Friday, June 11, 2004

Catching up

Yes, I am late, I know. I've been doing stuff.

If you haven't noticed by now, the Blog has a new look to it. Basic stuff, I have no html or whatever skills at all so I picked one of the premade looks. I like it though. I have been playing a lot of Counter-Strike lately. It's amazing how popular the game is despite begin over 5 years old. It is fun, when I'm not dying withint 30 seconds of the round starting. I can say that the game will only be even more fun on the Source Engine.

This is definately the year of MMORPGS, what with the impending releases of such games as Everquest 2, World of Warcraft, and The Matrix Online. Having played the original Everquest for quite some time now, I can say I have been looking into it a lot. As for World of Warcraft, everybody seems to love it, but I haven't looked into the game all that much. I have never even seen the Matrix movies, but I know enough to get around, so the game does look ok...Let us take a closer look..

Everquest 2: The game looks good, straight down. The graphics they're using for this game blow me away, in some cases. The objects look real, the characters are well done, etc. They've done a good job in the looks department. Watching videos from E3 cannot give me a good hear at the sounds, but I guess they should be decent, hopefully in the new voice department, as NPCs in this game now have voices. Another new aspect is that they've greatly progressed the game world, Norrath. The main continent from the original Everquest, Antonica, has been split by the battles of good and evil. The left half of the continent is home to the good people, capital of Qeynos. The right half consists of the evil people, in the city of Freeport. So far they have only shown the continent of Antonica, and make no reference at all as to what happened to the hundreds of other areas in the game that seem to have mysteriously vanished from the face the planet. They're also including things like branching skill trees, transportation, and player/guild housing. I did in fact sign up for the Everquest II beta, but so far I have heard neither hide nor hair from SOE.

The Matrix Online: This is the one I've had my mind on today. The game is, as the other 3 mentioned today, a MMORPG. Set after the events of the third in the movie trilogy, the game consists of the Zion, the humans who want to escape the Matrix, and the Machines, those who want the humans to stay within the Matrix. Apparently you will be able to choose sides and take missions for either faction, and opposing players or groups can try to stop you from fulfilling said missions. Another interesting factor is the skills. Apparently in the Matrix, you can just "download" information into your mind and instantly know it, explaining why Neo would be such a good fighter right off the bat. In the game your character will be able to do that same thing, and will have a limited amount of space to put abilities that you can drop or replace at any time. It also seems that clothes will actually be important to your character (and not just for the basic reasons). Apparently when you start out your limited to cheap t-shirts and jeans and such, and as your character progresses they can obtain the flowing black leather clothes and shades the character in the movies wore so much.

I have seen a few videos of the game in action, and from what I see so far, the game looks OK. The combat is odd though. They describe it as a kind of Rock, Paper, Scissors action. You and your opponent select the skills you will use as the fight goes on, and the more powerful or strategic skill will prevail against the other. The footage of the combat in the game appeared jerky and not very immersive, stuff like hands not connecting to faces yet the punch still happens. I do admit that using a series of punches to knock your opponent into the air and then doing a spinning midair kick to send them flying into a wall is pretty cool looking. It does appear the world is interactive. A character thrown into a wall will hit it and bounce, not just stop flying at the moment the wall begins. Also one very brief moment in a video showed a character getting thrown through the air and into one of their friends, knocking the friend down as well. So collisions in this game seem to be working well. I would like to point out that game isn't even in beta yet, so the combat problems I saw will most likely be worked out before release. I also signed up to beta test this game, but again I have gotten no response.

Thats enough typing for me tonight, I have never seen World of Warcraft and thusly I am not going to make a post about it just yet. Maybe someday, somehow......


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