Open world games: what to expect for the next generation

The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3 is the first in the series to feature an open world map. Image credit: CD Projekt RED

With open-world games yet to exploit the power of new-gen consoles, we have reason to be excited

This article originally appeared on ScreenRobot.com: http://bit.ly/N0Efxb

Cast your mind back to a particularly momentous event in summer 2013. No, not Facebook introducing hashtags, that was rubbish. I’m talking about that haven of gaming nerdiness, E3, and the thing that particularly stood out about the event- the unveiling of a wave of open-world games for next-gen consoles.

Everything from Assassin’s Creed IV, to Dying Light and Metal Gear Solid V is, was, and will be open world. There were even open-world driving games, like The Crew and Need for Speed Rivals. There were more open world titles than you could shake a beautifully rendered, non-linear, free-roaming stick at. This raises the question of what the next-gen platforms mean for the genre.

One person who can shed some light is Tadeusz Zieliński, of Polish developer CD Projekt RED. Since 2002, the Warsaw-based studio has been working on The Witcher games, but it is only with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt that the series will incorporate a free-roaming element. According to Zieliński, the advent of a new generation of gaming consoles played an important role in this decision. ”In the case of The Witcher, setting the game in an open world seemed natural from the very start but, to be frank, it’s also a very resource heavy and experience-reliant endeavour,” says Zieliński. ”Hence we had to wait until now to do it and maintain the quality we’re known for.”
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Our most anticipated games of 2014

Tom Clancy's The Division

Titanfall, Dying Light and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter are among the ones to watch in 2014

There’s no denying 2013 was a great year for games, but with the release of the next gen consoles and a whole raft of developments afoot, 2014 is set to be pretty special in its own right.

Join us as we take a look at six games to be release this year that everyone’s talking about. From the breathtaking visuals of Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter to the innovative gameplay of Dying Light and Tom Clancy’s The Division, in no particular order here are the games we can’t wait to get our hands on this year.

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Will next-gen consoles kill off retro gaming?

Nintendo

Next generation consoles won’t mean the end of retro gaming. Image credit: Doug Kline

Following on from our look at the ways retro gaming has flourished into the 21st century, we’ve written a guest post for the lovely people at 1001-Up.com. It too focuses on retro gaming, but while our first article examined the reasons for retro gaming’s remarkable longevity, this time we turn our attention to the threat of next gen consoles – and why they won’t be killing off retro gaming just yet.

From the article:

Next gen consoles have been somewhat hogging the limelight recently, with every man and his dog ruminating on which one to buy, what the best games will be and comparing them head-to-head. The gaming blogosphere is riding a wave of zealous excitement like a kid at Christmas, deconstructing the consoles and everything about them with admirable vigour. It’s all rather overwhelming.

The question that no one seems to be asking, however, is what impact the new consoles will have on retro gaming. To put it bluntly, will they kill it off? There are those who would say there is a perfectly good reason for this lack of curiosity: no-one plays retro games any more, they argue, those things died a death years ago. Well, not quite.

Read the rest of the article at 1001-Up.com here.

Game on: retro classics live on in the modern console era

  • Despite the release of a new generation of consoles, retro gaming continues to thrive on platforms such as Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network
  • Though the nostalgia of older gamers plays a role in this, much interest comes from younger gamers eager to explore the games of the past
  • And although some remakes of retro games are disappointing, they raise awareness of classic games and gaming culture as a whole

Power up with useful links, check out The Next Level Gaming’s exclusive interview with Thomas Amato of Cardiff retro gaming store Super Tomato, or take the poll and tell us your thoughts: is there a future for retro games on next gen consoles? Don’t forget to share your favourite!

Nintendo 64 controller

Retro game Banjo Kazooie, originally made for the Nintendo 64, is one game to have made the transition to modern consoles. Image credit: Alex Blake

Picture this. A boy sits in front of a TV screen, a controller gripped tightly in his hands, his games console humming away in his peripheral vision. On the screen is a bear clad in yellow shorts, the sharp angles and garish colours a world away from the slick experience of the modern game. An orange bird emerges awkwardly from the bear’s backpack as a yokelish cry escapes his lips, piercing the unsettlingly vivid blue sky.

This is a scene from the iconic adventure game Banjo Kazooie, a staple on millions of Nintendo 64 games consoles in the 1990s. The difference? The boy is playing it on his Xbox 360.

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Welcome to The Next Level Gaming!

The PlayStation 4 launched a few days ago, selling over a million copies in 24 hours. Not bad.

It may seem strange to launch a gaming site that aims to take a measured look at the industry at a time when both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are being launched to global fanfare.

But if anything, this is the perfect time. With screaming headlines and frenetic column inches being filed the world over, this is a good opportunity to take a step back and ask ourselves: how did we get here?

Nintendo 64

From this to the PlayStation 4. Image credit Jonas Nilsson Lee

The gaming industry is an amazing world, and there are some pretty incredible things going on. Mobile gaming is radically changing the way games are played, shared and created. Big name titles are propelling many bands and singers into fame and fortune, something that would have been unthinkable in the past. Gaming shapes us and our world in so many incredible ways. And we love it.

It all seems a long way from the days of Pong and Pacman. But if you want to see how we got here, this is the site for you.

What better time to get started?