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What do you prefer, freedom or scripting?

We've been playing loads of Red Dead Redemption and Alan Wake recently. The former is perhaps the greatest open world game ever, offering near peerless FREEEEDOOOOMMMM! (sorry, slipped into Braveheart mode, there) and scale. Mr. Wake, on the other sun-deprived hand, is all about tight scripting and memorable set pieces. Which brings us onto the eternal question or... eh, the one we thought up this morning: what do you prefer, freedom or scripted moments?


Above: Do you love having a whole world at your fingertips to explore...


Above: Or do you prefer Mr. Developer to guide you by the hand?

Do you love those open world moments when everything (music, lighting, location) blends together perfectly to create bespoke random beauty? Or do you prefer to have a more channelled experience, with the chance of amazing random occurrences given the kibosh in favour of tightly choreographed set pieces? The comments section below is just waiting to be filled to the brim with your piping hot words.

June 2, 2010


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64 comments

  • oryandymackie - June 4, 2010 8:28 p.m.

    It depends. In a game like Oblivion, it's good to have an open world for the player to muck about with. It gives the impression that the player is one tiny cog in a larger wheel of the world created, and as such is not so immersive or stressful - the player has choice to roam wherever he/she wants to. When you're playing a horror game, you're generally in charge of one rigid character wrapped up in his/her own storyline. Everything is made up of objectives - it's not a case of manouevring around a particularly-difficult enemy/encounter, you MUST pass it in order to continue the game. Throw in a creepy ambience and you have software which can apply the right amount of pressure whilst also retaining a sense of horror. I just missed the point completely, didn't I?
  • Gameguy94 - June 3, 2010 10:31 p.m.

    I usually prefer choice and freedom. for example if a game has a base that needs breaking into i would like the choice of sniping from a distance and then sneaking in with a silencend SMG then in another playthrugh blast my way through in a tank along with several other ways to do it. that's how i think MOST shooters should be.
  • xXzamarXx - June 3, 2010 3:16 p.m.

    I bought RDR(ps3) and Alan Wake both on launch day. Love them both but I am playing RDR alot more, interestingly though in FFXIII after i got to the wilderness I completely lost interest in the game. I guess that doesn't answer anything
  • Xerxes667 - June 3, 2010 2:17 p.m.

    Does anyone even remember Arkham Asylum? Probably the best example of a scripted and free world game ever! the world inst so huge that it feels empty,and the storyline is linear but unless you go and explore through it your gonna miss out on the best parts (like poison ivy's character trophy....mmmm)
  • Soxboii - June 3, 2010 4:45 a.m.

    I like a mixture of both. Such as in Persona 4, where you have these long scripted scenarios and dungeons, and then lets you free for a week and a half in game to do whatever. And it really depends on my mood and how much time I have. If I have a couple of hours, I love to dig into an RPG and have it scripted, when I don't have to worry about saving to stop. When I have half an hour to an hour, I love going into a game world and jacking around and killing people.
  • Bananban - June 3, 2010 2:06 a.m.

    what if it is announced that bioware is codevoloping the games? that would sure shake things up
  • philipshaw - June 3, 2010 1:44 a.m.

    I like both equally, I love RDR for its massive open world filled with stuff to do but at the same time I love the scripting and pacing of a game like Uncharted 2
  • Marvelfan13 - June 3, 2010 12:56 a.m.

    Freedom. Who needs to be told a story when you can make one up in your mind?
  • GoodGuyWithACrappyJob - June 3, 2010 12:33 a.m.

    Give in to the open or keep the safety of ground beneath one's feet? Both must be tried and enjoyed before the question can be answered. A distinct blend of the two might go superbly, though.
  • bradmillow0 - June 2, 2010 10:44 p.m.

    Honestly, I prefer a bit of both. Scripted games are good as long as the game play, and story are good. A freedom game needs awesome atmosphere and tons to do. But... if I have to choose it would be freedom
  • CurryIsGood - June 2, 2010 10:27 p.m.

    freedom all the way
  • Metroidhunter32 - June 2, 2010 10:20 p.m.

    If a game is scripted right, then scripting is better. That's part of the reson games usually have worse stories then movies or books, It's hard to script right. But totally open worlds have their appeal also. So no preference.
  • Maasai - June 2, 2010 9:58 p.m.

    If it's scripted it better be great.
  • michaelmcc827 - June 2, 2010 9:50 p.m.

    Freedom for the most part; more replayability. Examples like Mass Effect 2 are some of the only examples of "scripted" games that I'll pay full price for, but even that had tons of freedom.
  • nemesisuprising - June 2, 2010 9:30 p.m.

    What does kingdom hearts count as? Id say like kingdom hearts where it has the perfect mix of freedom and story line, and the combat was really good, although it could have done with more complexity, however it was (mostly) marketed towards little kids so that could explain it
  • FrozenImplosion - June 2, 2010 8:36 p.m.

    I just read Darkhawk's comment and couldn't agree more.
  • FrozenImplosion - June 2, 2010 8:35 p.m.

    Well, when I think about games like Oblivion where there are cool things to experience [if you look for them] I would say freedom. But then I think of games like Bioshock, Condemned [and Bloodshot], and actually a ton of really fun and good survivial horror I'd say the latter. So it seems that the genre can really sway my opinion. For instance, if Borderlands was scripted and not open world it would not be as good, ALTHOUGH Bioshock and Condemned would be pretty amazing open world. The only thing about creating open worlds is that occasionally they sacrifice putting in more cool things for more space to explore.
  • bsoxfan554 - June 2, 2010 6:59 p.m.

    nothing is better than a freedom game GTA, RDR, Fallout, because you can do anything. It also lasts longer for example, I still play GTA and got it the day it came out and alan wake is a rental.
  • TheKennedyCurse - June 2, 2010 5:31 p.m.

    With freedom comes replayability. I'll RENT a scripted game, but I'll BUY a game with a wide open world to explore.
  • DustyRooster - June 2, 2010 5:22 p.m.

    I like making up little stories within the game and then acting them out however I feel fit. It is the same reason I love map editors, and creating my own characters in games. Freedom! But every game has its place. There are plenty of great, well scripted games.

Showing 1-20 of 64 comments

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