That was an excellent review - well written and a great read. I agree with it the same way I agree with detailed criticims. A very interesting and different approach to reviewing, but pretty much spot on because to really review Elemental now, knowing how Stardock works, would be to make a monster list of problems with the game, like we see here daily, but knowing that Stardock will finish the game over time.
What is irritating is that Brad claims the company has the luxury of not being in financial binds or a rush, yet the routinely put out games that are not ready. :/
You would not see "reviews" like this if the game had been polished for a good 3 more months.
It's a sad day when games are proclaimed unfocused mish-mashes because they don't play or function like every other game in the genre. When a game that introduced zero innovation to the genre (SC2) gets praised and a game that is trying to shake up the genre (4X) is criticized for lack of "focus", how will game developers react? More innovation or more cookie-cutter crap? Game innovation is like stand up comedy, you gotta take risks and sometimes you just bomb. Sometimes you get heckled and you lash out. I don't want a world where all comics are like Jay Leno and all game developers are like Blizzard.
There is not a whole lot about Elemental that isn't derivative and the whole idea was to be a spiritual successor to MoM, for goodness sakes. WTF are you talking about?
Critics love SC2 because it's an incredibly good game. Games don't need to be original to be amazing - they need to be well done, polished, have clean releases, and most of all, be FUN. People are digging SC2 because they are having a blast playing it. Period. Exclamation Point! (I've yet to try it, I just don't like RTS, and even with all the hoopla, I still can't see paying $60 to play some of the campaign that I'd most likely never finish since I suck at classic/twitch RTS).
Even if Elemental was the most innovative game ever, that doesn't mean it deserves praise when it's released in an unfinished, unbalanced, and buggy state. People need to stop making excuses for this mess. Yeah, the mess will get cleaned up and so far the patching has helped a lot, but c'mon.
I *am* having fun playing Elemental despite shite performance on my monster gaming rig that obliterates all other games AND despite a lot of issues/flaws/whatever with the game. But nobody objective and paying full attention could ever play Elemental now without having some criticism. Inconceivable!
I had beta access but never really provided feedback because, I dunno, beta was never what I expected. It was very contained and artificial. What beta testers really needed was months with builds like these - real representations of the whole game. Including criticism I answer people questions here and I make thought out suggestions or bug reports because I want to help Stardock improve this game, because it has so much potential. (I do refuse to go thru the hassle of posting for crash dumps though, this game crashes so much I'd spend a large chunk of time with that :/ )