Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hellgate Global

I've played a bit, although I'm waiting for the dust to settle before really sinking my teeth in. The technical problems in the past few days since ob launched have been more than I'm willing to put up with, and I've been watching very very closely their twitter feed, fb page and the forums so I'm aware of the massive problems players are experiencing with the rollbacks, undelivered mail (including items purchased at auction house and cash shop), lost loot and lost levels after rollbacks/crashes and so on. I'm sure they'll get things running smoothly eventually, so I'm not sweating all the launch problems. It's pretty much to be expected although this has tended to be towards the far end of the spectrum of "failed beta launches".

I actually really like Hellgate, as a player of the original, and two things have struck me as an initial impression - neither of which are catastrophic flaws but more like little annoyances when comparing the Global version to the original.

(also, it really shouldn't be called "Global" since it's not, right?!)

The first thing is the dialog which wasn't great to begin with, has so obviously been translated from the original English into Korean and then back into English again that it's painful. Mind you that I have a very high tolerance for this so it's not a big deal but somehow I find it worse than most translation issues I've seen before, and I've seen plenty as I play many foreign games currently and in the past. Why don't they just used the original English dialog instead of the text that has been re-re-translated? Most people are not as forgiving as myself and are sure to ridicule and dismiss the game as a shoddy job by the localization team.

The other thing that really turns me off are the graphics which even at the highest settings are substantially worse than those of the original. Of course we knew that the DX10 mode would not be available in this version but even when comparing the DX9 mode of the original to the new version it seems as if the whole top tier of the highest settings of the current client is equal to the Medium settings of the original. It's more than simply the textures, it's the lightmaps, it's the shadowing, it's the bumpmapping and the detailed texture level and reflections - everything is set at Medium even when you crank everything as high as it'll go. I have the orginal game on one of my harddrives so I can make side-by-side comparisons, and all I can say is that hopefully a future patch will add improved graphics as the current client is frankly pretty awful. They really should integrate the DX10 mode as well, especially considering that even if they DID it would still have graphics that would be 3 or 4 years out of date.

Other than those fairly minor issues I'm looking forward to a hopeful future for the game. I don't like having to pay the extra $4 either - no matter how minuscule - it's more the principle of the thing, but that's a whole 'nother topic!

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