Daily Archives: May 19, 2010

But It’s So Pretty…

Like many, I’ve read through some of the recent conversation about Funcom’s first expansion, Rise of the Godslayer. I have to say, the temptation to return to Age of Conan is strong. I’ve long been a fan of Howard’s lore; but more than anything, it’s because the game is just so pretty. The world of Age of Conan is gorgeous – plain and simple.

I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for these kinds of graphics. I played AoC at launch, even bought the Collector’s Edition. I started on day one, and played for the first month. And, like many other games, that was about it for me and Age of Conan. There were, and are, a lot of good things about AoC – the combat system, I felt, was a step in the right direction, and even at launch it was much more interactive and immediate than most games I’ve played, Funcom seemed to do a fine job with the lore, and they had created an amazing visual experience. For an exploration player, and a photographer, that’s huge.

My machine was even equipped to handle the game at reasonable resolutions. The problem was simple, and big – content. I got bored, quickly. Granted, there have been many changes to the game since launch, including more content, more zones, and improved graphics performance. So many changes that the main site has a multitude of links to details about what has changed since launch. Clearly, Funcom is making the attempt to overcome poor “buzz” and entice old players back. To an extent, I think Godslayer has helped a lot.

Because I have limited playing time, and I’ve found a wholly-renewed interest in LotRO, Age of Conan is a hard sell for me. There really is no comparison between content – even if Funcom added tons of quests, Tolkien’s work has always been far more compelling and interesting to me. So I’m left with visuals; I did a quick comparison using screens from both games’ official sites.

I’ll admit, they’re not perfect comparisons. But you get the idea. Clearly, Age of Conan wins out based solely on visuals (at least, it does to me). But does it win out enough?

I’m not sure. Have a suggestion that might help me decide? I’d love to hear it.