F2P: Ones 2 Watch (Part Five)

Today’s group of games in our One 2 Watch are a varied bunch. We start things off with a look at the very promising racer Auto Club Revolution, before changing gears to get some insight on Salem, an MMO set during the days of the early American colonies. Finally we change things up yet again to look at distinctly cyber-punk looking MMO, Otherland.

Developed by UK-based studio, Eutechnyx, this year Auto Club Revolution will deliver a AAA racing experience akin to Forza and Gran Turismo… for free. Featuring hundreds of licensed vehicles, the team will be feeding players a constant stream of updates reflecting the real-world motor industry.

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As a primarily online title, you’d expect the focus to be entirely on competitive multiplayer races, though ACR will also feature single player challenges and an extensive gallery of customisation options for the growing stable of cars available. Needless to say, the game looks drop dead gorgeous with backdrops and race tracks as well-designed as the rides themselves.

Even more ambitious is the community aspect promoted by Eutechnyx. Auto Club Revolution will be accompanied by a social network in which players can converse, joins clubs and review stats before hopping into the game client. It may be the innovation that puts ACR in poll position, though being a fairly technically-demanding PC exclusive may have its drawbacks. We’ll have to see.

Now here’s an odd one. Developed by Sea Tribe and published by Paradox Interactive, Salem is set in New England during the colonial era, players taking on the roles of explorers from the Old World, looking to build settlements and repel the dangers that await them in the surrounding wilderness.

As civilization continues to develop, player will gradually expand their influence and wealth. However, unlike in most MMOs, your accumulated prestige can easily be torn from beneath your feet, Salem featuring a crude permadeath mechanic.

A number of the game’s other features have yet to be explored in much detail, though this is set to change as the game approaches it first closed beta phase due later this month. Visually, Salem looks a tad underwhelming to say the least, but if Sea Tribe manages to deliver on its promising concepts, it could prove to be a real game changer.

Based on the acclaimed sci-fi novels of American author Tad Williams, RealU’s Otherland is shaping up to be one of the most dynamic and visually ground-breaking MMOs of the year. Set within the same universe as the books, Otherland presents a unique vision of the future in which virtual reality tech infiltrates everyday life.

Humans are immersed in an ever-changing world in which they can do what they want and be whoever they want to be. These two underpinning principles of Otherland’s lore means that environments are a mosaic of fantasy, contemporary, and sci-fi, with players able to adjust their characters on the fly. Unlike other MMOs, these changes aren’t limited to equipment; in Otherland you can switch gender, physical appearance, professions, and even class, as long as you find the right vendor.

Gameplay is completely action-oriented, Otherland’s two current classes, Rage (melee) and Gunner (mid/long range) presenting two distinct methods of play. Activities such as crafting and player vs. player have yet to be explained at length, though we do know that Otherland will host a variety of playable mini-game.

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2 Comments

  1. Really enjoying ACR at the moment. There’s still a few issues, like the game crashing every so often when loading a race, but as it’s still in beta that’s to be expected.
    I hope they add another track or two soon.

  2. I’ve yet to install ACR or whatever the way it works, should be good as its from the Ferrari and Supercar Challenge games whicj where both solid racers.

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