As soon as you look at TERA you see that it’s something different from the norm. A stone’s throw away from the fantasy genre, this archetypal MMORPG is imbued with all the imagination associated with Korean releases without the stodgy and grind-heavy combat. Instead, TERA boasts a system the developer’s like to call ‘True Action Combat’, which is fancy talk for no automated targeting and location-specific damage. Aiming for the head and other sensitive areas actually registers extra damage on enemies, which means you stay invested in battles whereas usually you’d just monotonously click the attack button. This singular dynamic means you stay engaged, and the multitude of different enemy types means that you’ll need to know their weak spots in order to incapacitate them quickly. Compared to other genres, MMO combat has never been everything that it could be, but TERA could represent the first steps in altering that perception.
Couple that revolutionary mechanic with imaginative fiction, a world begging to be explored and the ability for clans to run specific town hubs and you have an online endeavour which puts other so-called ‘innovative’ titles to shame. Here’s hoping the EU launch goes swimmingly.
Yet another MMOFPS makes its way onto this list, but Firefall is about more than just competitive play. Instead this sci-fi effort boasts a world without the forced segregation of instances, and a co-operative campaign which can accommodate hundreds of players on a server at the same time. If that proposition doesn’t give you goosebumps then you might as well stop playing MMOs altogether, as Firefall represents the ultimate notion of a multiplayer-centric experience – something we wish more MMO developers would remember.
The premise involves fighting back against an alien race who have emerged from some strange gloop which has rendered Earth a barren wasteland two hundred years in the future, but all that seems like watery dressing on what is otherwise a fulfilling gaming salad. As you’d expect there’s plenty of PvP opportunities too, with player characters split between Assault, Recon, Medic and Engineer all sporting the sort of skills you’d expect. Now if only Red 5 would send us an invite to the Beta so we could play the damn thing!
If the modern obsession with futuristic sci-fi or classic fantasy is getting you down, Funcom has the antidote to win you over – an MMO set in the real-world during modern times. The Secret World sees you suddenly awaken to the realities of a world steered by magic and the guiding forces of three rival societies: Dragon, Illuminati and Templars. Choosing your allegiance is just the beginning, as you bear witness to the occult breaking into subway stations, churches and other bastions of civilian life.
Funcom’s recreation of London, New York and Seoul are both grungy and violent, yet they have a reverence to them which many MMO locales lack. It’s this grounding in modern life which makes The Secret World so utterly engaging, with oodles of occult fiction to properly pad everything out. The combat looks a bit tame though, brought over wholesale from Age of Conan, and visually there’s certainly better titles out there, but everything else looks so different from the MMO norm that we’re very much looking forward to seeing how it all pans out.
Our favourite genre isn’t known for being the most innovative so it’s only fitting that the studio behind Anarchy Online show the rest of the MMO-making world how exactly it’s done.
Tomorrow we reveal which two games we think we’ll be the most exciting MMO releases this year. Dont miss it!
Company of Heroes 2, Batman: Arkham Origins, Grand Theft Auto V, Watch_Dogs, Beyond: Two Souls and Night of the Rabbit previews.Download Now!