THQ believes that being 'linear' in a First-Person Shooter is not necessarily a bad thing.
Speaking to Strategy Informer regarding their upcoming FPS Metro: Last Light (sequel to 2010's Metro 2033), THQ's Studio Communications Lead Huw Beynon thinks that, provided they are done right, linear games allow for better experiences:
"I look back over some of my favourite shooters, and something like Half-Life really sticks out. I don’t think that ‘linear’ is in any way a dirty word. It enables you to do things, present scenarios and encounters to the player that if you go down the more sandbox route you can’t really create."
However, Huw also thinks that contemporary shooters have become too narrow and funnelled in the way they present the action:
“The way shooters seem to have gone is that it’s a very funnelled experience. All the enemies are ready and waiting for you with their guns out, and you just have to advance your way through. Ours are more open.”
“We mix a few styles within Metro,”
“We mix a few styles within Metro,”he went on to say, “more focused levels where we set up a lot of different experiences for the player through more scripted events, but we balance that with some more open levels, where you’re trying to find the best route through, or maybe you’ll need to back track to finish some other objectives within the level.”
First announced last year, Metro: Last Light is currently going through a new wave of promotion, with the game not expected until sometime in Q1 2013.