This month’s Computer Gaming World has features on two upcoming space opera MMORPGs – the much-discussed Star Wars Galaxies and the so-under-the-radar-we’re-not-sure-it-even-has-a-website Earth and Beyond from Westwood. Earth and Beyond gets more of a writeup, with some sweet looking screenshots/3D renders/whatever (writing for this website makes me cynical for some odd reason) and a bit on actual gameplay (level-based, combat isn’t the standard steer-joystick shoot-baddies, players can be journalists in game and their rant sites – er – in-game fiction appears in the game itself). The article even has a link to where you can sign up for the EAB beta (described on the site in wonderfully generic fashion as a “science fiction themed massively multiplayer online persistent state world” thus catching literally every industry buzzword possible). No word on whether or not you can play a stormtrooper.
Speaking of the evil Empire, SWG also gets a bit of a mention (no screenshots, unsurprisingly) with the following quote of interest to most, I suspect:
How will they handle player-killing? Simple. Players won’t be able to “die.”
Well, that certainly solves a lot of nagging design issues. Hey, it worked in Planescape:Torment, right? The article goes on to describe SWG as a skill-based game where players can eschew combat entirely and run a player-run tavern in Moonglow. Whoops, sorry, meant to say Corellia.
All of these games coming soon to an increasingly overloaded software shelf near you.