- Open-world games in 2024 aim to defy expectations by delivering fresh, innovative, and immersive experiences.
- Dragon’s Dogma 2 will have a map that is four times larger than its predecessor, offering more exploration opportunities. Skull and Bones aims to recreate Assassin’s Creed Black Flag’s success with open-world exploration.
- Star Wars Outlaws may break the open-world stigma associated with Ubisoft and deliver a unique and exciting experience. Despite early criticism, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is on track to deliver a whole new open-world experience to players with the addition of an online component.
Open-world games have experienced both a rise and fall in the last decade, with many of them boasting beautiful, sprawling worlds for players to explore that tend to fall flat due to bloat and a lack of innovative mechanics. Still, the massive success of open-world titles like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Elden Ring keep the genre alive by challenging developers to craft their open worlds in such a way that moves the genre forward rather than contributing toward its stagnancy and far-too-often lackluster appeal. These successes have thus fueled the development of several highly anticipated open-world games, some of which are slated for a 2024 release.
2024 is packed with a variety of titles that gamers have been anxiously anticipating for some time, like Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, Hades 2, and Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2. However, among 2024’s most awaited games are several open-world titles that have garnered even more attention than the rest, which will ultimately make for quite an interesting year, considering the open-world genre’s reputation. However, gamers can not only expect to see an array of new open-world titles released in 2024, but likely also an evolution of the open-world model, as these highly anticipated games aim to defy expectations by delivering something fresh, innovative, and immersive in their open worlds.
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Barring Ghost of Tsushima 2’s development, the size of its open world should be determined after considering the hits and misses of its predecessor’s.
The Biggest Open-World Games Confirmed for 2024
As was previously mentioned, 2024 is going to be a big year for the open-world genre, thanks to the confirmed release of some of gaming’s most anticipated titles in the last few years. Many of these titles have been a long time coming, including a game that has been through one of the most unfortunate development cycles in Skull and Bones in recent memory, and Dragon’s Dogma 2, the sequel to the surprise hit that was released over a decade ago.
Here is a list of the most anticipated open-world games confirmed for a 2024 release, along with their expected release date:
- Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League (January 30)
- Skull and Bones (February 16)
- Dragon’s Dogma 2 (March 22)
- Rise of the Ronin (March 22)
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl (Q1 2024)
- Avowed (TBA)
- Ark 2 (TBA)
- Star Wars Outlaws (TBA)
Batman: Arkham developer Rocksteady’s new IP, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, will kick off the new year as one of 2024’s biggest open-world games. Hopes are that it will produce enough momentum to fuel the releases that follow it, despite some early criticism from Suicide Squad fans. Fans of Ubisoft and Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag will finally get to experience the long-awaited pirate adventure Skull and Bones when it releases in February, and Dragon’s Dogma 2 is expected to top the success of its predecessor in more ways than one. Finally, Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment’s Star Wars Outlaws is perhaps the most anticipated title of the bunch, as it claims to be the first fully open-world Star Wars game ever made.
Star Wars Outlaws
Massive Entertainment’s Star Wars Outlaws is an in-development game that will be published by Ubisoft. The sci-fi franchise’s first full open-world project, Outlaws follows Kay Vess and is set during the Imperial Era. Announced for PC and ninth-generation hardware, the game is expected to drop in 2024.
- Ubisoft , Lucasfilm Games
What New Open-World Titles Will Bring to the Table in 2024
The open-world genre has had a tough go at it for some time, as the desire of fans for large-scale experiences simultaneously presents developers with the challenge of not only making sprawling game worlds but also ensuring they are worth remaining in for more than a few play sessions. This daunting task has led to some unfortunate catastrophes, like Square Enix’s Forspoken and Bioware’s Anthem. On the other side of the spectrum, there are open worlds that don’t fail, like Ghost of Tsushima‘s or Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora‘s, but still fall short of what could be classified as a successful open world, due to their all-too-familiar approach to the model. That being said, when developers get the open-world formula right, those games typically shine brighter than most.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Elden Ring are examples of open worlds done right. Their lack of hand-holding encourages exploration by guaranteeing rewarding ventures if they choose to veer off the main road. Rather than forcing exploration by bluntly telling the player where to go to uncover hidden secrets, collectibles, or quests, their maps lack the icons that transform what should be exciting discoveries into nothing more than a list of chores to accomplish. Instead, Tears of the Kingdom, for example, uses sound and visual cues to lure players in, leaving their discoveries feeling more personal and rewarding in the end. Thankfully, open-world developers have taken note of the success of games such as these and are more likely to follow in their footsteps as a result.
Dragon’s Dogma 2 Is Four Times Larger Than Its Predecessor
When Dragon’s Dogma was released in 2012, it quickly became a surprise hit. Despite its often clunky combat and hardcore nature, it was praised for its open world’s lack of hand-holding and Dragon’s Dogma‘s epic boss battles. A year later, an enhanced version titled Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen was released, eventually earning recognition as one of the best modern role-playing games. Now, its proper sequel, Dragon’s Dogma 2, looks to take its predecessor’s success to even greater heights in what is one of the most anticipated titles of 2024.
It has been confirmed that Dragon’s Dogma 2‘s map is around four times the size of Dragon’s Dogma‘s, and while that may seem daunting when considering the sheer magnitude of the first game’s open world, Capcom’s approach to the sequel’s open world is likely to remain the same as it was with Dragon’s Dogma, if not improved. Fortunately, a significantly larger map size for Dragon’s Dogma 2 also means more opportunities for players to explore the reaches of the open world and make discoveries of their own. As Capcom has proven its capability of properly handling a sizable open world in the past, Dragon’s Dogma 2 will likely tell the same story.
Star Wars Outlaws May Escape the Open-World Stigma Associated With Ubisoft
As the first open-world Star Wars game and a child of infamous open-world developer Ubisoft, Star Wars Outlaws certainly has a lot to prove when it releases in 2024. While the game is being developed by The Division and Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora developer Massive Entertainment, Massive has still shown its tendencies toward the bland, repetitive open-world formula that Ubisoft tends to implement, although some elements of Avatar‘s open world feel like a step toward evolving that formula. The hope is that Ubisoft and Massive have learned from the criticism their game worlds have received in the past and that Outlaws‘ map will reflect that.
Star Wars Outlaws is a rather ambitious project for Ubisoft and Massive, so they may have no choice but to adjust their approach to the open-world model they’re familiar with. Features like both ground and sky exploration on multiple Star Wars planets, and the seamless travel between them, require a different type of open world than the developers are accustomed to implementing. This could very well be enough to push them beyond the boundaries they have become most comfortable with to create something gamers and critics alike won’t expect, possibly even sending the game soaring toward higher scores than the developers are known for.
How Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora Puts a Few Unique Spins on the Ubisoft Open-World Formula
The Ubisoft open-world formula only grows more controversial with age, but Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora manages to put a few unique spins on it.
New Trailers and Updates for 2024’s Biggest Open-World Games
Rise of the Ronin Is Team Ninja’s Most Ambitious Game Yet
Team Ninja, the development team behind the ongoing Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden franchises, as well as the more recent Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, plans to greet the first quarter of 2024 with Rise of the Ronin — an action-adventure role-playing game quite unlike anything it has done before. If the developer continues its long-standing tradition when it comes to game difficulty, Rise will undoubtedly be a challenging experience for most gamers. Two areas Team Ninja has yet to delve into, however, are open worlds and player choice, both of which are features of Rise of the Ronin. Still, it’s a brilliant move on their part, as it shows their adaptability and willingness to evolve despite any pressure to remain traditional.
Rise of the Ronin‘s recent pre-order trailer showcases a bright, sprawling landscape of an open world with a variety of traversal options to choose from, including a horse, a grappling hook, and a glider. Comparisons made to Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima are understandable, but it still appears it will offer a unique experience in its own right. Apart from what has appeared in the trailers, not many details about Rise of the Ronin‘s open world have been disclosed, like whether the buildings visible in the trailers are explorable or just how much of the visible landscape can be visited. However, if it does indeed happen to be taking a cue from other open-world games like Ghost of Tsushima, it’s likely the game’s world will be filled with plenty of secrets and verifiable reasons to venture off the beaten path.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Fell Victim to a Story Spoilers Leak
Aside from Insomniac’s Marvel’s Spider-Man franchise, Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham series remains one of the best superhero franchises out there and continues to serve as a reliable foundation for other superhero games to build on — including Marvel’s Spider-Man. That’s why fans of the famed Arkham series anxiously await the release of Rocksteady’s next IP: Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. Disappointingly, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League fell victim to a massive story spoilers leak, which sent the internet into a frenzy and has led to many fans avoiding any mention of the game during their time online.
Fortunately, the game has continued to press on, despite early criticisms of Kill the Justice League‘s live-service model. The very fact that there was a story leak at least confirms its emphasis on narrative. However, the open world also appears engaging and vibrant, especially in some of the more recent trailers for the game. It’s currently unclear exactly how Kill the Justice League‘s open world will compare to others in the genre, but it’s likely to be similar to other superhero games such as Rocksteady’s Arkham games and Insomniac’s Marvel’s Spider-Man.
Skull and Bones Persists Beyond Development Problems
Ubisoft’s upcoming action role-playing game title Skull and Bones has gone through a tough development cycle, yet continues to sail on toward its now-projected February 2024 release. Inspired by the naval combat of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and its sequel Assassin’s Creed Rogue, Skull and Bones is set to take players on a journey across an open-world Indian Ocean with a host of role-playing elements at their disposal. The gameplay loop revolves around collecting and upgrading various ships, so there is a hefty amount of exploration to be done, and players will likely engage in plenty of heated naval battles.
With such a stellar lineup of some of the most anticipated open-world titles in recent memory, 2024’s gaming landscape looks promising to say the least. The ambitious open worlds like those of Dragon’s Dogma 2 and Rise of the Ronin, as well as the wide variety of customization options available in titles like Star Wars Outlaws and Skull and Bones, these upcoming releases are set to make their mark in 2024. Whether that mark is positive or negative remains to be seen, but gamers can nonetheless expect a year filled with sprawling environments, captivating scenery, plenty of exploration opportunities, and thrilling combat as the open-world genre continues to evolve.