10 Open-World Video Game Tropes EVERYONE Is Sick Of

The age of the oversized open-world is over.

final fantast 15 final fantasy XV
Square Enix

Adding an open world to your game is the new cover-based shooting, quick-time event, or amnesiac hero.

But like the aforementioned tropes, it's often just included in a game because it's the 'in' thing to do. Originally designed to add a depth of realism and immersion that pre-planned, linear set pieces have just never been able to do - so many cases of open worlds are totally lacking.

So many developers create open world games and brag about the size of the map, or the number of random encounters you may face along the way. But is that actually a positive thing?

Is it better to have 500 square acres of dead, empty worlds - or would 10 acres of a living, vibrant game world be a more fun option?

There are good open world games out there, but there are so, so many bad ones, too. Here are the things that open world games need to stop doing if they want to be better.

10. Manually Picking Up Each Resource And Item

final fantast 15 final fantasy XV
Rockstar Games

Between the prevalence of crafting systems and fetch quests you're going to be hard pressed to find a game that doesn't require you to pick up items on a regular basis. Open World games are filled with random tat to pick up.

From bullets in a radioactive toilet to flowers in a meadow to hitting a rock with your weapon to get ore – you're going to be gathering stuff for a lot of your play time.

One thing we really can't stand, as gamers, but are forced to tolerate is a collection animation each and every time we pick up an item.

Remember Connor in Assassin's Creed III and Arthur Morgan in Red Dead Redemption 2? Kill an animal? You've got to cut it open with a cutscene each time. Anything like this gets so much worse if it's un-skippable.

Sniper Elite 4 has you snatch documents from a table immediately, but you have to spend a full minute holding down the 'raid pockets' button and watch an animation, just to find out the enemy wasn't carrying anything useful.

Just let players auto-collect as they pass by the item. Especially egregious if there's a disconnect between types of items or collection styles.


Author of Escort (Eternal Press, 2015), co-founder of Nic3Ntertainment, and developer behind The Sickle Upon Sekigahara (2020). Currently freelancing as a game developer and history consultant. Also tends to travel the eastern U.S. doing courses on History, Writing, and Japanese Poetry. You can find his portfolio at www.richardcshaffer.com.