Triple-A Games

I’ve never really been blown away by triple-A games, and I think I’ve just worked out why, thanks to Diablo III, which should in theory have me stupidly over-excited. It looks great, as far as I can tell the combat system looks fun and balanced, the graphics exceeded my expectations for the series. Also, an epic and apocalyptic storyline, huge fuck-off bosses to fight, and a fairly detailed library of mystic lore to wade through.

Furthermore, I tend to be pretty accepting of annoying control quirks, bizarre difficulty levels or learning curves, and generic heroes. As a gamer I’m pretty easy to please.

What actually irritates me, in a typically contrarian fashion, is when gameplay flows too well, when it integrates too perfectly with the environment of the game, and when it’s too intuitive.

Part of the appeal of gaming, for me, has always been mastering an unfamiliar system. Clunky old controls that clearly delineate actions and results (you can only go north, south, east or west; if you go north, you will be eaten by something altogether gruesome), those represent something unfamiliar, something more rigid than daily life, something to be understood and beaten.

This is part of why Dwarf Fortress really grabbed me a while back, and wouldn’t let me go until it had broken my laptop. Contrary to the trend for immersive gameplay to be considered synonymous with good gameplay, I enjoy games that are sort of clumsy. Why? Because they are different to real life. They’re a fun system to be mastered, and you can get a sense of achievement from completing goals within them.

I suspect this lies behind a lot of the prejudices a certain type of gamer has about triple-A titles versus indie or retro games, as well.

So, that’s why I’m not really that excited about Diablo III. As far as I’m concerned, it just looks a little too good to be worth my time. See a trailer embedded below, if you must.

You’re right, this post makes very little sense. I really don’t care.

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