Saturday, January 22, 2011
Action MMO games
today I want to give you a little overview of some so called action MMO games which either recently launched or are still in development.
The whole concept of games which feature most of the important MMORPG features, such as looting and equipping items, running through dungeons with larger groups of players, joining guilds, having relaxed chats etc. but still play like a 3rd person action game such as Ninja Gaiden, Devil May Cry, God of War and the likes itself is fairly new. I know that I always wondered why noone made a game like that – console like action but as an MMO.
And suddenly here they are, and for some reason they come in a bunch. Korean and Japanese action MMOs all over the place. All of them feature real time combat, no more "turn based" fighting as in pretty much all other present MMORPGs, all of them have you slash at your opponent at the touch of a button and evade enemy attacks by actually dodging them, not by chance or having high stats.
So let me show you all of the action MMOs I know of so far.
Dynasty Warriors Online
There isn't really much to say here – it's Dynasty Warriors, it's online, it's awesome. The graphics as well as animations are kind of outdated as this game has been out in Japan for several years now, but gameplay wise it's an experience I encourage everyone who's a fan of 3rd person action games to check out. The game is PVP only for the most part with no real PVE or open world traveling, but that's what Dynasty Warriors always was and everything else would have been strange. The English version of the game came out just recently and is completely free to play, so feel free to check it out.
Dragon Nest is another free to play action MMO which will release in NA in Summer 2011. It's already out in Korea, China and Japan. The game is instance based as well, so again no open world to explore. Dragon Nest has a very cartoony, anime style look, not exactly my taste, but each to their own. What really got my attention though were the PVP battles seen in many videos, they are full of action and quite fast paced. There's also a wide variety of classes to choose from, which is always a good thing.
This game, also known under the Korean version's name "Mabinogi Heroes", launched a couple of months ago. As of now only people located in North America are able to play it, an European version is set to come somewhen this year. Still, using a proxy I was able to take a sneak peak and play through the first 10 levels. What I found to be remarkable was that this game features a real storyline, complete with voiced cutscenes and whatnot. The graphics as well as animations are really good, the PVE boss battles were lots of fun. The PVP however was far from exciting - at least when I played it, all PVP content that was available was some kind of capture the flag mode which got boring real quick. Another downside in my book is that this game does not only lack an open world, but it's pretty much lobby based with only small areas to explore and even then players are split up in tons of channels. But then again, this game is completely free to play, so who am I to complain?
Actually being the only game in this list which is subscription based, Tera Online may have a hard time competing with the many other action MMO games which are coming out around these days. I personally think that MMO games which make you pay a monthly fee will always have the advantage of being way better balanced though, as they usually go without item shops etc. which can make people with too much money on their hands shine out from the crowd stat wise. Also, Tera Online is one of the few games which will definately feature an open world to explore. This game has gorgeous graphics and neat animations, and as another big plus there are tons of different classes / races to choose from, unlike most other action MMOs shown here. Tera Online is set to release in EU and NA somewhen later this year.
Continent of the Ninth
This game has only come out in Korea so far, and while an English version was announced ages ago there is no fixed date for it's arrival yet. It was actually the very first action MMO I ever spotted, and I have seen the first trailers for this game aproximately 2 years ago. The graphics and animations look really nice, especially when taking into consideration that this game is free to play as well. The PVP looks really really fun from what I've seen, whenever the archer/rogue class is comboing his opponents it looks like you are looking at some kind of online version of Devil May Cry. Sadly, this game will also not offer an open world to roam freely.
Divine Souls has gone through 2 closed beta testing phases as of now, one of which I attended. The servers will go live again for the open beta (so free to check out for everyone) somewhen around the next days, so stay tuned if you want to play it. Divine Souls does not feature an open world, but lots of areas which connect the different PVE instances, so it doesn't feel all that lobby based. From what I've seen so far it still felt really unfinished, with lots of bugs, cut off animations, weird audio, really limited gamepad support and the finest engrish you've ever seen. The PVP would probably be more fun if there were more than 3 classes all of which are in no way customizable as far as skills, moves etc go. I personally don't think they will have fixed all of these issues until the game opens up for the wide public, but let's wait and see. It's free to play, so apart from your precious time you won't loose anything if you feel like giving it a try.
Blade & Soul
Imagine a beat'em up game mixed with an MMORPG, that's pretty much what the developers describe Blade & Soul like. The graphics look really really nice, the animations are utterly impressive – the game is based on the Unreal Engine 3 by the way. Sadly there is no fixed release date yet, and while we got to see tons of ingame trailers none of them feature *real* gameplay with interface and everything. All we get to see over and over again are - indeed very fine looking - clips of characters beating each other up. I think they should drop us some more real footage, after all this game has been announced for years now. From what I've read it is supposed to feature an open world and is also going to be free to play.
This one is probably the one I'm looking forward to the most. Just as Blade & Soul, Core Blaze uses the Unreal Engine 3, and has really impressive graphics and animations. Once again no fixed date for this game's release yet, but from what I've seen this game looks pretty much like an online version of Monster Hunter. Which rocks. It is going to be completely free to play, and will, according to the trailers, feature an open world to travel in. I have not yet seen any videos of PVP action, but still, I am quite confident that this game will kick some serious ass. As most of these in here do anyway.
Now these probably aren't all of the action MMOs there are out there, but pretty much all of them I know of. Do you happen to know any other one I didn't mention here? Be sure to drop me a comment!
Or maybe you just feel like telling me which one of these sounds the coolest to you :)
Maybe you've been waiting for one of them to release as well? Or you've even played one of them before? Tell me in the comments!