The term “open world” has such grand implications. In the past, most video games were level-based, guiding players from one carefully constructed section to another. A combination of limited imagination and limited technology. Games like Metroid or Ultima were early flirtations with what we’d later dub open world. The technology part changed, and our game maps became big—laughably big—to the point that companies openly bragged about digital mileage. But rarely did imagination follow, to the point that “open world” now frequently channels blurry visions of repetitive and mindless objectives copied and pasted across a vast, same-y landscape. We’ve swapped digital mileage for endless hour counts.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/z3nvzw/with-elden-ring-fromsoftware-channels-its-inner-breath-of-the-wild