Open-world fatigue is real. It is something that we all suffer from during certain points. In this amazing season where a tonne of fantastic games gets released, open world fatigue might be really hard to cope with. No matter how good a game is, it is a real struggle to go from one open world to another and at some point, everyone will get tired of it all.
The open-world fatigue “struggle”
In September, we had Marvel’s Spider-Man and this month, the massive Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey blew us away. With Red Dead Redemption 2 releasing this Friday, I thought it high time we walk about open-world fatigue. Yes, this is very much “first world problems” but after playing both Spider-Man and Odyssey to death, I feel that fatigue kicking in right now. If you are in the same boat, then we do have some suggestions on how to cleanse your gaming palate in time for Red Dead Redemption 2.
Let’s kick things off with discussing what open world fatigue is. In a nutshell, it happens to some gamers when they play open-world titles one after the other. They get tired of all the tasks to complete and the freedom these games provide. You don’t notice it at first, but after a while, everything just seems to blur together and then you find yourself trying to just finish up the main story of a game skipping everything else. It’s almost as if you need to push yourself through the last sections of a game after enjoying it for a long time. If you feel like that and you have another 60-hour (or more) experience on the horizon, then it could become an issue.
It is important to note that the games don’t have to be bad, in fact, for the most part, they are brilliant titles. However, open-world games are generally massive experiences, with recent examples of Spider-Man taking more than 30 hours to beat and Odyssey over 50 hours or even 100 depending on how much you do. That’s a lot of time to invest and the experience is generally amazing, but such an amount of gameplay time sometimes translates into fatigue.
As a personal example, I’m roughly 50 hours into Odyssey right now, needing another 20 or so to complete the game. Then on Friday, Red Dead Redemption 2 will consume my life as I try to bring you an extensive review as soon as possible. So what does that have to do with you? Probably nothing, but if you’ve been playing Odyssey and plan to jump into Red Dead Redemption 2, I fear that some gamers might start suffering from open-world fatigue in Rockstar’s upcoming title.
No matter what you do or how much you love doing something, too much of a good thing is simply.
Cleansing that palate
How do you avoid open-world fatigue? If you are already suffering from it, how do you cleanse your gaming palate? The most obvious answer is probably just “take a break from gaming!”. Sure that might work, but we are all gamers here and we love to play games. Therefore, I suggest some palate cleaners so you can continue to game while you game.
These palate cleaners need to have a few specific properties. First off, no big world to explore, even if it is a more linear game story wise. Secondly, they need to be short. There’s no point in playing a game that takes 20 hours or more to complete if you are already suffering from fatigue. Lastly, the games need to be of the highest quality and whenever possible, have a completely different theme and setting to the open-world game you are playing.
It’s actually much harder than you might think to find some of these games. With that being said, I have five suggestions that have helped me in the past, as recently as last month. Check out the list below.
Detroit: Become Human
Detroit: Become Human is the longest game on this list taking roughly 13 to 15 hours to complete. However, it is an amazing PS4 exclusive and completely story-driven. The choices you make can have long-lasting effects and everything you do is meaningful. This choice and consequence system in a futuristic setting, boasting beautiful graphics and extremely impressive voice-acting could be just the thing you need.
The Wolf Among Us
The Wolf Among Us is, for me, the best game Telltale ever created and since the studio closed down, it will most likely remain the best. Just like every other recent Telltale game, it is all about the story and the characters. The Wolf Among Us delivers a brutal story, fantasy characters and a lot of heart. Best of all, it will take you less than 10 hours to complete. If you haven’t played it, you definitely should. For those who have already played it, any other Telltale game will do just fine as they are all great palate cleansers.
id Software’s Quake Champions is my go-to multiplayer game at the moment when I simply need some fast-paced carnage. The developers have done such a fantastic job to please both old-school arena FPS fans and newcomers with the addition of champions and abilities, while the movement and action of the series remain intact. The game might not be for everyone, so other suggestions on this point are the likes over Overwatch, CS: GO or heck, even Dota 2.
Tired of all the voice-action or side-quests you need to read through? Looking for a bite-sized yet fantastic experience? Look no further than Virginia. The game is a first-person thriller following the story of Anne Traver, an FBI special agent working her first case in the form of a missing boy in Virginia. After only 30 minutes into the game, I couldn’t put my controller down until I finished it in one sitting. The game only takes roughly two hours to complete and might just be the perfect thing to play as a break from open-world titles.
Limbo and Inside
The last suggestion is not one, but two games from Playdead. Both Limbo and Inside follow the story of a young boy trapped in purgatory. It is a brutal puzzle-platforming experience and if you are just tired of all the colours, then fear not. Limbo and Inside has a minimalistic colour scheme with mostly black, white and shades of grey, but there is quite a lot of detail. Both these games offer a dark journey and I recently played them both again to take a break from open-world titles. Limbo should take you roughly 4-5 hours to complete and Inside has the same length, but it all depends on how quickly you figure out the puzzles thrown at you.
You might notice that the awesome Firewatch isn’t on this list. The reason is that although it is very story-driven, there’s just too much exploring and running around to really cleanse the gaming palate from that open-world taste. I’ve also not added any Battle Royale games, as these feel too open as well.
Have you at any time suffered from open-world fatigue and how did you manage to get over it? Share your stories with us in the comment section below.