It doesn't exactly take a world-class detective to notice the high number of MMORPGs that are either available, or currently waiting to hit retail shelves. The genre seems to be picking up steam, so, naturally, more developers want a piece of the action. However, by adding some unique features and gameplay twists, Avaria looks to make a mark on the MMORPG world with its upcoming PC title Endless Ages.
Endless Ages takes place in a world called Lia, which represents an afterlife of sorts. In this world, certain imperfections are removed from the body, meaning the dimwitted gain some wisdom and the weak become strong. Other self-improvements will have to be made manually, as the main objective of the game seems to be self perfection. Before entering Lia, players must first choose which class they would like their characters to be, then edit the appearance to fit their liking. The four options are Bloblic, Amphibian, Human Female, and Human Male. Human males are the most well-rounded of the four classes, and boast respectable stats across the board. They feature some above-average attack power (which may seem silly since everyone is firing guns) and a talent for making new, customized weapons; so it's safe to assume that almost every party will have a few of these guys around. The female humans are significantly faster and more agile than their male counterparts, and wield the best magic ability of any class in the game. However, their marginally inferior attack power hinders their overall battlefield presence. The Blobics are making an encore appearance in this game, as they first arrived on the scene in a game called Evil Core. These boulder-esque monsters have high defense, but are somewhat slow. The Amphibians suffer from a slight size disadvantage, but make up for that with their powers of mind control and shape-shifting.
During the game, players will take on quests given to them by non-player characters. Most of these missions will feature the basic goal of finding and defeating a certain enemy. No system of experience points will be present in the game. Instead, abilities will gain power their relative parameters will increase as they are used, meaning the more one uses magic attacks, the faster that player's magic stat will grow. To help give an initial boost to this process, players are given the option to enter a tutorial zone, which, as the name would suggest, teaches the basic rules, controls, and strategies necessary for survival. The tutorial zone also allows some training in the form of practice combat against weak enemies. This beginner's area is only accessible when flying solo, meaning other party members can not follow one another into the tutorial zone. When finished learning the ropes, players can use the tutorial zone's teleport station to warp to the native home of their faction. Once there, gamers can hunt wildlife to gain the credits necessary to purchase items.
Upon reaching a high enough level, characters can use the designated housing areas to build their own custom-made houses. These personalized structures can eventually function as a party's base and/or a specialty shop. Another unique feature is the variety of vehicular travel options available. The game's participants can select from jetpacks, hover bikes, submarines, or tamed beasts. Such methods of transportation are recommended, as Lia's terrain is said to be quite harsh. While traversing that the aforementioned terrain, players will participate in first-person shooter based combat which is mixed with RPG elements to create a battle system that is uncommon now, but will likely gain popularity in the future.
In an interesting twist, all text that naturally appears in an MMORPG will come up in only one window. This means that messages from party members, player status changes, connection information, damage reports, ammo alerts, and all other text pertaining to the game will be popping up in the same box as if it were a chat room window. One can only hope that Avaria can successfully pull off such a thing, as it certainly sounds like it may hinder the game.
Summitsoft is currently targeting June 2nd as a ship date for this first-person shooter/MMORPG, which will carry a price of $39.95. Although the full version of Endless Ages is currently downloadable in a 260MB package for a free five-day trial, one must purchase the game in order to play beyond that point. New subscribers get 30 days of free gameplay, and then must pay a monthly fee of $9.95 if they wish to continue.