I've been playing Dragon Age Origins on my Xbox 360. I like the game. I don't LOVE the game, but I think it's certainly entertaining and has some replay value, which is something I look for in a console game. (I hate buying a game, playing it once and returning it to some store for credit on my next purchase. Bleh!)
But I was cogitating on what might make a really COOL game. And here's what I came up with from a high level:
- Has the cool character / surface capabilities that Assassin's Creed offers. i.e. You can climb nearly any surface. (Prince of Persia has some cool features in there too...not quite as deep as Assassin's Creed though.)
- Has the neat open-ended character / item interaction that Oblivion offers. i.e. You can go into any house and get up on any table, walk across it and watch dishes break...
- Has the neat scenery-as-NPC features that Tomb Raider offers. i.e. The cool obstacles and scenery in Tomb Raider is as large (or larger) a part of the game as the baddies.
- Has the excellent character / NPC interaction that Dragon Age Origins and Mass Effect offers. i.e. There are some really cool choices that your PC needs to make that affect the game immensely.
- Plays like Diablo, in the respect that you can guide a party from a 3rd person vantage point.
Now, put all of these together and imagine a game where you have a party of characters that adventure through cool, other-worldly vistas and interact with neat obstacles like huge, tumbled cyclopean blocks, or cenotes in an ancient jungle. The mechanics are there, someone just needs to put them all together and come up with a game that incorporates both adventure at the grand level as well as exploration on a personal level.
Imagine coming to a cliff wall while on a deep delve some lost caverns somewhere, you have the ability to climb walls, but you've forgotten a rope in your inventory. Uh oh. Now what? Either the game provides for alternative methods of overcoming the obstacle, that aren't so obvious as an ascent with a rope, or you go back and purchase one at the nearest retail outlet. ;-)
There are so many neat possibilities here. I'm sure that someone has thought about it somewhere. But the things that make older edition D&D so cool, the exploration, the strategic thinking required, the gritty swords and sorcery feel...All those things could be incorporated with today's technology and I feel that the resultant game would be spectacular.
Don't get me wrong, I far prefer a face to face, table-top RPG to an electronic stand-in any day of the week. But during those all too common times when you thirst for adventure and you can't whip a group together out of thin air at 10 pm, then the e-game will have to suffice.
Ciao for now.