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(re: A question for Ken – Sierra after move to Coarsegold/Oakhurst) I’m actually playing “Beyond Good & Evil” right now. I agree with you, but for people against any action elements the game does not fit the bill. The 3D Zelda games are also very similar to BG&E, and are some of the best games ever made in any genre.
GK3 is often used as a scapegoat for why “3D is no good for adventure games”. I completely disagree. Part of my high opinion of the game comes from the fact that I had a top-of-the-line computer when it came out, so I had no trouble running it with all the fixin’s turned on. People were likely turned off by the “ugly” graphics if they had older systems.
I thought that GK3’s free-roaming camera style of gameplay was terrific. I think that controlling the camera instead of the character fits very nicely with adventure games. With any Lucasarts adventure, and any Sierra adventure post-KQ5, what you’re mainly doing is controlling the cursor, looking for hot-spots. You don’t walk your character around, and don’t need to worry about him/her being attacked while you’re leisurely doing your thing. The camera is the logical extension of a cursor for a 3D environment.
While playing GK3 I was in awe, and thought “this is the future”. I saw in GK3’s engine the next AGI (Sierra’s first engine). An engine that could be re-used for many different games that you’d remember in 15 years the way we remember the AGI games now.
I still think that GK3’s style has strong potential. Many adventure gamers are against 3D, but I believe that part of that comes from the feeling that you’re running a character around like a Mario game (Mario’s just about the best there is, but adventure gamers often frown upon that sort of thing so I’ll use the example). The camera exploration of GK3 gives it a much more adventure gamey feel. I hope that we see more experimentation with similar styles.