I have seen the name “Project Gorgon” quite often before, but never actually read what it was about. But after reading Syp’s impressions, I figured it’s time to try it out myself. They have started their Kickstarter campaign, but you can actually try out the game for free. I like this a lot, because it means that you can see for yourself if this is a game that you want to back up with your money! The game is in a pre-alpha stage, so treat it as such. I now tried out the game for a couple of hours, so please keep that in mind. This here is not a review. It’s not even what I call my “first impressions review”. It really is a basic, very basic first impression of trying out that game – and it is quite fitting, as the game is only in pre-alpha.
The game will be “buy to play” with an optional sub (much like The Elder Scrolls Online then). I does not seem to focus on PvP at all. I would assume that there will be some kind of PvP, but I have not been able to find anything definite about that. Either way, I am intrigued and interested to see where this game is heading. It definitely shows promise! If you ask me, some of the graphics and animations are what I would criticize the most right now, because there are so many other beautiful games on the market and I’m not sure a game that “looks old” or “feels stiff” will be able to succeed, not in the MMORPG market, at least. The screenshot above is a high resolution one that I took once I had left the tutorial cave. The graphics out there are much better than the ones inside the cave.
But let me quote from the Kickstarter website:
“If the campaign is successful we will be able to significantly improve Project Gorgon by contracting outside help to improve art and other vital game functions.”
They have reached their funding goal by now and are on their way of reaching their first stretch goal, so I guess we can expect a change in the game’s art department. For me, the biggest drawback so far are some of the graphics and the animations. The animations seem a bit stiff and some of the graphics look very… well, old, especially the cave interior. But that’s why they are doing the Kickstarter and the game is only in pre-alpha. And don’t get me wrong! I don’t even mind “simple graphics”. I love Trove, after all. But stiff animations is something that I do mind, because it just looks so out-of-place in a way. Anyway, if that is all I complain about, then that is telling quite a lot already, right? I did not experience any crashes, I did not see anything bugged or otherwise not working as expected. I spent most of my time in the tutorial cave which is what this blog post focuses on. When I think of some games and the state their tutorial was in, then I think it’s safe to say that the developers know very well what they’re doing!
What I really like is how easy it is to get into and understand the mechanics. Project Gorgon is a skill-based MMO (when I said that to bookahnerk, he headed right over to the website and downloaded the client as well) and it seemed that everything I did led to an increase in some skill and when I levelled up in a certain skill, I sometimes automatically got a new ability unlocked. I picked up mushrooms, I performed autopsies on dead enemies, I tried to butcher dead wolves. I hit skeletons with my fist, I slashed them with my sword, I later pierced them with my arrows and finally moved on to psychoanalyzing them asking them to tell me about their mother. I also found a book that taught me how to tame a rat. Up until that point, I had killed them. For now, I have chosen to use psychology (hey, I am a psychologist. How could I not use those skills, right?) and am undecided about the second skill set… probably sword, although I have played with unarmed and am currently waving my staff around for fire magic.
But I could do all these things mentioned without needing a tutorial that explained to me how those things work. There are tutorial windows, of course, and the hand-holding is quite nice sometimes. It’s just that I didn’t always absolutely need them to know what is going on. Maybe it’s because I’m familiar with so many MMOs that it seemed so easy to feel comfortable with the game, which keys to hit and the amount of windows (which you can freely drag to where you want them on your screen – or just close them if you don’t want them). On the other hand, when I think about my journey in The Repopulation (to be reported about at a later point), I don’t think that’s it. I do believe that the developers know what they are doing and they are doing a fine job and have at the same time managed to present a skill-based game with no predetermined classes without overwhelming the player.
I am also intrigued by the story – of which I will not tell you much in here as I like to keep my impression posts relatively spoiler-free. The best part, however, was right on the character creation screen when I read the descriptions of the races: Sex-addicted elves. I had not seen that one coming and it gave me quite a laugh. Finally, some different way to view those pesky elves and just in general, expect to read some rougher language here and there, too (like the f-word). The world itself, even though I have not seen much of it yet seems interesting and I want to know more about its lore and, more importantly even, I want to see more of it.
So, after playing around with the game for a few hours, I can say that I’m interested… – The rest of the paragraph here was originally about how I am not yet backing it and that I need more information first. This has changed after I had already scheduled this post, though, so I deleted the paragraph and am now rewriting it. :p
So, after playing around with the game for a few hours, I can say that I have backed the game on Kickstarter and the decision to do so was made the moment I left that tutorial cave! It just seems to be the kind of game that I really want to play! Or, as I said to bookahnerk some time ago after I had played the free trial of Ultima Online: I would love for a company to make a game like this, but with up-to-date 3D graphics (and not the isometric one of UO) and without open world PvP. It seems that I have found such a game now.
This post is part of Blaugust 2015.