When was the last time you watched a movie and though, “Wow, this would make a great MMO! There are different groups and conflicts, that could be one class, and this would make a cool class too. It’s perfect!” If you play MMOs regularly, then you probably have something like that go through your mind during most of your favorite films.
The great thing about the MMO is that it isn’t really a genre in and of itself, it’s a design concept that can be applied to a limitless number of genres. We have lots of fantasy MMOs and a good number of scifi ones and we’ve even seen a few horror-themed MMOs crop up over the years, so it is and always will be a versatile market. Tons of MMOs are based on existing IPs too, whether it is The Old Republic, Lord of the Rings Online, Star Trek Online, or something else. However, there is a severe lack of MMOs based strictly on settings that originated in movies. That needs to change!
There can be only one. It’s a phrase that has taken on a life of its own in pop culture to the point that many no longer even know where it came from. It’s also a great phrase that can easily be used to build upon for the foundation of a solid PvP centric MMO. Combining elements from games like Archlord or The Elder Scrolls Online (the king mechanic, or taking control as the leader).
Each player could play as an immortal in constant conflict to become the last remaining. By defeating other players in one-on-one combat, players could qualify for a final battle at the end of each event or story arc that would constitute the Gathering. By defeating all players and winning The Prize, the last remaining Highlander would receive a number of buffs and could make alterations to the world or server they are on that last until the next Gathering when a new Highlander would be crowned.
There is a ton of stuff to work with here. We’ve got time travel, we’ve got both modern and futuristic settings, we’ve got tons of sci-fi weaponry, and we’ve got a lot of important named characters to pin story elements to. If the movies have served as any form of guidance, then a Terminator MMO would definitely take place across multiple timelines and be all about big set-piece moments and lots of badass fights.
The biggest opportunity for a Terminator MMO lies with the way it handles combat. Existing games such as Defiance or even Firefall do a decent job of bringing that level of shooter action to an MMO, but it could be more. Allow players to choose different factions and even play as the titular Terminators in some game modes to create some really fun and challenging asymmetrical gameplay opportunities.
Speaking of asymmetrical gameplay, that’s something for which games based in the Aliens universe have always been known. Something similar to The Lord of the Rings Online’s monster PvP sessions definitely comes to mind, with players controlling human, Alien, and Predator classes. And in terms of PvE, there is a huge and rich sci-fi setting across both properties ready for exploration.
In fact, imagine the level of complexity that could go into planning out how these 3 different factions would complement one another in gameplay. There could be an entire Evolve-esque area of the game with small groups of players taking on xenomorphs. Not to mention the survival-horror aspect of everything if they decided to borrow elements and take inspiration from the acclaimed Alien: Isolation.