Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Cinematic combat...Legend: Hand of God

If this game isn't one of the hottest topics in the industry a week from now, I'll be extremely disappointed: http://www.legend-game.com/index.php?sprache=2

Any developer interested in action-oriented games should be drooling over their Cinematic Combat System (CCS). Just watch the gameplay trailer: http://www.gametrailers.com/gamepage.php?id=3181

The first time I watched that, I started out thinking "hey, it looks like someone's finally made a Diablo-clone worthy of its heritage" (Titan Quest has its merits, but its lack of what this game has was precisely its downfall in my eyes). But when I saw the fight with the ogre (or whatever that big fella is), my jaw dropped. That single mechanic will add inestimable appeal to the gameplay. Please, God, let this feature be adopted by the entire industry in the next couple years!

One thing their CCS demonstrates well is the importance of perceived impact in combat systems. If the enemy falls back when my fist never actually made contact, the thrill of the punch is lessened. Likewise, if I punch him and there's no visual reaction whatsoever; or if every attack elicits the same reaction. I've critized Hellgate: London over this same issue. In that case, the perception of impact was missing somewhat due to lackluster sound effects (I noticed in the Flagship's most recent trailers that all of their weapon-related sound effects lean toward high frequencies, which seems odd...considering that low frequencies offer the most powerful impressions of impact).

It's a bit unfortunate that the trailer for Legend: Hand of God is being released during the thick of hype for so many other games (The Darkness, Bioshock, etc.) and the presentation of Carmack's new graphics engine (which also looks, at a glance, like it may affect the entire industry). I hope those don't swallow up all the attention this game deserves.

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