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Looking to MMORPG Games World in 2012

27. December, 2011Tags: MMO Blog

MMO games in 2012

The Christmas celebrations are over, gone is the need to feel festive and merry. Now we can start complaining about the cost (remember this simple health tip: sit down before opening your next credit card statement) and the quality of the TV over the festive period. Of course, we have one more hurdle to get over before everything returns to normal and all those annoying 14 year olds stop hanging around in public places, spitting on things and apparently chewing on one another's faces. Just one more week until the madness can stop, just one more thing we need to get out of the way.



New Years is coming thick and fast and, being the sort of person that I am, to me it doesn't mean wild parties, a meaningless night and dancing semi-naked in the streets – I never get invited to those sort of parties anymore, I unbuttoned the top button of my shirt and the police were called. No, for me and for many people interested in gaming, New Years signals the beginning of a new set of releases. Suddenly all those games with trailers that say “Coming 2012” don't seem a million miles away, we just have to hope that the end of the world waits until after the release of Black Ops 2.

MMO games in 2012

And, although this article will primarily be about MMOs in 2012, there are a lot of great offline games on the way as well; Tomb Raider, Hitman, Resident Evil: Operation Racoon City, Mass Effect 3, Twisted Metal, Street Fighter X Tekken, Half-Life 3 (if the many rumours are to be believed) and, if you're in Europe, the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection. There are many, many more things to look forward to as well, the western release of the PlayStation Vita is going to be a pretty big deal, and I'm sure I could fill this article with titles alone; I won't, but I could.

Instead I thought we'd take a look forward at some of the MMOs we'll be playing over the next 12 months, a few honourable online mentions that will take our time and, most likely, our money in 2012.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Rumoured to be at least $80 million to make, Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of those games that will likely be worth the expense. The gimmick of having voices for every character might be wearing thin (I've heard a lot of complaints from people who just want to get to the missions) but underneath that there's enough to entertain and hold the attention of the masses.

Released late this year, a couple of days before Christmas, it'll be interesting to see how things develop in 2012 and to see if the converted World of Warcraft player will slowly start heading back to their own love. But it's not just the game's success or failure that it'll be interesting to watch, the important thing is the gameplay and how Bioware will handle the evolution of the game.

Completely off the top of my head, I'd say The Old Republic will definitly hold the attention of many of the people playing. Galaxies may have had its ups and downs, but Bioware have gone straight for WoW's jugular, creating a game that is both smooth AND Star Wars themed. I won't say that it'll cover development costs this year, but I don't see it being the huge failure that EA Louse asserted that it would be.

However, I don' think it'll all be rosy and people who have been saying it cost too much money to make will probably be proven right. The voice work that has become the centrepiece of the game will prove to be little more than an annoyance and the gameplay won't be different enough from the crowd that The Old Republic will stick out all that much. Despite that, expect the first DLC/add-on pack to be announced over the next twelve months.

Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV didn't receive very much positive press when it came out in 2010, it was such a mess that the entire development team was fired and the game has spent much of the last twelve months almost entirely free-to-play. This is changing in January, Square Enix now feel that their game is good enough to be worth a subscription fee in preparation for the big 2.0 update in the last months of 2012. 250 people split into two teams have been working all year round to get the failed MMO into something that feels like it's worth playing.

This will not only be a completely reimagined game for PC users, but PS3 users will be getting their version of the game this year as well. Expect disappointment after two years of “honestly, the 2.0 update will fix everything,” but not nearly on the scale of when the original game came out. However, with a real lack of quality MMOs on the PS3, expect this to be a star in the Novermber-December release list.

Dust 514

This is a game I'm really looking forward to and it's something I'm not hearing very much about in the media. An MMOFPS for PS3 that links with Eve Online and allows 64 players to battle it out for territory and glory, Dust 514 might be almost as exciting a prospect as MAG. Like MAG, however, we shall have to wait and see exactly how the game turns out before getting overly excited about it, what sounds fantastic might turn out to be underwhelming and that is where Dust 514's appeal will prove itself or die.

To be released in the early part of 2012, expect people to not really go for it in the way they go for most major shooters. Don't get me wrong, I think it'll be a sleeper hit, but with wallets only just recovering from the jam-packed months at the end of 2011, it's difficult to think that an original game at the beginning of the year will do anything but slowly fade off people's radars.

Guild Wars 2

If there is an MMO that will really shine in 2012, it's Guild Wars 2. It hasn't received the hype of say Star Wars: The Old Republic, but it has simmered quite nicely and the people who know and love MMOs are definitely more than aware of its existance. The first one was almost a alternative to World of Warcraft, played by people who didn't want to join the crowd and I think the second will have a similar sort of vibe. For those tired of Azaroth or The Old Republic, Guild Wars  2 will be a welcome release and looking at the features list I think it'll be a breath of fresh air to the genre as well.

Either way, this is definitely one to watch as the year goes on and, hopefully, they'll announce a solid release date sooner rather than later.

M. Growcott
© 2011

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