In 2005 or so, I was looking around in my local GameStop after work when one of the workers asked me if I was looking for anything in particular. I was just idly browsing, but I said something to the effect of "RPGs are cool, I guess", and the employee, may he live forever, immediately grabbed an Xbox game that I'd never heard of with this weird golden triangle cover art- The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind. And for about two years, Alan (A Top 3 Podcast co-host) and I would either be at our own houses playing Morrowind, or at the other person's house watching them play Morrowind. It was the first open-world game I ever played, and I was totally mesmerized by how you could have this entire world to explore as you please.
In 2022, however, the industry standards for open worlds have changed, and not always for the better. I get burned out by open world games as often as I complete them, and I haven't 100% completed an open world game since about 2008. It's made me think about what I actually want in an open world game, which games do these things, and which games are still pretty good despite design decisions that I don't care for? These are the questions that I sought to answer in this topic episode of Tales from the Backlog. I also believe that Elden Ring has a fantastic open world, so I was ready to discuss their design choices that led to this.
Joining me for this Break from the Backlog episode are Andrew and Dylan from Your Friendly Neighborhood Gamers. They're returning guests on the show, previously heard on the Bloodborne Bosses Tier List episode, and they're great voices in the indie gaming podcast community. Their goal is to approach gaming and make content from the perspective of the average player, and they do a great job with game reviews, topic episodes and interviews with indie content creators. You can find them on your favorite podcast app, YouTube and at their website.
You can listen to this Break from the Backlog (FromSoftware and the Open World) of Tales from the Backlog in the player below, or you can follow the links to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podcast Addict, Stitcher, Google Podcasts or search "Tales from the Backlog" in your favorite podcast app!