So let’s say you fire up some 90s style shooter built around rocket jumping and circle-strafing. Something along the lines of Doom, Quake, or Serious Sam, with a heavy metal soundtrack and copious violence. You play through the first couple of levels and everything is more or less what you’d expect from this genre. But when you get to the end of the first area, the game asks you to pick a “clan” to join:
- The Warrior Clan. Masters of firearms and rocket launchers, these fearless fighters have no equal in battle.
- The Banker’s Clan. These financial planners are the masters of money and savings.
Maybe in an RPG these would work out to be equally viable routes through the game, but in the context of a classic shooter there’s no reason for the player to pick Banker. This game doesn’t have dialog trees, trade, or money. Being a banker might sound appealing to some players in another genre, but that’s probably not what this particular audience was looking for when they chose this game.
Even if you’re an outlier and you like the idea of playing as Banker, you already know what kind of game this is. You know the mechanics do not have any systems for diplomacy or investing. You have no idea what the decision means or how it’ll impact the game going forward, but the safest, most sensible thing for you to do is pick Warrior. Whatever happens, you probably can’t go wrong if you pick the group that’s thematically and mechanically aligned with the gameplay.
This is the weird situation we find in New World, the new MMO from Amazon Game Studios.