Way back in 2006, NCSoft launched one of the most unique MMO games I had ever seen. It wasn’t based in the fantasy world of orcs and elves, nor was it based in space like EVE Online. This game was set in a more “Mad Max” type theme of mutants, cyborgs, and deathcars. It was quite a game, and one that I personally found to be quite fun. Unfortunately, last summer the game was cancelled due to having too low suscriber numbers to support it. It was a sad day for those who loved it, and it was a sad day for NetDevil, the developing company behind the game. So why did the game fail to achieve any sort of mass appeal?
Well, to be honest, I am not quite sure what was wrong with the game. The graphics were fairly capable (not the best but not the worst) and the gameplay was fast and furious. This was not a WoW-clone where you sat and waiting for your attacks to get carried out. In Auto Assault you were constantly driving around and planning your attacks and skills. If anything, the game was almost too fast.
In addition to the fast combat, the game utilized the Havok engine for most of it’s physics processing. This means that a lot of the world was fully destructible. While cruising down the highways you could smash through any number of small buildings which would shatter brilliantly into a dozen or more pieces. It was quite fun just roaming around. . .
In the end, the mass of MMO players just did not seem ready for an MMO like Auto Assault. It was completely off from the norm and back in 2006, nobody was really pining for change in the industry. Today, the landscape for MMOs is much different as many gamers are calling for new games with fresh ideas. Had Auto Assault been developed for today’s market with today’s technology it may have survived and actually become successful. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and because it failed back then chances are we won’t ever see another game of it’s type. A sad, sad truth. . .