The intrinsic nature of a sandbox game, whether MMO, RPG, or otherwise, is this sense of freedom and open-ended gameplay. What do you do this play session? Usually, that question would be left entirely up to you.
Having so much freedom of gameplay has been sticking in my mind lately because I’m playing a lot of sandbox games lately. Thinking about Skyrim and Subnautica as two of those games, I’m often overwhelmed.
Tonight in Subnautica I had goals… boy did I have goals. I wanted to find parts for my Cyclops ship, expand my base, try and figure out a way to be less bothered by hunger and thirst, and find more blueprints. After a couple of hours, I realized I only did half of one of those things. I logged off feeling overwhelmed and wishing someone would just say to me that the Cyclops blueprints are located at XYZ coordinates and then prescribe me a method of building a self-sustaining food/water supply.