Monday, February 05, 2007

grande finales and FPS wars

My brother and I finished our multiplayer"War of the Ring" campaign in Battle for Middle Earth 2 today. We both much prefer that Risk-like gamemode to isolated skirmishes.

Unfortunately, as usual, the final battle felt somewhat anti-climactic. In fact, we were able to "auto-resolve" the battle...meaning we didn't even play it, really. But even when we do have to actually play the final battle, and even in single-player WotR games, the battle is usually small and never as tough as some of the battles toward the beginning of the war.

In scripted campaigns, including non-RTS campaigns, the finale is typically the climax. It's just more fun that way.

So, it makes sense for a multiplayer RTS game to feature a mechanic that seeks to ensure difficulty in the final battle. It might be a morale boost for the defender(s), buffing stats. It might be a special ability tied into the particular game's lore (like the ability to summon the spirits of the ancestors for aid; or boosts to factory production). Or it might be an environmental effect that confounds everybody (think of the storm in the battle at Helm's Deep in the LOTR film...something that changes the mood or, better, the challenges particular to that battle).

This could also apply to other multiplayer genres, such as FPS.

Maybe it already exists and I haven't seen it yet. Maybe I've even played one but don't remember.

Anyway, it would be great to see a Risk-style mode, similar to "War of the Ring" in BfME:2, for an FPS game. Star Wars: Battlefront had something close (but shy), as I recall, but something more depthful and available in multiplayer would be a blast.

In fact, SW:B could be mixed with BfME:2 in a lot of ways to make a hell of a game. Imagine as many factions as the latter's being available to combine cooperatively with a friend against another alliance of factions. Imagine as wide a variety of unit abilities and bonus abilities (like the Powers of BfME:2) in an FPS as exist in the LOTR game.

I guess that's another concept I'll have to start fleshing out, but I hope someone tries something like that before I do.

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