See, using the word “bonanza” implies something exciting, doesn’t it? But does it ever amount to more than there being more than one of something? No. No it doesn’t. Here’s more than one video preview of forthcoming PC games! Below are clips of Age Of Conan, Conflict: Denied Ops, Faith And A .45, MTB Target and Marble Blast Online.
Something I meant to write at the bottom of the Age Of Conan preview was that I fully expect the game to slip to the summer. Somehow I forgot to write it, and today it was announced that there’d be no sign of it until May. I’d have looked so knowledgable and astute. Pretend like I wrote it, eh? I’ll extend that prediction and say we’ll not be in Hyboria until July.
Anyhow, to keep us interested with the longer gap, a tech demo has been released by Funcom. No, there’s no need to go looking for it – it’s right here!
Thanks, Gametrailers. You can ride on the back of our rhino any time.
An MMO in development is like a soufflé made to an improvised recipe. People know which ingredients to include, but what quantity of each, what temperature to cook it at, and how long for? So many come out heavy and inedible, or completely sunk in the middle. Others, well they’re delicious and we can’t stop going back for another bowl. The difficulty is, spotting which will be which before they’re out of the gaming… oh this metaphor has made me want to die.
Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures has so much potential. So much. Source material is key, and Robert Howard’s novels could almost have been written with a computer game in mind. Hardcore, stubby, violent. I’m going to write that Howard invented fantasy fiction, just so people get cross in the comments. Howard invented fantasy fiction. The madman mother’s boy demonstrated a vast amount of historical knowledge, working it into his intense novels, before offing himself in his 30s. So ignoring the utterly abysmal Arnie movie, Funcom – developers of the Longest Journey games, and previous MMO success, Anarchy Online – have a lot of material with which to work.
I recently took a trip to visit Funcom – the creators of the game that means more to me than any other, The Longest Journey – and had a good poke around Age of Conan. The results of my findings will be appearing in magazines across the land come the new year, as well as the rather extensive results of chatting with TLJ’s creator, Ragnar Tørnquist.
While I was out there, I was guided about the very many offices by Funcom’s lovely project manager, Jørgen Theraldsen. At the end of the day, he took the opportunity to show off a forthcoming trailer that he’d written and directed, despite being the busiest man in the universe. And now even you, the non-Funcom-visiting scum, can watch it too!
Thanks Gametrailers. We love you. In fact, will you marry us?
Hurrah! Plenty of head-chopping-offness and giant monsters, which the game is all about. Interestingly, it’s also a game that focuses heavily on story, but I’m not allowed to say any more or Eidos will come round my house and steal my taps. I should add that all in this trailer is in-game footage, including the rather pretty sunsets. Oh, and the combat – let’s just say it’s better than it was.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Funcom’s troubled Conan MMO is its proposed 50-aside sieges. These massed assaults are one end of its multi-tiered PvP (at the other end of which lies drunken bar brawling, where the more you drink, the more damage you can do) but we’ve not yet seen much in the way of details about how they’ll work.
This recent trailer shows a tiny, mocked up glimpse of what we should expect. The fact that camera cuts away from showing the actual wall breaches or any such significant siege action does not seem to bode well, but I’m still interested in how the overall resource-control and larger land-grabbing game will work. After all, system sieges in Eve Online are the most tedious thing imaginable, and yet the struggle for control over territory remains one of the game’s driving forces.
I have to admit that the MMOs we can expect in the next year don’t really excite me. The one that I hold a candle for is the mystic-barbarian romp Age Of Conan, which was beautiful-if-awkward when I played it earlier in the year. The developers at Funcom are keen to create a combat system which doesn’t just have you press a button and wait for the turn-based hitting to occur. Their solution is the ‘combat rose’ which allows you to pick your melee swings for both attack and defence, via a small mouse and key graphical interface. It didn’t really seem to work when I played it – one swing was much the same as another – and I understand that, after the closed beta, this was one of the systems that the team are reconsidering. The game has, it seems, been delayed until next year. Perhaps the beta did its job.
But there’s more to this beast than a weird control system, as I’ll report after the jump.