The Xbox One and PS4 are not only changing the way people see games, but the two systems are also changing the way we imagine what genres like an open-world game can be.
This concept can up when Ted Price, who is the CEO of Insomniac Games, spoke at the E3 2013 Xbox press conference. He discussed how Insomniac would be able to add new weapons and challenges as players are in the middle of playing Sunset Overdrive.
“Sunset Overdrive is a stylized open-world shooter in which the world can change everyday. We can add new weapons, add new challenges and deliver new world events that are inspired by our community of players.
“It’s not just an open-world game, it’s a living-world game,” Price said.
While these thoughts are nothing new to those who have seen the conference, this provides a preview into what developers are going to be able to do with open-world games. With new missions and new weapons being brought in at a developer’s will, this will add a lot more value to the purchases people make and to the games themselves.
You can also take a look at a game like Destiny. This game seems to be sharing a lot of the ideas that were expressed by Price. Activision and Bungie have invested heavily in their upcoming game Destiny, and it has been designed to have a life-cycle as long as the Xbox One and PS4.
So are we moving toward an age where we just have to buy a game once, and then from there, developers can gradually iterate on the world without having to release a new version of the game?
Are we moving toward an era where we walk around one area of a planet with desert themes, and then a few weeks later when we return to the same spot, there is a world that is now a dense city?
Perhaps the industry may be evolving toward those concepts, but those seem like ideas that will come to fruition for years.
But this whole idea of creating a living world has not only been expressed by Insomniac Games, Ubisoft has also been at the forefront of redefining what we think of when it comes to open-world games. They seem to be the ones that are most intent on defining what the next-generation of open-world games can be.
With Watch Dogs, this game isn’t just another open-world title where players can spend endless hours exploring a city and accepting missions. Well it is, but this game has added the new dynamic of multi-player in addition to the single player experience.
That could be another element of what next-gen is. Take all of the amazing experiences we have come to love, and then blend them together into one incredible product. Is that what the next-generation of open-world games will be about?
You could go on and on about some of the monstrous worlds that gaming developers are creating, right CD Projekt RED? However, it can’t be denied that there are some expansive and redefinig ideas being worked on by developers. What we think about when it comes to an open-world game today versus five years from now, it won’t be even close.
The Xbox One and PS4 may not bring the biggest leap we’ve ever seen from a visual standpoint, but they sure are going to change, and are changing, the way consumers and developers look at what an open-world game can be.