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If a game like Diablo 2 still 'rules' over anything, is only above its mirror-like clones.
But please don't insult evolved, complex action RPGs like Mass Effect with such a comparison, geeze. Don't compare a zeppelin with a starship.
And for the lovers of PC RPGs history:
1996: Diablo 1 revives the RPG as a serious game genre (not much in terms of story and characters, but in terms of game mechanics and concept) and brings multiplayer into footlights. It really has this merit and nobody contests it.
2001: Not Diablo 2 (which only clones its predecessor), but Gothic 1 is the first complete 3D RPG (full 3D being a superior genre above 2D ) that has it all: full voice acting, reflex based combat system, beautiful, immersive graphics etc. And thus, it paves the way for the next coming titans, such as: Gothic 2, Star Wars KOTOR series, Jade Empire, Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines, Mass Effect series...
2003: Star Wars KOTOR is the first RPG which, beside complex dialogue system, moral and romance choices, takes the main character even further, not just a hero, but a galactic legend!
2007: The start of Mass Effect series proves what the RPG really could be: a complex world, full of very interesting, deep and diversely motivated characters, a strong main character enlivened by personality and special charisma, gorgeous graphics, cinematics and dialogues, moral choices that shape the course of the world...
Any good company knows how important customer feedback is. But I like to think beyond that. Game companies can be much more than just "commercial companies", in fact they should be more. And here's why.
Game is a form of art. For some people at least. There are gamers and gamers. Some will probably ever remain the immature, tough language haters with unsolved real life frustrations (by 'frustrations' I don't mean injustice, that is a radically different concept). These are more casual gamers, that probably, with time, will even exchange games for real world politics
But there is another category of gamers. They see the video game as art, a very complex art which gathers together: literature, graphic design, (voice) acting, musical composition etc. And above all, as any form of authentic art, the cathartic (ethical) value. What does the work of art transmit, what message, what life philosophy? How it is conveyed? Such questions these gamers ask and, hence, they start paying more attention to social interaction and character personality than to graphics detail or amount of game combat situations.
(Speaking of combat, this is probably a matter of taste. However, what works well for some, may be a huge hindrance for others. Game companies should pay significant attention here. A game may become unplayable for some, due to combat difficulty or clumsiness. Some people prefer a more tactical approach, pausing the game and issuing commands to party, while others – me included – like the real time, with dodging, blocking and swinging, as in real life. For me, if Dragon Age Origins would have had the combat Kingdoms of Amalur has, it would have scored much higher in my book...
Couldn't games implement alternative combat systems? A thing to ponder upon.)
I consider the latter category of gamers artists in themselves. Their important feedback (which may take the form of an article, a blog, a comment, a mod etc.) co-creates, in a manner of speaking, the game itself.
Masterpiece games are games meant for humans with feelings and emotions, not for brutal killing machines. I certainly won't play a game that has very few to none dialogues and moral choices (romances included) and which, instead, insists on gory difficult combat.
*sigh* We never get tired to be thrown at with 'honors' and 'awards', while they could use all those energies and resources to help produce better games...
Skyrim here, Skyrim there. Only politics, publicity and bought supporters could propel such a lame game to the top.
Many praise Skyrim for its open world. Understandable, but if a game world, no matter how open, doesn't contain live, memorable characters and situations, deep a story, then it's all for nothing. Exploration in itself gets tiresome after a while, and many a gamer would prefer not-so-open worlds, filled instead with more truly epic situations.
I will simply state a few reasons why Skyrim is inferior to Fable 3 and Dragon Age 2, both similar RPGs of the same year 2011:
1. Skyrim lacks good voice acting in general, main character included;
2. Cinematics/cutscenes (crucial means of advancing a modern story) are nowhere to be found in Skyrim;
3. Lame main story: the dragons never cease attacking, even when one completes the main plot, reducing all efforts to stupid uselessness; one never gets at least one castle for all the war effort support etc.
4. Unnerving and contradictory NPCs: they don't know the difference between a guild leader and a janitor, nor have any past memory of their perpetuum mobile speeches;
5. Marriage system is plainly dull; all you have to do is wear an amulet and suddenly you receive lots of proposals; you don't have to court, nor talk to know each other, nor save the damsel, nothing, no personality input whatsoever; unrealistic and boring;
6. Bugs are all over the place, some of them impeding even the main quest;
7. Gory, gloomy, morbid graphics, for the most part;
8. Broken pixels, distorted textures, some surfaces are too shining, others too dark;
9. Unsatisfying, lame combat;
10. Debilitating level up system: in order to achieve the highest level, one must undergo every possible skill, the player must cast tons of spell if they choose warrior, they must smith and block if they are mages; that knocks out both replayability and respect for people's time.
Those are just the main reasons why Skyrim is over-hyped and broken. Such a shame of a game shouldn't even be mentioned for any awards beyond the worst category.
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