Thursday, 26 September 2013

Wasteland 2 versus Take That

Baldur's gate
Back in the old days it was all isometrics, random encounters and big choices!

Nostalgia, ‘the good ol days’, the ‘when I was young’ time, call it what you will, no matter who you are I reckon that there are some days or periods in your life that you would love to revisit and relive, but with all that you know now. It seems that for a number of us this would include playing some of the old computer games we used to love because ‘they don’t make ‘em like that anymore’ and now thanks to kickstarter it looks like they might start ‘making ‘em like that’ again, but where will this road take us? 

I am nostalgic, one of the strongest memories I have to this day is the first time I booted up Fallout 2 and heard those epic words ‘war, war never changes’, I can also clearly remember marvelling the sheer number of discs that the original Baldur’s Gate came on. It’s therefore no surprise that I own the Baldur’s Gate enhanced edition and was excited to see the progress being made on Wasteland 2, in many ways the precursor to the fallout series. However as I watched the latest video on the game, which looks brilliant by the way, and heard them talk about the exciting features of the game I found myself asking ‘well what’s actually new’? Don’t get me wrong, in many ways a big part of my craves a new top down RPG to be that new fallout 2 with up to date graphics and will almost certainly buy it on that basis alone, however part of me wants something more.

It is around this point that the analogy that titles this piece began to form within my head and yeah at first glance it looks a bit weird, particularly if you hate Take That! Now when they were first formed Take That were THE boy band in many ways and were incredibly successful. So the distress caused by Robbie leaving and then the splitting of the band were only to be expected, for the sake proving a point we are ignoring boyzone here! When the band reformed, they did not do it in order to do a greatest hits tour of their old material, they had become a new entity. Yes they did perform a lot of old favourites, but the focus was on the new material which reflected the change within the band themselves from a boy band to a man band. The new songs they performed resonated with old and new fans alike, building on what each of them had learned from their time apart. It would have been easier to just do that greatest hits tour and give the public exactly what it wanted, however they chose to give fans something they didn’t even realise they were lacking.

I guess that’s my one concern with Wasteland 2, I don’t just want a greatest hits of their previous material. Yes, I do want it to have that feel which satisfies my nostalgia, but I want them to show me something different (although I’ll admit it I am not sure exactly what I want). In their kickstarter video they mention that there will be weighty moral choices, well that’s cool but sort of par for the post-apocalyptic course (see the decision about megaton in fallout 3). I am particularly interested to see how they execute this, I want to have to agonise over the ‘correct’ choice (and those who it will affect) and want to see constant reminders of my choice and its impact.

So that’s the gauntlet in front of Wasteland 2, don’t just give us an updated fallout 2, surprise us, amaze us and show us something new that will have a future generation looking back and saying ‘they don’t make ‘em’ like that anymore!’

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