There is a new Guild Wars 2 trailer out.Guild Wars 2 has got me pretty excited. Their analysis of their own brand seems brutally cynical, and their ability to not only explain the problems with the MMO genre in general but to suggest constructive solutions is something that I admire. In their 5 minute trailer the most intriguing aspect of their advertisement is the members of ArenaNet standing there and rationalising the waves of stale loathing that wash against your subconscious every time you return to Azeroth. Or maybe that's just me?
Recognising there is a problem is often the first step to recovery.I have read the philosophies behind the design changes in Guild Wars 2 and each seems appropriately justified. I don't know if i'm alone here but as I watched the Guild Wars 2 trailer I found myself nodding as each crushing convention of the MMO genre was presented to me and then replaced with the optimistic intentions of the Guild Wars 2 team.
"You have really fun tasks occasionally and the rest of the game is this boring grind to get to the fun stuff. "
"The MMO has lost the ability to make the player feel like a hero. Everyone around you is doing the same thing, the boss you just killed respawns 10 minutes later, the world doesn't care that you are there."
Big fucking nod.
"No monthly fees. "
But let's not get ahead of ourselves.It's one thing to understand a problem and it's another to appropriately address it. As Jeff once said when asked if he would consider making games instead of reviewing them: "knowing what's wrong with a videogame doesn't mean you know how to fix it". However the willingness of ArenaNet to demonstrate they at the very least appreciate these issues and publicly demonstrate their ability to think around these problems is very fucking encouraging and fills me with hope. A Kane and Lynch 2 kind of hope, not a Sonic Colours kind of hope.
It doesn't hurt that the game also looks fucking beautiful.I want to be inside it. And soon I shall be!
IN OTHER NEWSI just played through the Mafia 2 demo. I'm not really sure what I think about it yet. The most striking features were the setting, the 1950 vibes that offer an alternatively surreal experience to that offered by Liberty City in GTA4. The radio may be advertising the new-fangled "Credit Cards" but lurking beneath the sincerity is a much more dry form of humour and it's no less hilarious. More on this coming soon I hope.
Thanks For Reading