Open-World Games and Putting In The Work

Open-World Games and Putting In The Work

Mike tries to explain why open-world games resonate with him.

I enjoy open-world games more than most here at USgamer. It is arguably my thing here. I understand that style of gameplay isn't for everyone, but the core of open-world gaming resonates with me. Find a widget, clear the fog of war, look at the list of missions, and check them off one at a time. Rinse, repeat. I love seeing a region come slowly under my control, seeing the missions get crossed out one at a time. I understand that's boring to many.

I've never been a showstopper. I put in the work in small increments, working towards an overall goal. While many of my compatriots at USgamer and within games journalism have strong criticism and deep thoughts on games, game mechanics, and gaming culture, I tend to find myself outside of that sphere. I have gut feelings at times, but I feel woefully inadequate in articulating those feelings.

So, I do the news here at USgamer. My previous job as a technical writer mined the same ground: Do the grunt work, repeat, and improve a bit each time. It's the latter part that resonates with me the most when I'm doing news. How can I improve this headline or lede? Am I providing all of the necessary information? Have I offered enough context? I screwed up. Lesson learned, improve for next time.

I find the same is true when I'm playing open-world games. When many dipped out of the mid-game of Mafia III as the game's mechanics killed the narrative pacing, I kept at it. I completed every available racket mission within each region.

You see work, I see fun.

When it came to the overall map, I started on the left and slowly moved right. Slow and steady. It's probably why I also enjoy 4X games, where the mid-to-late game is usually tweaking a bunch of dials and hitting "Next Turn" for 20 to 30 turns. It's why millions of players enjoy the Dark Souls series of games; 'Git Gud' is a slow, methodical process. For some, putting in the work is about mastery in a linear fashion, for me, it's a slow loop.

That's why I love open-world games. I love Assassin's Creed, Grand Theft Auto, Far Cry, Just Cause, the latter Arkham games, Watch Dogs, Sleeping Dogs, Mad Max, and more. You might grit your teeth when you see another tower to climb, but I mark it down as the first tower in my list and look to the next one. I find that fun.

That extends to my general being, but I honestly should extend it to the rest of my life. It's something I want to carry forward. I understand if recent events have you disappointed, elated, or all the feelings in-between. A thing has happened in the United States and we're all reacting to that. But once you adjust to this new world, I urge you to put in the work.

At least we don't live in Gotham.

Figure out what mountain you want to climb, what vision of the future you want to see and put in the work. Every single day. We just finished Inktober, with people drawing every day for thirty days. We're in the middle of National Novel Writing Month, where many are attempting to write a novel for the first time.

You don't have to wait for these moments though. Start now. Start small. Outline the future you want and take the small, daily steps you need to get there. Put in the work, in whatever it is you want to do for yourself and others around you. I'll be right there with you. I want to be more like my colleagues here at USgamer. I'm going to take more risks and do more weird stuff. Every day. I hope you enjoy it, but regardless, it'll be a lesson learned.

I love conquering open-world games and there's a whole open world that's in front of me and you. It will be slow going. You will falter. It'll be hard, but if we put in the work, we'll get there. I hope we all can make something amazing, individually and together.

Thanks for reading everything we do here at USgamer.

Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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