Friday, 27 February 2015

Crowfall - believe the hype

It happens every time a certain type of MMO comes out. PvP-centric, skill-based, sandbox, it evokes memories of the glory days of UO, SWG and Shadowbane, of Asheron's Call and Anarchy Online. Even the early days of WoW, the great Southshore - Tarren Mill brawls that emerged were a far cry from the homogenised fare of today's theme park MMOs.

And fans always get let down. Vanguard was a glorious vision but McQuaid is hopelessly impractical, Darkfall was mean-spirited and full of exploits, Age of Conan became horribly bland after its first magnificent 20 levels and Warhammer stole too many of WoW's features to remain distinctive from it.

Not this time.

I could iterate numerous reasons why Crowfall is different but at core there's one point that stands out.

It's a really really good idea for a game.

Crowfall entertains through the conquest of destructible kingdoms. These mayfly realms are where all the good crafting materials are hidden and this full economy crafter-oriented realm V realm game will see players aggressively attempt to grab the juicy ore, metal and wood before each realm collapses into zombie apocalypse.

And that's such a good idea, such a good basic game mechanic. It's why chess stays fresh, you place the pieces anew each match. Imagine an Eve where the Goon spider, sitting fat and smug in Deklein, gets unceremoniously ejected to high sec each year and has to begin its games of diplomacy and conquest afresh.

Crowfall has a very distinguished crew, a wonderful crafting and class system but so too have other projects. It's the Risk style of board dominance that makes Crowfall so exciting and imo so likely to repopularise the sandbox nice.

Play Crowfall. Because it will the THE Game of Thrones.

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