Its been pretty quiet this summer. I’ve spent less time gaming and blogging and taking advantage of our unseasonably mild summer to spend more time doing non-computer related things, including a few weeks of vacation. Not that it mattered too much, the summer has been relatively quiet on the gaming and news front, and August is always a slow news month.
Of course, just when I thought I might take the rest of the month off from just about everything, the trickle of new/newsy things turned into a sudden torrent.
The new indy post-apocalyptic MMO Fallen Earth open beta started on the same day as the Champions Online open beta. I didn’t really have any interest in CO, but FE sounded interesting. I was only able to give it probably about 10 hours total to investigate so these are just big fuzzy impressions.
My views tend to run along the lines of Darren’s. It might have been the beta client, but graphical performance was less than stellar on my machine which is still on the forward part of the bell curve. In a nutshell, this is a game I want to want to play, but it wasn’t grabbing me as much as I thought it should. I was getting the impression that there is a really interesting game in there but it would take a fair amount of time to discover it with a bit off teeth gritting as performance issues get worked out over time.
Definitely not a game for everyone. With some care and feeding by the devs and the playerbase, this might turn into something interesting over time. I wont be playing at launch but will likely check in at somepoint.
Since I threw down for the Fileplanet subscription to get the FE beta, I thought I’d try Champions Online as well. I was not terribly interested in the game. I had tried City of Heroes/Villains a while back and while it was amusing, it didn’t grab me by the throat. I’m not really a super hero gamer person, but I can see the appeal.
I had also read an increasing amount of “meh” impressions and reviews. I was rather surprised when I got in the game. I managed to get in probably about 10-12 hours of total play on a couple characters. As noted elsewhere, the character creator is pretty amazing. A bit confusing, but if you are willing to spend a few hours on it, you could probably generate just about anything you could imagine. Not being that creative, I hit random a few times and then tweaked a bit. Thus I ended up with “The Mime”.
I wont go into specifics here, but I will say that what I saw of the game exhibited a high degree of polish. Highly stylized, but if you like that style, it looked good and performed well. There was certainly fun to be had very quickly once you got in game. Mechanics were nothing new to an MMO vet and that might be dissappointing to some. It plays a bit like a console game. For me, it was like eating popcorn. Hard to stop once you start, but eventually you get a tummy ache and its a poor substitute for a real meal.
Also noted, there is a fair amount of instancing of content. To be fair, apparently the crisis zones are fairly small and limited while other zones are apparently much larger. I didn’t get too far so I can’t really comment. That could be a bit of a game breaker for some. It does look and feel quite a bit like CoX, but that could be a good or bad thing depending on your perspective.
All in all, though, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found given the negativity in the blogosphere. A solid game with polish that is worth a look if you fancy the genre. I wont be picking it up, but I can see the appeal. Not too surprised that that the lifetime subscription plan was oversubscribed.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
We got to see some in game footage. Opinions seem to run the gamut. My take was “looks good so far, but nothing too new” and “whoa, hows that dialog thing going to work out in the long run.” I found the cinematic dialog in AoC interesting and well done, but ultimately a bit annoying over time. I anticipate difficulty with group dynamics. Still I remain optimistic.
The same week, GuildWars 2 release a teaser video after long silence. While intriguing, there’s not much meat there to make a meal of. Still, if they are starting to release game footage, however, fleeting, maybe we can expect more in the near future. Definitely one I’m watching.
And of course, the avalanche of news coming out of Blizzcon eclisped everything with the announcement of the Cataclysm expansion. Lot of more thoughts to give on Cataclysm, but I’m calling it WoW 2.0 and see lots of win there. Heroic Deadmines. Flying in Azeroth. ‘Nuff said.
Finally, I hit the big ding with Skronk, my instance group priest.
Now that’s over, I’ve been doing just about everything else with him not having to worry about level creep– Argent Tournament, BGs, Dailies, and running through regular content that got passed by. With all the buzz, its kind of gotten reinvigorated on the gaming front.