Open-world games are hugely popular. Ever since Grand Theft Auto III, it seems most franchises try to take a stab at it at least once, with mixed results. The masters of the genre are the ones that give you so many things to do that you become paralyzed by the freedom of choice. Although sometimes this can be a good thing. If everything is fun, then maybe you just do whatever is nearest to you, until eventually you have done it all.
The point is, there are many ways to approach open-world games. Grand Theft Auto V is drawing close and I will be anxious to see if they are able to give us enough tasks to keep us busy, as they failed to do in GTA IV. I am currently playing Fallout: New Vegas in the meantime and I am taking a slightly different approach to the game than I have in the past. When I play Skyrim, Oblivion or Fallout 3, I tend to avoid the main quest as much as possible, doing all the side tasks that I can until I am suddenly weary of the game and then I race through the main story as fast as possible before the game drives me insane.
This time though, I am trying something a little different: I am playing through the main story first and then going through the side stuff. Now, I may do a side quest here and there, but the main drive is going to be the story, for a number of reasons. First, if I beat the main story, I can put the game away and feel like I have received my money’s worth out of it. Second, as I discovered in previous Bethesda games of this ilk, the main story is sort of a tour guide of the important places in the game. I’ll let the game forge my path for me this time around. Finally, the rewards for beating the game are usually awesome enough that they make the side quests much easier.
So that’s my plan for New Vegas. Time will tell how I handle GTA V. What’s your method for this massively overwhelming games?