I read some article somewheres about the amount of 'verbs' in a game. Like, the amount of actions that you could perform in-game. It kind of got me thinking. With all of the genre cross-pollination, will there be eventually be a 3D engine that will enable pretty much any type of game experience? Where you can interact with the world almost any way you'd want to? Walk into a building, pick some dude's pocket, defenestrate said dude, and then shoot him on the way down? And then drop a cabinet on his head? (Actually, I just want to be able to do THAT.)
Which games do you guys think have done the best job at allowing you to interact with a game world in the largest variety of ways, without becoming needlessly cumbersome? (I'm mostly talking about real-time games in a 3D world. It would be pretty easy to count the 'verbs' in, say, a SCUMM game. They're right there on the screen!)
Twilight Princess had a lot of gameplay modules, but they weren't really smoothly integrated. Red Dead offered some freedom, but it seemed mostly illusory, to me. You'd think a good Superman game would at least allow for the basics... melee, throwing, projectile weapons, flight, walking, running, jumping... Crackdown actually had most of that (albeit with climbing in the place of flight), amped up to the nth degree, which is why it was so fun to play around in that world.
I dunno. I haven't thought too much about it. Feel free to include non real-time games, if you have a really good example of freedom within a game world.
Maybe Oblivion. At least, your whole pocket picking then killing etc. example made me think of that. But part of why I couldn't get too into Oblivion was that none of it seemed particularly well done. I prefer more focused gameplay mechanics myself, and I think that, naturally, the more a developer adds, the tougher it is to polish any given mechanic.
As far as being able to interact and actually enjoying the gameplay, one of the Zelda games I guess? You get a ton of tools/etc. and they're all worked into the gameplay pretty nicely.
Zelda-like gameplay Puzzle Solving Stealth missions Photography missions Hovercraft Racing Spaceship shooter RPG-like elements to upgrade items and vehicles
Seriously, this game had so much variety and pulled them all off superbly in my opinion. I strongly recommend that anyone who has not played this game to go out and get it ASAP. It's easily in my top 10 games of all time!!
@Zero That's a different aspect of the discussion: whether such a game is something we'd even want. Open-world sandbox games offer tons of freedom, but when it comes to constructing any type of traditional 'campaign' or mission design, they often fall flat.
The pickpocketing made me think of Oblivion (or Assassin's Creed), too. I was always intrigued by the freedom of those games, but never found them to be much fun, either. A well-done reactive world would also be necessary for this type of engine. Something like the ability set of Oblivion within a GTA-style world. I guess GTA comes pretty close, too. Ideally, I'd want fantastical, beyond human abilities, though, which is why I referenced Crackdown.
@ShadowLink_89 That game, like Twilight Princess, has a lot of elements and gameplay engines, but are they truly smoothly integrated? I always used to get Beyond Good & Evil confused with Haven. Do you guys remember the hype for that game? It was supposed to allow you unprecedented scope. Like, you could walk around or jump in a vehicle. And then take the vehicle into the stratosphere to cross to the other side of the planet, or something? It seemed like a pretty cool concept. I think they cut it back before release, though.