New games, big and small

Hugh is taking a well-earned rest, so the Pot is being stirred by Johnnie for a few days.

We seem to be at a turning point for MMOs right now. With the next WoW expansion cresting the hill, Guild Wars 2 on it’s way as well, and all the excitement over alternatives such as The Secret World and City of Steam, we MMO fans are spoilt for choice. More significantly, perhaps, each of the MMO creators is really upping their game, with even the smaller indie games offering unique bits of gameplay unrivaled by the big AAA titles.

As one might expect, the blogosphere is ripe with discussion.

“… for a browser game and that little loading time, the game intro looked very impressive. That impression stayed with me for the rest of my test. Of course, you cannot compare City of Steam with dedicated game engines with gigabytes of local assets. But I was still impressed by the visual quality. Loading screens between zones rarely kept me for longer than 5-10 seconds, and only once or twice did I have problems interacting with objects or NPCs right after a zone change; canceling and retrying solved this consistently.”

“… this may be the future of the genre. Perhaps not City of Steam specifically, but here is an indie developer doing its best to craft an MMO on a shoestring budget in a world of AAA companies getting 38 Studio’d. And what is impressing me here is that the “nightmare scenarios” we tell ourselves in the blog world might not actually be that bleak. I no longer feel that it has to be $50+ million budgets or bust. Whether it is City of Steam or another indie offering, I am now convinced the possibility exists.”

“Project Zomboid is a top-down (isometric I think it’s called), zombie-survival game with retro-graphics that assumes, from the start, that you will die. When, and how is up to you, but you will die. It’s a zombie apocalypse and they will only increase in numbers. The power will fail, food will spoil, medicine will run out. You will get bored, depressed, anxious, frightened, and even lonely. And then you will die. Sound’s pretty cheery!”

  • Keen at Keen and Graev is concerned over GW2’s streamlined PvP model, and whether the desire to cater to high-level eSports will adversely impact the rest of the playerbase.

“World vs. World is teetering on the edge of greatness and short-term intrigue. The history of this industry shows that it doesn’t take much for a MMORPG company to cater to the extremely popular, public, and vocal community rallying around the sPvP type of gameplay. If sPvP becomes more popular than WvW, which could EASILY happen, what will happen to WvW?”

Finally, don’t miss the chance for free stuff: the Nerdy Bookahs are giving away a couple of Guild Wars plushies. All you have to do is submit your best MMO scenery screenshot. If LOTRO is more your thing, head over to A Casual Stroll To Mordor where you can win a Legendary Edition Riders Of Rohan code.

What will be your new game of choice? Let us know in the comments.