TESO Now Has My Attention

The Elder Scrolls Online

I’ve been a harsh critic of The Elder Scrolls Online (TESO).  I still stand by a lot of my criticism, but I have to point out that recent stuff coming out of Zenimax, specifically from the gameplay they showed at Quakecon, looks incredible.  One of my biggest issues with the game thus far has been a lack of Elder Scrolls feel.  I have to say that my concern might be invalid after watching this video.

Obviously there are certain mechanics that are more MMO than typical Elder Scrolls RPG (horses appearing and disappearing) but I felt the entire presentation was very much in-tune with the Elder Scrolls feel.

The combat in first person looks close to the real-time combat, albeit with hotkeyed abilities inserted.  I didn’t get any sense of button mashing action — actually quite the opposite as I saw countering, blocking, etc.  I think the archery looks good, and PvE in general looked like something I would expect from this type of game.  Interestingly, notice when he 2 shot that NPC in the beginning — that’s something you’d do in Elder Scrolls, but in a normal MMO it seems out of place.  I’m totally okay with that if the game is about evolving a character’s skills and not about leveling up.

Around the 16 minute mark and on there are several great looking fights against tougher mobs.  I love how the warrior brings up his/her shield and blocks — that’s real tanking!  The flow of combat is actually quite remarkable.  I’m a huuuuge fan of groups overcoming the odds and working together, and I can envision that type of experience if more combat in TESO is like these battles.

My excitement for TESO was fading fast, but this pushed me back up to the top.  Am I fickle? Yeah, maybe.  I know what I like, though, and they weren’t showing me anything to get excited about until recently.  I’m still waiting to see how much of this experience is entirely instanced, and how much of this world is open and explorable to everyone at the same time.  At least now I can be genuinely excited about, or at least wanting to see more of something in TESO.

Epic and Awkward ArcheAge Trailer

Graev and I just watched the newest ArcheAge trailer.  We put it up on the big screen, cranked the surround sound, leaned back in our chairs, and readied our minds and bodies for what was sure to be a breathtaking journey.  Let’s watch.

  • Amazing music? Check.
  • Breathtaking views? Check.
  • What appears to be a properly proportioned world? Check.
  • Drive your own boats and fish out on the ocean? Check.
  • Castle sieges? Check.
  • Dragon and epic monsters? Check.

… Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

Our reaction was literally “Woah! Sweet!  Oh man did you see that? Finally, a game that looks awesome!  … Uh, did you just see cars? Was that just a family vacation?! The heck is going on here? The trailer started to feel like an episode of The Bachelorette, at which point we started to get really uncomfortable and avoid eye contact.

All joking aside… and pretending the creepy stuff at the end didn’t happen, ArcheAge actually looks like it’s going to be a freaking blast.  I get what they’re going for with the ‘we can create a life for you here’ vibe.  I appreciate virtual world, live in it and have experiences stuff.  I doubly appreciate the emphasis on things that weren’t combat based which signals to me that they are at least interested in marketing the multifaceted nature of their game.

Here’s hoping Graev and I can launch our vessel out to sea and set course for an island to call our own.

Foam Core Gaming Episode 2

Lego Batman 2 released Tuesday, and Gus is anxious to play the game he was born to play. Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse when a spurned Norm lashes out the only way he knows how.

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Episode 1


Foam Core Gaming Episode 1

Norm and Gus have aired their very first episode of Foam Core Gaming!  In this episode, Gus plays Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor, a Kinect game releasing for the Xbox 360 June 19.  If you’ve ever tried to play a game on the Kinect, you may recognize a little but of yourself in Gus.

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Foam Core Gaming Coming Soon!

We’re pleased to sponsor Foam Core Gaming, a weekly show about video games from a variety of core gaming perspectives.  Norm and Gus will deliver weekly episodes with their own special kind of game reviews and commentary.

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They’re still finalizing last minute details for their show, but episodes should start sometime next week.