Isn't every Zelda technically 'open world'?

KazeAizen

New member
Jul 17, 2013
1,129
0
0
MysticSlayer said:
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.
I knew I liked Miyamoto for some reason :) He doesn't like certain gaming buzz words but knows to use them to provide context. Like I don't like the terms "core" or "hardcore" gamer but I use them because people know what I'm talking about if I do. Even if it is not as open world as Skyrim I don't think anyone is denying that this is going to be a big change of pace for the Zelda series. Also if they keep this art style for the game 20 years from now its still going to look fantastic while Battlefield 3 will look like junk compared to whatever comes out in the future.

No matter what way you slice it Zelda is in for a big change, Star Fox is about to be revived, and God knows what else Nintendo has planned with those Amibos. This is going to be a very interesting time to be a Nintendo person.
 

ScrabbitRabbit

Elite Member
Mar 27, 2012
1,545
0
41
Gender
Female
madwarper said:
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.
The Wikipedia page that you are basing this on has a throwaway reference to loading screens in the opening paragraph and then goes on to list several games that segment their worlds, such as Ulima, Shenmue and even a couple of Zelda games (that aren't Wind Waker).
 

Something Amyss

Aswyng and Amyss
Dec 3, 2008
24,759
0
0
s69-5 said:
Don't let a few historical revisionists tell you any different.
Calling the first Zelda game an open world game is revisionist in itself.

ScrabbitRabbit said:
The Wikipedia page that you are basing this on has a throwaway reference to loading screens in the opening paragraph and then goes on to list several games that segment their worlds, such as Ulima, Shenmue and even a couple of Zelda games (that aren't Wind Waker).
Indeed, that page uses several contradictory examples. But I did want to ask specifically of those Zelda games. I don't remember specifically: were their load screens, or could you roam edge to edge?
 

ScrabbitRabbit

Elite Member
Mar 27, 2012
1,545
0
41
Gender
Female
Zachary Amaranth said:
Indeed, that page uses several contradictory examples. But I did want to ask specifically of those Zelda games. I don't remember specifically: were their load screens, or could you roam edge to edge?
I don't think you could, no. The games listed were Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask and if you want to go from one end of the game world to the other, you're going to go through some loading screens. With Ocarina you'll have to have made a bit of progress in the story, too.
 

Blaze the Dragon

New member
Jan 8, 2010
127
0
0
Yeah I don't get how people are saying the original LoZ isn't open world just because of loading screens. By that logic if a game let me walk around New york and enter every single room of every building in the city however I wanted to, but had loading screens before you could do that, it wouldn't be open world.

Being "Open World" or "Free Roam" is pretty much what it literally implies. That the player is free to go where they please in the game with few limitations. People use skyrim often because it's still fresh in people's memory and it's a good example of an open world game. There is a main storyline, but if I wanted to, I could get to level 30 and do a ton of interesting quests and other things before taking on the first official story mission. In the original LoZ you could explore most of the world and get lots of power-ups before setting foot in the first dungeon.

It's important to note the difference between an 'open' world and simply a 'large' world. For instance again with LoZ, the map isn't particularly huge, but you're still free to go get your ass kicked in the later dungeons first if you really want. You can do almost anything in whatever order you want. Meanwhile in the first part of Link to the Past, you have to do a lot of things in a specific order. So while that game has a big world to explore, the player has little choice (for the first part of the game at least) as to what they're allowed to do. So the game does not start off as open world, but becomes one later.

The idea with the new Zelda, at least as far as I understand it, is that it will have a larger focus on exploration than some of the previous installments, and be more like the original zelda. They specifically mention approaching an area from whatever angle you want in order to explore how you want. For example even in previous games that some people might consider Open-World, the dungeons still had 1 specific entrance and little variation as to the order you can do things in said dungeon. The idea is like, say you're given a quest to kill X person for some reason, and you know he's in Y location. If this were in the 'old' style, the location would've been a dungeon that you find the entrance to and go through. For example perhaps now the location might be a village in a valley, and you're free to enter the village from wherever you want, go into the buildings and talk to people in whatever order you want, sneak around on top of the buildings at night to try and find the guy, and so on.

And just because a game has some limitations on where you can go, that doesn't mean it's automatically not open world. If say you need to do something to lower a bridge to gain access to a new area, as long as you're free to do that thing with little railroading, and both areas are explorable, it can still easily be an open world game.
 

WeepingAngels

New member
May 18, 2013
1,722
0
0
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.
LOL, wikipedia is not the last word on anything. It can be edited by anyone.

You know every game has loading. Are you really going to pretend that Oblivion isn't open world because it has to load when you go into a city?
 

NuclearKangaroo

New member
Feb 7, 2014
1,919
0
0
madwarper said:
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.
what about the first GTA games? those also had to load up the different city districts individually
 

The_Lost_King

New member
Oct 7, 2011
1,506
0
0
So I see everyone saying that zelda isn't open world because there is a linear path through it that you have to take. Yet this is still the same site that called Dark Souls open world(not hating on ds so don't lynch me). Dark Souls may be a bit more open, but by your guys' definition it isn't open world. Sure I can got to new londo, undead burg, or the crypt from day one, but I can't just decide to go to Anor Londo, I can't just skip a place(other than the depths).
 

Hero of Lime

Staaay Fresh!
Jun 3, 2013
3,114
0
41
s69-5 said:
Hero of Lime said:
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.
You mean like keys to a locked door, which is bog standard in most adventure games, including open-world games?

OP: Yes, Zelda has been open world since the first game in the series. Don't let a few historical revisionists tell you any different.
Well if you read my full post, you would have noted I said they could be considered open world. I also don't understand why you think I and others on this thread have some kind of "revisionist" mindset when it comes to Zelda. Frankly, I could care less what Zelda games are referred to as, I love them to death anyway, and buzz words like "open world" mean little to me.

Try playing Zelda 2 again, tell me how much you can really explore the world around you, and how you can go to any part of the game from the get go. Even Wind Waker stops you from going to most sectors early on because you don't have the boomerang to fight off nearby Big Octos among other reasons.
 

Roxas1359

Burn, Burn it All!
Aug 8, 2009
33,758
0
0
No, and here's why I think so. Now, Open World is a buzz word, that much is certain, but there are some things that I believe make a game open world. For one, can you explore through areas that you would end up going to later for plot, and you can explore it just fine? If the answer is yes, then you are in an open world my friend. Zedla 1 is an open world game, as you can tackle any dungeon in any order you wish from the get go. While Ocarina of Time, you must do the first 3 dungeons in the order you are forced too: Deku Tree, Dodongo Cavern, Jabu Jabu's Belly. After that you are free to tackle a whopping 3 dungeons in any order, but not all 5 that are available to you in the future because you need to complete the Fire, Water, and Forest temple before you are allowed access to the Lens of Truth.
Majora's Mask is worse with this in that you must tackle the dungeons in the specific order, that is unless you are going out of your way to just get the dungeon item and leave the dungeon without completing it.

A Link Between Worlds is a step in the right direction when it comes to offering choice to the players, which is a good thing. Either way, it doesn't matter whether Zelda games are open world or not, but in all honesty only the original Zelda and A Link Between Worlds because you can do it in any order you wish. All the other Zeldas just gave you idea that you are making a choice, when in reality you're not.
 
Jan 18, 2012
219
0
0
Not Exactly. Open world, to me at least, means being able to go anywhere in the world at the outset (even if certain areas have enemies that will smash you into Jello in 2 seconds flat). Most Zelda games block off certain areas until you progress through the story or get certain items (hookshot, Zora Tunic, Lens of Truth, etc).
 

Mahorfeus

New member
Feb 21, 2011
996
0
0
In just about any 3D Zelda game, the world seems to be more or less open, but many parts of it are compartmentalized. When departing from Kokiri Forest to Hyrule Field in OoT, the distance you travel over through gameplay does not directly reflect the distance Link is actually traveling - the screen whites/blacks out to load the game as he travels through a log tunnel that is gods know how long. Same thing with the route to Kakariko Village - you see what is more or less a portrait of it rendered in the distance, and the scene transitions with a clip of Link walking there before the next area loads. Same with Death Mountain, Hyrule Castle, etc etc etc.

I can only assume that Link will be able to travel from region to region, regardless of climate and/or environmental differences, without any kind of blatant loading times.
 

Scarim Coral

Jumped the ship
Legacy
Oct 29, 2010
18,157
1
3
Country
UK
Skyward Sword is definitely not open world! Ok yes the sky was but there was hardly anything interesting up there (one settlement, a bar, a training ground, the merchant home and a couple of useless sky islands) but the lands was not! Seriously that was one change that did not benefit the game and rather detach it from the franchise in a bad way.
 

Something Amyss

Aswyng and Amyss
Dec 3, 2008
24,759
0
0
ScrabbitRabbit said:
I don't think you could, no. The games listed were Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask and if you want to go from one end of the game world to the other, you're going to go through some loading screens. With Ocarina you'll have to have made a bit of progress in the story, too.
Good to know. I legit couldn't remember. I've never been too taken by the 3D Zeldas, so while I remember them vaguely, I couldn't actually recall how the overworld was handled.

s69-5 said:
Do tell.
You can go from one end of the map to the other, at any time, with some exceptions (the aforementionned "keys"), not unlike any so-called open-world game. Just because the term did not exist in 1986, it doesn't make it "revisionist" to call a spade, a spade.
It does make it revisionist to rationalise something after the fact.

I mean, if you want to retroactively define it as such, there's no shame in that. But it's hypocritical to accuse others of revisionism.
 

renegade7

New member
Feb 9, 2011
2,046
0
0
Yes, but the progression is still almost completely linear. You do one thing, then you can do the next, then whatever comes after that, etc, Link kills Ganon, Zelda blueballs Link, credits roll, done.

That's really what separates Zelda from a game like Skyrim. Zelda has a much clearer and more concrete progression through the game that you are meant to take. TES on the other hand sets you loose in the world to do as you please, even completely ignoring the main quest for the numerous other things the game has to offer.

I think there are ways in which Zelda can benefit from some more traditional RPG elements: optional quest lines, multiple endings, and a possibility of different character setups. Especially the possibility of multiple story paths. Maybe Ganon's got a point after all is said and done: he alludes in Wind Waker that his people were seriously mistreated by the Hyrulean government. Or maybe Link is an atheist who doesn't give a rat's ass about some magical fairy goddess prophecy: realistically, if you met some self-professed prophet on the street, you usually just ignore them, especially if it's a giant talking tree in which case you have your friend take you to a safe place until the shrooms wear off.

I would really like to see that kind of approach to the world of Zelda. There's a huge amount of untapped potential for quality RPG material, and in my opinion it's being wasted. Although, I guess given how much of a juggernaut TES is it's important that Zelda find a way to differentiate itself. Trying to compete directly with AAA developers tends to work out poorly for Nintendo, ie, Metroid Prime's poor sales due to trying to compete with Halo.

Open world probably means they're going to expand on what they did with Link Between Worlds: strip away the directly linear progression and give the player options about how to approach things.

Hopefully it also means they're going to decompartmentalize the world a little. This was Skyward Sword's big problem, everything was just a series of rooms connected by a hub world. OoT and TP had this issue too: the action takes place in what basically amounts to sets of rooms connected by a large but mostly empty overworld area, and while I'll always remember the first time I crested a hill and looked out over Hyrule Field, it got stale REALLY quickly. This breaks the "organic" feel a world must have to immerse the player: is this an actual place in a world, or is it just an obstacle course with some contrived excuse to fit with the storyline, with an overworld area for no other purpose than to pad things out?

Zelda's open world style works best at two extremes: Majora's Mask and Wind Waker. MM worked because the world was just large enough to contain everything, but due to the time limits the world had to be small to keep travel time to a minimum. This increased the density of the content for the space and worked out giving the game a much more unique feel that kept new areas continually interesting.

On the opposite end, there's Wind Waker, which compared to the other games was HUGE. WW was linear but it didn't strongly hold your hand, especially in the last stage of the game. There was a real sense of exploration and discovery: seeing the silhouette of an island in the distance and deciding to check it out on curiosity alone. Since the game's world was a bunch of separated islands, every island had to be unique and interesting.

So if you're going to have the "open world" model, either make it small and dense with interesting content, or if you're going to make it large focus on exploration and non-linearity: do not give me a world as large as TP's and just drag me back and forth over the enormous map. That makes the walking a chore, not a part of the adventure.
 

Gatx

New member
Jul 7, 2011
1,458
0
0
It's a connected world but it's not really "open." It's not unlike Metroid, which gives you a large map to explore but it's nothing like a GTA style open world game.