I had to work all day yesterday, and after that I went to a James Bond movie marathon. It happened to be a pretty big Thursday for two games I am a little curious about, so I wanted to share a few reactions:
Yesterday, Zenimax released an introduction video for their new MMO title based on The Elder Scrolls series game universe. I’ve written a little bit about this game before, particularly the announcement that it will bring back public dungeons. Overall though, as a huge fan of the Elder Scrolls series, this game has done little to peak my interests beyond being more Elder Scrolls world exploration and this new preview hasn’t done much to change that.
It is a strange game to look at. The art direction from previous Elder Scrolls games is definitely there. I recommend the Nordic armor from Skyrim, the Ordinator armor from Morrowind, and some of the setting details from Oblivion. However, it has a slight tinge of the heroic-style more heavily utilized in World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic that make it seem a little too uncanny and different.
Often, I found myself wandering if this was a new Neverwinter Nights game (specifically the dungeon area with the spider boss, since it seemed Underdark-esque) or another console Everquest game. That is until you spot something that looks like an Argonian or you see Nords running around in the snow with their claymores. Only then are you really reminded that it is supposed to be the Elder Scrolls and only then do you get this strange uncanny feeling like something just isn’t quite right. The game doesn’t look bad, it just don’t look quite like Elder Scrolls to me.
As far as the gameplay, we still don’t know enough to make any real judgment. The video does little to go into any particular detail to how combat works. It definitely looks like MMO combat, but that could largely be because developers make their trailers with some horrible idea of cinema in mind. I don’t know about you, but I don’t typically stand still and exchange blows even in PvE. (Nor do I bow to NPCs, hold the line for some self-appointed jack ass do a /point command, or fight one person at a time in the middle of a siege.)
Also over the course of yesterday, every major gaming news site that I follow decided to remind me that size matters, at least if that size is what Rockstar is saying the new Grand Theft Auto game. Personally, I imagine they are over compensating a little bit. But if they aren’t, and the size really is THAT BIG, then it is too much. No gamer can take anything that large.
The rest of the details were sparse, though it is nice to hear anything at all. Grand Theft Auto V will have three protagonists. Each of them continue their lives while you are off playing the other, so this is definitely a new direction for the series. One of which I think will suit the game far better than having a single narrative line.
After all, a sprawling city has a million stories to tell and we can only live out our Scarface dreams a few times before we want something else. With a more anthology approach, Rockstar can bring their city to life from a number of different angles, and show lives of crime on a variety of levels.
However, this sounds like yet another really long game. If the game world really is bigger than their last few games combined, if it really has three seemingly different and equally worthwhile stories to tell, and still brings in more dynamic content systems from games like Red Dead Redemption, then this could easily be another 100+ hour game. I just hope I can get to the end of this one for a change. Every other Grand Theft Auto game has been a series of emotions from Want to Love to Like on Occasion to Too Bored to Continue. Maybe a bigger game with more varied strokes will finally help me finish and not leave me hurting.
Oh and since they still have yet to announce a PC release, fuck Rockstar until further notice.