Posted in WildStar

WildStar: Subtlety and the art of turnip rescue

medicLast night I joined Massively’s MJ for a livestream adventure through the Exile opening area in WildStar.  I hadn’t rolled an Exile yet because I’m planning to roll one at launch and I didn’t want to get spoiled.  But since that’s what we were doing, I figured I might as well try out a Mordesh Medic with the Soldier path.

The Medic is on my short list for a launch main class — if I can rip myself away from being an Engineer, that is.  Since our adventures only got us through level 3 or so, I was limited to just shooting some radiation and green holocubes from my resonaters.  So I can’t really say much about the class at all, but the appeal of shooting heal-beams at people with sci-fi ray guns is strong.

In our pre-stream discussion, MJ and I were discussing how WildStar is… well, very much in your face about everything.  It’s not a game for subtle beauty or sublime moments.  It’s a hyperactive kid with a tin foil helmet running around going “PEW PEW!” while giggling maniacally.  Granted, that kid has creativity and enthusiasm, but your reception is going to be either a similar spirit or unbridled annoyance.  I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of people straddling the fence with WildStar; it’s going to be a game that’s really up your alley or it’s going to send you fleeing into the open arms of a safe fantasy land.

I think the exaggerated and extremely colorful art style meshes well with the cartoony approach to science fiction.  It reminds me a lot of what I loved about sci-fi when I was a kid — more Buck Rogers, Bravestarr, and Star Wars than anything else.  In my book, there’s a difference between being childish and being childlike, and I see WildStar as the latter.

Anyway, maybe it’s over-the-top at some points, but WildStar has a wonderful ability to make me laugh.  MJ and I kept repeating some of the lines the NPCs said, kind of the way that you do when you’re half-mocking, half-joining in, and it make me think, “Hey, at least the NPCs aren’t disposable wallflowers.”

Then when we got to the greenhouse, one of the first missions involved rounding up semi-intelligent plants and herding them into new plots.  We probably were a little on mission auto-pilot when we clicked the glowies, so the fact that these veggies popped out of the ground and started waddling after us with these little chittering voices just cracked us the heck up.  And don’t even get me started on the comments made about the giant “space potato” that was in the middle of the room.

I get enough serious game settings elsewhere, so I’m all fine with WildStar being that hyperactive kid.  I do hope that he knows how to take a break now and then, but as long as he keeps surprising me and delighting me, I’ll be content.

9 thoughts on “WildStar: Subtlety and the art of turnip rescue

  1. That’s one of the most interesting parts for me. I like the juxtaposition of of the setting compared to the concentrated seriousness of their (yet to be fleshed out) elder game.

    The more serious the game, the harder a time I have getting into it.

  2. I agree. In an age where most “AAA” gaming titles are going for Gritty McDark, Wildstar’s character is a breath of fresh air.

  3. Maybe that’s a planned benefit of the Housing feature?
    A place to rest and recoup from your hairy adventures on the VERY colourful plant Nexus

  4. While I fall into the “nope nope nope” category, I *love* that this game exists and that they are making it as over the top as it is. Just because it’s not a game I could bring myself to enjoy playing doesn’t mean I hate it and want it to fail. I hope that they stick with their guns and make the best Wildstar that they can make, rather than see “oh, some people don’t like X, let’s start toning some of our design features down to appeal to a wider audience”. There’s now a million dang MMOs out there, it’s nice to see them starting to stand out more on what they themselves offer that’s different than trying to be what Successful Game X does turned up one more notch.

  5. I agree with mightydarv… it sounds waaay too spastic for my taste, but on the other hand I give a ton of points for originality! No more game clones!

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