MMO Burnout is a column all about games that aren’t quite MMOs but have a lot in common with them anyway. [Follow this column’s RSS feed]
It won’t surprise anyone who reads our WRUPs that a lot of my free time gaming has been mobile-based as of late, especially if it has local multiplayer. While I still prefer PC gaming for the most part, it’s hard for me to bring a mouse and keyboard with me to a convention and play while the line is moving. MMOs with local multiplayer are even harder. Recent conventions have made jumping into traditional MMOs harder, as has the summer heat that magnifies the heat I feel when playing on ol’ lappy (although that could just be a result of the airless storage space I call home!).
At any rate, I decided to bust out my Nintendo Switch a bit more, bringing it with me to try to recreate Nintendo’s questionable marketing ploy and so I can play in a room where open windows don’t pose a risk to my papers and electronics. My weapon of choice? ARMS.
NetherRealms’ Injustice 2 is not an MMORPG. It doesn’t have a persistent world or a massive number of players actively engaging with each other graphically on screen. However, it has levels, character stat and appearance customization, randomly generated loot and boxes, guilds, and boss fights requiring explicit coordination. For the moment, it’s about the most MMO-ish a 2-D fighter has gotten. And my guild experience with the game has shown me the traditionally solo-oriented genre has created a demand for those with a traditional MMO skill set: socialization skills, group planning, and grinding.
I’ll probably take some flak for saying so, but I’m still enjoying Star Wars: Battlefront. It’s not a broken game as much as it’s an incomplete game, though the cynical (i.e., realistic) part of my brain knows that this was by design. Electronic Arts is no stranger to cutting functionality only for it to show up later in DLC packs or paid expansions, and Battlefront said hello world last week with a $50 season pass for unannounced content displayed prominently on its launch day menu.
DICE has done an admirable job with the shooting controls and the Star Wars eyecandy, though, so in my opinion this a game worth saving. Or finishing, if you’d prefer!
I’m kind of in love with Star Wars: Battlefront. I shouldn’t be, really, because underneath the glitz and gloss, it’s a pretty pedestrian multiplayer shooter. Electronic Arts tapped Battlefield maker DICE to clone its tentpole franchise in a galaxy far, far away, and this week the firm delivered the first title since Disney famously acquired the money-printing IP from George Lucas, closed down Lucasarts, and farmed out game production to EA.
I bought Battlefront at midnight on Tuesday, have played it slavishly for 20-plus hours since, and now feel like I have a good enough grasp to profile it for you in this week’s MMO Burnout.
I broke down and bought The Crew on PC, mostly because it was briefly on sale for 13 bucks. I’d been meaning to pick up Ubisoft’s open-world racer ever since its December 1, 2014 release date, but one game led to another, and frankly, all the lukewarm reviews bumped it down my list.
I’m here to tell you that it’s not as bad as major gaming outlets made it out to be. It’s not anywhere close to an MMO, though, which is why I’ve been playing it for MMO Burnout!
I wanted to like Rebel Galaxy more than I do. That’s not to say it’s a bad game at all; on the contrary it fills the mission of this column rather nicely, which is to provide me with a temporary escape from the maddening MMO genre as I continue my neverending and seemingly futile quest for an adequate Star Wars Galaxies replacement.
Rebel Galaxy just isn’t the game that it could be, at least in my opinion.
When I heard that Disney’s first foray into the new Star Wars gaming universe was a mobile-only RPG, it made me sort of angry. Not Vader-force-choking-his-wife angry, but angry enough to indulge in a brief dark side daydream involving lightsabers!
See, I started gaming in the 1980s because of Star Wars. As a kid, I wanted so badly to live in a galaxy far, far away, that I saved every possible penny and put them all toward a gaming PC that put me squarely in the cockpit of an X-Wing circa 1993. Even sans the Star Wars IP, I game because I like to be immersed in fictional worlds — or digitized versions of the real world — not because I need or want fake progression and all the related skinner box bullcrappery.
Star Wars: Uprising, then, gets off the bus with two strikes against it.
I play a lot of flight sims. The Sturmovik series, DCS, X-Plane, and pretty much every similar title ever released has found its way onto my hard drives at some point. Microsoft’s unkillable Flight Simulator X remains at the top of my personal heap, though, both because of its realism and because of the staggering number of pro mods — both payware and freeware — that have kept it relevant and looking good since its 2006 release.
The best of these mods, at least in my opinion, isn’t even a mod but rather a virtual environment called FSEconomy. It’s not quite an MMO for pilots, but it’s close.
I play a fair amount of single-player stuff when I’m not playing MMOs, and at the risk of outing myself as one of those infernal dudebros, I love the Assassin’s Creed franchise. And I do mean love. I’ve got an Altair poster in my office and an Ezio action figure on my desk. I even own all of the series’ portable and mobile games, the latter of which is firmly against my religion.
I know that Unity had more than its share of technical issues, and I know that Ubisoft is no one’s favorite thanks to annualization and its Uplay DRM. But I can’t help it. Assassin’s Creed kicks holy ass and I want an Assassin’s Creed MMO.
Windward is an oddly endearing little duck that escaped my wandering game eye prior to the moment developer Tasharen Entertainment dangled an early access key in MassivelyOP’s general vicinity. It’s not strictly an MMORPG, which you might have guessed given its presence in this column, but it shares enough of the genre’s DNA to both be worth mentioning on MOP and to please fans of said genre.
If I had to sum up Windward in a single pitch, it boils down to Sid Meier’s Pirates plus multiplayer minus those dance-with-the-governor’s-daughter minigames.