Have you ever wished you could live inside the Internet, in a virtual world where anything is possible? I know I have, and I imagine those who have read the Otherland novels by Tad Williams have been dreaming of the day they could shed their mortal shell and join the ranks of the cyber-elite for a long time now.
Gamigo are looking to help make that happen with their upcoming Sci-Fi / Fantasy MMORPG, Otherland, that aims to recreate the world of Tad Williams like never before. Otherland Online, scheduled for release in Q4 2012, has officially been announced as a Free to Play MMORPG that boasts an active storyline, limitless character customisation and a plethora of awesome, and often innovative, game features. We sat down with Gamigo at E3 yesterday to take a closer look at what’s in store.
Though we weren’t able to get any hands-on time with Otherland, we did get a chance to look at some gameplay, beginning in a large virtual sci-fi city adorned with massive in-game advertisements, pubs, clubs and shops of every flavour.
We were told that these stores were the heart of the city, with some offering peerless character customization ranging from simple hair and clothing styles, and others that offered the ability change from human to alien, and beyond. Other stores offered class modifications, of which 4 variants were available; the Assassin, Engineer, Gunner and Rage, which focus on Speed, Range, Long Range and Strength respectively.
Then there were the various pubs, clubs and music venues, that aside from featuring some fantastic sound implementations, offer player buffs to those that choose to hang out with friends and explore the city. Finally, we heard (but didn’t have a chance to see) of the Hacker Zone – a place for those living underground to find solace, offering services to the tune of the Black Market and underground PvP.
Off in the distance we were shown a collection of tall apartment buildings – appropriately named ‘U-Space’, these apartments serve as player housing, and interestingly enough, are, like most things in Otherland, subject to hackers. Should a hacker locate your virtual IP, they have the potential to enter you U-Space and mess the place up. Or something to that effect. Details were a little hazy, but it certainly seems like a feature worth getting excited about.
From there, we moved into the first virtual world: Eight Squared – a giant map with a chessboard theme and a fantasy setting. Rolling plains, green trees and cyber-infused graphics were overshadowed only by the giant, floating chess pieces in the sky, which we’re told will serve as individual player dungeons come release. Though enormous in scale and scope, we were told that Eight Squared was one of many, many worlds in Otherland, and quickly whisked off to our final destination of the tour: Clan Land.
Appropriately named, Clan Land is a world of many worlds, each owned by different clans and stylized much like characters – in that each of these worlds are fully customisable, and should maintain a different look and feel from all others. The sky was again adorned with other objects, though this time in place of giant chess pieces, bubbles floated free. These are other Clan Lands, and should be considered dangerous. It’s been said that other clans, with enough time and skill, will be able to locate your individual clan IP, and in doing so, open the hacking system and enter your world.
Also of note in Clan Land was the monster DNA system. In a nutshell – killing enemy monsters can sometimes yield DNA, which can be used to recreate those monsters in Clan Land which serve as defences for your world from attacking players. Oh, and there was mention of clan activities, too, though no specific detail was announced.
What we’ve seen of Otherland is very impressive. There seems to be some room for graphical improvements, with most textures looking a little dated and character models and animations resembling games from a few years back, but the overwhelming level of depth and complexity – alongside the air of mystery that surrounds the world itself – looks to be giving Otherland a place in our top 10 MMOs to look forward to in 2012.
Stay tuned for more Otherland coverage right here on MMOGames.com.