Some days I feel like designing titles to blog posts that will result in the most hits. Without direct references to pornography, of course. How’d I do?
It’s referring to the fact that I spent a weekend mostly away from MMOs and into single-player games. I wasn’t really planning for it, but as I’m spacing LOTRO out, I’m mostly done with Guild Wars, and I’m giving Fallen Earth a little break before diving back in, I figured I’d go where my heart led me. And it led me to two games I bought in the past but never completed: Batman Arkham Asylum and KOTOR 2.
To my delight, they both proved quite engrossing. I’m not anti-single player games these days, but most of them have lost their luster for me. RPGs are difficult to play knowing that they’ll end and the world isn’t persistent, and other titles might boast more visual appeal but lack the depth I’m used to with MMO mechanics.
Batman has a terrific, almost Bioshock-like look to it, and I’m happily chewing through the story. The game’s been widely praised for its controls, and oh my goodness, they’re just perfect. Moving and fighting are easy and intuitive, and I like how it slowly ramps you up to more complicated techniques as the game continues. Plus, getting to hear Mark Hamill as the Joker is always a treat.
I probably won’t be playing Arkham City for a while (it’s on my Christmas list), but it’ll be nice to finally wrap this one up without that nagging feeling that it’s on my “to play” list. Don’t you hate that?
KOTOR 2 is a slightly different proposition. I talked about it the other day, and most of that holds true: It is unfinished and not quite KOTOR 1, but there’s a nice darker bent to it that makes it worthy of playing through. I actually think that the opening segment on Peragus station is incredibly creepy, and as I’ve felt in the past when I’ve played it, I couldn’t wait to get off of it and to places where people were less dead.
For the SWTOR fan looking to whittle away the month or so until launch, it does and doesn’t fill the void. I mean, we’re dealing with 2004-era graphics, which looked pretty impressive back in the day but are noticeably lacking in color and lighting effects now. The combat is “meh” although I’m having fun building a dual blaster-wielding Jedi — no lightsabers for me, no sirree Bob! Pew pew!
While there’s pretty much no aspect of the gameplay that’s similar to what BioWare is prepping for SWTOR, there are two reasons I can see why it’s worth playing (at least for me). The first is to just “live” in the KOTOR universe and get reacquainted with the places, major players, factions, technology, and whatnot. The second is to get back into the spirit of KOTOR storytelling, especially with the morality choices and surprise twists. It’s kind of cool to get to know an evil Wookiee, and I’m finding this a good refresher course for what happened with Revan and the state of the galaxy, 30 years or so prior to the events of SWTOR.
I know a lot of folks are excited to the point of pants-wetting over Skirim, but the Elder Scrolls series never had much of a hold on me, and based on my brief excursions into Morrowind and Oblivion, it’s probably best just to wait until the discounted “game of the year” edition comes in 12 months or so.
So what about you? Enjoying any good non-MMO video games lately?