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About tominwood

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  1. If I had been told that I was Bhaalspawn 10 minutes into BG1 that would have basically ruined 90% of the story.
  2. *possible spoilers below* Maybe I am over-romanticising BG1/2. I still consider that the fundemental issues/objectives of the game have been released too quickly, to the point that it feels like there is basically no mystery/surprise left in this game. The issue of 'what will happen now that I am a watcher' really isn't really a strong central story as far as I'm concerned. It feels simultaneously inconsequential and unchallenging. At least with BG1 you had to work through a couple of chapters to even determine that you were something special - and to even understand what the game was about. Whilst I concede that the ultimate outcome of BG1 involved a dark lord/chosen one scenario, this was played out gradually - and you were led to believe that you were dealing with some kind of simple criminal conspiracy for large parts of game. In PoE your special place is the universe is announced from the off and, for me, now it's just a matter of blasting through the main quest to "discover" how being a watcher will play out. I appreciate that no-one seems to agree with me on this. But there is definitely a complete sprectrum of predictability and overall quality when it comes to story construction in RPGs - and I personally feel that PoE is sitting on the lower end of this scale. I agree with one of the commenters above, that a lot of the value of this game seems to be in interacting with all the various different inhabitants of the world and hearing their stories. I guess I just particularly enjoy the 'story' aspects of RPGs - and care slightly less about the miscellaneous quests that one encounters along the way. For instance, I think that having a stronghold is just a gimmicky distraction. If I was truly "role-playing" this game, (1) I'd find that developement totally implausible and (2) from a character perspective, it would really undermine my interest in exploring the world and solving quests for people. I don't think that 'open world' style games are incompatible with having a good story. A couple of the Elder Scrolls titles did a reasonable job at this. Also, several non-fantasy titles maintain a really decent story whilst allowing free-roaming (Far Cry, etc). NB: To the person who suggests that I'm a troll. Having a contrary opinion doesn't make someone a troll. My post was reasonably written, wasn't agressive or rude, etc. Being personal in response is just silly. Also, apologies for the potential spoilers in my initial post.
  3. I'm a long term infinity-engine / RPG fan (having played and completed all the major PC and XBox RPGs over the last decade or so), so I've been really looking forward to PoE (obviously). But, I must say, I'm seriously, seriously, seriously disappointed by this game. From a mechanical perspective, it's a great product (it looks great, works well etc.). But what on earth is going on with the story? Where is all the mystery and intrigue that made BG and BG2 such amazing games? The story presented is quite amazingly one dimensional and has totally failed to capture my interest. Cast your minds back to heady days of 1998. I remember the opening scene of BG (some unknown character is thrown off a roof) and then my own introduction in Candlekeep and the subsequent unexplained murder of Gorion. This introduction set the tone for an intriguing mystery that would gradually unfold as I progressed through the story. My interest in the game was driven by my enthusiasm for discovering the answers to the questions I uncovered as I made my way through the world (by whom and why was Gorion killed? Who were the characters on the roof? What was wrong with the iron? How was I connected to this? What was Imoen's connection? etc., etc.). BG was a masterclass in storytelling - and that was why it was so awesome. My development as a character – and all of the necessary mechanics were more or less incidental to the primary concern – the story. Other games imitated the mechanics (appearance, rules, etc), but typically failed to recreate the suspense that made BG a great, great game. PoE has also failed in this fundamental respect. I've played PoE for 1 hour and the following things have happened: - I've acquired strange new power - The mystery of those powers has been partially solved (I'm a "watcher") - I've acquired a stronghold - I’ve listened to and read vast reams of rambling explanation and dialogue - I’ve completed some random, essentially meaningless, quests Where is my reason to carry on adventuring? Where is the looming threat to my character? Where are the questions that need answers? There aren’t any. It’s all so obvious. Seriously, lame stories are a curse on modern RPGs. Every time I hear about <the dark lord who must be defeated, my special destiny/abilities/powers that need to be fulfilled/used/harnessed, the evil that stalks the land that must be eradicated> I want to bash my head against a brick wall. Haven’t your writers read any decent novels? Every single game that uses this lame formulaic approach to storytelling is the RPG equivalent of a Michael Bay blockbuster – all style and no-substance. Take Dragon Age as a prime example – dragons don’t make a game good. Not at all. Not even a tiny bit. Get rid of all the dark lords, all the dragons and all the “earth shattering” spell effects and give me a proper mysterious story line. PoE, why have you made an isometric Dragon Age? And no, “witty” inter-character conversations don’t compensate for a totally disinteresting storyline. Sorry to moan. I’m holding out hope that things pick up as the game progresses – but I’m doubtful that this will happen. Interested to hear whether anyone else agrees / disagrees with my complaint. I wish this was something that developers would focus on / think of as a big deal. Tom
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