In which game did you find the best story and world?
"Story" is a broad category, but an important one. Many forget that this is the MMORPG genre and in any RPG, story is a key component. Some games do it better than others, but most online-worlds do offer a rich world for players to immerse themselves in. Here we nominate the five we feel offered the best story and the best worlds in 2005.
Anarchy Online, Funcom
Funcom created a rich science fiction universe when they shipped Anarchy Online in 2003. The world places players in a faction and lets players explore political and other non-traditional career paths. Completely alien in a world dominated by medieval fantasy worlds, Anarchy Online has set the bar for original science fiction online worlds.
City of Heroes / Villains, Cryptic Studios / NCSoft
Few companies put on a better show than Cryptic Studios. Their worlds overflow with story, style and a straight-from-the-comics feel. With the recent City of Villains this only got better. They created a foil for their original superhero world and while calling it a sequel managed to blend the two into one rich game world.
Horizons, Tulga Games
Horizons has survived through a troubled launch and some tough financial times. Yet, to ignore the game's fiction because of these issues would be an injustice. The world of Istaria is a richly developed original fantasy universe that goes above and beyond what the average fantasy title does. Tulga also goes the extra mile to bring story to their world's playerbase as the players unlocked new races, discovered secrets and fought a mysterious enemy. With Peter S. Beagle joining the crew at Tulga, fans of fantasy literature should keep their eye on this title.
Star Wars Galaxies, SOE / LucasArts
How could it not have a wonderful story? Star Wars Galaxies carries with it the biggest license of any launched MMORPG and for the bulk of 2005 they exploited that with quests to become jedi, an intergalactic war and much more. With the New Game Experience, LucasArts and SOE wanted to get even closer to that Star Wars experience. For good or ill it deserves your consideration.
CLICK HERE TO PARTICIPATE THE RUN-OFF VOTING
The Saga of Ryzom, Nevrax
At the Austin Game Conference, we were floored when we heard the depths Nevrax has gone to create a live content in their MMORPG The Saga of Ryzom. A full time GM staff unrolls stories across multiple servers and player actions influence how they progress. They can even diverge - in some ways - from server to server. Things can only get better as the Ryzom Ring expansion will soon offer players the tools to do it themselves.
Editor's Note (12/27/05): Based on write-in supprt, we will hold a run off between the top contenders in this category and Asheron's Call in the week after voting closes.