Wednesday, June 14, 2006


I still haven't written up my notes about Paraworld from E3. I have eight pages of notes, both from a half-hour guided session and a three hour session where I just played the game on my own. The game isn't shipping until early September, and I didn't want to get you guys all lathered up in May.

However, let me tell you one tidbit about this game by talking about another game: Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends.

Like I said, I played Paraworld for about three hours at E3. RON: ROL was delivered to the house while I was at E3, and I installed and played it as soon as I could after we got home.

I played it for three hours over the course of a few days and quit.

I like Brian Reynolds, I like his games, and Rise of Legends is incredibly imaginative in some ways. So why did I quit?


After using the Army Controller interface in Paraworld, which is light years ahead of anything I've ever seen in an RTS game, the interface in Rise of Legends seemed clunky and totally unwieldy in comparison. Sodden. As soon as you become even noddingly familiar with the Army Controller, you're going to have a difficult time using another interface, because it is so well-designed and so responsive that everything else is a brick.

And the world! Paraworld is bursting with color and beautiful detail. The dinosaurs are freaking fantastic. And the level of thought that's gone into unit design and visual representation is deeply impressive.

Plus, and it's hard to overemphasize this: it's fun. Sometimes games have wonderful elements that don't combine to make a fun game. Paraworld, though, with the combination of interface design, game world, and game mechanics, is a blast to play.

This is the game that's going to stand out this fall.

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