So, I thought I’d take the opportunity of an MMO supposedly designed for a console rather than the PC to try and get back into Massively Multiplayer gaming, with any luck avoiding falling into the dark, hellish addiction that goes hand in hand with the genre, as though it was a pit-bull on a chain.
Well, straight off the bat, I can guarantee that you won’t get addicted to game. It simply seems to be another contestant in the coliseum, in which World of Warcraft is playing the part Russell Crowe, to be mauled and spat out and then forgotten in a matter of months.
Well, played it for a few weeks, on and off anyway, and at the start I was relatively excited about the game. The first day I played it, I met up with a friend of mine and we just explored as far as we could. Visiting small towns in the middle of nowhere, valleys filled with enemies we shouldn’t have met yet and, the best part of the day for me, arriving at San Quentin prison whilst I had Johnny Cash playing. It was as though it was meant to be. The landscape was all mountainous hills, and burnt-out canyons, wastelands and ruined building seemingly filled sudden attacks by 99’ers (some kind of cyborg army, we thought, we had no idea what most things were at the time), driving through Hellbug Infestations, gunfight with outlaws at abandoned university grounds and factory complexes. After we searched as far as we could, we finally arrived at the Golden Gate Bridge, upon which sat the end of our free-roaming journey. It all went downhill from there.
It took a few hours more, of playing the actual campaign missions before I lost my sense of wonder. The missions became repetitive, as they so often do in MMO’s; go here, kill a certain amount of these, go here, kill these, activate this console, go her, kill these, activate both these consoles and then kill these. There was little, to no, variation in the missions. In fact, I still spent more time driving to these places than actually engaging with the mission, just because there was always this mountain, or that hill, that I just couldn’t drive up!
Where the game actually shone, especially early on, was in the Arkfalls. These were huge co-op instances, where players from all over the gaming world would come together to fight a huge enemy, or survive against hordes of attacking creatures. The sheer amount of people I would see on screen would almost take my breath away, especially when every one of them would be firing at the same flying creature. Until you realise half of them weren’t actually shooting, they are just standing around so they can harvest XP for when the instance finished.
Along with the repetitive gameplay, and the swiftly annoying map design, it was the people whom I shared the online experience with that swiftly became annoying. Not those I played with closely, myself and two of my friends forming Clan Nice Dynamite (Rooster Teeth reference anybody?), and consistently playing together, but the general populace of people online took its toll on the online aspect of the game… Which was all of it.
Combined with the several Gigabytes of downloads required just to play the game and the swiftly stale gameplay, I soon lost interest in the title, only keeping it long enough to finish the main campaign narrative, before moving on. The game had its up-sides, but they were more reliant on having fun with people I enjoy playing games with, rather than the game itself.
It was an admirable attempt to bring a genre which, though massive on the PC, in fact, the clue is in the genre’s title (hahaha, comedy), has never really taken hold on the console, but I feel it was doomed from the start. By all means, give the game a try, but make sure you have some fun people to play with; otherwise I would doubt you’d find the game worth playing for any length of time.