The current trend to make sequels more open world makes the games worse most of the time.
Open world in general is overrated as the worlds tend to feel empty and devoid of character and are full of time filler as you boringly have to traverse large distances.
There's a time and a place for open worlds.
LA Noire for instance. I don't think that especially benefited from having an open world. Outside of having landmark locations, collectables (those cars...) and samey side missions it was pretty redundant. Mafia 1 and 2 were a similar story. Driving slow cars to mission start points was a bit of a chore.
On the other hand games like Sleeping Dogs, GTA and Saints Row wouldn't be the same if they were more linear.
I don't have a problem with smaller contained little worlds (sort of like the Batman games). The smaller budgeted open worlders are far too empty and souless and full of filler like you say.
I also prefer my racers to not bother with an open world, up until Forza Horizon at least which gave the player plenty to do whilst travelling between events (including being able to find fast travel points should you want to cut down on the traversing). I didn't like Burnout Paradise as much as I might have as I felt a bit overwhelmed with how much there was to do, I wanted some structure that couldn't really be afforded by setting it in an open world. But on the other hand, it was this that captivated so many people.
Edited by Syrette at 21:35:57 23-12-2012