Newsies

Yesterday was an insane news day for MMOs, just a floodgate of announcements, videos, and whatnot.  Kept me plenty busy, I tell you what.  But there are three pieces of news that I wanted to discuss on this here blog, so here goes!

Marvel Heroes playthrough

I think a lot of people were upset that Marvel Heroes wasn’t going the City of Heroes/DCUO/Champions Online route, but instead pursuing a Diablo-style gameplay with recognizable superheroes.  If I let go what I wish it would be and take it as it is, I have to admit that it might be pretty enjoyable.  I’m actually pretty impressed after having watched this 25-minute playthrough video (with dev commentary), because it looks casual, fun, and visually exciting.

The Marvel lineup is very strong and there are those who just want to play as the recognizable superheroes instead of a brand-new creation, so I can see this working.  It’s not super-deep, but sometimes you need a lighter fare to complement your standard MMO diet.  Plus, it’s much more of an online game than Diablo III turned out to be, and that puts a good feeling in my tummy.

RIFT Dimensions video

Oh man… oh man… oh man… I cannot wait for the expansion, if just for this one feature.  RIFT looks like it’s channeling EverQuest II housing with a few twists, and the brief examples of what is possible with this toolset sparks the imagination as to what we’ll see when players get their hands on it.

I honestly don’t know what I’ll be making in my own dimension, but if the devs come through with their promise of interactive and scripted elements, I’ll definitely be using those.

Chris Roberts is back

Chris Roberts was a huge name in the 90s with Wing Commander and Privateer, but he dropped off the video game map in the 2000s almost entirely.  So it was a shock to see his name again in the news, associated with his new project, Star Citizen.  Not the best name in the world, admittedly, but dang if this doesn’t have some people excited.

Roberts has been working on an ambitious space sim that feels like a cross between Privateer, Derek Smart’s Battlecruiser 3000 series, and a less antagonistic EVE Online.  He’s promised the world and more with it, down to an insane level of detail, Newtonian flight physics, and a massive persistent sandbox.

Considering that he’s looking to raise $2 million through crowd sourcing, it’s certainly a long shot, even with his name attached.  But it’s got a lot of people excited, especially those like me who have a strong fondness for his efforts with space sims in the 90s.  It’s funny to me how all of these older games and genres are coming back to life through Kickstarter-like projects, such as Wasteland II.  Never discount the power of nostalgia to pull out the wallets.

So I’m cautiously, oh-so-cautiously looking forward to seeing what comes out of all of this.

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3 thoughts on “Newsies

  1. I was very interested to see the Star Citizen announcement. I played every Wing Commander game there was with gusto, and deeply lament the death of the space sim genre.

    And yet… this strikes me as exactly the sort of project that Kickstarter’s trying to rein in. INCREDIBLY ambitious, long on glory shots and promises with not a mention of how you make all this work with internet lag and playable by anyone not running a Cray in their basement. And that’s before you get anywhere near the actual gameplay concerns of managing open sandbox stuff without running into the rampant idiocy that keeps so many people away from EVE.

    So – color me exceedingly interested and following, but at the moment they’re basically presenting fairy dust, and it’s going to take something just a touch more realistic to get my money.

  2. I have been swamped with my review for Of Orcs and Men as well as other work stuff the last few days. Always can rely on you to provide a neat summary of the most significant things making waves in the MMO world!

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