One of my gradual goals with this new computer is to load up my MMO-designated SSD drive with several titles to play as my whim dictates. A sample platter of online games, as it were. I don’t want to get so stuck into a rut of titles that I never take breaks to see what else is out there.
So far I loaded Anarchy Online and ArcheAge (am I doing this alphabetically? I do not know). The latter’s been on my list to try out for a good while now, especially now that we’re far past the post-launch drama. Of course, AA never seems to be too far from dramaville, but oh well. I want to see what everyone was raving about eight months ago.
I rolled up a magic-user named Syppi and jumped with both feet into the tutorial. Well, I say “tutorial,” but it really was only that in the loosest sense of the term. What it actually was was a parent who says they’re going to let their kid play, but only does so for about two seconds before grabbing the controller back because they don’t think the kid can handle it.
Seriously, this was the worst tutorial I’ve played in a long time. It kept repeating a pattern:
- Give me an incredibly simple objective, usually directed with flashing arrows, that could be finished with a single button press.
- Then the game took over for another three-minute cutscene in which my character fought, flew, talked, and did generally heroic things.
- Another objective accomplished within a few seconds!
- Another three-minute cutscene!
This went on for 30 flipping minutes. It didn’t help that often the character meshes didn’t pop in, leaving characters with blank faces and bodies, nor that the voice acting was… lackluster, to put it as nicely as possible.
Maybe there was a way to skip all of that and just play? But by the time I was dumped into the game proper, I about had it for the night. A crash to desktop a minute later seemed to be an omen to play something else.
On the plus side, yes, it’s a pretty game with some nice armor designs, and I still want to dig into it. But as a teaching and interactive experience, the tutorial fails at being engaging and entertaining.