It’s not easy being a horse, especially a horse who loves videogames. Why just the other day, I was in line at my local GameStop, when the person behind the counter asked me, “Why the long face?” Boy! I’ve never heard that one before, buddy! Good one! I swear. The next donkey who pats himself on the back for making a stupid joke like that is going to get a hoof sandwich force fed straight to their face via my hind leg. But I digress.
You see, I am quickly growing tired of games starring non-horses. You human gamers have your Nathan Drakes and Nico Bellics, you’re Alex Vances and Lara Crofts. But where are the strong lead characters that I can relate to as a proud equine? That’s why I was super excited to hear about Horse Stars, the first all-horse MMO.
So sayeth the press release:
As a reminder, Horse Star is the first new and exciting MMO in an extensive equestrian world. With its forum, chat and clubs, Horse Star will provide each horse lover with a complete equestrian experience! From competitions (including show jumping, cross country and exhilarating races) to “nurture,” (each horse will need to be showered with love and attention!) The most demanding players will also be able to customize and level up their horses as they wish, becoming skilful horseback riders.
Furthermore, the game will feature a huge freedom of exploration thanks to the vast and diversified open worlds. The members of the community will have the opportunity to meet for a chat while riding into the wilderness! Players will receive offers to go on thrilling quests, either alone or in cooperation as part of the adventure.
So far, so horse. But once the novelty of a horse-centric MMO wore off, and I took a closer look at the attached screenshots, it dawned on me that Horse Star isn’t really all about horses. Indeed, the ‘star’ of Horse Stars is not the horse; it’s the non-horse human riding the horse.
Above: The only thing more irritating than a puny human girl with a ponytail is THREE puny human girls with ponytails
Like so many offensive horse sims, Horse Stars unabashedly targets the all-mighty human girl gamer demographic, riding on the hopes that their pathetic fantasies of owning their own pony IRL will convince them to pony up for the chance to own a virtual equine.
When I first heard of Horse Stars, I thought that the games industry had finally seen fit to produce a title I could wholeheartedly endorse with all four of my hooves. I thought that for once, I could play a game about horses where the horse truly was the ‘star’ – and not a simple object straddled by some puny human girl living beyond her means through another god damn pet simulator.
It makes my incredibly muscular haunches weary as I imagine how truly awesome a real all-horse MMO might’ve been. Imagine a MMORPG where horses aren’t mere mounts, a game where I could form parties with my fellow equestrians, clearing dungeons for rare drops and better gear. And don’t even get me started on the end-game. Picturing myself trampling a raid boss with my superior DPS makes me want to cry, because I now know that a title like that would be too awesome for a non-horse game development studio to comprehend.
Above: Where' the hardcore horse-centric combat? Where's the loot? Where are the quests? Horse Stars is nothing but another horse grooming sim disguised as a game actual horses might be interested in
Of course, I would never cry. Not really. That’s something that always has – and always will be – best left to planet Earth’s weakest inhabitants of all: the human gamer. Consider this games journalist officially disappointed with what might have been the best thing to happen to the hardcore horse community since Bethesda released the equine armor pack as DLC for Oblivion.
July 19, 2010
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