Who's ready for some more bad news? It's not like there hasn't been -enough- of that this week, of course. Still, the suck train has to keep on rollin' and is it any surprise that Squeenix has taken over the conducting for the evening? No? Of course it isn't. After the news about Deus Ex: The Fall being a Tablet/Phone FPS you might be wondering at just how they could top that in the terrible ideas department. I mean, that is....that is kind of a doozy to pull off, and I'm not -exactly- sure that the news actually tops it. It comes close, though, even if it's kind of a 'thing' that a lot of companies are doing. What is that thing?
Taking a Single-Player and needlessly turning it into a multi-player affair of course!
A while back, there were some listings of a "Nosgoth" title through Squeenix registering "WarForNosgoth.com" and some AMD Crossfire driver files called "Nosgoth" and "War For Nosgoth" which kind of made it seem like Squeenix was going to do -something- with the Legacy of Kain franchise. For those not in-the-know, Nosgoth is actually the name of the land that the Legacy of Kain franchise takes place in, of course, which makes it pretty difficult to think that those things are for anything -but- a Legacy of Kain game. Yet, Squeenix bucks expectations yet again and I cannot help but sit here and hold my head and laugh. Because this is absolutely absurd that I'm about to type what I'm about to type, and yet, it was straight from the mouth of George Kelion, Squeenix's Community Manager.
"Nosgoth exists and is in active development, but is not a traditional Legacy of Kain action-adventure game," Kelion said. "Nosgoth is set in the same universe as previous LoK games, but on a different branch to the Blood Omen and Soul Reaver series. The community should not be thinking of Nosgoth in terms of a single-player experience."'The community should not be thinking of Nosgoth in terms of a single-player experience.'
It's pretty much at this point that I just want to stop acknowledging this is a thing that exists. Because a multi-player game in the Legacy of Kain game that doesn't involve Kain and/or Raziel just sounds like the worst idea possible. Oh, also Crystal Dynamics isn't developing it. Just....just needed to throw that in there to sort of reinforce the whole 'worst idea possible' thing. Despite the overwhelming stupidity of all of that, let's...hell, let's try to do something with this. Let's just take a look at what a few ideas of a multi-player non-Kain/Raziel Legacy of Kain game could....could attempt to be. If only to be masochistic, because some of these ideas....well, they are certainly ideas.
1. An MMO
Look. I know this is a bullshit idea, but they're -all- bullshit ideas in the whole context of it, really. But let's look at facts here - the game is going to be called "War for Nosgoth" and it's not going to be a Single-Player game. Which means you're going to have Person-to-Person conflict, likely, which means you're going to have two factions (Humans and Vampires) which means you've got the perfect set-up for an MMO since it really only requires that much of a set-up. The rest of it, the faction stories, the quests that kill time while you get to level 50 or 60 or what have you, it's all honestly kind of secondary because the impetus is to get you in the door and on a team. In the immortal words of Stephen Colbert: "Pick a side, we're at war". It's the easiest concept in the book which is why we've seen so many MMOs start up. Of course, because it's so easy, there's a lot of....under-thought concepts that lead to a lot of those MMOs failing miserably. Which is neutral to my point, of course.
Squeenix obviously doesn't really care about this since they're honestly not giving a Legacy of Kain title a Legacy of Kain attempt of work. I don't care if this comes out as an MMO and it's the slickest shit you've ever seen and plays awesome and whatever. It won't, but I wouldn't care if it did. It's not going to be an excellently written and acted single-player game that revolves around Kain and/or Raziel as they draw nearer and nearer to their ultimate conflict that was set-up in Raziel's first game. It's not going to be a Legacy of Kain game. So making War for Nosgoth an MMO makes perfect sense in terrible idea world since if you ignore literally everything, you have a game that is easy to think up and work around, has to be purchased and then subscribed to, thus making mad bank, all while just sort of doing its own thing by existing.
Of course, you would think that maybe Squeenix knows a little better about attempting MMOs now...but I'm not willing to give them that benefit of the doubt.
2. A MOBA
MOBAs, I'm told, are kind of the 'next thing' now that we're steadily shifting away from MMOs. If anything, MOBAs seem even easier to figure out than MMOs, what with not having to really even bother with pesky story or anything like that, but I'm gonna level with you here. I have no fucking concept of what a MOBA is because I avoid everything related to League of Legends like the fucking plague. But I know of other things of its type springing up, like Infinite Crisis DC Universe, Blizzard All-Stars and Dawngate, and I know of them all being MOBAs which is still some term that exists on the internet that I don't care about entertaining.
These types of games seem to rely exclusively on the 'Hero' characters of which you are allowed to play any of in a match that consists of your team going from one side of a map to the other and killing your enemies until someone kills the other team better and eventually wins. Being that they're apparently inventing a whole new side to Nosgoth, dummying up about two dozen "Heroes" for the Humans and Vampires should be a breeze. Depending on the timeline they use, it's -possible- they could use a few established characters, but I doubt very highly that they will, since just about everything here reeks of "We're not doing anything at all with the original Legacy of Kain games" because, well.....obvious theory is obvious. The likelihood of this being the easier cash-in option is very high and all I can figure on War for Nosgoth being is some cheap cash-in.
3. Awkward Forced Co-Op Game
This one is probably the hardest to actually name, because there's all sorts of games that live and breathe on co-op and don't do it awkwardly, like the Left 4 Dead games and such, but this is, well, Squeenix. Using Nosgoth as a basis for some type of multi-player game that doesn't involve Kain or Raziel which I cannot harp on enough unless I am misinterpreting "on a different branch to the Blood Omen and Soul Reaver series" in some fashion. Suggesting that they make some sort of Co-Op game (hopefully third-person melee, I swear to God, if they have some sort of gun or gun replacements, I will flip) in the vein of any of these types of things is, well, just asking for it to be terrible, awkward and forced.
Because of the way the Legacy of Kain timeline is set-up, there are basically two areas where Humans vs. Vampires can be an effective setting. The original timeline which was messed around with by Moebius in a way that actually -prevented- the 'war' as it was since it sort of pre-emptively lead to the premature destruction of vampires as a whole or the timeline that occurs after, wherein Kain takes his throne of power and begins creating Vampires that then go to war with, and eventually overcome, humankind despite their best efforts and holy warriors. They're....really sort of similar situations, it's just that the main aggressor changes from one to the other. This is still fairly easy to sort of plop out for a bit of cash with really no effort or care to the original subject matter.
I think to say that whatever comes of War for Nosgoth will be something I don't care about is an under-statement. I could be wrong, and since this is all me sort of predicting things, there is a good chance that I -will- be wrong. I just don't know, however. The red flags are flying high and basically some guy that works for Squeenix announced it before it was officially announced with this thought process:
"This isn't something we'd normally do," Kelion explained, regarding the decision to confirm the game's existence, "but we wanted to just give folks a bit more context for the direction, rather than just batten down the hatches."
This is something you only say when you are abjectly terrified of crowd response because you know what you are doing is wrong. "Hey, we're bringing back the Legacy of Kain universe but WHOA HEY HOLD ON, STOP CHEERING, IT'S NOT GOING TO BE SINGLE-PLAYER OR INVOLVE THE OTHER GAMES" is a terrible, terrible ploy with which you launch your new game and it's sad when -you obviously know this- and yet you do it anyway. Whatever this is going to be, unless it looks shit-hot amazing, it literally has no real buyer base. Legacy of Kain fans won't buy it because it's not Legacy of Kain, people unfamiliar will either look at it and say "Oh, it's (this game) but with Vampires" or ask people who have played Legacy of Kain games for background, who will then say "No, don't worry about that, it's going to suck". It just doesn't make sense.
Go home, Squeenix.
they may or may not in fact be drunk