FreeMMORPG continues to take stock of the outgoing year. In a series of five fascinating articles, we will determine the most important thing that happened in 2019. Incredible successes, epic failures, unexpected surprises, neglected games and the most high-profile events – two authors with opposite points of view on the situation will express themselves on each topic. So the picture will be more objective. Next in line are industry successes.
It seemed that in 2019 all the paths in the new and fresh media industry, which had been a couple of dozen years ago, had already been trodden on. Now it’s impossible to say “a new word in the genre” and simply to make a quality product without huge budgets. Really? This succeeded the Estonian studio ZA / UMwhose sudden debut turned out to be incredible success. The game not only received recognition from critics and ordinary gamers, but also tore a number of prestigious awards at The Game Awards 2019 – four at once! Estonian creators admitted in an interview that they consider themselves not so much developers as an ideological commune, cultural movement and the vanguard of video game art. These statements turned out to be not just thrown into the wind with loud words, which, alas, in the modern industry are not averse to making companies larger.
The revelation of the RPG genre came, who would have thought, not from Canada or the States, but from Estonia. Disco elysium – A kind of litmus test that will quickly determine who is an esthetician and connoisseur of video games, and who just kills time. Casuals will be perplexed and scaredly squint at the mass of unreceived lines. An experienced player will discover the depth and abundance of exercises for an inquiring mind.
IN Disco elysium a lot of text. And this is wonderful, since almost all of the gameplay comes down to dialogs, non-linear and verbose. We play as a detective, and the investigation is not led forward by shots, but by the right words. Add to this a fascinating struggle with internal demons, the study of a colorful world, excellent music and a stylish picture, painted as if with oil paints.
Well, those dialogues and monologues that are nevertheless voiced are voiced by excellent actors. This time there is no Russian localization with the voices of tired students. The universe strives for harmony, and Disco elysium proof of that.
It’s not that Disco elysium each parameter – be it your Power, for example, or Empathy, or Willpower, or Exposure – is a hero in itself, telling the protagonist how to conduct an investigation, and always ready to argue with other voices in his head. And not that all the numerous quests of this game are intertwined in a single outline, which allows you to make conflicts ambiguous, and characters deep. And it’s not that each answer brings new questions, so the fascinating intrigue lasts until the end of the game.
Not even that Disco elysium it is brilliantly written that the jokes there are funny, philosophical reasonings are curious, and the types of heroes are original and at the same time recognizable – not from classical game archetypes, but from life. Even, perhaps, it’s not that failures in this game are often more exciting than successes.
And the fact is that this isometric RPG skillfully controls the attention of the player. Not everything can be done in it, but the plot is so complicated that you don’t notice it. Does every dialogue allow you to throw out some unexpected stupid fortress? No – but comic options come across so often that in the end there is a feeling that “playing against the rules” is always possible.
This effect is enhanced due to the fact that unexpected scenarios prompt the aforementioned voice parameters. If Empathy clearly hints that it’s better to remain silent now, you really want to do this, because the hero guessed before such a move, it seems like our merit. We chose Empathy to pump! And they could have taken some other parameter! That is, it’s like our choice! So, deftly controlling our desires, Disco elysium creates a feeling of complete freedom of action – and each of these actions is meaningful and interesting.
And is this not the most important thing that we want from an RPG.
In 2019, the gaming industry turned into a gigantic market, where accurate forecasts of marketers rule the ball. No matter how innovative and revolutionary the game is, it will result in big losses if no one buys it. Therefore, publishers prefer stable schemes: make sequels and remakes. Despite the fact that the main theme of this material is the incredible successes of the industry in the last year of the decade, the triumph of remakes this year rather paints the situation in depressive tones. But let’s not talk about sad things, because we got really great games. The old men remembered how cool Crash Bandicoot and Spyro were at one time, and the new-school gamers finally played the game Resident evil 2. All these projects have gathered very high marks and brought huge revenue to their creators.
Many of you probably remember the controversy that arose on fan forums after the release Resident evil 4. The audience clearly divided into two camps: while some rejoiced at the powerful push that the series received, others blamed Capcom in that she killed the whole atmosphere of horror and turned the franchise into a shooter. But when the same concept has been used for many years, stagnation is inevitable. And after the release of the sixth part, where not very successful shooter mechanics were brought to the fore, this became obvious. And, it seems, only with the exit RE2 Remake developers managed to reconcile the warring parties.
The updated version offered a familiar camera and control circuitry, but at the same time did not forget about the cornerstones of the classic issues: lack of ammunition, puzzles and the need to constantly run back and forth. Unfortunately, frank search came out with the latter, and not everyone liked the concept of an immortal enemy hunting for a protagonist for a long time. As well as the division from the original into several campaigns, which are actually 80 percent identical, and even create contradictions. Nevertheless, a competent balance between action and horror, multiplied by a significantly redesigned plot (the authors got rid of kringovye dialogues) and excellent graphics, did its job. This is definitely one of the best releases of Resident in the entire history of the series.
Remakes are a very slippery topic for discussion. Honestly, I really want to not like them by default, because in fact each such product is a guaranteed way to get money from loyal fans with minimal risk and reduced labor costs. Each such product is another work of an artisan instead of a work of art, another workshop copy of something that already exists. On the other hand, Resident evil 2 became one of the few games this year that I bought for the full price tag on the release. It is difficult to despise your own pleasant impressions from the distant past, especially when they are carefully compiled by a talented team of developers into a graphic abundance of modern technology.
This is a very paradoxical thing. When i played in Crash bandicoot back in childhood, the angular patterns and textures of the now terrifying quality were the ceiling of the time. There was simply nothing to compare this schedule with; it was a cherry on the cake of my gaming experience. Of course, then I fantasized about what the games of the future would look like. And I could not imagine that in two decades I will play absolutely the same Resident evil 2 and Crash bandicoottrying to project this new experience onto an old, blurred “blur” of childhood memories. Moreover, I did not suspect that the mechanics of twenty years ago would work perfectly in 2019, if they shake off the dust and rethink quite a bit.
And then the question itself begs itself: has the game industry so far advanced in this time? After all, in the end, everything stumbles into our personal gaming experience. How much has its quality improved? In 2019, we can admire the fruits of unprecedented technological delights, inventive directorial approaches and cunning narrative techniques. But for some reason, the modern version of a good old game gives me exactly the same experience as it did twenty years ago. Why? As I said at the beginning, remakes are a very slippery topic for discussion.
Franchise Star wars popular again – the last episode of the new trilogy has already died down in the movies, and the flow of memes with the kid Yoda from the TV series “Mandalorets” has not ended yet. But gamers have not seen successful gaming incarnations for a good ten years. At the same time, a couple of years ago, the fans very clearly explained EA, owning exclusive rights to create games in the universe, that the company will not get off with some shooters with an internal casino. As a result, we got Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – sometimes full of borrowing, sometimes controversial, but still incredibly successful game. Literally in the early days of sales, she was able to set several records, managing to become the best-selling Star Wars game on the PC. Despite the fact that it was hacked three days after the release.
Honestly from Fallen order I did not expect almost anything. Battlefront 2 showed how EA deals with Star Wars: a good, but very short campaign, a small droid, a hefty, beautiful and completely unbalanced sandbox and “lootboxes” – that’s the whole simple recipe. It was even more surprising to discover such an atmospheric, high-quality, long-lasting and canonical product instead of another network shooter with additional monetization.
Yes, it was not without problems. However, the game was able to show an excellent atmosphere, the best lightsaber fights since Jedi academy, a simple but vibrant story and a host of other virtues. Talk about the pros Fallen order it’s possible for a long time, but if you need details, you just look at our very detailed reviewwhereas here we will note something much more important. The game sold well. And this means that for high-quality single story games, not everything is lost, because companies like EA decide on the development of projects of a particular genre based solely on financial considerations. Fallen order proved that making such games is profitable, which means that not everything is lost for the industry.
Let’s be honest. We are all happy for success. Fallen order, because this is a Star Wars story game, it doesn’t have lootboxes, but published it Electronic arts – a corporation worshiping the god Microtransaction (yes, this name is). It’s not entirely clear why, but the items listed above form a rather massive sentence: “And let’s all hype, because all of a sudden there will be no second part, and we liked to do it lightly and lightly with lightsabers”
“Whispers” really turned out to be quite good, but. Fallen order – this is insanely tiring, naive and cobbled together, albeit skillfully, from a heap of unnecessary mechanics, a monstrous contraption. She holds on not the most reliable glue, which includes respect for the studio Respawnhatred of the publisher EA, love of singles and Star Wars. Why do we need metro-diving elements if you have seven planets, most of which you don’t want to visit? They are either boring, or do not want to land on them again because of the need to chop down the risen enemies. And no, the battle is far from Sekirowhose shadows died a third time from such a cheeky comparison.
Fallen order – A good game that is deservedly loved, but undeservedly extolled. If fans don’t start pointing Respawn for errors, the continuation will be the same. Even George Lucas I realized that JJ Binks is too much. I want to believe that Respawn will understand: many mechanics in Fallen order 2 just not the place.