Accuracy vs. Popularity
So here I am reading up on Gods and Heroes. I think to myself, this should be really cool. I majored in History and minored in Classics. This is going to be right up my alley.
I see a lot that I like. I love that it's based on Roman history. I love that it incorporates the mythology. I think it's creative and a big change from what's on the market right now. It has potential to carve quite the niche in the market.
I can see some different and interesting combat mechanics. The notion of having a posse of big burly guys to do your bidding and beat on junk is super cool. As a healer, I like anything that takes the hits for me. Grouped up, you could wind up with quite the little force.
There's also a somewhat nomadic, army on the move feel with the way they are planning to do housing. You've got tents you can set up and strike. When you get bigger and badder, you get bigger and badder housing. It's a pretty unique concept drawing from a lot of what works about all the different big MMOs on the market today.
Gods and Heroes has a lot of things going for it.
So, why am I concerned?
I see a lot of things that could hurt the game more than help it. My biggest concern is the utilization of the history and mythology for the game. It was stated in an interview about the game that they wanted to go with the popular notions with regards to Roman history and culture as opposed to accuracey.
I'm all about poetic license. Really, I am. I take a lot of liberties. But why take liberties when you don't have to? I can understand if you're picking and choosing bits and pieces out of several different mythological pantheons and making a whole new world. I can understand taking aspects of history and culture from many different peoples and blending them to create something unique.
What I have trouble grasping is the need to alter and adjust the history, culture, and mythology of the basis for all of western civilization. It isn't as if there aren't records. It isn't as if those records aren't extensive and rich with detail. It definitely isn't as if the real thing isn't more dramatic and convoluted than Erica Kane's love life. (That would be Susan Lucci's character on All My Children for the uninitiated.)
So why, WHY does Perpetual feel the need to mangle and tweak a rich and powerful history?
To avoid being pendantic? My apologies, but that's honestly weak. There's nothing pendantic about Roman history or culture. At least not the aspects from which Gods and Heroes is drawing. The mythology alone is rife with drama and all the good stuff that sells.
Popular notions of Roman culture are ridiculous and can't even begin to compare to antics that went on during the youth of the Empire, let alone the height.
Does that mean that I don't like the movies that butcher the history? Not at all. I loved Gladiator, and that was a travesty. (No, it really has nothing... well okay not everything to do with Russell Crowe.) Hercules and Xena? Horrific, if more Greek than anything else.
I guess what I'm trying to say here, is that I don't understand the need to dramaticize something which is already more dramatic than your average Joe Schmo on the street could handle. Jerry Springer WISHES he had the drama that the Romans had working for them.
I'm not saying that this is going to kill Gods and Heroes. Far from it. It's just something that bothers me. I don't think that a strong game needs to resort to stroking popular misconceptions in order to sell. But, hey. What do I know, right?