Gamescom. The beating heart of Cologne, Germany from August 17th – 21st, 2011. More than 100,000 people attended this year, all of them swarming the massive halls in search of whatever secrets the surrounding booths may hold.
We went to Gamescom in search of the elusive Free to Play MMORPG, and though we saw many, only few made our:
Top 5 Free to Play MMOs and MMORPGs at Gamescom 2011
Vindictus: Extreme Edition
Originally released in North America as a standard MMORPG, Vindictus has recently received a glamorous second coat of paint. Known now as Extreme Edition, the European release of Vindictus has received a fast-paced, action-packed dose of healthy inspiration, and the results speak for themselves.
The general gameplay is simple: you begin playing in a ‘lobby’ area designed to help you find other players, and upon successfully finding a group, you’re transported to a dungeon of your choice where you’ll use one of 5 classes to wreck unlimited action-packed havoc on hundreds of great looking foes. To do this you’ll use a number of different weapons, and the environments are fully destructible, so breaking down a pillar and then throwing at your enemies is just the beginning.
Age of Wulin
Gpotato have been hiding this little gem away for a while now, but the cat most definitely out of the bag. Enter Age of Wulin: the first Eastern MMORPG in existence to offer gameplay innovation that could rival the mighty World of Warcraft.
This one has more new features than I can remember, but the highlights were unforgettable: running along walls, across water and up the side of buildings was a nice start, watching the characters perform perfect martial arts moves during combat was another, and we were keenly interested in the ‘your character becomes an NPC when you log off’ element”¦ but that a story for another day.
Is this one free? I forget. I definitely hope it free; it looks incredible. The basic idea is that it a third-person shooter placed within an open-world MMORPG, but while PvE gameplay does take place within the open-world environment, PvP is arena style room-based.
Utilising some impressive cel-shaded visuals, Firefall offers smooth, fast-paced shooter gameplay with level progression and real world exploration, and I’ve been assured that latency isn’t an issue. So far, we’ve only had a chance to try out the PvP gameplay, which, without the chance to upgrade and customise our weapons felt mostly like your average third-person shooter, but from what we’ve heard this one going to be a lot of fun.
Come to think of it, I’m not sure if this one will be Free to Play either. Let just assume that it will be eventually, and go with that. Wildstar is the latest brain-child online game from NCSoft. Developed by Carbine Studios, Wildstar is a Sci-Fi MMORPG with a cartoonish art style that looks to be bringing a number of new features to the table.
While there no official release date as yet, we did have the chance to play around for a few minutes and learn a little about some of the features to come. One that caught my eye was the challenge system, which activates additional challenges upon the completing of a quest, such as completing it again within the allotted time frame. The class creation system also looked to be something unique, though we’ll need to wait another few months before we can talk about it.
Allods Online (Expansion)
Allods may not be the latest in F2P MMORPG gaming, but it certainly one of the greatest. There really no denying it: at present, Allods is about as good as it gets, and with the implantation of some of the features we saw at Gamescom, we’ve been getting really excited again.
The most obvious updates are those made to the user interface, such as the chat and guild windows. Though there were plenty more than that. Most interestingly was the new upgradeable player housing system, which builds on the old ‘flying ship house system’ by allowing you to change just about every part of your ship to make it feel like home.