Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Eve: Online review

When I was young, my brother had this big, beautiful book of illustrations. All of them were space-themed, and primarily featured massive space battles. That was where I first gained a love for the space-shooter-style games. I loved flying through space, whipping wilding around the terrain and enemies.

I always wanted more though. When I started playing MMO's, I found their depth appealing. I loved building up my characters, seeing them gain strength and venture further afield.

When I first saw Eve, I remembered that book my brother had. When I learned more about the game, I thought this was a match made in heaven: High end graphics combined with deep gameplay. I could just see myself as a lone-gun bounty hunter trolling the vast emptiness of space for my prey.

However, my original computer just barely met the required stats for the game, so I knew it would not play well. So I watched trailers and player-made movies. It all looked so good.

Enter my XPS m1730. This thing has power to spare, so I decided it was time. I signed up for my 14-day trial. So what did I think of it?

Did I mention it's pretty? It really is. Very. It's very much like those gorgeous supermodels of stereotypical legend. Beautiful and devoid of any real thought. I'm fairly certain I could play this game with a blindfold with enough practice at clicking, cuz that's all you do.

You double-click to go in a direction. You right-click in space to choose a destination. You press a function key and click to attack. Click, click, double-click, click.

There's no visceral feeling of flying. Even your movement feels like moving in water. You turn excruciatingly slowly in comparison to what you really want to do. Your weapons even shoot slowly, in a classic turn-based playmode. I shoot, they shoot, I shoot, they shoot.

Even money-making is grinding. You fly to the area to mine, you mine, you fly back, you sell, you rinse and repeat. It's the ultimate in grinding.

The game does have its high points. The explosions are pretty. The skill system is brilliant. Select a skill, and whether you're logged in or not, you continue to train it. Which is a good thing, since some skills take days to learn, in real time. And I am sure you can turn better, have faster ships, et cetera. But the game will not hold me that long.

Pretty as it is, I'd rather play an ugly game with a lot of personality.

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