Believe me, I was diligent. I looked up the screenshots key. I took many pictures. And yet this morning, I cannot for the life of me find the Anarchy Online screenshot folder. Maybe I confused the game with all of my hard drives. But you have to trust me that I took them and that they would have blown your mind.
OK, probably not so much. It’s Anarchy Online, a 2001-era game with a 2005-era paint job. But I did want to poke my head in and say hi, mostly to satisfy my curiosity over the graphics upgrade and the new beginner experience.
I think — think — I installed the new graphics engine right, but without having been in the game recently, I had a hard time figuring out whether or not I had launched it or was looking at the old engine. It looked fine, I guess… Anarchy Onlineish. My character still had a body that was made of about 12 polygons, the world done up in that blocky but futuristic style that I used to love.
As per long-standing Syp tradition, I rolled up a new character, the same character I always do: a Solitus female adventurer. Having a self-heal plus dual pistols plus the ability to morph into creatures is too appealing to look elsewhere. Right off the bat I got a leet morph, because how awesome is it to skitter around as a tiny leet?
Oh, and I had a great screenshot of that. It would have brought tears to your eyes, truly.
I’m of mixed feelings of the new beginner experience. The old one took place on this tropical beach (n00b isle or somesuch), but the new one is a series of industrial platforms. It’s definitely uglier than the previous setting, although it was far more linear and easier to track.
I spent some time trying to beat up malfunctioning droids with my fists before I realized that my inventory had a ton of gear that I should, y’know, probably equip. It took an embarassing death before I discovered that. Oh yes, I screenshotted the death too. You would have written poetry if you’d seen it.
Every time I return to Anarchy Online, I have to fiddle around with the UI to make it look like a more contemporary setup. That takes several minutes of adjusting the settings and turning off some of the more screen-hogging elements. No, I don’t want a GIANT CHAT BOX right in the lower center. Who does that? I mean, post-2002?
The quests were pretty rote, an endless series of “kill a bunch o’ stuff and occasionally use this special item” tasks. That didn’t matter so much, because I was rolling in the nostalgic hay — the familiar music, the sound and backflip of a level ding, the slow-paced combat, the AO art style.
But man, I wish I had those screenshots. It would have brought this entire blog post together in a way that would have left you standing and applauding wildly at your screen. As it is, it’s probably going to leave you depressed and pondering the meaning of life to any and all who wander into earshot. My apologies.