Friday, 24 May 2024

5 Open-World Franchises That Could Benefit from Innovative Gameplay Elements

Original Article

Open-world games have become incredibly popular in recent years, offering players vast virtual environments to explore and immerse themselves in. While there are some fantastic open-world experiences available, there is always room for improvement and innovation. One game that stood out for its unique gameplay mechanic is Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and its nemesis system. This system generates powerful enemy captains with distinct characteristics, providing players with exciting encounters and rewards. Inspired by the success of this system, we have started thinking about other open-world franchises that could benefit from a similar innovative gameplay element.

Borderlands: Unleashing Chaos with Nemesis Bandits


Gearbox’s Borderlands series has a dedicated fan base, known for its action-packed gameplay and loot-hunting adventures. While the series excels in many areas, boss battles have often been lacking. Imagine the thrill of battling against a powerful, high-level enemy who unexpectedly arrives on the battlefield, taunting you with quirky insults. Incorporating a nemesis system-style feature into Borderlands would inject even more excitement into the game. Defeating these formidable foes could yield even better loot, or they could grow stronger each time you respawn, providing an ongoing challenge.

Red Dead Redemption: Hunt Down Outlaws in the Wild West

Red Dead Redemption

Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption captivated players with its immersive portrayal of the Old West. While the game already offers a beautifully designed world and memorable characters, adding a system that generates random outlaws to hunt down would enhance the experience. Picture yourself peacefully skinning rabbits before suddenly being ambushed by an outlaw who becomes your personal nemesis. Additionally, rivalries could emerge from heated poker games or similar encounters, with a resentful gambler relentlessly tracking you across the wilderness.

Batman: Gotham’s Nemesis System


The Warner Bros. Interactive library includes both Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and the renowned Batman: Arkham series. Since Shadow of Mordor borrowed elements from Batman’s combat mechanics, it’s only fitting for the Batman games to incorporate the nemesis system. Batman’s pursuit of iconic villains like The Joker, Penguin, and Mr. Freeze could be complemented by a hierarchy of motivated thugs seeking power. The rich open worlds of Arkham City and Arkham Origins would benefit from the added motivation to explore Gotham’s darkest alleyways with personal vendettas against these aspiring big bads.

Dead Rising: Unpredictable Psychos

Dead Rising

Capcom’s Dead Rising series offers players the satisfaction of mowing down hordes of zombies, along with memorable encounters with unpredictable psychos. While these encounters are enjoyable, they often feel separate from the open-world exploration. Introducing procedurally generated psychos that could appear unexpectedly within the zombie-infested environments would increase the tension and challenge. From mad butchers to demented construction workers, these psychos could become stronger through infection and mutation, punishing players for their mistakes.

Elder Scrolls: Evildoers in Uncharted Territory

Elder Scrolls

The Elder Scrolls series by Bethesda is renowned for its immersive open-world RPG experiences. Adding a nemesis system-like feature to this already solid foundation would create even more excitement during exploration. Procedurally generated enemies like trolls, evil mages, or dragons could roam the uncharted territories, making every encounter thrilling. These enemies could be loosely allied under one dark overlord, resulting in power struggles and rivalries among them. Players might even encounter rival questers who remember previous interactions, creating a sense of competition for rewards and glory.


Q: What is the nemesis system?
The nemesis system is a unique gameplay mechanic introduced in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. It generates powerful enemy captains with distinct attributes, names, and appearances. Players can engage with these captains, either by killing them for powerful upgrades or by accidentally promoting them through defeat.

Q: Are these ideas officially in development?
No, these are purely speculative ideas based on the success of the nemesis system in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. However, it’s always exciting to think about how other open-world franchises could incorporate similar innovative gameplay elements.


The nemesis system in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor revolutionized the open-world genre by introducing dynamically generated enemies. While there are already outstanding open-world games available, there is always an opportunity for franchises to embrace new, innovative gameplay elements. Incorporating a nemesis system-like feature could enrich the experiences of games like Borderlands, Red Dead Redemption, Batman, Dead Rising, and Elder Scrolls. The potential for dynamic encounters, ongoing rivalries, and increased rewards would add a new layer of excitement for players. So, what open-world series would you like to see influenced by the nemesis system? Start imagining the possibilities!