Now that we know ArcheAge is in fact heading West at some point, I no longer feel bad about discussing the game at every opportunity. Prior to E3, any mention of XL's sandbox and its ginormous feature list felt a little like twisting the knife, you know?
Happily, though, that's no longer the case, and I've spent the last couple of days gorging myself on some of the best ArcheAge footage the web has to offer. Some of these clips you may have seen already; some may be new to you. All are worth a(nother) look, though, if only to see just how much gameplay is coming your way courtesy of the genre's most exciting new sandbox.
I'm going to go all fanboy on this first one, so pardon me for a moment. Can you blame me, though? There are entire pirate-themed MMOs that struggle to match the sheer concentrated awesome in this three-minute clip that takes place largely on the deck of a sailing ship. Well, technically, there are two sailing ships; a broadside cannon battle between them starts things off. This is followed by a PvP skirmish on the decks with swords, magic, and a hang-glider (yes, really: Check it out at 2:03).
The footage was captured during ArcheAge's fourth Korean closed beta test, so as good as it looks here, chances are it will be even more polished by the time it makes its way to Europe and America.
Plenty of games have gone underwater prior to ArcheAge. Guild Wars 2 fans got hot and bothered when ArenaNet announced underwater combat, and other titles, like both entries in the EverQuestfranchise, have zoned players in and out of the watery depths.
ArcheAge takes it to another level, though. For one thing, these aren't zones but rather an extension of the game's sprawling open world. In addition to the exploration potential, there's plenty of proper gameplay to be had as well, including boss fights, fishing and gathering, and the "extraction, preparation, and delivery of seafood." Oh, and all of this is accomplished with slick-looking retro dive and scuba gear.
While we're on the subject of ocean-going boss monsters, let's recall that ArcheAge's kraken starred in several impressive fan-made beta videos. Steparu.com posted a trio of clips, the best of which was the eight-minute monstrosity you see above. Check it out to see what happens when a gaggle of player-controlled ships decides to challenge the terror of ArcheAge's high seas.
XL released a teaser trailer prior to the start of the game's fourth closed beta phase. Though short (and short on combat footage), it's worth a look for the in-game production values and the nifty narrative that shows an ocean-going invasion force and the siege-bound troops that disembark once the flotilla reaches the coast.
So ArcheAge has a huge, mostly seamless game world. If you played in either CBT3 or CBT4, you know this first-hand. Luckily, there are plenty of mounts and public transportation to help you travel the game's vast distances. As we learned in CBT3, you get a horse very early on, but that's just the beginning when it comes to spiffy fantasy rides.
Tencent Games (XL's publishing partner in the Chinese market) released this transportation-focused clip in the fall of 2011. It shows off hang-gliders, an airship, automated steampunk carriages, and of course, plenty of player ships.
Thus far we've focused quite a bit on sandbox bells, whistles, and ancillary gameplay. XL has showed off the game's combat system on a number of occasions, though. One of the most noteworthy official XL combat videos surfaced in May of 2011. It featured an early look at the game's take on traditional MMO archetypes as well as some of the niftier spell and animation effects.
One of the latest fan-produced videos, again composed of beta footage (this time from CBT4) offers an even deeper look at ArcheAge's combat. The clip (embedded above) runs for a solid two-and-a-half minutes and features both boss-fight PvE as well as some PvP action.
As I said in the intro, a lot of this stuff may be old hat if you've been following ArcheAge since Massively introduced it to western gamers way back in 2010. If you're new to the fan club, though, these clips are but a few of hundreds to be found around the web. Have a look back through our ArcheAgenews post category for more sandbox goodness, and feel free to post in the comments any clips that we've missed.
Every two weeks, Jef Reahard and MJ Guthrie take a break from their themepark day jobs to delve into the world of sandboxes and player-generated content. Comments, suggestions, and coverage ideas are welcome, and Some Assembly Required is always looking for players who'd like to show off their MMO creativity. Contact us!