The Single Player vs. MMO Tradeoff

So in listening to The Instance podcast recently, the hosts touched on a bit of a discussion that’s been at the back on my mind for a while. The question was actually emailed in by an 8-year kid who’s evidently taking a class in video games (how times have changed!). The question was pretty simple—will Skyrim ever be made into a multiplayer game? For those who aren’t familiar with Skyrim, it’s the latest release in the Elder Scrolls series of single-player fantasy roleplaying video games.

Continue reading

Retro Reviews: Elric! (Chaosium, Inc.)

Occasionally, I will be posting old reviews I did for The Gamer (print only) magazine back in the 1990s, and consolidating them here.  You can also find these reviews on rpg.net.

If there’s one thing Chaosium has always understood, it’s that without unique characters, roleplaying tends toward stereotype. Without colorful individuals, a roleplaying game is particularly susceptible to bland cliché. Perhaps it is for that reason that Chaosium turns to literature for inspiration more frequently than other companies. Pendragon and Call of Cthulhu are two fine examples of literature made gamable. Based on Michael Moorcock’s anti-hero, Elric! (a.k.a. the second edition of Stormbringer) is Chaosium’s addition to the growing line of dark fantasy role playing games. The game’s tone is gloomy, of course. But rather than emphasize simply a doomed world, Elric! remains true to Moorcock’s novels by stressing a gorgeous, baroque setting tragic fate and the ultimate despair of its inhabitants.

Continue reading