In this bi-weekly column we tally up the news from around the almost-MMO-verse and offer our thoughts on the ins and outs of the titles that are big, but maybe not quite "Massive".
Lawbreakers has been on the radar for a while. A game that has been picked up by Nexon and being made here in North America is a switch to normal publishing from Asian companies. However, it is great to see Nexon fully investing in North American games, even publishing them both here and across the pond. Lawbreaker’s is Boss Key Productions arena shooter which moves at an extremely fast pace.
With a few notable exceptions, sports games aren’t usually something I’ll get excited about, which is why CCP’s latest idea fascinates me. Project Arena takes the ideas behind dodgeball and tennis, wraps them in some fun and futuristic mechanics, and presents them in full VR. The result is a game that’s immediately accessible and, surprisingly, huge fun to play.
It sounds like a recipe for mediocrity, but Illfonic's and Psyop's zombie-packed shooter Moving Hazard has more to it than meets the eye. These are the same guys making Revival, and it's clear they're ready to turn other genres on their head.
Doubtless, many of you around here probably remember Dungeon Defenders, the Indie hit from 2011 (seems so long ago, now). A mix of tower defense and co-op RPG, players fended off waves of enemies while defending the Eternia Crystals. The game sold so well across various platforms that developer Trendy Entertainment has been long at work on a sequel. Make sense, right?
Square Enix graciously offered us a chance to play Just Cause 3 ahead of its launch via Steam, citing that it’s very much an open world RPG set in a modern setting. Now, we won’t go so far to call it an RPG in a traditional sense, but there’s so much fun to be had in this game that we can forgive its linear story and lunatic physics. It’s a toy box of wonders for any kid who imagined blowing stuff up with his or her GI Joes for hours on end.
If you follow Games Workshop you know that recently the classic version of Warhammer has changed a lot on the table top. However, the video games continue to pay homage to the old world with some great new games coming out. Vermintide happens to fall into the category. If you are a fan of survival style shooters (think Left 4 Dead) then this game hits on a lot of solid points.
I have recently discovered that I really enjoy primitive-looking, voxel-based, sometimes-sidescroller-y survival games. It sounds a bit specific, so I mean games like Starbound, Minecraft, or Terraria. I love the way the graphics look simple (which means easy to run on older PCs) but feature realistic lighting or shading. I especially love the fact that these titles offer a wide variety of open-ended content and keep the barrier of entry low.
I often wish I could enjoy realistic military shooters like World of Tanks. I have tried them before, and the closest I came to joy was when I was piloting an old aircraft over a massive battlefield... then I was shot down. Because these games are skill-based shooters, it’s often the case that when you die you just stay dead; there’s no room for error. The last time I played World of Tanks I grew so impatient I just logged out. I probably appeared to be the world’s most sore loser.
Danish toy company LEGO recently announced that it will be releasing LEGO Worlds, an answer to the massively-popular Minecraft. Lego already sells Minecraft toy sets, so what was the thought process behind this decision? I am not so sure, and some people have cried “a little too little, too late” but I wonder about that assessment.
I was very excited to talk to you, my Not So MMO readers, about a game called Knights and Snails. It’s an interesting title with a few core mechanics like jousting, tower defense, Flappy Bird-style timing and the occasional snail. I am planning on featuring it in one of the upcoming articles, with an interview with the developer team who feature people from some of my favorite games like The Chronicles of Spellborn. Keep an eye out for that, coming soon.
Welcome back to another edition of Not So MMO, you’re one-stop shop for opinions, news and insight into the world of games that are almost MMO. Multiplayers, online games, MOBAs and other genres… you know, the ones that feature many of the things we like about MMOs, minus the thousands of players who are on at the same time.
In case you haven’t heard, MOBAs are all the rage right now. OK, so they’ve been a rage for a few years, but it’s my feeling that they have reached an all-time high; will they continue to climb in popularity or are they doomed to a slow death when “real” sports get a glimpse of MOBA’s pocket protectors?
Moonrise first caught my eye with its distinctive art style. Really, it reminded me of Free Realms, one of my favorite casual MMOs that featured some of my favorite graphics. I’m a bit of a fan of stylized graphics. I also noticed that Moonrise offered monster collecting and combat, not something I am normally a huge fan of, but it looked so nice I continued to get excited.
I would like to apologize to my readers for my recent grumpiness; I tend to lash out when I feel that gaming and many of its fans are causing the genre more harm than good. If you have kept up with the last two or three years of gaming news, you’ll know why I am so adamant about pressing the opinion that of all of the forces that are hurting the genre, entitled gamers will always be the biggest source of damage.