Best Indie MMO – Shards
UItima Online, Warhammer Online, and DAOC vets make up Citadel Studios, the independent MMO developer working on Shards. Take the sandbox fantasy world of Ultima, the 3D visuals of Titan Quest (complete with the ¾ view) and modding capabilities that go as far as your imagination, and you have Shards. The Citadel team showed us an early demo of their in house client, and gave us the rundown on just what will be possible with their game. That is to say… anything. There will be official ruleset servers, but the limit of what will be added to the game is only limited by what its players can create. Steampunk, sci-fi, fantasy, real life, horror, survival, and on and on. Portalarium may be making one hell of an RPG on their own with Shroud of the Avatar, but something tells me he’d be mighty proud of his former Mythic and Origin systems coworkers working on Shards. It’s taking the power of user generated content to the next level, and we can’t wait to see how the final product looks.
Best RPG – Darkest Dungeon
Darkest Dungeon came this close to our game of show. It’s the Indie RPG that could, but well… you’ll see what won after all. I can’t even do Darkest Dungeon justice, so I’ll let Red Hook’s own description do the talking: Darkest Dungeon is a hard-core RPG about the stresses of dungeon crawling. You must manage a team of flawed heroes through the horrors of being 500 feet underground while fighting unimaginable foes, famine, disease, and the encroaching dark. You will have to tend to characters’ spirits as much as you do their Hit Points. But in these grim situations arises the opportunity for true skill and heroism!
See? How can you not want to play that? You can purchase it now for $15, or $20 and over will get you immediate early access and other goodies via Humble Bundle. Go get it!
Best Indie RPG – Edge of Space
Two guys are making this Metroidvania Micro-MMORPG, heavily inspired by the mega popular Terraria. Paul Ash and Jacob Crane (fantastic names) make up Handyman Studios, and their side-scrolling, procedurally generated sandbox sci-fi RPG is one you will likely need to keep your eyes on. The environment of the world you’re working on terraforming is working against you, and will fight back. You’ll find and craft an arsenal of weapons and equipment to help you survive the harsh life at the Edge of Space, but the enemies will be sporting AI and attack patterns that won’t make things easy. With anywhere from one to 254 players on a single server (depending on your PC specs and your own preferences), Edge of Space is looking like another in a long line of fantastic Indie RPGs for the PC gaming crowd this year.
Best in Show – WildStar
This was WildStar’s show. Their last big hurrah before launch in early June, and they owned the floor. With a massive booth, an incredible demo on the floor and behind the scenes with warplots, they were on everyone’s mind. Suddenly people who hadn’t even heard of the game were roving the convention with plushy Rowsdowers and talking about how they pre-ordered the MMO at Carbine’s booth. The new UI was slick and really made long-time fans stand up and cheer when it was on display. Raids were shown at their own panel, and illustrated just how seriously the Carbine folks are taking their goal of making a hardcore endgame PVE MMORPG. The only thing left for Team WildStar to do is keep polishing the gem on their hands and get it out the door on time. We cannot wait for June.