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Survey of the 2013 Gaming Post-Apocalypse

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MMOs

The Elder Scrolls Online concept artThe Elder Scrolls Online – ZeniMax Online Studios (OS X, Windows)
Game site
Early 2013

What is it?
In a surprising move, Bethesda is taking the Elder Scrolls online and into the distant past of its world a thousand years before the events of Skyrim. In that pivotal era, Tiber Septim had yet to build his empire but the people of Tamriel were already at each others’ throats, vying for supremacy. It’s a great setting for an MMO, but the jury’s still out on whether the MMO take on the the Elder Scrolls will have enough to differentiate itself from the competition.

Darkfall Unholy WarsDarkfall: Unholy Wars – Aventurine (Windows)
Game site
Q1 2013

What is it?
The brutal, fantasy-based MMO pitting players against each other is getting a full sequel featuring even larger land battles and even those on the seas. This time, player clans will be waging massive battles defending or crushing empires, cities, and each other no matter where they might be shaping the way the world will be like.

DefianceDefiance – Trion Worlds (PS3, Windows, Xbox 360)
Game site
Q2 2013

What is it?
Trion Worlds is working with SyFy on this sci-fi, third-person shooter MMO based on the upcoming television series. The setting is an Earth ravaged by terrforming technology gone wrong after aliens had tried to conquer it in desperation to find a new home. Now aliens and humans have to put down their differences to work together to try and rebuild what is left. And in between them all are the opportunists who are always looking to fatten their pockets in the process.

Dust 514Dust 514 – CCP Games (PS3, Vita)
Game site
TBA 2013

What is it?
Cramming even more acronyms into one sentence, this UE3 powered MMOFPS complementing the PC-only MMO, EVE Online, is expected to debut in 2013 nearly a year after its expected release in 2012. It’s still in beta testing right now with players from around the world getting invites into an FPS ambitiously tying together both PCs and consoles into the same world. Players will get to muddle around in their own ground-based economy, improve their class-based characters, and call down orbital strikes from their EVE friends in high orbit to win the day.

FF14 RebornFinal Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn – Square Enix (PS3, Windows)
Game site
TBA 2013

What is it?
In something of an unprecedented step for any developer, Square Enix’s MMORPG, FF14, is coming back in a “do-over” after heavy criticism over its faults following its initial debut in 2010. The game literally went out in a CG cutscene in which Square Enix all but obliterated it. It’s hoped to re-appear with an ambitious number of improvements from its engine to the mechanics in what seems to be a re-invention of the game in time for its dual release in 2013 on the PS3 and PCs. Not every game gets a second chance at life, especially among MMOs. The bigger question is whether it be enough for the fans?

NeverwinterNeverwinter – Cryptic Studios (Windows)
Game site
TBA 2013

What is it?
Neverwinter is something of a legend outside of its TSR roots – first as an MMO on AOL as well as the first one to feature graphics and then as a CRPG series handled first by BioWare and then by Obsidian. Now, Cryptic Studios (City of Heroes) will be bringing players into the 4th Edition adaptation of the D&D ruleset to the city which will focus more on story than combat, allow players to make their own content, and coincide with a return to the popular Forgotten Realms setting.

PSO 2PSO 2 – Sega (Windows)
Game site
Early 2013

What is it?The sequel for Phantasy Star Online will be a free-to-play, MMORPG replete with combos, counters, and weapon-based skills layered over with sci-fi and fantasy-inspired visuals. Races include Human, Newman, and robotic CAST all of which have customizable looks and their own strengths and weaknesses. Microtransactions using real-world cash will also allow players to buy cosmetic looks for their personal rooms, extra storage space, or a few other goodies that Sega hopes avoid the idea that anyone has to pay-to-win to achieve anything in the game.

Shadowrun Online

Shadowrun Online – Cliffhanger Productions (Android, iOS, Linux, OS X, Ouya, Windows)
Game site
May, 2013

What is it?
It’s the online version of Shadowrun teaming up ‘runners from around the world in a persistent campaign that will actually shape how the Shadowrun universe will go forward. It’s also another successful Kickstarter. Unlike Shadowrun Returns which takes place in the 2050s, this one is set in the 2070s but will also share bits and pieces of history from what is being done in Returns to create a persistent feel between the two titles. Players will have a choice between a free-to-play title (with microtransactions for premium items) or a purchased version with everything available at the start using in-game currency instead.

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