

sXeth

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Zelda's been kind of a hybrid open-world thing for the most part. There's been a central part thats open-worldish, but then levels locked off by item requirements.

The thing with a "true" open world, is that you'd be able to leave the forest and climb to the top of Death Mountain (monsters aside) without having to do 2-3 temples between.
 

FPLOON

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Eh... The original NES Zelda game was open world in the sense that you can both get lost and killed by enemies that are clearly above your current "skill level"... Unfortunately, most of the Zelda games that came out afterwards more or less had over-worlds that "felt" open world, but we're as linear as the main objectives of a GTA game, especially when it came to the dungeons...

With that said, I feel like this Wii U Zelda game would be as open world as Oblivion more than Skyrim, since we can already assume there would be more focus on the many objectives you can do with a story to engage you further into the world overall...
 

madwarper

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WeepingAngels said:
Loading has nothing to do with open world.

Open world is the ability to go anywhere, doesn't matter if Bruma needs a load screen, you can still go there at will.
Except your definition does not jive with the one on the wikipedia page.
 

TheYellowCellPhone

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It mostly is, but the world is mostly locked off until you progress into the story more. By the end of the game the world is truly open, but it only took you 8+ hours at that point. Zelda U (if that is the name) looks like it wants to be open without story limits from the start.
 

Majinash

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madwarper said:
WeepingAngels said:
Loading has nothing to do with open world.

Open world is the ability to go anywhere, doesn't matter if Bruma needs a load screen, you can still go there at will.
Except your definition does not jive with the one on the wikipedia page.
No he is right, wiki isn't the end all to be all. Open world games aren't decided by loading screens. Loading screens are a limit with game tech, open world is about game design.

I don't remember many loading screens on my N64, but that doesn't mean all it's games were open world and all PS2 games were linear. It just means the PS2 was a disc based system and thus had lots of loading.
 

Hero of Lime

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I would say no. Zelda games are open to be sure allowing one to do more than just the quest at hand, but they do not allow the player to go anywhere at any time. In most of the games you will reach points where you will have to turn back because of story reasons, or you do not have a certain item.

On the other hand, maybe they can be considered open world, there is no text book definition of what an open world game is.

It sounds like Zelda U will be more open, but I can see there still being some barriers around. They would really have to work at making a very different kind of Zelda game to achieve a truly "open" feeling.
 

madwarper

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s69-5 said:
So because of the towns, Oblivion is not open world. Bollocks!
Did you not read the words in my post, or just not understand them?

In Oblivion, you can walk from one edge of the map all the way to the other. All in one go, without any loading screens.

You can't do that in the Original Legend of Zelda, nor any LoZ game, save Wind Waker.
Don't let a few historical revisionists tell you any different.
Yea, listen to the redefinitionists.