Legend of Grimrock - review @ RPGCodex
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September 28th, 2012, 09:58
A stream of players nowadays wish for a return to bases.
The review shows multiple troubles this desire brings forth.
LoG has for example one old school feature, mapping oneself tile by tile the dungeons.
Parallelly, it has auto mapping.
Old school boys often dislike when clues are laid around in an obvious manner, the case in many present games.
The review shows that the automapping is a game changer. When surveying tile by tile a map, it is easier not to miss rather concealed clues, or less obviously displayed hints. As one has to go one tile after another. The game also provides a note tool to mark one tile.
But with the auto mapping feature on, surveying the map is no longer a priority. And it changes the whole game as it calls for more obviously displayed clues.
The game also relies a lot on puzzles. And here again, another game changer has been introduced: the capacity to find very quickly a bit of information. It dissolves puzzles.
Many players declare a love for immersion, which is hard to comprehend.
In this type of games, adventurers are bound to wander aimlessly as they try to understand how to progress, as they scavenge etc
Yet this experience is very hard to convey as players, even those who demand immersion, usually consider that game period of time empty time. While when lost in some dungeons, roaming around is part of the experience of adventurers, players no longer bear to allocate time to live this kind of experience (making by the way immersion a very flimsy concept)
The capacity to get a bit of information very quickly destroys the opportunity.
In the past, with no internet, players would have been forced to take a break from the game for example, come back later and roam aimlessly, looking for a clue they do not know. They would have experienced what it is to be lost in some dungeons.
But now, it is over, a go on the web and the information is found.
Players' consumer habits have changed: players no longer want to "waste" time on activity that is essential to the definition of a game. They want to consume their game fast, they discriminate against a certain type of actions to favour certain type of actions.
This review and the experience it tells of gives perspective. It shows that game designers have listened to what players want. And that the current iteration in gaming is what players want. The trouble is that players do not usually tell what they want. Or claim to want to play something and when they have it, refuse to play it.
Game designers have followed the trend.
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