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July 2nd, 2013, 10:51
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I guess what I mean is that there is a lot less choice overall. For instance, you would usually emerge into an open area (typically a sort of smallish town square), and you would see almost immediately that there was, at the most, 2 or 3 different corridor-style paths you could then take.

Then of course there were some houses and stores you could enter along the way that would typically include some trash cans and cash registers for you to pilfer, and perhaps a safe. If you were lucky, there would even be another room upstairs or downstairs which would be similar.
The trash cans and cash registers were boring

Nah, I'm talking about unique content - like the audio logs, the commentary by Elizabeth - which was context sensitive, art, the "gear", and so on. Every single room in that game felt like it was a place with a history and purpose - much more so than the generic areas you find in most freeform exploration games.

Again, to me, exploration isn't just about hidden areas - but about the actual exploration of what's there.

In a typical Bioware game, for instance, you follow a similar linear path - but you don't really get rewarded for exploring the areas. Most areas are very sparsely populated with content - and everything important is shoved right in your face.

BI had such a sense of place and such a marvellous level of detail - that I greatly enjoyed exploring all the areas - obvious or not.

It's not comparable to an open-world game where you can scan the horizon and perhaps see a dozen different things that might interest you and then be able to approach them from any direction you like.
It's true that it's not really freeform exploration. But freeform exploration is only good when you're actually rewarded for your efforts. Most freeform games don't do that very well. The best examples are PB games and a few TES games. Well, and some of the older RPGs - like Baldur's Gate.

I think we get each other's gists by now though.
More or less, sure.

Fair enough. Although I don't see a lot of players missing much optional content unless they're trying to rush through the game.
By my standards, most players DO seem to rush through games like Bioshock Infinite




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