Gameplay: Early Game, Starting conditions & Act Direction: can AoE4 break the repetitive genre curse ?
Well I have here 2 Pictures, of games staring condition.
one contains 9 old games, one contains 9 modern games.
Please take a look.
The thing is not simply, about games identity, but how the design does influence the gameplay experience. And modern does have one issue, they are very comparable.
Well lets pick as example Classic Red Alert vs modern Forged Battalion, in Classic:
- I have no idea where I am, I have no idea where the enemy is, I have no idea where the resources are.
- I don’t even have the mini map at start of the game. It is later unlocked by build a special building.
-My production building is completely mobile, I can move it anywhere and start to build there a base.
This means, there are some quite important and possibly risky choices I have to make.
-I can rush my enemy, but what if I do not find him?
-I can go on and build, but what if my enemy does find me?
-I can go scout, but by the time I do return, a lot of things can change, so I have to scout again.
-I also need the right units to attack my enemy. And who know what he did prepare, as they do arrive, maps is quite big.
-Where do I build my defenses? I do not have clear early info from what direction enemy might come and where he could attack.
I did not even play for a second the game, but here are already so many choices and possibilities.
In the modern game like Forged Battalion, I do not even have free will, like a robot, I do produce in exact same order same things, while they have to go to exact same location. And that’s by any modern RTS despite from completely different teams. They are all exactly the same.
While in old games, you have diverse starting conditions, you have a choice where to build your base, a map to explore and discover, modern games merely start with some kind of HQ, where you have to rush to certain location.
It’s not a thing of complex or simple design, the player requires a balanced design, where the game encourages him to play. And be forced to do exactly same thing all over again, especially quite slowly like in modern games, is not encouraging.
Can AoE4 break out here from the boring and repetitive modern day concept?