It seems obvious to me that right now, linearity = bad in the eyes of way too many critics and gamers.
People can call it "outdated" all they want. It's simply a different – and for more effective – way of telling an interactive story; the idea that open-world is simply superior by default is beyond idiotic.
And yet, the consensus is clear. We're seeing it in most new games these days: Bigger and more freedom is better.
That's why The Order: 1886 took a ton of flak and why so many previously linear franchises are now going open-world; i.e., Metal Gear Solid , Final Fantasy , etc. And yet, one of the most anticipated games of 2015 will be largely linear and although it will have multiplayer, the campaign will undoubtedly be the focus (as it absolutely should be). We've heard Naughty Dog say Uncharted 4: A Thief's End will indeed be more open (the most open game they've made since Jak 3 , supposedly), but it certainly won't be like Grand Theft Auto and Assassin's Creed . We'll simply have a bit more room to maneuver in the levels.
But is that enough? I can almost guarantee you'll see people calling out Uncharted 4 for being "outdated" simply because it's "too linear" or some such nonsense. I'm just wondering if Naughty Dog is taking all this to heart, and when we see something like The Last Of Us 2 , we'll see even more freedom. Sadly, I'm not sure we're far from seeing just about every major blockbuster sport a sandbox structure.