Donnerstag, 7. Januar 2010

PC Gaming Reviews of 2009

2009 was a good year for PC gaming (or so I've been told). If you find yourself thinking "What was so great about gaming in 2009?", make sure to check out The RPS OMG Advent Game-O-Calendar 2009, Eurogamer's Games of 2009 series and for the MuMORPuGgers Keen and Graev's review should suffice.

Their piece on Aion is quite spot-on and in my opinion says it all.
Aion hurts the most. On the outside it’s a gorgeous game with an interesting art direction, great animations and most of the right answers. The first twenty levels are great. There is lots of content for the players and most of it is fun. Then you hit this slow patch. The Asian market’s love for mindless slaughter of little creatures bleeds through the Westernization. A year’s worth of patching becomes obvious as you run through a dungeon at level 25 and think “This rocks!” just to run through a dungeon at 30 to think “omg this sucks!”, come to find out the level 25 dungeon was added later. Then you hit a wall. There’s no content. It’s all a grind. If only the game had content! I found myself wanting to play badly but I couldn’t bring myself to log in knowing that I had about 50 hours of grinding ahead of me. Leveling up can take a long time and it can be difficult, but at least give me something fun to do. The PvP was one of those ideas on paper that sounds like it could work but from what I experienced it ended up just being a clusterfluck of timed fortress flips — a little work on changing some of the mechanics would be nice. That’s why Aion hurts the most. It’s fun but needs work. Showing us a movie of what’s to come just to find out it’s a “vision” and not stuff that’s actually on the way was a slap on the face.
Let's hope 2010 will be better. I will refrain from diving into Star Trek Online (mostly because I doubt it will be another LoTRO) and Star Wars: The Old Republic won't see daylight in 2010. So it may be a quiet year on the MMO front except for Cataclysm in November. Plenty of time to catch up on all the quality titles of '09 and maybe even '08.

Edit: I totally forgot about Allods. Unfortunately I just can't find the time to dive for more than my brief beta experience between level one to five. But at least in my book this is the most promising MMO title for 2010 and it may become the first flagship game for micropayment model.

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