So I’ve been playing through Pirates of the Burning Sea and I have a problem. It’s to do with being on rails. Not on rails like with what has happened with WoW quests since Cataclysm, (oh such a fitting expansion title), but a different kind of rails.
You see, when you enter a town in PotBS your entry point is a dock. Funny that, seeing as you’ve arrived on a fucking ship. And you walk along the dock, and perhaps the dock turns, like into an L shape. On the sides of the dock there is now ground. Perhaps a town common with a comely wench lying provocatively on the grass. I know what I’ll do; I’ll jump off the dock, (it’s not high at all), and go and check out the chick.
But I can’t. Because I run into an invisible wall. I am literally on rails. The only path I may take, the only thing that I may do, is walk along the dock. I can walk anywhere on the dock that I wish, but I cannot jump off it. As a matter of fact I cannot even jump. I hate not being able to jump in an MMO, and I really hate invisible walls. Can I dive off into the water? No, I can’t. Can I enter the water? No? Can I swim in the water? Not a fucking chance. Well, what the fuck can I do? You can walk on the fucking dock.
Apparently Sony has been designing this game for a long time, like four or five years long. So what were they doing? I don’t know, because when you look at it the vast majority of the game world is water, (which you can’t swim in, or you can but I’m so stupid that I don’t know how). So the only areas of the world that they had to design were the towns. And they put you on rails. This is really lazy stuff. There are some great towns too. Towns set into sheer cliffs that soar above your head, with bridges that swing lazily from precarious drops. Can you jump off a bridge into the water? Nope. The houses, can you walk into a house? Only some of them if there is a quest that you are on. The majority of them are façades.
This is a façade of a game. Apparently my ship can do 45 knots on the open sea, which is amazing considering that historically it would have been pushing it to reach ten. There might be an intricate crafting and economic world going on here, but there is no immersion in this game. Sailing a ship is as simple as pointing in the direction that you want to go. Run into a cliff or a sandbank or a coral reef? Bump, oops, just keep going. How about the weather, the greatest enemy that ship captains and their crews had to deal with. The horrors of a lee shore? They don’t exist. So trundling around in your ship, the only danger is from some other player if you wander into a PvP circle zone, but seeing as I’m doing 45 fucking knots I can leave him for dead if I have a run on him already.
It’s disappointing, it really is. The ship to ship fighting is amazing, but it’s not enough when faced with this half assed excuse for a game.