Another E3, another week of insane gaming news. Light though it was on MMO info, online games in general were all over the place in LA last week. It’s interesting to see how many games are taking “MMO-like” aspects into their plans. EA’s Anthem is the latest to do so, hot on the heels of Destiny 2. Still, there were some big games at the show this week. And as we’re wont to do, we’re giving them shiny badges for the sole purpose of hoping they’ll share those badges with their adoring fans. What, you expected me to lie about the reason behind awards? HA. I’m way past that, folks.
MOST ANTICIPATED MMO: ANTHEM
Despite what they’re calling it, BioWare’s “Shared World RPG” Anthem is indeed going to be an MMO. It may not house as many players in one location as we’re used to, but just like Destiny it’s going to have thousands of players on persistent live servers. You may only ever play with four people at once, but as we’ve stated in the past – that’s just another type of MMO. See our MMO of Show for more reasons to get mad at us.
All that aside, the gameplay footage shown of Anthem was nothing short of mouth-watering. Some dismissed BioWare’s new IP as a Destiny also-ran, but we’re smarter than that. We know EA and BioWare wants a slice of the Destiny pie, and there’s no shame in that. What matters is just how good Anthem looks. Its freedom of movement, massive open worlds, and what appears to be a BioWare focus on story (penned by The Old Republic’s Drew Karpyshyn) means the wait until later in 2018 is going to be a long one. Oh, and it’ll be on PC the first time around too.
BEST MOBA OR BATTLE GAME: MXM
We’ve liked it from the start, and now that it’s in the wild, we can play it for real. NCSOFT’s MMO-MOBA hybrid is easily the most fun many of us have ever had with a MOBA. It’s mix of WASD controls make it feel like a solid twin-stick shooter, while its PVE, progression systems, and competitive leanings give it a hook to keep coming back where other MOBAs leave us missing a reason to keep playing. If NCSOFT’s smart, it’ll keep adding more PVE along with more heroes, and it’ll find fans for years.
BEST DLC OR EXPANSION: FFXIV – STORMBLOOD
There were two big expansions at E3 this year. Special recognition is deserved for Morrowind, but it’s been out now for a few weeks. Stormblood, Final Fantasy XIV’s next big expansion, deserves its time to shine. With some of the best storytelling in MMOs, a fantastic reworking of PVP, and an excellent new combat overhaul, Stormblood makes FFXIV’s already stellar experience that much better. It’s out officially this week, and it was clearly a hit of E3 as players lined up for hours to try out the demos and to get a shot at seeing or meeting its dev team.
MMO OF SHOW: DAUNTLESS
Dauntless – or as we like to call it, a new type of MMO, is due out in Founder’s Alpha this July. The game from MMO and RPG devs of all walks of life, loads of them WildStar or Blizzard alum, has been making waves ever since it was unveiled last year. This year, we played it at E3, and were simply blown away by its style, sense of grandeur in combat, and potential for endless stories and shared experiences. It plays a bit like Guild Wars 1 in that you have a shared main city and adventuring will be done in smaller groups, but that’s the intent. Dauntless isn’t about hordes or heroes zerging objectives. It’s about small groups of adventurers overcoming overwhelming odds. It played fantastically, and we can’t wait for launch later this year.