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Default Rise of the Argonauts - Impressions @ Gamespot, Interview @ Videogamer.com

April 29th, 2008, 18:42
More information on Codemasters' and Liquid Entertainments' mythically inspired action rpg, Rise of the Argonauts, comes to light in two articles online today.
Over at Gamespot, they give the latest build a look, focusing on locations, quests, story and action:
You'll have access to several fighting styles depending on what class of weapon you use…each one will determine your fighting stance and where your shield is placed. The game will apparently model physical collisions between your character models and your enemies', and all your gear, so weapons will physically be deflected from your shield. You'll be able to make use of various divine powers awarded to you by the gods, and these will also have spectacular effects…
Videogamer.com talks to Ed Del Castillo, president of US-based developer Liquid Entertainment, goes into more detail on why the health bar's been eliminated and the temporary nature of HUD elements in the game:
"Every time I look at a health bar I'm reminded that it's a game. So take away the health bar. There's something subconsciously distracting about having to constantly dart your eye up into the upper corner, or into the lower corner, or any corner. Film doesn't do that. Film keeps your attention to the centre. I want to do the same thing with games. It's more powerful when you're staring at what Jason is doing all of the time. When we do it we want it to be temporary…
…You will spend more than 50% of your time in menus in all RPGs. You can't find a single one that won't do it. I think that's an enormous mistake. This is part of the reason why RPGs are so inaccessible to the mass market, that they don't want to dive into RPGs. They feel like they have to learn so much and they have to constantly be learning so much to play the game. We've streamlined the hell out of that. We want to give players the option to use those menus but we're going to push them all to the Argo. We're going to make it so that their gameplay experience is not hampered midstream. It's a choice. It's like going to a closet. That's your choice to go to that closet. It's not like every time you do something the closet appears right in front of you and, oh I have to organise the closet now? F$!k! Or even worse, so I'm in the middle of a fight, oh I want to use a power. Oh pause the fight, oh cycle through menus, oh pick the power, oh look I'm back in the fight! Oh I just fired that power and I want to use another one right away! Oh, get back in the menu, oh pick the one that I want, oh confirm the choice. It's super slow. Why am I doing that? Every time I do that it breaks my fiction, it pulls me out."
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April 29th, 2008, 18:42
What is the obsession these days with trying to hide the fact that you are playing a game?

If I want a cinematic experience I'll go watch a movie.

A lack of a health bar impacts my ability to play the game. That's a huge issue for me - sure I can stare at Jason all the time, but what use is that if you keep on dying due to poor feedback from the game?
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April 29th, 2008, 18:48
With you all the way. Sure I spend 50% of my time in the menu screens--there's a reason for that--it helps me play the game efficiently and enjoyably and satisfies my control fetish. I don't want the game to control my character while I sit there and munch cheetos.

I was looking forward to this game, too. This is a big turn-off for me, but maybe they'll prove me wrong by somehow making this HUD-less dynamic work--like making the visuals so strong that the health bar is redudndant, maybe.
Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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April 30th, 2008, 05:31
I can say that I do like the option to hide the HUD completely, but in reality the only time I really use it is when I'm taking a screenshot.
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April 30th, 2008, 10:28
I don't know, I think he makes a fair point about looking away from the action to check your health, if they can come up with a more intuitive interface that seems like a good thing to me. I'm less convinced with the menu's simple isn't always good.
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