Here’s the stuff we’d never heard of before we covered it for the first time here. You wanted bleeding edge… here it is! [Follow this category’s RSS feed]
A couple of weekends back, I — like many other players — took part in the beta weekend for Ubisoft’s upcoming MMO shooter, The Division. I also — unlike many other players — was actually able to gain access at the start of the weekend, and over the next few days I spent the vast majority of my free time exploring the game’s recreation of post-apocalyptic Manhattan and trying to see everything there was to see before the test came to a close.
As it turned out, that wasn’t too much of a challenge, all things considered, because the amount of content accessible to players was somewhat restricted. Despite the limited scope of the test, however, almost all of the game’s core systems were available in some form or fashion, and there was still plenty to see and do over the course of the weekend. But when the test came to a close and servers went down, I realized that, despite having spent a significant portion of my weekend in the game and having experienced everything that was available to me (as far as I’m aware, at least), I still wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about the game. Even now, I’m still rather undecided, but perhaps putting it all down on paper will help me to sort out my obviously conflicted feelings. At the very least, I hope it will provide an informative preview of what we can expect when The Division goes lives next month.
I first experienced Atlas Reactor
just before Trion
made its big announcement at the PAX Prime party last summer. At the time, I didn’t really know what to think of it. First, it’s clearly set in some futuristic timeline, but then it has come fantasy elements like gremlins and cat-people. I’m on board with that. I’m frankly tired of high fantasy. The characters, which Trion calls Freelancers, are similar to what we find in League of Legends
or maybe closer to the upcoming Blizzard
So far, so typical, except it’s turn-based. What? Yes, turn-based. I was thrown, too.
Senior Producer James Karras and Lead Designer William Cook called us up to talk about how Altas Reactor works and what makes it stand out, and then they demonstrated a few rounds of the game over a private livestream. One thing I’m sure of is that Atlas Reactor is an interesting concept definitely worth a second look.
Following Above & Beyond Technologies’ January announcement that it was solving The Repopulation’s HeroEngine crisis by getting the heck away from HeroEngine, we spoke to studio rep JC Smith all about the MMO’s impending move to Unreal Engine and the birth of survival sandbox spin-off game, Fragmented, which is meant as an appetizer in the interim. Read on for our interview!
Massively OP: One thing I’ve seen commenters worry about is that Fragmented could become The Repopulation’s Landmark, and the comparison seems fair — a lot of the effort going into Landmark should be applicable to EQ Next too, theoretically, but that game is dragging on seemingly forever without public development. Are you concerned that the length of time it takes to rebuild The Repopulation will age it out of the market by the time it’s ready?
JC Smith: The hardest part about making this change for us was mainly the time frame. We kept hoping something we could find a way to get the Hero Engine version of the game to market, because the last thing we wanted to do was to set the game’s time frame back by a significant amount of time. After the situation had stretched out for a while though we realized that an engine switch was our best option, despite the set back in time frame. It is something that we took very seriously though.
Fans of NBC’s Grimm might be excited to learn that the station has commissioned an online multiplayer spin-off that’s coming soon called Grimm: Dark Legacy. The game, which takes place hundreds of years before the show, puts players in the role of monster hunters who use special weapons to put down their foes. The title is being developed by Artplant, which also helped create Battlestar Galactica Online.
According to the official description, you will “team up with other Grimms and explore a world filled with mystery and adventure. Utilize all of your Grimm skills and weapons to survive against the Wesen horde who will stop at nothing until the Grimm bloodline is finally severed.”
Grimm: Dark Legacy is aiming for a mid-2016 launch and is currently accepting beta sign-ups on the official website.
In a happier, more peaceful world we would be sharing with you a new game called The Cuddling, in which everyone hugs and no one loses. But this is a bloodthirsty culture that embraces cutthroat survival games, so instead we’re going to introduce you to The Culling.
The Culling is a battle royale-style game in which players are sent out to scavenge for weapons, build traps, and revel in the fountains of blood that pop in every encounter. The core mode is a 16-player fight to the death (there are no respawns), with a 20-minute timer ticking down thanks to a poison gas cloud that is closing in from all sides. Our legal department says that we are not allowed to draw comparisons to H1Z1 or The Hunger Games in this paragraph.
The Culling will begin early access on March 8th with an eye for a 2017 launch. We’ve got its announcement trailer for you after the jump.
Are you wondering about how the split between Star Citizen and Squadron 42 will affect your purchase of the game? The short answer is “it probably won’t at all.” Existing backers are still getting both; it’s only new purchases that will have a split between the persistent universe and the single-player experience. But if you aren’t a backer or you still have some questions about the fine details, a recent update from the development team clarifies exactly what’s going on with the split. The short version is that the games are still linked, but after the 14th you’ll need to buy into them separately.
Purchasing either individually will run you $45, while purchasing the other one later as an add-on will run you $15. Both are also accessed through the same client and are linked together, and even players who only purchase Squadron 42 will have access to the game’s arena commander module. The plan is to make more parts of the game accessible in bits and pieces from here on out. If you’re already riding the hype train and haven’t yet jumped on board for the game, though, you should act quickly, as you can still get the package deal for both parts of the game if you buy in by February 14th.
If you’re a fan of MMOTCGs with PvE to go with the card-based PvP, you might want to check out Spellweaver, a free-to-play online TCG game that hit Steam last week.
“Our 5-man team worked for endless hours more than 4 years to bring Spellweaver where it is now. But it was worth every minute! After 5 months in Closed Beta, and then another 7 months in Open Beta. After more than 100 patch updates and thousands of fixed bugs. After more than 1,000,000 games played we are finally ready. Spellweaver is now complete enough to be brought into the gaming world, and to take the digital card game genre by storm!”
Like MMOTCG HEX, Spellweaver had plans for an MMO element, but developer Dream Reactor has said those plans are low-priority, telling Massively OP’s Andrew Ross that MMO features and 2v2 aren’t on the table for this year.
If you’re fond of MMORPGs and you have an Android device, Pocket Guild is hoping you’ll give it a go. It’s everything you could want in a portable massively multiplayer online game, just without the “massive” part. Or the “multiplayer.” Or “online.” But it’s definitely portable. It’s all of the fun of an MMORPG without all of that MMORPG, in other words.
So, yes, this is meant as more or less a single-player RPG, just with the added layer of abstraction wherein you are supposedly playing an MMO. It is meant to include things like guild drama, farming dungeons, and managing loot distribution within your guild. There’s no release date planned just yet beyond “soon”; you can check out a trailer for the game just below.
If you’ve been keeping your eyes peeled for more sandboxes and you don’t really care how massive they are, there’s a new one on the horizon that might be worth a peek. Portal Knights, which joins the ranks of Steam Early Access on February 25th, offers many of those elements that sandbox fans crave: crafting, building (and decorating) houses, harvesting, farming, and exploration. Of course, there are dungeons to dive into and bosses to fight using “tactical action combat.”
What this game doesn’t offer is a chance to share the adventures with hordes of strangers; Portal Knights can be played solo or as a group of up to four people. Customization also isn’t a big feature with characters, as there’s only the warrior, the mage, and the ranger to choose from. For more information, check out the trailer below and visit the official site.
Daybreak has just announced that H1Z1 is splitting — “evolving” is the precise word — into two games.
H1Z1: Just Survive is a persistent, open-world zombie survival game.
H1Z1: King of the Kill is a high-intensity last-man-standing shooter.
Players who purchase H1Z1 on Steam until February 16th — including people who already own H1Z1 — will get both games. Beginning on the 17th, each half of the game will cost $19.99 on the platform.
Existing crates, keys, and items will be duplicated across both games. As originally intended, Airdrop tickets will be useable in H1Z1: Just Survive and Event tickets will be usable in H1Z1: King of the Kill. If you have items on the Steam Market, they will be returned to your player inventory, and post-split you can relist them for sale under the correct game title.
What’s the deal with Eternal Crusade? Massively OP’s MJ aims to find out. And from what she hears, aiming appears to be a bit of a big deal: Friendly fire is a thing. That might make for a very interesting first peek into this slice of the Warhammer 40,000 universe. MJ also has a couple of early access keys to give away, so tune in live at 1:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you an early access look into…
What: Eternal Crusade
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 1:00 p.m. EST on Friday, February 5th, 2016
Korean website GameFocus reports that NCsoft is planning to continue its “rapid pace” policy by undertaking private tests of Master X Master, its MOBA, in mid-March, followed by Lineage Eternal tests in the second quarter of 2016. NCsoft VP Kim Taek-heon says the “precise detailed schedule is still undecided.”
Lineage Eternal was in focus group testing in the latter half of 2015. In November, NCsoft didn’t show the game at G-Star and told investors that it had pushed full-scale closed beta testing off until 2016 while it adjusted to the market. It did not at that time address launch dates directly or confirm whether the game’s launch was still planned as a global one.
The world has ended… somehow. And you’re among the few human survivors in a sea of disagreeable monsters. What to do other than to regress to your childhood and make the swankiest fort ever?
In Fortnite, an upcoming title from Epic Games (Gears of War, Paragon), you’ll trade up your old blankets and pillows for sturdier construction materials. You and your fellow players will build bases, defend them from the monster population, loot all of the loots, and occasionally get into a scrap with your fellow gamer. Currently the title is in an ongoing alpha test, and if you’re interested in participating, you can apply on the website.
Regarding Fortnite’s planned free-to-play business model, Epic Games stated: “We want folks to be able to play the entire game and have a fun, complete experience without having to drop any cash, and we are designing the game with that in mind. Anything we put in the game for you to buy will be icing on top of other delicious icing already on the cake.”
. Thanks to Kinya for the tip!