Revisiting old games 2022-06-24 on Kenneth Dodrill's blog

As I have mentioned before, I have played a lot of video games. Recently, I haven't been playing many games at all, aside from board and card games. You can find out why by reading my older blog posts. I decided to go back to some older titles that I am fond of, and one that I have never played before. For no real reason, here are some reviews / critiques.

Morrowind

I played Morrowind when I was a child. I played a lot, and had no basic understanding of the game. I thought the armor looked cool, and that was about it. Later, when I was maybe 18, I beat the game. I used console commands to warp to different points, and it felt like cheating. A few weeks ago, I did the exact same thing, and it didn't feel like cheating. The reason for this is that Morrowind's quest are essentially fetch quests. There's not much originality; the entire main quest involves walking (very slowly) from point A to point B, killing or collecting X, then walking back and giving X to the quest-giver. This method of questing is very generic and boring. It is an older game, but it is often praised for it's quests and it's story. The story is generic; you are the chosen one, etc. Go kill the bad guy. Tack on 35 quests of "bring me X" and you have Morrowind's main quest. It's extremely boring and I doubt I would've accomplished it without console commands.

Final DOOM

DOOM is a great game, and so is DOOM II. The levels are intelligently designed so the player can advance through the game without having to discover secrets. Not so in Final DOOM. Often, you will need to find secret doors to progress levels. It is extremely halting for a game that is designed to be as quick as possible. The levels end up feeling like disjointed rooms instead of a cohesive whole, and that's a huge problem for an FPS.

Arx Fatalis

I have never played this game before, but I have played a lot of old (and unique) games. At first, I felt like this game was a masterpiece. The combat was unique (for it's time) and the pacing and loot was good. It falls apart towards the end. Loot is no longer exciting, enemies are sometimes overpowered, the voice acting is abysmal, and the story is very cliche and "video-gamey". The main problem with this game is that for 90% of the game, it treats the player like a gamer. Go here, do this thing, you get X. For the rest of the 10%, you have to critically think about puzzles. It's incredibly jarring and mostly impossible to think critically about a game that doesn't seem to take itself seriously. For the times where you might think "Surely, it's not that complicated", it is that complicated. It's confusing, and extremely frustrating.