If I were to put 2011 on a graph it would look like a ski jump.
In February my wife’s mother died – in March my dad died – in between those two my dog died and this week my wife’s cat died; not to mention the rabbit being killed by a fox.
On the gaming side – I finally removed my Warhammer Online blinkers, briefly played Space Marine, toured Skyrim and started the SWTOR saga.
Warhammer Online – Mythic put a few more nails in the WAR coffin.
To try to reignite interest in WAR Mythic invited several bloggers to an update meeting then slapped an NDA on them. What was the point? All they got to tell us was more “good things round the corner” bollocks.
They also published a photo of all those, supposedly, working on Warhammer Online but neglected to tell us that the vast majority were working on a side project called – Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes – a little disingenuous methinks.
So WAR was left to flounder while Mythic developed a play4free game for their EA overlords; they also took to the stage to slag-off MMOs and tell us how boring WAR is.
WAR now has minimum development and very little support – while Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot get a nice polish – not really acceptable for a premium price MMO.
The final nail, for me, was James Casey telling us that he couldn’t get the reintroduction of the Forts online this year because his test server was faulty!
They really must be on the bones of their arses or they just can’t be arsed either way they’ve made a complete arse of a game that a ready-made and loyal Warhammer following had a lot of hopes for.
Space Marine – A bit of a disappointing console port.
THQ captured the feel and atmosphere of the 40k universe but it was over all too soon. Shooting multiple orcs with exploding shells felt good but got a little repetitive with no way of escaping the standard corridor-run storyline. I was hoping for an expansion with a new story but it wasn’t to be – not this year anyhow.
Skyrim – The long-awaited sequel to Oblivion.
The game that spawned a thousand arrow to the knee jokes >–()–> and YouTube mod videos.
I’m still playing this but taking down dragons is getting to be a bit of a bind now. The stories are well crafted and I can’t get enough of the underground/dungeon type crawls. It’ll be quite some time before I get everywhere in Skyrim and by then there’ll be an expansion to keep me going – a mod to get rid of the bratty-yank kid voices would be nice too.
SWTOR – The long-awaited MMO from Bioware.
Star Wars has a ready-made following (like WAR) and it would take an act of gross incompetence to make a failure of this game.
The launch was fairly painless and has settled down nicely. There are some excellent innovations especially around the companion/crafting mechanic and, despite being a bit simplistic, the space battles are a nice diversion.
It all feels slick and very well produced and I’m sure it will be a great success – as long as they keep Carrie Gouskos away from it.
So what’s in store for 2012 –
Legend Of Grimrock – I have many fond memories of playing the Dungeon Master and Wizardry series and I’m really looking forward to this dungeon crawl. There’s even going to be an option to automap – no more graph paper – I’ve still got my original DM maps somewhere.
Dark Millenium – Not a great deal of information on this 40k based MMO from THQ. It’s due for release in 2013 but I would expect beta testing to start sometime in 2012.
In the meantime I’ll be immersing myself in the Star Wars saga and continuing with Skyrim, I may even get around to a few of the many Steam games I bought in the December sales – my son is recommending Metro 2033.
My New Year resolution is to spend less time at work and more time playing games and my New Year wish is for Warhammer Online: Age Of Reckoning to be bought out by an independent and given the love it deserves.
See you in 2012