Eurogamer - What Makes Shenmue's Open World So Special?

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Re: Eurogamer - What Makes Shenmue's Open World So Special?

Postby Yokosuka » Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:59 am

Finally someone focuses on one of the modern original features of Shenmue. Good initiative. I wish AJ have the same game knowledge.
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Re: Eurogamer - What Makes Shenmue's Open World So Special?

Postby Sonoshee » Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:13 am

Shenmue 2's Hong Kong isn't the biggest of open worlds, and unlike the Yokosuka suburb that preceded it, it can hardly claim to be the densest.


Considering these were pretty much the first open world games, that comment is a bit unfair. Of course they are no longer the biggest, but at the time they were.

That said, the rest is a solid piece of writing. One guy in the comments has already said that although he's never played Shenmue, that article has got him interested.
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Re: Eurogamer - What Makes Shenmue's Open World So Special?

Postby Miles Prower » Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:18 am

Lovely article, it's nice to see one about Shenmue on a gaming site that's actually well-informed, and also sums up why it's different from othet open-world games. But yeah, the comment about S2's size is a bit unfair, I remember being blown away by just how big Wan Chai was, at the time. While it arguably didn't have the depth and some detail of Yokosuka, it was still pretty damn big.
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Re: Eurogamer - What Makes Shenmue's Open World So Special?

Postby Reprise » Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:20 am

What a great article. It perfectly sums up my feelings on Shenmue 2 (and the franchise as a whole). The way Yu Suzuki created what felt like a real, living, breathing world is always what appealed to me. Since GTA3 happened, it seems like open world games have focused more and more on creating larger and larger worlds that act like playgrounds for the player to wonder from place to place to partake in missions and side quests, but nothing ever feels very realistic or detailed.

Shenmue tried to make the player feel what Ryo was going through. Like Ryo, the player feels almost isolated and overwhelmed when they first reach Hong Kong. Like Ryo, you no longer have your neighbours and friends who you trust to help you and you now treat other individuals with suspicion. It's an incredible feeling playing through both Shenmue 1 and 2.
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Re: Eurogamer - What Makes Shenmue's Open World So Special?

Postby Yokosuka » Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:21 am

Sonoshee wrote:
Shenmue 2's Hong Kong isn't the biggest of open worlds, and unlike the Yokosuka suburb that preceded it, it can hardly claim to be the densest.


Considering these were pretty much the first open world games, that comment is a bit unfair. Of course they are no longer the biggest, but at the time they were.


The author isn't talking about Shenmue as a game from a past point of view but as a modern game, and that's why this article is way more interesting than any other articles explaining why Shenmue was so revolutionary at its time (that no one cares).

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Re: Eurogamer - What Makes Shenmue's Open World So Special?

Postby Erevador » Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:23 am

Really nice to see articles delving into WHY Shenmue was so special in the first place, and why it is still so close to our hearts.

Hope to see more intelligent analysis like this in the days ahead.
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Re: Eurogamer - What Makes Shenmue's Open World So Special?

Postby johnvivant » Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:57 am

well done again eurogamer :heart: . there have been some great shenmue/yu suzuki articles from them over the years they are a real asset.
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Re: Eurogamer - What Makes Shenmue's Open World So Special?

Postby Shenhua-Nani? » Sun Jul 05, 2015 6:58 am

I've already personally thanked the author on twitter, we need more articles like this!
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Re: Eurogamer - What Makes Shenmue's Open World So Special?

Postby Drakul » Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:57 pm

Reprise wrote: The way Yu Suzuki created what felt like a real, living, breathing world is always what appealed to me. Since GTA3 happened, it seems like open world games have focused more and more on creating larger and larger worlds that act like playgrounds for the player to wonder from place to place to partake in missions and side quests, but nothing ever feels very realistic or detailed.
.


This, GTA to me feels empty and fake, Shenmue felt real.
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Re: Eurogamer - What Makes Shenmue's Open World So Special?

Postby Miles Prower » Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:04 am

Drakul wrote:
Reprise wrote: The way Yu Suzuki created what felt like a real, living, breathing world is always what appealed to me. Since GTA3 happened, it seems like open world games have focused more and more on creating larger and larger worlds that act like playgrounds for the player to wonder from place to place to partake in missions and side quests, but nothing ever feels very realistic or detailed.
.


This, GTA to me feels empty and fake, Shenmue felt real.

I've not played the GTA series much, I did start GTA5 though and I have to agree, the world seems huge, but there isn't any soul to it, you know? No open world has really ever come close to Shenmue's IMO.
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Re: Eurogamer - What Makes Shenmue's Open World So Special?

Postby Sonoshee » Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:04 am

Miles Prower wrote:
Drakul wrote:
Reprise wrote: The way Yu Suzuki created what felt like a real, living, breathing world is always what appealed to me. Since GTA3 happened, it seems like open world games have focused more and more on creating larger and larger worlds that act like playgrounds for the player to wonder from place to place to partake in missions and side quests, but nothing ever feels very realistic or detailed.
.


This, GTA to me feels empty and fake, Shenmue felt real.

I've not played the GTA series much, I did start GTA5 though and I have to agree, the world seems huge, but there isn't any soul to it, you know? No open world has really ever come close to Shenmue's IMO.


I agree! In GTA, Saints Row and other huge open world games, after you've finished all activities and side stories, it's pretty much empty with nothing left to do. After all these years, players are still finding new things in Shenmue. On my latest playthrough of S2 I found a blue forklift toy hidden behind one of the mattresses in the Free Stay Lodge. Probably old news to many but to me it was something new. It's the little things that you discover for the first time that make you smile. Shenmue indeed has a soul and it never feels empty or lacking.

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Re: Eurogamer - What Makes Shenmue's Open World So Special?

Postby VernonSPQR SF » Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:11 am

Amazing read. Even the "first part" is very good:
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-11-23-shenmue-retrospective

Same author, same quality.
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Re: Eurogamer - What Makes Shenmue's Open World So Special?

Postby Drakul » Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:13 pm

Miles Prower wrote:I've not played the GTA series much, I did start GTA5 though and I have to agree, the world seems huge, but there isn't any soul to it, you know? No open world has really ever come close to Shenmue's IMO.


Exactly, the only GTA I played was 4 because it was set in NY and I wanted to see what they did. But aside from that I'm not really a fan and I don't understand why people rave about those games... I'll take a Yakuza or a Sleeping Dogs any day over the western kind of open world (excluding fallout types).
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Re: Eurogamer - What Makes Shenmue's Open World So Special?

Postby Himuro » Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:16 pm

I think GTAV has plenty of soul but the aims are different than what Shenmue was going for. I play GTAV and it's like being transported to south California and I get home sick (I'm not from California, but spent many a summer and time there as a kid, so it feels like a second home). The details are in the extraneous setting, such as the countryside, and details to buildings to build a sense of place, rather than being personally detailed like in Shenmue. It has a soul, but I think you have to have been to or appreciate southern California to really get it.
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