MMORPG-FPS: The MMO-hybrid

Posted by on June 10, 2008 - 23 Comments »

In continuing with my recent article on the evolution and revolution of MMOs and their lack of truly bringing anything 2.0-like to the industry, the advent of an MMO hybrid often comes to mind. The genre today has many MMORPGs and a few MMOFPSs, but we really have no MMORPG-FPS games out there, a hybrid of the two types of MMOs. Seeing as how enormously successful single player FPS games are (Halo, Call of Duty 4, etc.) and how the MMORPG market is pretty much dominated by the World of Warcraft, it only seems to make sense that a developer would want to capitalize on the most popular genre and turn it into a massively multiplayer RPG event. Allow me to explain a bit.

Today, at this very moment, if you had a strong desire to play an MMOFPS you’d have a couple options. While they are a bit old and sometimes a little slow, they are definitely there and waiting for you to get involved. I am, of course, talking about Planetside and World War II Online. The problem with these games, however, is that they offer little objectives other than killing your enemy. For example, in Planetside the game has devolved into nothing more than a giant push and pull match against the other two faction between the different worlds. While that can be a lot of fun, after a while the whole experience starts to feel a bit shallow as without any real goals you really start to question the whole point of it all. In a game like World of Warcraft, on the other hand, you had an active world with quests, monsters, damsels in distress, and other such things that truly make the world come alive. Unfortunately, the whole combat system is also a bit of a drag in a game like World of Warcraft where everything boils down to pushing a series of numbered buttons. Both offer something unique, but an overall lack in complete gameplay.

So where does that leave us? Well, unfortunately, not to far from where we started. There has been a couple of games that havfe attempted something similar to this but they have both ended in failure and closure. Face of Mankind attempted to do exactly what I was talking about, but lacked the initial polish and big budget to really make a headway in this arena. No matter how unique your game is, if you don’t start off wih a good base you simply can’t survive in this industry. Likewise, Auto Assault, attempted to breed fast action and RPG elements but again failed to garner a large enough audience to sustain it’s own costs. After all is said and done, we have very little to look forward to in terms of combining these two genres as it seems that even the MMOFPS genre may die a slow death. Maybe the rumoured Call of Duty MMO will make headway? I guess we’ll have to take a wait and see approach. Until then I’ll see you guys in Planetside.