Making the Most of the Open World Infestation

Making the Most of the Open World Infestation

There are just a few open world games on the market these days, any one of which looks set to take anywhere from 50 to 100 hours to complete, but of course, “completing” an open world game means different things to everyone. Does it mean completing the main story, reaching the level cap, doing every last thing in the game to get it 100% finished? I want to offer some tips on how you can make the most of this infestation of open world games.

I’ve barely touched Metal Gear Solid V. Shame on me.

Looking back at 2001, Grand Theft Auto III was the standout release, and one of the first 3D open world games. There were main story missions, side missions, things to jump over, rampages to complete and many other bits and pieces to get through if you wanted to 100% the game. But, it largely stood by itself as an open world game. Taking the time to invest in it completely wasn’t too much of a problem.

Fast forward to 2018 and there were masses of open world games released. Red Dead Redemption 2, Spider-Man, Monster Hunter World and God of War are just a few. That’s not thinking about some of the greats from 2017 which many people are still enjoying, or even something like The Witcher 3 from back in 2015.

Can I worship this dude?

We are truly at Peak Open World, and I for one am glad that we can still see AAA games like Doom and Titanfall 2 which offer a welcome balance between large expanses of areas to play in, and a realistic appreciation for your free time.

Tip One – Start Each Session With a Clear Goal

It’s a long titled tip, but it’s perhaps one of the most important. If you know that your time for a session with an open world game is going to be limited, go in with a clear goal in mind.

The Witcher 3….I’ll definitely be going back to this one. The DLC is just too tempting.

That might be a clearly defined intention to get on with whatever the main campaign or story missions might be, while you might also want to set aside some time to do what these game let you do best, and dick around.

There is no right or wrong way to play any game, and certainly not an open world singleplayer game. But by going in with a clear goal, and not deviating from it at the first opportunity, you will feel like you are getting the best from the game.

And if your goal is to have fun? Then crack on, and enjoy.

Tip Two – Focus On One Open Worlder at a Time

This one is easier said that done, especially so when you consider how many open world games there are these days. I don’t mean to say that if you are playing Spider-Man, you can’t drop back into something like Bloodborne, or even an open world racer like Forza Horizon, at a whim.

Transit Vans. They make Forza Horizon 4 so worth while.

The idea behind this tip is that if you want to make serious headway into completing a game, dividing your time between several similar time sinks isn’t going to help.

Remeber tip one though? Going in to a session with a goal in mind? If you’ve been intensely focused on the campaign in Spider-Man and just want to blow the cobwebs away for the first evening in a week, then by all means, pick up something else and immerse yourself.

Tip Three – Use Fast Travel

Yes, these massive games have fantastically well crafted worlds, with sometimes brilliant random happenings if you explore the environments. You might find some obscure side-quest that you really feel obligated to complete, or some hidden lore that was hidden away just for the fans who have read all of the accompanying novels. But really, is that what you are playing for?

Dishonored, not exactly open world. But one in which you can easily lose hours upon hours of your life.

Don’t be afraid to use the fast travel functions in these games. Unless you have a really slow PC, they will save you time and allow you to focus on the task at hand.

Of course, if you are following Tip One, and are playing for a bit of relaxation, without feeling the need to complete any specific quest, then by all means, ignore the fast travel.

Tip Five – Don’t Worry About Achievements or 100% Completion

One of the worst things about modern gaming is Achievements, or Trophies, or whatever your device of choice is calling them. You might have finished the main campaign, but you notice you haven’t got the elusive Platinum Trophy. Why is that you wonder? You look around online, and find out that there’s one boss you haven’t defeated under specific requirements.

If you’re tired of open-world, choose your own path games, try Half-Life. It’s quite refreshing.

Do you really want to go back to that fight, and try to complete it based on some predefined requirements? Would the satisfaction of getting that little notification of getting that trophy really be worth it?

Then again, if your goal with any particular game is to complete every last scrap of it, then by all means, fight that boss with your bare hands and no armour. That’s your perogative.


There’s no right, or wrong, way of playing any game, least of all open world games. (There are rights and wrongs in competitive online games of course.) If there’s some part of the game you don’t enjoy, by all means skip past it. However, if that part of the game you don’t really enjoy, but needs to be finished to feel truly satisfied? Get on with it.

Bonus Tip – Don’t Play Football Manager and Open World Games

So many hours to this series. How many other games could I have completed?

A few weeks ago, I was making great progress with Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, thoroughly enjoying it and keen to see more of the Greek world. Then I started playing Football Manager while watching some sport. Then turned into playing it while watching Netflix, then Amazon Prime.

In a flast, nearly 60 hours have been devoted to it, twice as much time as I’ve spent with Odyssey. 

If you only take one tip away from this, keep this one in mind.

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