With all the talk of MMOs going free to play and changing into social games on Facebook it has been hard to see the light of a good solid MMO for all us hardcore players.
GDC did show us that the days of regular MMOs are still very much alive and soem good games are on their way to prove it. I just want to give a short list of some games that impressed us during the week, and games you should definitely follow in the coming months.
1. Star Wars: The Old Republic - Okay, this one is a given. I got the chance to demo the game and also chat with some of the team and the horizon is bright for this title. The hype is huge as everyone is looking to this game to end WoW dominance of the market. Without looking at insane Star Wars fan expectations this game looks and plays solid. At least from the small demo we played. If it remains solid and fun as an MMO with some great end game elements and new ideas for players, Star Wars will do very well.
2. TERA - The team from Lineage 2 has reformed to bring us TERA. The game looked great and with its action play style it really impressed us in combat. The world is a bit more westernized fantasy than anime which is a trend in several eastern MMOs we saw, but overall TERA looked good. It delivered and we had no expectations going into the preview. This is definitely a title to watch!
3. The Secret World - While we still cannot talk about the game until later this month. I can say that you have to wait for our preview article, still it made this list for a reason.
4. Aika - This game is surprising. While the Asian style may turn off some western players, the PvP element is similar to Dark Age of Camelot. The Beta will be the place to check out how the PvP holds up. It also offers a single player the ability to become leader of the realm for one week. Cool stuff, let's hope it lives up to the great ideas it has.
5. Vindictus - Nexon gave us MapleStory, but now they are hacking their way into a more grown up MMO with some serious heavy combat. I only saw the trailer, but it looked awesome.
We saw a lot at the show and overall everything looked good. There is a lot of changes going on in the MMO industry right now with Free to Play and social games trying to make money. How that will play out, time will tell.