A long time ago now, I was playing The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker for the first time (I'm going somewhere with this anecdote, believe me). I'd gotten to the second island and found myself (or rather puny protagonist Link) stranded on the strange pirate town on Windfall Island. He had a ship, but needed to buy a sail from the merchant in town. After going to the correct merchant's window, he found that luckily a sail was available, but the merchant wanted something in return.
Sounding very adventure gamish, right? Well, for some reason I couldn't work out how to get the sail and presumed it would come up naturally during my exploration of the island. I discovered many puzzles to solve, many locals to talk to, many strange little minigames to play (completion of which undoubtedly would get me an item someone else wanted), and lots to do even though I couldn't swim more than a few yards out to sea and didn't have a sword. Oh, and there was plenty of humour too.
How Monkey Island-like was that? That's what I want adventure games to be like now. It's all very well getting such brilliant titles as Sam & Max and A Vampyre Story, but the genre hasn't really evolved since Maniac Mansion 20 years ago.
Forget Quicktime Event Extravaganzas like Fahrenheit/The Indigo Prophecy, I want adventure games to be third-person, move with normal movement keys, not have static screens, with everything you can interact with being nice and obvious, and have natural barriers like the sea. No loading screens, no transitions, all natural. That's what I want Monkey Island 5 to be like.
(Not that's it's going to happen what with LucasArts being... what they are. Oh well)
- Chris Capel