You may not be aware of this, but I love XCOM. The tactical choices, the randomized characters I grow attached to, the progression, the feeling of triumph, and the despair of defeat. For someone that enjoys with high replayability, strategy games, tactical RPGs, and atmosphere, it’s simply fantastic. It’s not massively multiplayer but sometimes we can enjoy MMORPGs by playing non-MMORPGs. Now that XCOM is it’s own genre I dug around to see what titles were coming to it in 2018/19. In my opinion, the four defining factors for the XCOM genre are:
Characters can and will die. Players can lose a campaign, either through an official “Game Over” moment or an unwinnable state.
Longevity is a funny thing. It’s feels great to dive into a game and really get your money’s worth. MMORPGs are certainly at the top of the heap when it comes to replayability and longevity. Not only is there a wealth of content for one character, but unique classes/races/factions can play quite differently. Is it a good thing though?
In an absolute sense, sure. Value is great. Who hates value? Not me. But there is a point of diminishing returns, and MMO games typically hit them faster than other genres. The loop of “level up, get new items, see new place” gets old quick, especially for genre vets. Now that’s not exclusive to MMOs. Other multiplayer genres like FPS, MOBAs, and RTS also offer a high quantity of… Continue reading
Variety is the spice of life. Developers of MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and Archeage would have you believe such variety could be sourced within their small corners of the world. Not so. One must look beyond the horizon to see the world in its entirety. No one game can do it all. While it’s easy to grow complacent playing the same game, it ultimately leads to malcontent. The social nature of MMORPGs can often keep us around well past its natural life. That’s not inherently bad – friends are good, after all. But it puts the gameplay on the back burner. For a video game, that seems like a big issue. The only way to regain clarity is to take a break. Play a single player game… Continue reading
Have you noticed that things are a bit quieter than usual in your MMO lately? Are the streets of Stormwind a little barren? Is the fleet not quite buzzing as much as it usually does? Is the crowd in Cyrodiil a bit thinner?
If you’re finding that the online population is looking a bit smaller all of a sudden, you can probably place the blame on Mass Effect: Andromeda. Bioware’s juggernaut release has drawn the attention of almost everyone with any interest in RPGs, and one would expect plenty of MMO players to dive into it. I know I have.
While playing Andromeda, I can’t help but compare it to MMORPGs… Continue reading
Holy crap there’s a lot of games in the Humble Freedom Bundle. I’ve taken a short break from MMOs to play all of them this week. I’m glad to say that there aren’t any bad games in the bundle, but sad to say there’s not enough time to play everything fully. As we live in a time of plenty for video games, I’ve sorted all of the games into four tiers to help bundle buyers figure out what to play.
Everyone should try these out.
The Witness – WOW! In the Witness you learn how to solve puzzles by completing other puzzles with no instruction. Often times you’ll need to be very observant… Continue reading
Maintaining proper perspective on MMO games requires branching out into the unknown from time to time. Transistor, by indie developer Supergiant Games, is my latest foray. It’s a game with few flaws that doesn’t share a lot in common with MMOs but probably should. The story and characters are great. It doesn’t overstay it’s welcome at any point, and the art design melds perfectly with the music to appropriately set the mood. Most importantly though, Transistor treats me how I wish more MMO games treated me. It treats me as an intelligent individual that realizes I know what I want more than the developers. It asks me what I know, rather than telling. This treatment is endearing and typically lacking in MMOs.