Friday, August 20, 2010
Clone Wars Adventures
Like Tipa I have been trying out Clone Wars Adventures, SOE's latest game. In many ways CWA resembles Free Realms, being a game designed mostly for children, full of mini-games, and running from a browser. But somewhere between Free Realms and Clone Wars Adventures lies a hard to define border of whether a game is still a MMORPG. In my opinion Clone Wars Adventures is not a MMORPG any more.
While Free Realms still has a persistent world, Clone Wars Adventures just has a lobby. You can walk around in that lobby, or in your house, but you can't even turn the camera. While you can dress your character up, there is no sense of character development. No world, no character development, that isn't a MMORPG for me.
I played a few mini-games of varying quality. The blaster training was incredibly boring. The starfighter mini-game made me smile insofar as it is exactly the same game that Bioware will use for space combat in Star Wars: The Old Republic. There was a "daily" wheel of fortune which consisted of spinning a wheel once and getting some virtual currency based on the result, which wasn't exciting at all. So I gave up for the evening and decided to try the other games another day.
There is nothing fundamentally wrong with mini-game collections for children playable in a browser on a low-end PC. But I can't see myself spending any money on this. Parents might want to be aware that the SOE marketing people cleverly named the option to subscribe to Clone Wars Adventures "becoming a Jedi", in the obvious hope that children would want to "become a Jedi", even if the actual entertainment value in bang for bucks of such a subscription is doubtful. Too bad all the clever people at SOE work in marketing, and not in game design.