The Elder Scrolls Online has been officially playable by the pre-ordering type since Sunday. Look for the first of our review impressions later this week, but for now, we expect most players will share this observation: the UI is too sparse. ESO seems ashamed of its MMO mechanics, hiding damage numbers and useful information such as experience gains.
It's the dead of night and I'm in my cabin, which, at the moment, is essentially just a box. But I have plans for expansion. Big plans! Like adding a second box. Next to the main box. So it'll be two boxes. Anyway, I'm crafting with the spoils of my daytime scavenging and hunting. I've got ore simmering in the furnace, food cooking in the campfire, and I'm banging together some new building materials at my workbench. That's when I hear footsteps outside. They approach slowly, crunching through the grass, until they're right outside my cabin wall. Then they stop. Then... nothing.
By now, we're completely familiar with the basics of crafting games. You hit a tree until it becomes tree parts, then use the tree parts to build wooden things. You smash a rock until it becomes ore, then smelt the ore to build metal things. You meet a half-naked guy named Batman, and he follows you around for ten minutes eerily moaning, "Take me to your house. Show me your house. Show me your houuuuuse." Actually, that last part might not be common to crafting games. But Batman's weirdness is not that unusual in Rust, the early-access crafting survival game from Facepunch Studios.
Today is International Starbound Day, or it will be once I've finished scribbling on every calendar in the world. Chucklefish's openworldcraftingsci-fisandbox (phew) game enters public beta this very day, though you'll need to pre-order the game to be allowed in. The team are trailing this momentous occasion with a new video, which shows four-and-a-half minutes of crafting, exploring, jetpacking, dungeoneering, snowball fights and general milling about. It's lovely stuff, and it's awaiting your peepers after the break.
Voxels, eh? Can't live with 'em, can't - no, wait, that's women. What are voxels again? Oh, those little triangley things that are somehow powering the gorgeous Everquest Next. They're also powering the less gorgeous Trove, the next game from Rift and Defiance developers Trion. It's fair to say that this role-playing/crafting/sandbox title is a bit of a departure from their previous games. It's not quite as big a departure from Picroma's Cube World, however, which...well, just look at that strangely similar screenshot up there.
People prepare for the night of ghosts and goblins in different ways. Some go trick-or-treating, while others get so drunk they start believing they are their costume. Only a select few lock themselves away to craft free Halloween updates for their games, and it turns out Terraria’s developers happen belong in the latter group.
It doesn’t take the world’s greatest detective to see that zombie games are popular. Left 4 Dead is a beloved franchise, The Walking Dead won a pile of game of the year awards, and DayZ became so popular that Bohemia Interactive is making it into a standalone game. All those games caught on because they took common concepts the zombie genre hadn't really done before (co-op, branching storytelling, and multiplayer survival, respectively) and executed them well. For 7 Days to Die, that concept is crafting.
Team Fortress 2's loot drops crept in to my brain. At first, random items were enough. Then I had a stint of trading with friends. Then those friends became random internet men. Eventually I replaced "trade" with "buy" and "drops" with "purchases." I started buying hats and name tags and paint and... DAMN you Valve and your clever ways, exploiting my weak brain and its desire for virtual loot.
As highlighted by Reddit, this fan-made game uses your Team Fortress 2 crafting knowledge for good. You're tasked with creating rare stuff from an ever-expanding inventory. It's both educational and fun.
Don't know your Refined Metal from your Reclaimed Metal? Start here.