E3 2011 was quite an event. Although the Wii U and PS Vita garnered quite a bit of attention during the week, GameOgre focused more on free-to-play MMO games at E3. Here are the best games that the Ogre saw during that time.
Best New Development – The political system in TERA.
TERA by En Masse will introduce a democratic political system that will transform the social apathy of the general MMO populace into something of a popularity contest with vast results. Players will be pushed to reach for political power through working within a popular vote system that enables them to take office within various provinces.
En Masse intends to supply an entirely player-driven political system.
The office that all players will be shooting for is that of Vanarch, otherwise the benevolent (or malevolent) tyrant of a particular province with considerable powers. The Vanarch will be able to raise or lower taxes, open specialty shops, enable or disable province-wide PvP, and last—but certainly not least—they will be able to imprison player characters.
Best New Game – TERA for offering more depth and freedom than any other MMO in years.
Aside from adding politics to the mix, En Masse wants to shake the foundations of MMO gaming with a multitude of other changes that they outlined on the E3 floor. They’re portraying a wide array of player classes (by equipment and skill), shop systems, glyphs, and other technologies yet-well-implemented in other games.
Much of the combat will be highly skill based moreso than other games as game play will involve a lot of interaction from the player. Numerous accolades have been placed at En Masse’s feet for creating a combat system that is described as fast, fluid, and fun. With a lot of emphasis placed on team play and attending to teammates.
A compelling and well entrenched history of world has also been built into the game that players will experience as they build their careers and lives in game.
Best MMO – World of Tanks for being the undisputed leader in a new niche.
When it comes down to authentic WWII tank simulation, World of Tanks is the go-to MMO and deserves its well earned laurels for creating a fresh, inspiring experience. With the upcoming addition of a world at war, RISK-like interface and the ability for guild-nations to roll armor and steel across the landscape, they have opened up an entirely new approach to entirely-squad-based PvP that will provide a strong foundation for an expanded game.
Nations will rise, guilds will fall, and when the dust settles tank treads will rattle across the crushed remains of houses and lead the best commanders and squads to victory.
Best Free MMO – Rusty Hearts for mixing Diablo and console action into a fun package.
Building on a foundation laid by the powerhouse Blizzard and their Diablo title, Perfect World Entertainment is looking to make a dungeon-crawler game with a unique instancing system one of this year’s best free-to-play MMO experiences. Taking a semi-side-scrolling tact alongside a 3/4ths view and an arcade action spin, players will be jumping into the game with blade and spells. It’s probably best described as a “corridor scroller” as regions are always running along the same axis, with the camera sitting in the same position (not floating behind the character.)
Also, it has a strong animé bent, although I’m somewhat reminded of the newest Castlevania games as well when I watch the dazzling action, spray of numbers, and particle effects splashing across the screen.
Best Online RPG – Torchlight 2 for being better in every way than the original.
Torchlight felt a little bit disappointing where it lacked any sort of connectivity and felt a lot more like a tech demo and less like a video game. So, now that Torchlight 2 has thrust into the scene, it’s taking up the slack that it’s older sibling failed to do so and delivering in spaces.
With the addition of co-op play, better shiner graUFphics, even more armor and weapons, and bigger and badder foes. It certainly looks a bit more cartoonish from the get-go than Torchlight, but having a larger world to explore and a campaign will give it flavor that its processor lacked.
Best RPG – Deus Ex: Human Revolution
The original Deux Ex is still lauded as one of the best RPG-shooters ever made, as a result the new Deus Ex has some thick boots to fill with its bionic legs. As with the first, augmentations still come into play (although they’re mostly mechanical and not nanotech) and there’s probably going to be a great deal of RPG elements and stealth game play to be had.
Due to the nature of the game, they’ve also decided to give players a heads-up on what items in the environment they can interact with by highlighting them (unlike previous games where objects kept their metaphorical lips zipped.) It will play as primarily a first-person game, but use 3rd person for contextual viewpoint mapping—for example when leaping or clambering to overcome common issues with first-person viewpoint in video games.
Best Shooter – Blacklight: Retribution
We have quite a line up coming from Perfect World Entertainment and Blacklight: Retribution adds shooter MMOs to their already powerful stable. With a vast component and customization system, players will be able to modify the look and feel of their weapons, player, and even the hardsuits they can call down from the sky.
There is certainly no dearth of shooter MMOs—I’m looking at you CrimeCraft—so Blacklight: Retribution will have to hit the ground running and make its boots in the hard fought area of game mayhem when it arrives on the scene.
Best Browser Game – UFO Online for bringing XCom to the online genre.
XCom is still the stuff of tactical nightmares when it comes to people who have had the strange fortune of playing through their franchise of games. So the emergence of UFO Online may hold a particular warmness in the hearts of their fans—either that or they’re preparing to rake their own eyes out again and again (XCom is well known for its tremendous difficulty, absurd learning curve, and general unfairness.)
Yes. It’s a tactical MMO. Yes, it’s beautiful 3D, dazzling right through your browser. The scenes are excellently primed and it’s a well developed game (from the looks we’ve seen) so it’s got a lot going for it right out of the gate.
Just remember to watch your back.
Humanity is depending on you.
Best Game Lineup – Perfect World Entertainment with Rusty Hearts, Blacklight, and RaiderZ.
Perfect World Entertainment is gearing up for war.
A war on the MMO marketplace that will probably take their usual audience by storm. Rusty Hearts will take the hearts of anyone into animé with a hankering for Castlevania: Symphony of the Night-styled gameplay or who want something a little more arcade vs. the hack-and-slash of the staid fantasy. The players who prefer to gun-and-run will be jumping into Blacklight—if for no other reason than to pilot their very own mech on a battlefield filled with fleshy opponents. And finally, the monster-hunting and world-career exercise of RaiderZ will call out those who prefer teamwork and raiding to whittle their night down with sweat and blood.
Hats off to Perfect World Entertainment: 2011 will see them flying high in the MMO market into the wild blue yonder of 2012.
Best Demo – TERA for having a demo of a raid killing a massive dragon.
I need say no more.