Delayed Responsibility

I Shouldn't Be Gaming Right Now… But I Am!

Grab Bag: A Great Disturbance in the Force

Posted by deckard47 on November 30, 2009

A lot of things to go over. So:

There’s a new Prince of Persia game coming in May 2010 (link).  It is not a sequel to PoP 2008. It is a continuation of the Sands of Time franchise. Let me just go make myself a stiff drink, and then we can discuss this. Right. I do not dislike Sands of Time. I kind of like Two Thrones. But I am not sure what they hope to accomplish by going back to this world. They are going to need to hire some great writers (and fire everyone who want s to make the combat include more combos and weapons) to bring this series back (sans the stink of WW). They might be able to pull it off. What gets me about all of this is that this announcement is tantamount to Ubisoft saying “so that PoP 2008… That was a mistake. We’ll be going back to our regular programming.”

Maybe this isn’t the case. Maybe the next game in Elika’s series will come out in a few years. Maybe they are preparing for a potentially unsuccessful 2008 sequel by releasing a (supposedly) surefire SoT continuation. But it looks like Ubisoft wasn’t as confidant in their new series as they said they were. I wish they’d stick with it (the way they did, to great success and acclaim, with Assassin’s Creed 2), and make a second game however they pleased. Screw us critics. Of course, AC 1 may have been a critical meh, but it also sold 1 million+ copies. I don’t think PoP 2008 did quite that well. So I will wait, and mumble under my breath about kid these days, and their difficulty.

After the break, what I’ve been playing and why I like it, oddly enough.

Right now I am reviewing about a million games, and playing a few for fun. Amazingly, those two categories even cross over (more than once!). Most importantly, AC1 and Dragon Age remain unfinished. I’ve no idea when I will return to them. Left 4 Dead 2 has an incredibly strong hold over me, as does Divinity 2: Ego Draconis. You all know what Left 4 Dead 2 is. It’s better than the first game, I’ve convinced my brother to play it, and Scavenge really is an amazing game mode. I think the why and how of this game’s excellency deserve a full post, so I’ll try to get working on that. Divinity 2 is the third title in the Divine Divinity (by Larian studios) trilogy. The first game was a mix between a complicated RPG (like Arcanum or BG 2) and Diablo. It was the kind of game where you could carry hay with you and make a bed out of it to sleep. I loved it, but it broke my computer in many, many ways. The new game is much different from its predecessors. It’s a 3rd person action RPG like console Dragon Age and Risen, but it retains Divine Divinity’s sense of peculiarity and obscurity. It’s the kind of game where you discover quests (and finish them) by accident. There aren’t landmarks everywhere. You discover important, crucial items and places by accident, because the game has no interest in helping you out.

Eventually you can turn into a dragon and fly around. I am not at that point yet, sadly. Now that I think about it, the game is exactly what Drakan should have been but never was: fun, fast, and possessed with an amazing sense of scale. The RPG elements work well with the game’s vast levels (the Broken Valley alone is humongous), and the absurdly entertaining (verging into soft rock territory) soundtrack works perfectly with each area and situation. The voice work is alright, considering this is a European port, and the world itself is beautiful and exciting to explore. I’ve played it for 10-15 hours (working on my Popmatters review), and so far I only have one complaint: the game is awfully optimized. Looking in the wrong direction (toward an open part of the map) causes hideous slowdowns, and the game’s framerate goes from smooth to slide show in seconds, for no apparent reason. It is still a beautiful game, but to enjoy it, you really have to prepare yourself for some strange, annoying issues.

There’s more. King Arthur (the Secret Strategy Game), among other games, nibble away at my time. Still, today has to be a work day. Difficult, I know.

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3 Responses to “Grab Bag: A Great Disturbance in the Force”

  1. flagg49 said

    You didn’t mention that the characters in Divinity 2 are animated so that everyone moves like a monster.

  2. Alex said

    The more I think about it the more I doubt they will actually completely abandon the new PoP series. They can’t! There’s just no way! WE MUST HAVE HOPE!!11

    • deckard47 said

      There’s a Chemical Brothers song where they say that. That’s the first thing I thought of when I read your comment. But really, I hope they aren’t leaving it behind. I talked a lot with one of the level designers on that title, and it seemed pretty obvious that they all loved the style and difficulty of that game. Here’s hoping that somebody (hopefully them) gets to go back to it.

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