Uru demo out

You can find mirrors at Blues if you’re interested. Anyone try it? I dl’d it and took it for a quick spin. The character customization is pretty amazing–I made a near-photgraphic duplicate of myself. You won’t need floating names over PC’s heads in this game, you’ll be able to recognize faces. That in itself is pretty wild. I didn’t get to sample much of the gameplay. The gameworld seemed rather sterile, and for some reason NPCs don’t look at you when talking to you (they face forward, even if you’re not in front of them), which is jarring. But the graphics still seem quite good. I’m wondering how they’re really going to push all this data (like the super-personalized characters) in a MMOG.

In any case, it’s great to see someone in the MMO field branching out from the standard RPG genre. I hope it does well. With no leveling and no death, it has the potential to be what the Sims Online was supposed to be–that magical MMO that scores big with casual gamers.

Let me dust off an oldie, but goodie: YAWN.

Graphics are nice but not Morrowind-quality. Then again there’s not much in this demo to fairly judge the graphics. I take it there are no weather effects in Uru? That would be disappointing.

Puzzles in demo is standard Myst stuff. I’ve heard the full game offers much more creative and interesting puzzles. Hope so.

The interface is crapola. How on earth this made it through beta testing I’ll never know. Another game that can’t decide if it’s third person or first, so it does neither particularly well. I think the game expects you to use the mouse for everything, not good for those of us trying to avoid RSI. Nobody at Cyan heard of WASD? FAICT, you can’t even toggle mouselook in first-person mode (you have to hold down the RMB).

Took me a while to figure out the demo uses <f4> instead of <esc> to bring up the options menu. Another strange interface decision.

Despite the interface, I’ll pick this up if the reviews are favorable. If the puzzles are Riven-like, forget it. If they’re of Myst III quality, I’m there.

Shadowbane didn’t have keyboard movement upon release, and still doesn’t. But you didn’t have to hold a button down to move. They said it lessened lag.

I haven’t picked up the demo, but I played in the beta. Does the demo include the VoIP feature that the beta did? (hold down the TAB key, and talk) How about the Peter Gabriel music? That freaked me out, hearing actual copyrighted, recorded music coming out of an NPC’s radio.

IMHO, the graphics were pretty fantastic. I get the feeling that they can manage the MMO aspect of the game through the use of really small zones. When I played the beta, you didn’t even meet up with other online people until you’d solved all the puzzles in your “personal” zone, either.

So what was the MMO part of the game like?

I definitely agree with this sentiment. I haven’t tried any customization yet, but he default is pretty awful. And I didn’t realize you couldn’t switch mouselook on. I guess that’s because you need to move the cursor around the screen to click on stuff, but it seems like it’d be smarter to mouselook by default and just hit a button when you want the cursor, like other games do.

There’s no VOIP in the demo and, according to the company, it won’t be working at least until after the MMO-beta is complete. The Peter Gabriel music is either in or is going to be in the retail release, I don’t remember which.

Peter G was playin’ on the Helper Man’s radio when I fired up the demo last night. I only got to play for 5 minutes before goin’ out for dinner, but the graphics looked good enough for me. The interface however was all kindsa wonky.

So what was the MMO part of the game like?

In beta, they didn’t really seem to have this fleshed out beyond massive underground areas that are connected through zones. Each zone looks like it’s a mixture of private and public areas. I couldn’t clearly figure out what was going on there.

In each area I visited, there were numerous activities that all reminded me of Myst puzzles. The best stuff were the lighting effects that you could manage through hidden switches and levers.

As to interacting, there were only a few people on testing when I went through the multiplayer areas (it took me long enough just to solve the puzzles in the single player zone), so I don’t know what it’s like with a bunch of people in the game.

From what I hear, they’re only releasing the single player module initially, with the multiplayer attachment coming nearly a month after (I could be wrong on this). The single player is supposed to have enough to do that you’ll be busy for quite a while before you even qualify to enter the multiplayer area.

Yeah, the interface is horrible. You can bind WASD but the sidestep is so gimpy as to be useless; you can’t sort of casually walk by something at an angle and look to the side, like you do naturally in shooters all the time, because you sidestep like Peg Leg.

And I could not figure out a way to keep mouselook on, either. I got tired of holding down the RMB… how lame of an interface choice is that, for something you want to be doing 99% of the time (moving)?

I wouldn’t mind a paradigm like “hold the shift key to get a cursor”, or even better, “just aim your viewpoint at what you want to manipulate then press the button.”

The default 3rd person interface is totally unplayable once you get to that pit area. There’s an option in the menu “go where I click” that makes it better.

Have these guys played any first-person games? Have they even played any third-person games?