20 January 2012

Review: Fate of the World - I'm not amused.

So supposedly, this game was great and balanced and what not, and it wasn't easy, and it didn't beat you over the head with its hurr environment message. So I decided to play it.

Couldn't wait for the install to finish - to think of it! A game which models both climate, and the complexities of geopolitics. A game where you have the juggle stability, development, environment, complicated interplay of different forces, blah blah blah... I was expecting something mind-bending and incredible!

So then I start the game and boy oh boy, what do I see? It's a card game. You have a fucking budget, from what I can tell it goes in $5 increments too (you bloody cards, you could at least have written "blns." or something next to it!), and then you use the money to buy cards. You buy "agents" - that's just a fancy name for how many cards per turn you can play. It's not even a fucking two player game! You don't even play "against" an actual computer. There's just a bunch of stats that randomly go up or down, and your cards also make them go up and down. It's a very boring exercise in fiddling a linear combination of a handful of scalars, and because the game only lasts like, 10 turns or so, you can barely tell what's even going on.

The moment that I realized that this was a fucking card game, and this was like 2 turns into my first game because it's such a confusing mish-mash you can't tell how you're supposed to play it, I already relinquished any hope of some relation to reality. I mean, a fucking card game! Whatever. But even so, the whole thing is absolutely ridiculous - if I'm the leader of some global organization in charge of fucking everything, how come I can't hold a meeting more than once every 5 years? What, do I have 10 hours left to live so they only bring me out of suspended animation at critical times? Fucking card games.

You may have caught on by now, I fucking hate card games. If I wanted to play a card game, I wouldn't be on my bloody computer, I'd be playing with a deck of cards, dammit! I can understand maybe doing something like an MtG game - Magic is a solid game (I don't like it because I don't like memorizing a million numerical rules masquerading as cards) but finding players in real life is hard sometimes, so digitizing it into a niche product makes sense there. But Fate of the World? This could not possibly be an actual card game. For one, it's boring as FUCK. It would be you sitting in a room, dicking around with cards and some dice on your own. Not only that, you would be doing obscene amounts of bookkeeping all the time because of the many stats. Why was this game made?

If you're gonna make a computer game, you might as well use all the simulationism potential that a computer gives you, because frankly, simulationism is all a computer is good for! If you're not gonna be simulationist as fuck, you might as well skip the busy work and play with pen and paper.

I guess if you like this sort of card-game-on-your-own bullshit, you'd love this game. I mean, the interface is pretty and everything. And it's topical. And people say it's hard - I don't really know, I wouldn't know about card game balance. Although, then again, people also said this was fun. Thing is, if you go into it expecting an actual computer game, and not a playing-cards-by-yourself-like-an-autistic-manchild simulator, the experience is very shallow and unsatisfying. If I was a real reviewer, I'd give it 3/5 or 4/5 (depending on balance), for how well it has been able to be the kind of game it's trying to be.

But I'm not a real reviewer. Fuck the kind of game it's trying to be. I'm assuming only a certain kind of person will be reading this, and to those certain kinds of persons: Stay away unless you're feeling really masochistic.

I mean, God... A fucking card game! What is wrong with the world?

Score: 2/5

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