Shroud of the avatar (very) early impressions

When january the 2nd came, i needed to decide whether to buy two games from my watchlist for their discounted prizes or not. I chose to do so because SotA looks….different and Telltale/Game of thrones seems to be a combination that simply works (first impression from that: it seems great so far).

Really, i haven’t played SotA, i just took a look. Here’s what i found:

  • character customization could offer more hairstyles and maybe even clothing
  • the combat doesn’t seem so bad
  • it’s immersive! Holy cow
  • small zones
  • SotA is unpolished as of yet
  • i heard great stuff about the community but haven’t played long enough to experience it myself

Now, let’s remind ourselves that this is early access. Polish, hairstyles, small zones could all be changed. Also, i’m not a fan of the 2D-travelling you do between zones, although i have to say: if/when those zones are bigger, perhaps resembling MMORPG zones a little more, i prefer 2D-travel over portals.

What impressed me most was just how immersive this game is. Sure, you could point out how strange it feels to really type stuff in conversations with NPCs, at least to end conversations you’ll have to say “Farewell”, the rest is made “convenient” by highlighting conversational pieces in the NPCs sentences, but i found it to be very much…well, immersive. Also, when you enter the first town, there’ll be NPCs called “Villager” or “Guard”. You can ask for their names and they will pop up from then on. Soon you’ll know one villager as being “Jack, the lantern lighter” and so on.

I liked that very much.

Oh, also: what do i care if this is an MMO or not? As with Elite: Dangerous, if others can impact me in a significant (and not deadly) manner, it is more MMO than some themeparks. And, when an NPC changes his name from something indistinctive to a name, then there is more RPG than in…well, all MMORPGs.

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