Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dragon Age: Origin (of Nightmares)

RSS feeds will show me.
Well, Dragon Age: Origins (or the two hours that I played of it on a friend's laptop) has officially turned me off of MMOs (more specifically, WoW) for the moment. As much as I love the world of WoW, and it's amazing setting and milieu, the game itself is a bit... outdated. Each story, while interesting nonetheless, lacks the voice acting which is present in DA:O, Age of Conan's starting area, and other games - the whole human-NPC reaction in WoW is really really lazily done, with a simple text box for you to read, and a TL:DR post at the bottom of the blurb. Also, storylines have future implications - which actually impact how storylines work with each other.
That's basically the best part about it. Save a man here, he'll offer you a quest on the other side of the world - while simultaneously angering his captors. Shoot that man instead, and you've flipped the coin, which may limit your options for henchmen or spells in one area but open up hundreds in another direction. Its replayability is amazing, and when combined with an interesting combat system and fully-voiced dialogue (as Bioware is well known for *cough*SWTOR*cough*), and you have an extremely powerful and potent game.
If you're reading one, this must look odd.
Next, graphics are stunning in newer games, and while WoW is still amazing in its potency, it's seams are really beginning to show. You just have to look at the water to know this is a game past it's day in the graphic spotlight. Spell effects (while cool) are not close to as partically awesome, and meanwhile we have 1 single cinematic throughout the entire game. And it isn't even in the powerful cinematic engine we know that WoW has, that we've seen in the cinematics we load up in the loading screen - no, it's a much wimpier vamped up game engine. Cool, still, and I still get chills whenever I hear Putress cackling upon the cliff face, but the epic wars in which you take part in DA:O, or the space missions in Star Trek Online, simply outclass WoW a hundredfold. Just google "Dragon Age Spell Effects" and you'll see what I mean. Just, wow.
Like, really odd.
There are things I do disagree with in the game. First off, loading screens inside the game really are just a put-off; I hate em. With a passion. They have even less place in an MMO, which is what really sucks about AoC and STO when I've played them. It cuts the 'World' part of the MMO buisness to shreds when you lose that; really a poor decision on the part of MMO developers to leave that in, no matter the programming cost. Spell effects can fall to this point, and upon this I will not concede.
Odder than peppermint kiwi soda.
Second, instant travel-porting between towns kills that sense of 'world' too, when when you 'randomly' have to fight in between - it just spits in the face of the individual who's trying to piece together the world in their head. The Legend of Zelda series has a great way of circumventing this, by making their 'fast-travel' both make sense in the story and simultaneously not always the most effective means of transport (it could make more sense to just call up your horse and ride there, for example).

If the powers of WoW and the newer gaming era combined... I'd shudder at the outcome. Hopefully Blizzard will not look back at their open world experience as a mistake in their upcoming MMO - hopefully, they will combine the old with the new, seeing what they can work on while simultaniously holding onto those core ideas which keeps me shelling out 15$ a month.
Which is really, really, gross.
However, it means nonetheless that I find it hard to jump into the random dungeon finder tonight, knowing that there is a whole world out there where everything I do has a repercussion; everything I do has an impact. Ha ha, I know, real world does this too, you're so clever. Unfortunately, I'm blowing all the money I have for gaming on the Star Trek Online Lifetime Subscription, so it'll be a while before I pick it up - maybe I'll get it in whatever pack they put it with the expansion.
Ah well.

No comments:

Post a Comment