Webzen's Huxley is described on its official website as, "a massively multiplayer online first-person shooting game (MMOFPS)". Why then does it have its own entry here at MMORPG.com? The answer, it turns out, if fairly simple. While cloaked in a first person perspective, Huxley has all of the trappings of an MMORPG, a persistent world, quests, clans, character growth, classes and more all make an appearance for this upcoming title.
At this year's Game Developers Conference, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Huxley Producer, Kijong Kang to watch a demo of the game and its progress thus far. Now, I should probably say that, for me, the entire design premise is about combining my two favorite genres into one, single game. This being my first up-close look at Huxley, I was extremely interested to see what this game had to offer.
First of all, for those who may not be aware, Huxley is set on our dear planet earth in the not-too-distant future when the human race has been thrown into anarchy. After this, mutants begin to appear, adding to the chaos. Eventually, this breaks down into a war that divides the land into two camps, Sapiens (Humans) and Alternatives (Mutants).
Given the back story, there are two different playable races in Huxley, the Sapiens and the Alternatives. Each of those races has two sub-races from which to choose. From there, a player goes on to choose one of three battle styles (Huxley's word for class). There is a surprising amount of customization for an MMOFPS (one of the many MMORPG elements). Players can customize their body types, hair style, eyes, nose and mouth. For guilds or clans, each uniform has a shoulder patch to identify them as belonging to one group or another. Clan patches are custom made by each group.
Like in an MMORPG, Huxley has cities populated by NPCs, trainers and, you guessed it, vendors. Like in any MMO, it's hard to resist the opportunity to talk about gear.
Huxley has five different armor categories: helmet, gloves, body, belt, and boots. There are, of course, many different variations on each of those pieces. On top of that, there are nine different categories of weapons and many different specific weapons in each category. Example categories are: shotgun, rocket launcher, sniper rifle, grenade launcher, assault rifle...
Let's not forget vehicles. At low levels, characters will rely on the game's version of public transportation. Higher level characters will actually be able to buy their own, personal vehicles.
The design of Huxley sees the equipment that your character chooses combined with skills that he / she has earned. Each armor type has certain skills that can be attached to it. For example, one of the skills that can be attached to the helmet is called "infra-vision"> Infra-vision gives the player the ability to see heat signatures. Is your enemy cleverly hiding in the shadows? Not anymore with this ability. Another helmet-related skill is one that allows the players to prevent head shots (this one is my personal favorite). Some other skills that can be attached to various armor pieces are: scan an enemy's hit points, flash-bang (after death), double-jump, sprint, cloaking and tackle. This is by no means a complete list, but I thought it might be interesting to see some of what players can do.
Combat in Huxley can be fought in squads. A squad is a group of four people who are meant to work well together as a unit. When all members of the group are near each other (within a certain, respectable radius), they receive special squad buffs and other benefits.
As you may well imagine, even at this stage in development, there was a lot to see. While it's truly too early to tell exactly how this game will look in the end, fans of both the MMOFPS and MMORPG genres should keep their eyes on Huxley as it continues to develop.