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Game trailers that don't display any gameplay

edited 2012-02-17 11:57:17 in Media

Here's an example:


http://store.steampowered.com/app/39540/


This trailer is FREAKIN' EPIC.


However, after watching the trailer, I find myself unable to answer the question What the heck is this game like?

Comments

  • One foot in front of the other, every day.

    I could rant and rave about how Spellforce in general is indicative of the worst excesses in modern fantasy.


    But you all know that reel.


    So I won't. 

  • edited 2012-02-17 12:11:12

    Go ahead.  I only even heard about this game just now because SgtRicko sent me a Nordic Games Steam coupon.  Incidentally, I gave it back to him anyway.  Now I have a EVE Divine Cybermancy coupon.  And a Valve coupon.

  • One foot in front of the other, every day.

    Fuck yeah, awesome. 


    Spellforce is all fantasy tropes shanghaied from other fantasy. While it's not actually as bad as, say, the Inheritance Cycle, it's the same pattern of fantasy regurgitating itself as a new product. Really great fantasy stories are certainly influenced by other fantasy, but they draw from history, folklore and -- often importantly -- unrelated genres of literature and even other mediums. 


    This is all spectacle magic rather than character magic. It serves a gameplay function, but that magical gameplay doesn't really bring together a narrative that isn't "hot chicks, skimpy clothes and big explosions!". Granted, I can't deny that those three things have a particular appeal, but there's a time and place for everything. I can take or leave battlefield women in this -- equal opportunity fantasy is certainly an okay thing in my book --, but the revealing apparel always makes me angry at the designers. Apart from being unrealistic for a battlefield soldier (herein deemed to include wizards, witches and the like), it's pretty obvious eye candy aimed at the straight male viewership. We don't get any characterisation out of it, and indeed many women in fantasy works have personalities that don't really fit the way they dress. In the vast majority of fantasy games, depictions of male characters are all about communicating character traits, but female characters always seem to be posing knowingly for the camera. Come on, designers. I have an internet full of porn, and it would be nice if studios that weren't Bethesda depicted women in fantasy works to be people rather than sex objects.


    I'm not at all against depicting female characters as desirable, but it's possible to do that tastefully. Instead of going for pure sex appeal, why not go for poise, grace and an uncanny blend of fashion sense and sensible armour (okay so that last one is really specific but whatever). As a result, female characters in fantasy games could also be marketed towards, y'know, women. Straight men tend to have this thing about not looking at mostly-naked guys for overlong when they play games and I presume this holds true for straight women. Plus the whole never-ending-symbol-of-objectification thing. I kinda wonder how many feminists play WoW. 


    Furthermore, this post turned out way different than planned. I guess Spellforce is just really, really bad about that in particular. 

  • Give us fire! Give us ruin! Give us our glory!

    >EVE Divine Cybermancy coupon.



    Anything you want for this? The game looks pretty interesting.

  • ^^ I don't really get the meaning of the beginning of your essay, or what you mean by spectacle magic and character magic.  I get the distinction but not why you call them "magic".


    That said, I totally agree with your opinion on the portrayal of women in fantasy games.  Skimpy armor looks extremely silly and pandering and it annoys me too.


     


    ^ Not really.  I'll take TF2 items in exchange though.


     

  • One foot in front of the other, every day.

    I was going to explain those concepts, but then I got caught up on tits and sexism.


    "Spectacle magic" is essentially modern fantasy magic. It exists to be a literal tool. "Character magic" is the kind you find in foklore, legends and mythology. It has a less technical and less immediately obvious application, instead existing to reflect a character's internal development. 

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