The year is 1996, actually it's 2007 but the PC Zone magazine is from October 1996, some genius had to review Daggerfall and I say genius with a hint of sarcasm because he rated it 65%. But this genius decided to remain anonymous or sign his name in a place so well hidden I will be dammed if I ever find it. It's probably a good thing, because he said these words one year before Richard Garriott produced Ultima Online and started this huge 'mmorpg' mess we're into. Yeah, I know I'm ignoring Neverwinter Nights (the very first one, no 3D involved), Maze War, Meridian 59, The Realm, and others but I guess it's fair since UO is talked about til this very day. But here's what he said while reviewing Daggerfall:
"Oooh, you bitch, you
I'm being slightly unfair, but you get the point don't you? You see where I'm coming from. Don't get me wrong - Bethesda have taken this idea and pushed it as far as it can currently go. And besides, it's a good idea, this 'Never Ending Story' stuff. When I first head about the concept, I was genuinely impressed. Having played it though, I've changed my ming. The basic idea is still a sound one, but until it's possible to create a genuinely believable world inside the program, it'll never really work. What's the point in being able to go where you like and do what you want if non of it's as interesting as real life? Why include thousands of characters if there's very little to distinguish between them, bar a few variables? Why set out to emulate a real human Dungeon Master if it's not possible to emulate the human mind first? Use of a rigid, linear storyline may not be entirely compatible with the hard-core Dungeons & Dragons ethos, but at least it ensures that the player always has a sense of purpose and direction and that there's always something really interesting going on. The sprawling narrative of Daggerfall will never hang together as neatly as a story that someone's sat down and written. The game does have a main 'quest' behind it - even if it is almost a token gesture - but before long you're bogged down in all the periphery and it all starts to feel a little disjointed. The only way this kind of game could merit any success would be as a kind of internet-based MUD in which each of the characters you meet is 'played' by a real live person who's also dialled in. But it doesn't work like that, and it shows."
So there you go. I remember reading very recently someone wished for Daggerfall to be an online game. Seems like crappy reviewers have been wishing, or whining, for it since 96. Ironically, Quake was worshiped in this very magazine as being a revolutionary game, bringing attention back to the computer games.
It all makes me wonder if Garriott was in the crapper reading this magazine where this genius single handedly defined MMORPGs as we know today with a single phrase, and had his idea for making UO.