Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Secret of Real Characters

I’ve been playing Secret World a lot after playing the final Guild Wars 2 beta; I’m trying to get to the final area before the first content patch drops and the inevitable nerfs and changes. I’m constantly struck by how good the characters are. Story is always something I look forward to seeing in games but the Secret World is the first MMO where the characters are even memorable. Certainly TOR had great companion characters with pretty good back story but those characters were made to be good from the ground up, aside from a few cool characters (here’s looking at you, Thana Vesh), most NPC’s were completely forgettable. Guild Wars 2 NPC’s are up in the air, but likely to be as memorable as cheap vanilla ice cream, but Secret World dares you to care.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Greatest Trailer

The new Planet Side 2 trailer came out a couple days ago and continues the tradition of spectacular video game trailers. My younger brother works for Diamond Age games, a small little startup game developer. He’s trying to make his initial trailer and so I thought to myself what makes the great trailers, not only in among themselves but for the games they represent. Here are five of the best in no particular order.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Better Sequel

I watched The Dark Knight Rises today, it was amazing. I was awestruck after that movie, Christopher Nolan made comic book movies incredible, he probably singlehandedly legitimized them as serious movies. I was struck the most by how good the story was and how uncompromising his vision was to the trilogy he forged. I don’t often get that feeling with video games, I’m passionate about them but they don’t always instill passion in me. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Primer to Guild Wars 2: Hype and Reality

You will give the people an ideal to strive towards
They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall
But in time, they will join you in the Sun
In time you will help them accomplish wonders
-          Jor-El, Man of Steel

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hypocrisy in Writing

I’ve noticed something for a while now, a hypocrisy that at the same time amuses me and rather irritates me . I’ve said before how the game media loves to beat the drum about one issue or another. One issue that is coming up again and again lately is sex in video games, by which is meant the sexualization of women in video games. Whether or not I believe that video game writers even have a true concept of what is wrong in the industry in terms of that issue I am struck by the complete lack of recognition of the irony of the argument.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Power of the Passive

This week in The Secret World I’ve focused on getting some of the passives I thought would strengthen my character. Since the last article I’ve focused entirely on my DPS Chaos/Sword deck. I changed all my gear to critical hit chance and penetration. In Secret World the better the gear you have, from green to blue to purple the more specialized it becomes, so that a fully DPS decked character might actually have less HP than when he first started with all greens. It means playing smarter and insuring that the solo or team deck you have has a lot of DPS, because it’s killed or be killed and your margin of error is practically nil.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The End of the World As We Know It

As I sit before my computer I am forced to realize that something amazing has happened, I am enjoying The Secret World. It’s not just that the story is driving me forward, it’s not just that I listen to the launch trailer before I start playing every day, it’s not even that I am thrilled with the skill system  and thus character development in a way I haven’t been in a long time; I am enjoying the Secret World for the sum of its parts. And what parts they are! From the undoubtedly eccentric mission system, to the unbelievable this-isn’t your-usual-MMO Dragon opening shot across the bow (Dragon 4 Life!), to the skill system that will take days to understand and years to master; The Secret World is constantly shaking the way MMOs can be played. The Secret World is unwavering in its commitment to let you go the easy way. Yes like any good spoiler you can Google things and get a bit of a cheat sheet but there are times when you are just awestruck that it even works, that you even care.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Miracle Day

‘These are the times that make men stride across the skin of the world’
-          Torchwood: Miracle Day

When I heard those words, while watching the trailer of Miracle Day for the first time I swear I had goose bumps, such words they were. They were full of greatness and awe-inspiring, like the words of the poet Lord Tennyson’s “Ulysses” ‘Death closes all: but something ere the end/ Some work of noble note, may yet be done,/ Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods’. While it wasn’t quite as great a season as the legendary Children of Earth season, it didn’t disappoint me; those words were a promise fulfilled of the greatness that the fourth season of Torchwood would unveil.