Let me begin by saying that my experience with Guild Wars 2 is limited to the beta weekend that took place between April 27, 2012 and April 29, 2012. Since it was a beta weekend, and the game has no official release date, I was obviously only able to experience a work in progress. The final game may be significantly different than the game I saw. The only class, or “profession” as the game refers to it, that I played was the Necromancer and I only reached level 15 before the beta weekend finished. My background in massive multiplayer online (MMO) games comes from playing World of Warcraft since July 2008. I never played the original Guild Wars game. With that in mind, let me tell you what I thought.
I’ve been playing Minecraft since October 2010. I don’t play it very often any more. What I enjoyed most about the game is gone, due to both Mojang and third-party server operators. Before I get into what has changed for the worse, let me first explain what I liked about the game.
When I started playing, Minecraft was a very simple game. You collect resources, built tools, and then use those tools to collect better resources. You could build structures much as you can now, but creative mode wasn’t an option and so you had to gather all of your materials. If you wanted to build a grand citadel made entirely of obsidian, gold, and diamond, then you would need to spend several weeks down in the bowels of the earth. There were also several mechanisms available, like mine carts, mine cart tracks, and redstone dust. Powered rails, pistons, and redstone repeaters—core components for modern Minecraft mechanisms—did not exist. It was this simplicity that I enjoyed the most about Minecraft.
World of Warcraft wasn’t the first MMO, nor is it the longest running, but it’s certainly the most popular, boasting an impressive 11 million subscribers. Thus it should come as no surprise that when a new MMO comes on to the market it has to compete with Blizzard’s behemoth. Developers of these MMOs know this, and so their best strategy is to try and get a cut of the action. Their plan involves taking the basics of World of Warcraft and dressing it up with some new gimmick. This is a fallacy. Nobody wants more WoW. If I want to play WoW then I’m going to log into WoW and play WoW. I’m not going to buy a whole new game and learn its quirks and try to integrate myself with its community only to find out that I’m playing a re-skin of WoW. On the other hand, The Exiled Realm of Arborea, or TERA for short, claims to break the mold that Blizzard made popular. Is it successful?
Last time in this series, I took a look at Assassin’s Creed: Revelations Sequences 1-3. Today I will be looking at the next set of Desmond’s memories contained in Sequences 4-6. Please keep in mind that while I try to keep spoilers to a minimum they are unavoidable in an article like this. To put it plainly, there are spoilers within. Read on to see what problems I encountered in the game design and how Ubisoft could improve upon this series in the upcoming Assassin’s Creed III game.
Awesomenauts fits into the Action Real-Time Strategy (ARTS) genre, or as many gamers have come to know it, the DotA genre. This particular genre has become increasingly popular in recent years and began with a mod for PC game Warcraft III called Defense of the Ancients. The gameplay in this genre is relatively straightforward. Players need to destroy the opposing team’s base with the help of computer-controlled units that will periodically spawn. These units are very simple and will march towards the enemy’s base in a pre-defined path. They are also relatively easy to destroy but are essential in some way to the success of your team.
The traditional ARTS game employs a top-down camera. Uber Entertainment’s Monday Night Combat introduced third person shooters to the genre, but Awesomenauts really challenges the status quo by playing as a side-scrolling ARTS game. While the announcement of a side-scrolling ARTS game gave some people doubts as to whether it could work, the moment of truth has finally arrived. Has Ronimo Games successfully incorporated side-scrollers into the ARTS genre? Let’s take a look.