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I hope the next Mass Effect Ditches the open world.


Playing through Mass Effect 2 again, and im reminded that its nearly a perfect game. One reason this game is so good is due to its pacing. Especially with qol mods on pc that skip hacking mini games, and make it so that one probe can give you all resources on a planet.

But a huge part of why the pacing is so good is because its not an open world game. Mass effect 2 consists of 5 and a half small hubs for the most part. The citadel, Tuchunka, the migrant fleet, omega, the normandy, and illium. These hubs lead to contained linear levels. Unlike andromeda, mass effect 2 doesnt require you to treck across large worlds to get to where you need to go, that was also something the first game toyed with to a lesser extent, and it hasnt aged well.

All the information you need to progress is in the immediate vicinity. While there is a lot to do in mass effect 2, between main missions, loyality missions, and side missions, none of it feels overwhelming. The game briskly moves from one activity to the next.

I hope that bioware remembers how hard they nailed the pacing in this game when creating the next mass effect. Forget the open world, give me a series of small yet highly detailed hubs that lead to linear but well paced missions. Open world was just one of many issues in Andromeda, but it was the most glaring for me playing it directly after 2 and 3.
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We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
I'm hoping developers have taken note of the success of God of War / Ragnarok and are leaning back towards "open zone" design. Mostly linear game and if you want to get your fill of running in an open circle picking things up, you can, but it's almost entirely optional.


Mass Effect 2 is a masterpiece for sure. Kinda makes you think - with today's advancements in video game development, they could create something truly amazing in terms of environmental detail. I remember one of my biggest pet peeves about the original trilogy is how much they relied on reused assets and because of that, you had to fill in some of the blanks with your imagination because they just didn't have time or money to make every single location as bespoke and detailed as possible. But just imagine if they'd focus all that effort that usually goes into making a modern open-world game and create an incredibly detailed series of smaller hubs like in the original ME trilogy. That shit would be crazy good.

Dead Space remake is a really good example of this. Comparing it to the original, the level of detail of those new locations is insanely good because they could just focus on packing those smaller locations with detail instead of spreading themselves thin by making a bigger game out of it.
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The Contrarian
I really liked Andromeda despite its flaws but yes, i agree with settling for a more linear hub world style system.

It not only helps with the pacing, but also helps create more meaningful and rich content. The smaller worlds are allowed to have more details packed in. They are rich in lore. I remember every hub world had a bunch of great side stories that all felt interconnected even if they werent. The loyalty missions, the random NPC encounters you got to punch, and the main story content all felt intertwined.

I think GOW Ragnorak's Crater level is what everyone should be aiming for. Something truly oragnic and dynamic without feeling like padding. Set your main quest and your side quests in the same world and populate it with NPCs.


wants to fuck an Asian grill.
Sure ditch the open world but the hub should be more intricate & open. Illium and especially Tuchanka are downright sad compared to ME1’s citadel. Even ME3’s Citadel depiction had more dynamic elements than ME2’s hubs. Linearity should be reserved for the actual missions. Even if it means just having 1 hub, I will take that over 4 bad ones.


Pacing is the single most important aspect of a GOTY-level game that most people overlook. That's what keeps a game consistently interesting from beginning to end.

Chrono Trigger, Mass Effect 2, Resident Evil 4. Pacing.
Agreed, it cant be understated how bad poor pacing hurts an experiencce. Id say most modern open world games struggle with this, except the witcher 3


Give us dense well crafted semi-open ‘hubs’ for different worlds and locations, like The Witcher 2 and Deus Ex games. Much better.
I think the problem with open world in Mass Effect was mainly it was just go from A to B and maybe go out of your way a few times for collectables. No random encounters, nothing really interesting to find and very little to do but just drive for prolonged periods with nothing happening.

I know there were people clamouring for the return of the Mako from ME1, but I always kinda felt those people had some serious nostalgia goggles on to how interesting it was. The only even slightly interesting thing to me was the one orb you could find and the odd thresher maw, and really it was basically a short paragraph of text and fights where you drive around in a giant circle while shooting. 😕


there are cases where the opposite is true. I think ff7 remake would have been more interesting with an open midgar to explore


wants to fuck an Asian grill.
Keep open world, Make Mass Effect in VR.

Michael Scott Why Are You The Way That You Are GIF by Giphy QA


I don't think Andromeda was that open world either. Just bear with me.

While yes, you can go across various planets with Mako 2.0, you really can't do so freely for most of the time. All you're able to drive through is surrounded by unclimbable mountains, making them essentially just wider corridors. Or then just flat spaces filled with a whole ton of fuck all. With enemies respawning at the exact same locations (well, sometimes mid-air or in-terrain, but you get the point) every time you go through them. But apart from going from point A to point B, there's no motive or reward for exploration.

So it was only open world in the most narrow definition of the term. I'd wholeheartedly welcome the return of handcrafted corridors with better pacing and actually meaningful gameplay. Not just scaling up the old Mass Effect concept to 11 and calling it a day.
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Snake Oil Salesman
Hard disagree, one of my favorite experiences this year was hifi rush, a strictly linear game. I also loved dead space this year, which i would classify as wide linear

I guess a new Mass Effect that sells like Hifi Rush would be the death of the franchise. Non viable, but you would like it.
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Better open world is viable.
Going back to linear is not.
How is going to linear not viable? It's a more focused product...

Nothing is gained from going open world, as every single open world game (besides Mafia and maybe a few others) is padded out with boring regurgitated side quests.

Better open world isn't feasible, or all devs would obviously do that.


Agreed. I'd rather have smaller but denser areas packed with meaningful quests and character interaction, versus an open world which is half-empty and full of useless collectibles. I actually thought Andromeda was decent enough, but its also the first ME game where I didn't immediately restart a second a play through right after beating it.

EDIT: Also, can we get a non-human main character for once? There is so much awesome lore that can be explored. I'd also be down for a story that isn't about saving the whole galaxy, but something smaller in scale (ex. something about the underworld, for example?). I'll be disappointed if the next game is saving the whole galaxy and the protagonist is a male or female soldier.
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Gold Member
There is nothing inherently wrong with open world games.

The problem is most devs don't provide compelling mechanics for their open world. Most open world games devolve into mindlessly holding the joystick until you reach your destination or until you unlock fast travel. Immersion is largely irrelevant because most open world games have zero environmental interactivity.

The worst part: after all these years, no open world game makes you feel as big as the world you're in. Why am I still having small interactions in such massive environments?

Let me call down nukes from orbit, freeze entire bodies of water, or make volcanos erupt on my enemies. Let me draw in all the wildlife and turn them against my attackers. Let me raise armies and order them to wipe out patrols for me across the world in real time. I would gladly play a game with PS2-era graphics if it meant stuff like this was possible. Instead, we get the same shit with a new coat of paint.
Id say its too late for that. Once any dev smells open world, they stay there for good. What I wouldnt give for a specific track based NFS or Burnout but nope, gonna be open world forever so they can add "live" content.
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