March 19, 2005

Why You Won't Find Me On MXO

OK...the beta test for The Matrix Online is finished...but I won't be shelling out for this game. It all comes down to control.

I had the damnedest time controlling my character. The controls were the standard WASD for movement (which gives my hands cramps after five minutes) and the mouse-look was frequently overridden by the matrixy camera moves. While matrixy camera moves in a Matrix game are entirely appropriate, it makes moving around in the world a real female dog.

Example: when going down a staircase, the camera would be following my character in a spiral down the stairs. All of a sudden, the staircase would stop spiralling, and the character would be spiralling while the camera would go straight down. No warning, no notice. As long as you kept going, things worked out well, but if you stopped (like if you were surprised by the change) the camera has to be reset in order for you to go forward.

Add into this problems with interacting with everything around you. Which is done with the mouse. Which is fine, until you try and click something or someone and the camera matrixes the item you were trying to interact with away from you. A real exercise in frustration.

I will give MXO props for the looks purdy. Too bad I had to turn down the graphics to get it to play acceptably on my box. <humor type="exaggeration">Ended up looking more like Tron than the Matrix.</humor>

I see now why people consider MMO games to be the domain of hardcore nutballs. If I, a psuedo-casual gamer, can't make it work without a minimum of frustration, what hope does anyone else have?

And I was so looking forward to MXO...&shrug;

Posted by bbassett at 11:51 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack