worlds in battle

This weekend has meant some catching up with various game worlds. Tried (and got tired pretty fast) to play my way into the Middle-Earth with the EA’s Return of the King. As an interactive movie it works quite fine, but all that repetitive and linear action just is not for me. Just getting stuck and killed all the time, no fun. It might be that either much more experience in some beat-em-ups (Mortal Combat, anyone?) could have changed the situation. Or then just more save points along the way. Now the arduous process of repeatedly getting to the one really hard spot without any chance to save the game, then failing, and being forced to do the same thing dozens of times again is just painful and humiliating.

I was expecting more from the Eidos/Ion Storm Thief III. It is not yet released, but I downloaded and installed a demo version. The only problem was that there were some serious issues with the graphics. So no go there, too.

Most time I actually ended spending with the (now classic, for some) Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. It has very strong emphasis on exploration, but I just wonder what would be the right balance. This time, scenery is beautiful and world rich and detailed in various imaginary cultures, races and intrigues. The only problem is that classic adventure game one: you end up walking from other side of the world to the other again and again in some petty errands, getting confused and distracted on the road. But if you give a player enough freedom, the risk of loss of focus is the necessary counterpart, or isn’t it?

Author: frans

Professor of Information Studies and Interactive Media, esp. Digital Culture and Game Studies in the Tampere University, Finland.