Monday, 15 March 2010

GDC Hands-On at 1UP & Eurogamer

Last week was GDC and though Star Wars: The Old Republic didn't have a direct presence there LucasArts did show it off to a bunch of journalists. And now that those journalists are getting home after the conference the first accounts of that are starting to pop up.

Though I suspect that there'll be more in the coming week, the first two are from 1UP and Eurogamer. There's nothing really new in the articles that I've noticed (1UP takes a slightly odd approach for how it will 'dethrone' STO as the premier space MMO... I wasn't aware that STO was crowned as such). But it might still be nice to read.

Here's an excerpt from 1UP's article:
Story Driven Experience

When playing a story mission in Star Trek Online, it's all text delivered through a little dialog box. More times than not, it's usually an alien race harassing a Federation colony, and you need to step in and blast them out of the stars. From the little that we've seen of The Old Republic so far, this much is certain: you will have many different story arcs available to your character available out of the box on day one. Recently we saw some of this in action as we got a taste of the Trooper's story arc, and what it was like to be a part of Havoc Squad (a mercenary group, essentially). The mission assignment itself was simple: infiltrate a base on Ord Mantell and obtain a secret weapon known as the ZR-57. Though, during this mission, we interacted with other members of our squad, talked with the locals to pick up side-missions along the way, and even decided the fate on some of the guards in the base -- all with spoken dialog for every character (even ours). Adding that level of immersion in an MMO is huge; it felt like we were playing Knights of the Old Republic all over again (that's a good thing).
The article at Eurogamer is a little more sober. Though they seemed to enjoy what they've seen, they did note that they're starting to worry considering how little of the actual MMO parts have been shown. Here's an excerpt:
Like the Inquisitor demo, it's a strictly single-player experience. We all play offline in separate instances of the same mission. As RPG gameplay goes, it's slick, accessible, pacey and enjoyable - but in common with everything LucasArts, EA and BioWare have shown of The Old Republic so far, there's nothing massively-multiplayer about it. They've shown an appealing and obviously high-quality game, but they simply haven't shown us an MMO yet.
I'm not quite as worried about that as they are. Not so much because I have faith in BioWare/Ea/LucasArts to get it right (and I'm sure that they'll do a decent job of it), but more because I'd be happy with a single-player game online that has persistence and which you can play with others when you so choose. But I can see why one looking for a more traditional MMO experience might be concerned.

Anyway, that's it. Over the weekend I also noticed an article in PC Gamer (UK) on The Old Republic; but since I've got the magazine at home I'll report on that later. I'll just say that there's not really anything new in that either.

[link] to hands-on article at 1UP.
[link] to hands-on article at Eurogamer.

1 comment:

BakaMatt said...

I would agree with Eurogamer at this point. I have seen absolutely nothing that indicates the game is truly an MMO so far.

Everything shown is more indicative of a "Massively Single Player Game", or more in tune with the Guild Wars setup - open gathering areas, but privately instanced zones.

Not that I'd complain if it were decided tomorrow to make the game an offline solo affair. It's BioWare doing what they do best, and they remain to this day one of the few developers I will blind buy products from in confidence.

It's more a complaint in regards to how they're marketing the game as an MMO. I share your confidence in BioWare knowing perfectly well what they're doing, but I can't help but be unnerved when they've so far left out the "MMO" from all their demos and reveals of this upcoming MMORPG. The spoilers will come to alleviate these nagging thoughts, but until then...