Making it in Unreal: what can first-person RPG Glory do better than Bethesda? | PCGamesN

Making it in Unreal: what can first-person RPG Glory do better than Bethesda?

Glory

Glory is an optimistic title for this first-person RPG. Very nearly called Apathy (honestly), it finds humanity exploring a distant planet not as part of some bold Starship Enterprise-style mission, but out of desperation. The indifference of Earth’s governments has pushed the planet and its resources beyond any chance of recovery, and you have been sent to find an adequate replacement.

How many of the best RPGs on PC have you bested?

Humanity has lost its mojo - not to mention its home - and glory is a distant prospect. Right now, the best we can hope for is redemption.

The planet you’ve found isn’t faring much better than Earth. Ferramor, Reach Game Studios’ concept art suggests, is a world advanced, but twisted and broken; habitable, but already inhabited by its own crumbling civilisation. There’s potential, though, for change.

“I think people have certain preconceptions about open-world RPGs that we’d like to see change,” says Adrian Vergara, a former journalist and now Glory’s design director. “We’ve just recently started to see a few games in the genre starting to address some of these concerns. Concerns surrounding moving narrative forward and the concept of social, shared, or otherwise evolving worlds; the idea of content being stale or stagnant, or ‘cookie cutter’. Concerns about slow or repetitive grind-fests.”

Glory

Reach intend to draw from the attention to detail of Rockstar, the dialogue and characters of Bioware, and the environmental storytelling of Bethesda. But where Fallout 4’s more dynamic elements like supply lines are opt-in, Vergara wants Ferramor to convince from the beginning as a pliable, living world.

“We want to make sure that we can deliver a game which evolves and continues to grow,” he says. “As the Glory narrative continues to move forward, we'll be changing the playable world - sometimes in minor ways, and sometimes in much larger ways. As our universe moves forward, so does the game itself.”

Where RPGs tend to be mostly static - time moving only when the player pushes the plot forward, like a wordy take on Superhot - Reach are plotting out events for Ferramor that will play out “during different times”. Expect the usual open-world dramatic weather events, and more unusual alien pirate incursions, to influence your journey around the planet.

“The world itself has some interesting behaviours that evolve and present over time,” Vergara intimates. 

Glory

Ferramor’s foundations - set deep in Unreal Engine 4, which the team picked for the benefit of its designers and artists - will also support future happenings in Reach’s grand narrative. There’ll be new locales, adventures, characters and world events added after release.

“That being said, I think it’s important to note that the initial Glory game is an entire self-contained story that leads into our exciting suite of endgame content,” notes Vergara.

Did you spot that? ‘Endgame’ - the familiar language of PC gaming multiplayer. Sure enough, there’s scope for squad play here. The Caravan of Glory, humanity’s tentative encampment on Ferramor, doubles as a major social hub where players can chat over the heads of vendors before heading out on their next mission.

It sounds very Destiny, and there is triple-A shooter blood in Reach Games Studios, which Vergara set up in Sydney three years ago. The team incorporates Call of Duty, Uncharted and Borderlands pedigree. But you shouldn’t read too much into that last name, nor into Vergara’s talk of finding a balance between player-directed action and dice rolls. When I suggest that Glory’s loot system sounds compulsive, he takes issue with the word.

Glory

“This is actually one of these common design tropes in our genre that we want to overcome,” he explains. “Certainly players will be finding gear and weapons during the course of their adventures, and they’ll upgrade them and find better stuff as they grow as a character - but we put a lot of time and effort into handcrafting as much of these pieces as we can and giving them all a unique feel.

“As a designer I want players to feel like they want to experience new meaningful changes to their armour set, rather than just watching numbers go up.”

Glory has a tentative FY 2017 release date. Unreal Engine 4 development is now free.

In this sponsored series, we’re looking at how game developers are taking advantage of Unreal Engine 4 to create a new generation of PC games. With thanks to Epic Games and Reach Game Studios.

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Thracian avatarMrAptronym avatarXerkics avatarLolssi avatarAnAuldWolf avatar
Thracian Avatar
5
2 Years ago

Everything. Bethesda are one of the most incompetent studios I've ever seen. It boggles the mind how people continue to buy into their marketing release after release. The last good game they made was Oblivion.

2
MrAptronym Avatar
361
2 Years ago

I think there is a lot to like about Bethesda games. Sure, they are very flawed, but they also offer a lot to players that other series don't. I disagree with the direction they have been taking (my favorite game of theirs remains Morrowind) but I think there is a lot of worth in their games still, and I don't regret purchasing any of them.

2
Thracian Avatar
5
2 Years ago

There for sure is. They are one of the few studios which release new theme park simulators.

1
MrAptronym Avatar
361
2 Years ago

Hmm, honestly most of these aren't things I want in my open world RPG. I don't want social aspects or hubs and I don't want raids and associated loot like that. I don't really even want a force that pushes the narrative forward. A lot of people specifically enjoy ignoring the narrative in games like this.

I like the idea of a more dynamic world, but I want things like that to be systems based, not hand updated events over time. I like hand designed worlds, but I also enjoy the events within those worlds being systems based. I like being able to start new stories in that same world, and see it play out differently.

Bethesda's games have a lot of issues, they are horrifically balanced and over time they have lessened the depth of the RPG elements considerably. The writing is hit or miss. (Ugh, the Skyrim thieves guild) The combat has never been good, though fallout 4 is passable. I could write for pages, possibly chapters on what is bad about any game they have made since Arena. But they scratch a lot of itches for people. There are not many details on Glory yet, but it doesn't seem like the game for that crowd. This seems like a game for the Destiny, Borderlands or MMO crowd that is taking some further elements of single player open world games. (Again, very little has been said, but that is my impression based on those details) Those have some major overlap with Bethedsa's players, but I don't think this seems set to take over their share.

At the very least, the things they've talked about so far are not the things that excite me about a game, so that shows a different set of priorities that will lead to a different style of game. Not worse by any means, but I wouldn't say its necessarily going to be better for everything.

1
AnAuldWolf Avatar
872
2 Years ago

All I can say is that you clearly haven't played Xenoblade Chronicles X. It's amazing when it's done right. It appears though that only one game has ever really done it right.

1
Xerkics Avatar
423
2 Years ago

Why does everything have to be first person shooter these day so sick of fallout being 1st person. Isometric has always been the best for RPG.

1
Lolssi Avatar
395
2 Years ago

Could be worse, it could be 3rd person.

1
Lolssi Avatar
395
2 Years ago

What they can do better? "easily" story, quests, character progression, setting, graphics and choice and consequence.

1