Is Pokémon GO The Greatest Open World Game Ever?

Some people are claiming that Pokémon GO is the greatest open world game ever made. I’m not saying a lot of people are saying that, but they are out there. I guess it’s time to put that to the test, don’t you?

So what are the best things about open world games? We take a look at some of the best features so we can see just how Pokémon GO compares!

The graphics

When it comes to graphics, some of the most stunning video games in recent memory have been open world games. Just look at The Witcher 3 from last year. Sure, it may have been a buggy mess and sure, it did lose some of its graphical wonder when it was ported to consoles, but on a good PC with maxed-out settings? That game was gorgeous.


Pokémon GO is pretty functional, in this regard. You can’t really say it looks bad. The Pokémon look like, well, Pokémon. But this is augmented reality we’re talking about, here. All those Pokémon are pasted onto real places. Of course, we can’t give Pokémon GO credit for the beautiful, sweeping landscapes you may play the game in. Nor can we knock it if the game doesn’t look good because you’re, you know, playing it at a scrapyard.


The non-player characters and what you can do with them make a lot of open world games unique. If we look at the open world Rockstar games – Grand Theft Auto in particular – you can do some pretty awful things to NPCs.


In Pokémon GO, the NPCs are, well, real people. This isn’t so great if you don’t like real people that much. It’s also not great if you try to do the same things to them that you do to NPCs in other open world games. You’re gonna get arrested quick, my friend. We have written before, however, about its potential in the dating arena. So there’s that.


The Witcher 3Red Dead RedemptionGrand Theft Auto IVPlanescape: Torment. What do all these open world games have in common? They’re absolutely stellar examples of brilliant writing in video games. If you read more about open world games online, it will become clear to you that they’re often home to amazing stories.


Pokémon GO doesn’t really have a story. The Pokémon games were never really that story-driven. You’re a young kid and you want to catch Pokémon. You want to use them to battle other trainers and, eventually, beat the Elite Four. The stories were never that intricate; it was always about goals. Such goals aren’t really present in Pokémon GO. Of course, you could see if you could roleplay with your friends and make your own amazing stories. But you can’t give Pokémon GO credit for that.


Final verdict

Pokémon GO isn’t the greatest open world game of all time, I’m afraid. (Which one is? Persona 4: Golden, maybe? Or Planescape: Torment?) That isn’t to say it’s not good, of course. But looking at the game in this way, against other open world games, definitely shows where there is potential for improvement.

So could it be the best, one day? Like no-one ever was? Perhaps.

Picture Credits: Flickr

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