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]
Overwatch is turning one year this month, so bust out your hipster camera and baby confections for a cake smash! Just kidding. Actually Blizzard is kicking off a huge promotion next week starting with a free play period over Memorial Day weekend and ending with the conclusion of season 4:
“In addition to Overwatch Anniversary, we will be holding another free-weekend from May 26th-29th. For this free weekend, we’re making Overwatch’s full roster of heroes and maps available for play in a variety of modes, including Quick Play, Custom Games, and the latest Weekly Brawl. Players will also have the ability to level up, earn Loot Boxes, and unlock a variety of different customization options. If players decide to purchase a copy of Overwatch after the free-weekend they will get to keep any progress made during the weekend.”
Wanna buy it after that? Maybe hold out for the GOTY edition, which launches the same day as the promo event for PC, Xbox One, and PS4. In it, you’ll find 10 loot boxes, plus Overwatch skins, Tracer in Heroes of the Storm, Baby Winston in World of Warcraft, Mercy’s Wings in Diablo III, new portraits in StarCraft II, and a special card in Hearthstone. ALL the cross-promotions. The new anniversary trailer’s down below.
So what about that weather we’re having in Osiris: New Dawn? OK, it’s unlikely that anyone will actually utter that as a conversation starter, but even so, did you know that Osiris has a robust weather system? The team posted a pie chart (the tastiest of all charts) to show the frequency of the five weather types: clear, hazy, dust, storm, and fog.
Last week the sci-fi survival sandbox updated to its 1.116 build, adding in new features such as flares and primitive crafting workstations. It may be the future and all, but who says that stone ovens can’t be useful? For all of the additions, there was one subtraction: The team removed the OMPA robot for some more work.
If this game is your bag, you might be interested to know that there’s an official Discord channel to facilitate conversations and socializing!
Get your breakin’-the-law gifs ready: Nexon’s CliffyB-designed online shooter LawBreakers enters its second round of closed beta this week. Last year, Boss Key announced it was going “back in the lab” to work out some of the kinks and take into account feedback from alpha testers, which were on display this past March when its first beta test took place.
Now, the company’s announced another round of closed beta beginning this Thursday, May 18th, and running through the weekend, NDA-free. Notably, this build includes the playable Wraith, new Reactor map, new Blitzball mode, spectator mode, and new customization options. Boss Key posted a studio update vlog too; you can watch that below!
We first heard about Mars-themed survival sandbox ROKH back in 2015 when it released its teaser to the world, and then in 2016 developer Darewise Entertainment launched a Kickstarter for the game seeking over $100,000, but that crowdfunding attempt was canceled when it achieved only about a fifth of its goal. Since then, the early access launch has been kicked around a few times — first to September 2016, then January 2017, and now to… today.
Yes, the game has officially launched its early access today, with the finished version planned for a year from now. The devs have posted a number of guides to help newbies get started, but know that you’ll be shelling out $24.99 for the product in its current state. Check out the launch trailer down below!
While everyone would like to be the great shaft at the heart of progress in Erectus the Game, the stiff backbone around which all other play revolves, only one person can truly be the Erectus King. This is the endgame, and it’s just been thrust into the spotlight with the game’s most recent update, when the Erectus King NPC begins his ritual and surrounds the land with erupting volcanoes. This phase of the endgame takes two weeks, and players must wrestle the king down before his explosive ritual can reach its climax.
Assuming the king is defeated, players will then have to hold and control the king for a time while other players try to get their own hands on the surging lord. Success, of course, means that a new king has risen, so players will have to work hard to achieve a satisfying conclusion. Remember, it doesn’t matter how strong your empire is if you can’t successfully maintain a bid for the Erectus King.
If SMITE Tactics didn’t quite grab you before, maybe Hand of the Gods will. No, it’s not a new game — it’s a new name. Hi-Rez Studios‘ turn-based strategy game based on the gods of SMITE has been rebranded to Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics, complete with a shiny new site and a new reveal trailer.
However, the name isn’t the only change as the game has been developing. We’ve added the trailer here so you can watch snippets of the newest gameplay, including the new pantheons and the summoning stones. If you are intrigued by what you see and want to try your hand at Hand of the Gods, you can sign up for a chance to get into the currently closed beta on the official site, or buy a founders pack for $20.00 that grants immediate entry (along with other goodies).
We also have beta keys to give away to five lucky readers — read on for your chance to win!
Confession time: I have spent an absurd amount of time in the Diablo universe over the years (ask me about that time a Best Buy dude was a jerk to me when I went in to buy Lord of Destruction because lol girls don’t play Diablo II! Grrr.). And I’ve played a ton of Diablo III, though I usually stop short of obsessive grinding. But I couldn’t really tell you the details of the lore. Playing ARPGs for the lore is really not what I do.
That’s what makes the LORE YouTube video on Diablo III’s lore so illuminating. I have played through this game half a dozen times and couldn’t have narrated this mess of a storyline. As the video itself notes, everybody’s clicking through the dialogue to get back to the game!
The LORE channel is pretty damn amusing overall; the channel’s done clips for World of Warcraft and Elder Scrolls Online too. Check it out below:
It’s apparently not official yet as Blizzard hasn’t sent out a press blurby, but Overwatch is getting a pair of massive art books this coming October 24th.
According to the entries on Amazon, the $49.99 hardcover is the “essential companion” to the game, with intros and dev behind-the-scenes info from Blizz, plus “never-before-seen artwork.”
The real meat’s in the $100 deluxe limited edition book, which “comes packaged in a beautiful clamshell box with magnetic closure and includes an acetate slipcover featuring the game’s most popular hero, Tracer.” Expect “two portfolios containing a total of three prints chosen by the Overwatch team” too.
And for comic lovers, the Dark Horse Overwatch comic anthology is due out on October 10th.
I have a guildie who buys art books for video games the way Justin buys MMO soundtracks, if ya know what I mean. Do you guys splurge on art books for games?
It may sound crazy, but a huge number of people who pour eyeball time and money into e-sports don’t even play the games they’re watching. That’s according to gaming analytics firm Newzoo, which last week broke down its stats on the major e-sports franchises and who exactly is watching them in the U.S., Canada, Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Sweden. Key takeaways?
- 70% of viewers stick to one game.
- 69% of gamers play only League of Legends, CS:GO, or DOTA 2 (the overlap of all three is 8%).
- 42% of e-sports watchers of the big three games do not play any of them
- 191 million people will tune in to e-sports “frequently” this year; an additional 194 million will do so “occasionally.”
Howsabout you? Do you watch, play, both, or neither?
When you think of locales for epic showdowns, what do you picture? The Tonys? The prairie grasslands of Nebraska? Tenth street in the Bronx? Well, probably none of those, but what about the very top of a mountain?
Team-based brawler Skara recently pushed out its open alpha 0.8.0 update, introducing a new arena among the clouds. Gâo-di, the Temple of the Zem, gives players a chance to duke it out on the peak of a mountain with all sorts of special mechanics.
The update also included progression rewards that allow for ways to earn free character skins, with the first one coming quick and subsequent unlocks taking longer (what did you expect, really?). You can check out the 0.8.0 patch overview video after the break!
Funcom is working its tush off on Conan Exiles’ combat, a new Q&A with Joel Bylos suggests, but make sure you understand the end goal. “We don’t ever expect combat in Exiles to be on par with an action game like Dark Souls,” he cautions players. “We want combat to be fun and interesting in its own right, but without years to invest in the combat system we are not going be creating something that competes with Chivalry. Our ambition for combat, clearly stated pre early access launch, was Dark Messiah/Skyrim (modded) levels of combat.” But he admits the team hasn’t “achieved [that] ambition” yet — and that means a heavy focus on eliminating “clunky” combat feel, weapon balance, and sorting out where the game should rely on action vs. roleplaying elements.
Bylos also says Funcom is working on map improvements, creature AI, expanding the dye system, respawn rates, drawbridges, NPC looting, container ownership, thrall rescue, and character customization.
That’s gotta be good news for fans of the game, who’ve seen its playtime popularity on Steam fall sharply since February (by comparison, ARK: Survival Evolved has held relatively even; its current monthly peak is 10 times Conan’s).
We’d never heard of Big Way Games’ Steam Hammer before last week’s debut on Steam’s early access platform: It’s a multiplayer sandbox survival game (64 players to a shard) built around making steampunks fight dieselpunks. Reviewers thus far have likened it to Wurm Online and Life is Feudal, and several have complained about the lack of female characters, but surely that’s just a matter of time and patches. The most recent patches, in fact, have made some big balance and QOL changes already, including doubling gathering speed and increasing both spawns and gathering materials.
The game raised over $50,000 from crowdfunders last year, though it was in development a year or two before that. Possibly the most shocking thing about it is that it’s actually delivering on schedule — its Kickstarter promised a May 2017 alpha, and here we are.
The game is not to be confused with SteamHammerVR, a virtual reality game also in access on Steam. The full launch is expected at the end of 2017; early access will set you back $26.99 as of press time. Want to see it in action? We got an early look over the weekend!
If you’ve had a hankering for a multiplayer survival sandbox but want something more elegant than the typical gritty murderfests on offer, take a look at Astroneer. Developer System Era Softworks dubs it “a game of aerospace industry and interplanetary exploration,” and it does include a multiplayer co-op mode, terraforming, vehicles, trade, and crafting.
“Explore and reshape distant worlds! Astroneer is set during a 25th century gold rush where players must explore the frontiers of outer space, risking their lives in harsh environments for the chance of striking it rich. On this adventure, a player’s most useful tool is their ability to shape their world, altering the terrain and extracting valuable resources from planets, and moons. Resources can be traded or crafted into new tools, vehicles, and modules to create everything from massive industrial bases to mobile rover bases.”
The game landed in Steam’s early access program last Christmas but has been steadily patching up; its most recent update is focused on turning the recent overhaul of Astroneer’s research system to make it genuinely fun. It’s still considered in pre-alpha and is currently priced at $19.99, so it’s very much an early access you may want to just add to your wishlist for now. Take a peek at the assets below.