I duck into Skyforge now and then but it’s rapidly losing its appeal for me. Part of it is because Dark Souls demands my attention right now, but I think I figured out another reason yesterday: The sound effects, or lack thereof.
On my 2-Hour Scorecard for Skyforge I marked the Sound as “Okay.” Now after five hours I’m going to downgrade it to “Bad.” When my Cryomancer is out in the world defeating bad guys and such, throwing out these huge AoE whirlwind spells and dropping comets from the sky (or whatever that ability is), you would think that my speakers would shake and rattle everything on the desk with the sheer magnitude of it.
Not so much. It almost feels like I’m playing with the sound turned off. The sound effects are really subtle. I even double-checked my sound settings to make sure I hadn’t turned them down for some reason, but no, they were up there at full. (Sometimes I deliberately turn down sound effects because they get a little too noisy.)
It’s impressing on me the importance of sound design in a game–for me, at least. The better the sound design, the better the immersion. By comparison, Dark Souls sound effects are huge and visceral and attention-getting. Skyforge sound effects are puny and forgettable and I can barely focus on what’s happening when I’m playing. (This is not helped by the fact that it doesn’t matter which abilities I press–whatever I’m fighting in Skyforge is going to die eventually no matter what.)
I also think I’m going to downgrade the Performance category from “Good” to “Okay.” I’m finding that it runs considerably slower in fullscreen windowed mode, which is my preferred setting for most games if it’s available.