Way back in April of 2009, Jon Wood wrote in this very column about 10 games he thinks should or could be made into MMOs. Crazily enough a lot has happened since then in this industry, and some of his selections have even been made into MMOs. Age of Empires Online and Battlefield being two titles that already have MMOs on the market (or close to it in AoE’s case), with Neverwinter Nights, Starcraft and Left 4 Dead seeing life in other forms. Neverwinter is being made by Cryptic, Starcraft Universe by some intrepid SC2 modders, and L4D is having a spiritual MMO-shooter developed by Undead Labs. So with that in mind, this week let’s take a look at some other games that should be made into MMOs and pontificate on what such games might look like.
With all due respect to Fallen Earth and the legally embroiled Interplay development, we could all really use a true Fallout MMORPG. The signature charm, whit, and style of the 1950s era rusted and disillusioned, creepy beyond belief is something only the Fallout series has ever been able to capture. The whole MMO part could attach itself relatively easily to Fallout, with the perks, multiple arching stories, factions, and the wide open world of the most recent Bethesda-made additions to the series. But before we get a Fallout MMO, there’s a certain other series I’d love to see make the leap into the “Massive” space which we’ll get to at number one.
4.) The Halo Universe
It’s been worked on previously, and hinted at again recently: this rumor of a Halo MMO won’t seem to die. And why should it? The large and detailed universe created by Bungie is ripe for the MMO-ization. The recent rise of the MMOFPS only goes to show that there’s room for shooters in the persistent online space, and if a Halo MMO was made with the same attention to detail and balance as the original series it could be an absolute blockbuster of a title for the Xbox and Windows platforms. My only question is how or whether a Halo MMO could make players feel unique where everyone seems to where the same armor and follow the same code.
3.) Deus Ex
A futuristic world where people augment their abilities through the use of bionic attachments and upgrades? Sounds like the perfect trapping of a competitive and science fiction set world if you ask me. Rife with political intrigue, espionage, and player-driven storylines the Deus Ex series is an absolute classic in the industry. There’s no reason in my mind that the series could be adapted to the MMO genre. The character development, stealth elements, and gray morality of the series seems perfectly suited to offering a fantastic theme-park experience.
2.) Red Dead Redemption
The Wild West seems more apt than ever for MMO adaptation after Rockstar’s recent opus. The online play alone seemed to practically beg for more persistence and a wider range of online options. If you played the online experience even a little bit, you know how addictive and yet limiting the open-world experience was adapted to online free-roam play. As an MMO fan, I couldn’t help but want to build my own homestead, make my own wares, open my own shops, or trap my own furs. If a company ever builds upon the ideas RDR set forth, and delivers it with the same flare, mechanics, and breadth of space they’re going to have an absolute beast on their hands.
1.) The Elder Scrolls
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… The Elder Scrolls is simply dying to be made into an online experience. Every time I pick up Oblivion and I wander around its simply stunningly detailed world, I cry because I can’t really do it with my friends. Bethesda’s already created the near perfect offline fantasy sandbox. There’s little stopping them from taking it to the next level and bringing TES into the MMO arena. With its create-your-own class system, varied and detailed quests, crafting, trade system, and all the ways in which players can interact with the world… I can’t help but feel puzzled at why we don’t yet have a TES Online. Here’s hoping that Skyrim is just a cog in a larger machine that will ultimately deliver us unto the Promised Land.