Huh, I don’t know when this is shipping, but I just got my PC Gamer (October 2008? In early August?) and the lead review is a full review of Space Siege. The final game, I guess.
The really bad part? 58% score. Bland, no upgradeable cyborg parts, no cool loot drops, monotonous environments. Reads kind of like the Silverfall reviews, only with less cool loot.
Sigh. Closing tag line: “Gas Powered Games ran out of [gas] while making this game.” Really a bummer, because I have a friend who works there and I want them to do well, not poorly.
How could they do worse than Dungeon Siege? I mean, not because the Dungeon Siege games were completely terrible – they weren’t, I played them and enjoyed them – but because they were actually reasonably good. How do you go from making a couple of reasonably good (by general consensus) action-RPG games, to making a thoroughly mediocre (e.g. worse) one?
Hopefully Demigod will redeem them through the Power of the Brad.
I’m really hoping that this is just another one of those ‘polarized’ reviews from PC Gamer where they award a score that’s either 20-30 points higher than everyone else’s (Hellgate, Sword of the New World), or 20-30 points lower.
The whole disappointment with the lack of loot drops could be the reason for the game’s poor score, due to the writer’s expectations for loot in action RPGs.
GPG seems to be willing to take risks with the established Diablo-clone formula, which is admirable. But risky. Change isn’t always good. No loot in SS, game that practically plays itself in DS1. These things not all will like.
A lot of developers have sacrificed real hack and slash gameplay (see: Nox) for lame loot grinding bullshit (See: Kult Heretic Kingdoms, Titan Quest). I’ll take a lootless hack and slash game with upgrades and salvage over 50 billion combinations of trash items that I’ll never use that clog up my inventory.
See, you’ve skewed that with “lame loot grinding bullshit”. Both Kult and TQ are good examples and I think without the loot, you’ve got nothing supporting the repetitive click, click, click. There is no gameplay in the hack’n’slash itself - it’s all in the character build and kit-out.
But have you played Nox? That game didn’t rely on loot (they broke!) anywhere as much as it did compared to any of these Diablo clones. Nox actually had some fantastic action elements going for it. The warrior could block, grapple, and do all kinds of fancy moves.
The other characters used the mouse to aim, the same way you would aim your gun in Abuse or Freelancer, and the Conjurer gained the ability to summon new creatures and deck them out in abilities by collecting books that other characters could simply only read (and gain more damage towards).
It also had some fantastic environment interaction, like using boulders to kill stuff and destructible walls and barrels. It’s what I’m hoping to see in Diablo 3, really.
Now, why can’t other games have interaction like that instead of simply being repetitive click fests with little to no interaction?
But aren’t Nox and Diablo & Clones two completely different genres?
I mean, sure, you could dub them both Action RPGs, but Nox had very actionish gameplay. Dunno how else to describe it.
Kinda like Out of this World and Super Mario World are both side scrolling platformers, but VERY different ones at that.
I enjoyed Nox mainly as an action game with mild nods to the RPG genre, but Diablo variants are mostly loot hunting and character development games for me.
Like I wrote in the demo thread, a scifi game remotely similar to diablo, but focused on gameplay and without loot … wouldn’t that be like Origin’s Crusader games of old?
I would love something along those lines, with or without loot, but from what I read, Space Siege doesn’t deliver.
If all you are doing is hacking and slashing, without context, I don’t see how that’s going to be a lot of fun. A reward mechanism helps to hook people into gameplay. I suppose if you take away loot you can still have skills, but if skills are ok, why isn’t loot? And if skills aren’t ok, how pared down does it need to be? Do you just want a pure action game where you click around and kill stuff and the only reward is survival and the only penalty is death? And at that point, is there any “rpg” left in your “action rpg”?
I always hear people calling for this or that mechanism to be taken out of gameplay, I guess in the pursuit of some kind of platonic purity. I don’t think less is always more, though.
Nox is an interesting point. I remember I liked it but I played it so long ago that I didn’t remember if it had loot or not. That was one of the better post-Diablos IMO – in fact I liked it better than Diablo, now that I think on it. (But I also liked Fate, Darkstone, and Divine Divinity better than Diablo. I’m weird that way, I guess…)
When I played the demo I was reminded mostly of Shadowgrounds, a game that a lot of people are able to appreciate on its own terms without complaining about insufficient loot drops. The “Diablo in space” meme, wherever that started, may kill Space Siege’s popularity, but it also looks like an unfair and blinkered comparison.
Crusader: No Remorse has to be one of the best game names ever. Because it’s true. I had no remorse whatsoever about sending a spider mine into a room filled with 10 giant fuel tanks and 8 hapless guards, detonating the spider, watching while my machine shuddered to a halt trying to repaint the screen 1000 times in 2 seconds, and then going and dancing among the blood pools and shattered piles of body parts.
This thread seems obsessed with the loot issue, but that’s actually only one of the negatives cited in the review; the others are more damning (no way to upgrade your cyberware, no real impact from the “human or machine” upgrade choices, monotonous environments, nonexistent plot).
If the fun is in character customization, as someone else said in this thread, then what does loot really have to do with anything except providing a way for customization? You can achieve just as much customization without having to deal with the bullshit of an inventory-and-loot system. Just because Dungeon Siege isn’t all that fun doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Titan Quest could be just as fun without loot as long as the customization was still possible.
If the game is dumping a ton of useless shit which is either going to be ignored or cashed in for money, why not spare us and just give us extra money in the first place? I’m here to be Sir Thwacksalot Asskicker - or Han Blastathon, as the case may be - not a janitor or that crazy homeless packrat who keeps picking through the rubbish bins behind 7-11.