I met this albino Raven named Pearl today. It is only one of four known albino Ravens in the whole world.
Pearl lives in this woman’s house. The handler has a permit, and the bird is property of the government (like hawks and falcons). She is affiliated with the California Wildlife Center. Every time the handler stopped petting Pearl she started cawing. She really likes affection.
And here, then, is the largest problem with these systems as they stand. No matter how many songs the Orcs of Mordor sing, no matter the desperation of the out-of-work Chicagoan teacher, all I can do is hurt people.
Although I have played neither Shadow of Mordor nor Watch Dogs, I found that this was a good critique of certain trends in modern video games.
To a certain degree, this reminds me of the first time I watched a video preview of Skyrim. I was blown away by the beautiful scenery and serene music. Yet I was soon struck with the realization that the game would probably offer only one major way to interact with the world — by killing things. This was reinforced by the video itself, in which the player attacks a giant peacefully herding his mammoths for no other reason than to show of the game’s combat.
There are, of course, other things you can do in the game. Like making weapons and armor…to better kill things and fend off their attacks. Or brewing potions…to deal more damage to opponents or heal the damage they do to you. Or even cook meals…which you guzzle down when your stamina is low so that you can unleash even more attacks on your opponents.
In other words, even the non-combat systems of the game exist mostly to feed into the combat. Want to make a peaceful living being a blacksmith? Try Runescape instead.
I think Shadow of Mordor's Nemesis system is a step in the right direction to correcting the hollowness of Skyrim, which loses most of its charm after a few hours as your adventures through its static world grow more and more repetitive and meaningless.
But does it radically change how we interact with virtual worlds? Or does it just highlight the limitations of our allowed interactions?
I’m not saying every game needs to be Dwarf Fortress, fully simulating every aspect of the world. However, it would be nice to have a high-budget fantasy game with a dynamic world about, say, being a traveling merchant or even an adventurer whose most meaningful interactions with the world are something other than fighting and killing.
I’d love a fleshed-out traveling merchant game. Or one where you can be a healer. Or just non-combat in general. Please.
This is basically what I do with Fallout and Skyrim but you sure as hell have to dodge game mechanics and ignore most quests.
the reviews say “gritty realism” but the heart whispers “suburban straight boy libertarian fantasy with a limited color palette”
OH MY GOD