Multiplayer Category

Games in our Multiplayer category are multiplayer online games that share some but not all mechanics in common with traditional MMORPGs. Generally, their “massive” nature is contested. They frequently include OARPGs, online shooters, online strategy games, mobile MMOs, and other pseudo-MMOs that optionally provide single-player, offline, or custom-server support. We formerly categorized Multiplayer titles as “Not So Massively” games. You may also be interested in our MOBA category for PvP-centric arena battlers. [Follow the Multiplayer Online Games category’s RSS feed]

The Division is free on PC this weekend

Are you interested in The Division, but not interested enough to put down your money and try it out on your dime? A compromise is available to you. Starting today, players can download the game, log in, and try shooting their way through the game’s various missions and back-alleys completely free. The promotion runs from now until December 18th, so you have plenty of time to get in and get shooting.

If it winds up tickling you, the further good news is that the game is half off at the official store for both standard and gold editions of the game, so you can pick up a copy for yourself at discount price. And maybe pick up another copy for a friend so that you can almost justify it as proper holiday shopping. It’s all right, we won’t tell anyone. Just take advantage of all of this before the weekend’s over if your interest is piqued.


Funcom is plotting a Conan Exiles branded Dark Horse comic

Are we hyped for Funcom’s Conan Exiles yet? Are we excited to dive into the thrilling brutality promised by the sandbox survival game? Bummer because it’s not out for another six weeks, and even then only in early access. But how about a comic book in the meantime?

Yep, Funcom announced it’s joined up with Dark Horse to produce a Conan Exiles digital comic, also set to release in January. This isn’t the first time Funcom’s done this, either; you’ll recall that Dark Horse collaborated on the comic ahead of Age of Conan’s original launch way back in 2008 too. Hey, Age of Conan. How’s it going. You gonna help dad with the new baby? Awesome. Hang in there, buddy.

Funcom is also pushing tomorrow’s 1 p.m. EST stream, during which it’s promised to demo thrall gameplay for the first time. Until then, here’s that comic cover:

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It’s vikings vs. samurai in Ubisoft’s For Honor

When multi-faction PvP games come out, it always feels as though you are being recruited for some sort of specialized street gang. Whom will you fight for? Which will come to define your identity and create in you an unbearable hatred for all of the other gangs?

Ubisoft’s upcoming multiplayer title For Honor has three such groups courting you for your combat prowess: knights, vikings, and samurai. Each group really, really doesn’t like each other, and even after a massive cataclysm, they’d rather be at each other’s throats than work together to rebuild society and latte-dispensing coffee shops.

While there is a PvE storyline in For Honor, the meat of the game is clearly its several PvP modes, including 1v1 duels, 4v4 death matches, and 2v2 brawls in “vivid, larger-than-life battlefields.” Currently the game is in beta testing with an eye on February 14th, 2017, as its release date. It’s a buy-to-play game that will come out on the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

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World of Warships enters choppy waters with arguably test-to-win reward ship

What do you know about the USS Alabama? “It is a boat” is a perfectly acceptable answer in this context because that is correct! It is almost certainly a boat, and it is a boat that’s causing quite a lot of trouble in the World of Warships community based on its means of acquisition. The short version is that it’s being given out to select supertesters, players who dedicate an enormous amount of time and effort to testing the game’s patches and offering feedback.

Why is this controversial? Well, it’s a really good boat. Like, “very competitive in high-end gameplay” good. And there’s no way to get it outside of dedicating a great deal of time to being a supertester and then getting selected to be given the boat, which also has an enormous amount of hull detailing (very important if you’re the sort of person who knows about boats). In short, it’s a really powerful boat that’s more or less inaccessible for most players and only goes out to a very limited subset of players. That’s… kind of unpleasant, yes? And it does nicely explain the boat controversy.

Source: Official Forums; thanks to JC for the tip!


World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Heroes of the Storm ring in the holidays

The holiday season is rolling out in many of Blizzard’s games (although that Diablo guy is being a real Grinch about it), so as you peruse the launcher, here’s a handy guide to what to expect in the studio’s games.

Overwatch is introducing its Winter Wonderland event for the first time this year. In addition to cozy decorations, the team shooter is adding winter loot boxes (with 100 seasonal items) and the new Mei’s Snowball Offensive 6v6 brawl. The event will conclude on January 2nd.

Over at World of Warcraft, Azerothians are preparing for the return of the Feast of Winter Veil. Quests, toys, and even kissing is on tap for this annual event, and you’ll want to make sure to log in on December 25th to grab your free presents from underneath Greatfather Winter’s tree!

Finally, Heroes of the Storm welcomes Winter Veil through January 4th. New skins can be purchased, but for those wanting freebies, a snowflake portrait and goblin mount is yours for participating in 25 games. Additionally, a 25% XP boost will be running for the duration of the event.

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Evolve developer Turtle Rock Studios is working on a new multiplayer FPS with Perfect World Entertainment

Back in October, Evolve ceased its apparently successful revival and moved into maintenance mode, with developer Turtle Rock Studios handing off the game and moving along. It was easy to wonder at that point what was in the cards for the studio’s future, and it appears that question is now answered: the studio is working on a new co-op “dark fantasy” FPS set to be published by Perfect World Entertainment, a name that you’ve heard crop up here with several other titles.

Turtle Rock Studios developed the original Left 4 Dead, so the studio has a long history with the genre; President Steve Goldstein explained that having Perfect World as a partner helps the studio prioritize the game-as-a-service model. There are no details yet on pricing or even a title for the game, but we know that the game is coming; that should be enough to keep you warm if Evolve’s maintenance mode left a chill in your heart.


China bans streaming games not approved by the Ministry of Culture

China’s Ministry of Culture is the government agency that covers (among other things) what imagery can and cannot be shown in a video game. Official approval from the Ministry of Culture is necessary to market a video game in the country, which is why you get stories about certain games (such as World of Warcraft) making changes to models or content in order to pass the approval process. For Chinese indie developers, there’s been a relatively simple solution to move around these restrictions: By streaming games that are not approved by the Ministry of Culture, it’s possible to market and sell a game which has not gone through the lengthy and expensive approval process.

Unfortunately for the indie development scene, new restrictions have been placed by the Ministry of Culture banning the streaming of unapproved games. That includes indie games and games on Steam from US publishers who have not sought approval from the government, and it could result in a major clamp-down on the Chinese indie scene. The full impact of these laws will take some time to be felt, but in a game where streaming is one of the primary means of learning about new games which might otherwise slip under the radar, it’s almost inevitable that the impact will be significant.

Source: Tech in Asia


Guardians of Ember headstart access begins today

Sometimes you want to play a game that offers you nuanced morality and a careful examination of your place in the universe. Other times, you want to play a game where your main moral debate is between hacking, slashing, or both hacking and slashing. Guardians of Ember is meant to scratch that latter itch, and backers of the game’s IndieGoGo project can start getting in and answering these philosophical quandries today.

For players who don’t have headstart access, the game is unlocking for early access tomorrow, so it’s not going to be a lengthy gap between releases. Prospective players should be aware that the game will still contain bugs, as it says as much in the day’s headstart announcement (and whatever bugs are in there today are likely to still be there tomorrow, let’s be realistic). Still, if you’re feeling the pull of smashing the heck out of some vaguely demonic enemies, the headstart players can get to work on that today. Everyone else just has to wait a day.

Source: Steam page; thanks to Ville Uusitalo for the tip!


Gaijin begins crowdfunding multiplayer war shooter Enlisted

War Thunder studio Gaijin announced today that it’s publishing Darkflow Software’s “fan-driven” MMO squad-based multiplayer PC shooter called Enlisted. “Gaijin Entertainment Promises to Reinvest Game Sales into the Development of Additional Content and Consoles Versions of Enlisted,” reads the press release.

Enlisted will initially offer two massive campaigns – Battle of Moscow and the Battle of Normandy. Each campaign in the game will represent multiple phases of a battle – which during the war lasted for weeks, sometimes months, as well as specific characters and weapons suitable for the historical event recreated in a campaign. It will also offer different game modes where players will be fighting not only by themselves but also together with a platoon of soldiers in massive battles. Built using Gaijin Entertainment’s proprietary Dagor Engine, Enlisted will feature large scale battles with a 100 combatants spread over a massive and richly detailed battlefield complete with destructible landscapes.”

By “fan-driven,” the studios apparently mean “paid for,” as the official site has gone straight to crowdfunding with a big red “back the project” button that asks players to prepurchase mods and early access. The Tunisia campaign unlocks at $250,000, the next tier; players will apparently vote on the campaigns and modules unlocked beyond that. The studios promise a console release at the million-dollar mark.

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Paladins has over five million players from beta testing

For all of its major system overhauls, Paladins appears to be doing something right. A new video on stats from the game’s open beta notes that there are over five million players from 230 different countries enjoying the game, even though the game is still technically in open beta testing. There are plenty of other fun stats about the testing, collected below in video format rather than the usual infographic.

If you’re one of the five million players or just an onlooking well-wisher, you may want to keep your eyes on the Paladins Invitational Tournament starting in a little under a month. Players will compete for a prize of $150,000 starting on January 5th, with all of the competition getting streamed on Twitch as eight teams face off to become the best invited players in the world. And if you’re not into the competitive scene but just like playing… well, with five million people, you’ll probably be able to find a match or two.

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Osiris: New Dawn blasts off to the icy moon of Aziel

There’s a galaxy out there to explore, kid, so why confine yourself to just one planet?

The space survival sandbox Osiris: New Dawn isn’t about to limit itself to a single locale. On December 15th, the game will allow players to blast off to the frozen moon of Aziel. The team wasn’t saying much about what will be found there, but by the sound of it, this won’t be a tropical resort.

The December 15th update will also include new weapons, an in-game 3-D printer (in case you can’t afford one in real life), a drivable mech, minable asteroids, and a way to level up. “A new skill and proficiency system will be introduced allowing you to level up your character, earning points to spend specializing in skills to suit your specific play style!” the team said.

Source: Steam


CCP has launched EVE-franchise Gunjack 2: End of Shift on the Daydream

Announced just two months ago, CCP Games’ Gunjack 2: End of Shift has officially launched today for the Google Daydream, on which platform it is an exclusive. The sequel to last year’s standalone title EVE Gunjack is set in the EVE Online universe but is a VR-based shooter built by CCP’s Shanghai studio.

“Everyone fights in New Eden. Some fight for power. Others for money. But out on the fringes of known space, most fight simply to see another day. Far from the comforts of civilization, the vast mining rig, Kubera, is home. As a turret operator charged with defense of the rig and a formidable arsenal at their disposal, players must protect the Kubera and its precious cargo from bandits trying to blow the rig apart.

Gunjack 2: End of Shift seamlessly integrates intuitive motion controls with intense, full-immersion action to become the ultimate mobile virtual reality experience. Players use the Daydream controller to aim and shoot down swarms of enemies, strategically deploy special weapons, and activate an energy shield to survive the most dangerous situations. The game will also feature procedural daily missions, ensuring endless replayability. Cinematic storytelling is also central to Gunjack 2, cut-scenes featuring the mining rig’s crew immerse the player in the life of danger for those in the Outer Ring of New Eden.”

The game’s a mere $12.99, though of course you’re gonna need a Daydream to make it go.

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Gigantic introduces founders packs for semi-open beta

Gigantic’s beta doors swing open today — but not quite all the way open. Anyone with Windows 10 or an Xbox One can slip through the opening and play the new free-to-play MOBA as of today. However, it appears if you have an older version of Windows, you can’t fit through that door; you can’t log in even if you had closed beta access before.

Everyone, however, can purchase the new founder’s packs for the game. The pack, retailing for $39.99, grants all 16 original heroes as well as four yet-to-be-released ones (for a total of 20), two limited edition skins (one for Tyto the Swift and one for Charnok), and two exclusive profile icons for founders. Take a peek at the packs in the open beta launch trailer below. If this bundle doesn’t entice you, Motiga emphasizes that you can still unlock all the heroes and creatures through in-game currencies earned by completing matches and fulfilling Fortune Cards.

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