Elsa's adventures in gaming... Or how I accidentally killed an entire town.
So I'm on a typical quest... find the lost person in the temple. The temple is filled with some pretty high level Serpent type bad guys, but with some smart play style (it's called "run away, buff stats, refill health, go back") I manage to work my way slowly through the temple. I get to the end and there's this altar with a thing on it. Nothing says what it is and the only option is to take the thing or not take it. I do what most anyone would do, I take it... and promptly see that I have failed about 4 quests I was currently working on. WTF?? I leave the temple and the town is now overrun with orcs and well... everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY is dead. Crap... apparently I took that thing they were all babbling on about that protected the town from the orc hordes. Ah well, let me slay all these orcs and then figure out what to do. Hmmm.... all those dead bodies still have crap on them to loot. I can also lockpick and enter all their houses and steal all their shit... and there are no guards to bother me about it. Ok, no re-loading a save I made an hour ago... I'm just gonna kill some orcs and loot this entire town.
So yeah, I accidentally killed an entire town... but the loot! I made more money than I'll likely need and I also now have some pretty baddass awesome armour and weapons. I can no longer get the quests in this town, but I don't really care because the game is so awful, that the extra quests won't be missed. Half the time I can't actually figure out what quest I'm on anyway because the game is set up so badly. It shows a marker for where I got the quest - but not for where I'm supposed to go to do the quest. In fact, I don't think I've even started the main quest yet. I just take all the quests I can, then simply wander around killing stuff and getting all the lovely loot. With this entire town to pillage now, I've even set up a home base next to the town's teleport. I've taken over the Mayor's house and am storing some armour sets I might want or some weapons I'm not leveled enough to use yet. I'm also storing all my alchemy ingredients, which opens up more room in my knapsack for ... yes, you guessed it... more loot! Forsooth, I verily be a loot-whore!
The game is the original Two Worlds (those that played the game likely guessed it by the preceding line and the cheesy ancient English the game uses). I loved skyrim, and previous to that I've enjoyed many other WRPG's , including two worlds 2 on the ps3. When I saw the original Xbox game on sale for $9.99 I quickly bought it and brought it home. The game is awful though... more than bad... but there is a certain addiction in just trying to figure the game out. The quest structure is laid out so badly that I missed an early quest to get the teleporters operating, and if I hadn't finally turned to the internet about some type of fast travel system, I would well and truly have been stuck. My character is a guy who says the most inane and stupid things that he's unintentionally funny. Forsooth, I verily chuckled aloud at my guy's droll "I am alive" line every time he respawns... though the "well met" greetings do get old after a short while. The inventory system is a total mess, the mage abilities restrict to only 3 active spells, the game is glitchy and often has a frame rate that rivals hand drawn flip cards. My horse won't go down hills... hills that I can walk down or that other animals have no problems chasing me down, so I keep losing my horses.
It's odd that I'm enjoying this crappy game, yet I'm half way through L.A. Noire and just can't stand this much more highly rated game. While both are repetitious, I think the difference is that in Two Worlds, the devs aren't holding my hand. I can wander around, I can try and figure out where the hell I'm supposed to go on a quest, I can kill entire towns by accident - and while I"m often frustrated by the lack of an auto save system when I have an Xbox freeze or when I get stuck on my horse who is stuck on a campfire and neither of us can move - I'm not bored. In L.A. Noire the devs held my hand way too much. There was some limited freedom, but the game was very much "go here, do this". If you didn't "do this" appropriately, the game made you go back and if you failed an action sequence because you were screwing around, the game actually gave you the option to skip the entire action sequence. The game babysat me. It's at the point where I want to mess with the game just out of spite. I leave my partner behind when I drive off, I crash into every light pole I can find, I'm even trying to run over civilians... but dammit, the game just won't let me kill the entire town!
Reviews are an interesting guideline that seem to take into account who the developer was (Rockstar seems to get automatic bonus points if their name is on the cover). Reviewers also seem to like it when a game tries something different (like LA Noire's facial animations) and they account for general game quality (graphics/sound/framerate, etc). What is missing is the gamer's sense of adventure... which is a personal thing. I'm sure that I may later find out that killing this town in Two Worlds was actually part of the game, but for now it's one of those WTF moments that I enjoy in a bad game. The thing is... with a bad, glitchy game, we all have our stories to tell, but with something like LA Noire - the stories we'll tell are all pretty much the same. For me the biggest sin of a game is boredom... so I guess for the next while I'll be trying to get my horse unstuck from that rock it's glitched into, rather than taking on more vice desk stories from L.A. Noire.
Ride on Sparky! (yeah, my horse is named Sparky after the "getting stuck in the campfire" incident!).