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MMO Burnout

MMO Burnout: Wasteland 2's early beta

New Titles, Previews, Hands-On, First Impressions, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous, MMO Burnout

The grandfather of the dynamic RPG is releasing a sequel next year, and those of us old enough to remember the original are throwing out our hips with joy. Twenty five years is a long time to wait for a rightful heir to the throne, even though we've been treated kindly with spiritual successors along the way in the form of the Fallout franchise. Still, nothing compares to the original Wasteland and how it changed the RPG genre, and Wasteland 2 has already begun to redefine gaming with one of the largest crowdfunding drives to date.

For those who pledged $55 or more to Wasteland 2 during its Kickstarter campaign, a shiny new early access beta key was waiting for them earlier this week. This Steam key allowed early-access players into this very early beta build to kick the tires a bit and see how this game works.

Read on for my impressions of Wasteland 2 from the perspective of both an original Wasteland fan and a modern gamer.

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MMO Burnout: State of Decay

Horror, Opinion, Hands-On, Consoles, Post-Apocalyptic, MMO Burnout

MMO Burnout State of Decay
With an all-star dev team steering the ship, Undead Labs' State of Decay is topping sales charts and impressing fans, but it's certainly not done yet.

The single-player zombie survival game for the Xbox 360 was created by several ArenaNet alumni (including ANet co-founder Jeff Strain) and aims to one day release an MMO version titled Class4. But in the meantime, it's breaking XBL sales records and showing us all how a decaying game premise like zombie survival can gain new life.

I grabbed the game at launch to give me an idea of what to eventually expect from Class4, but I was quite surprised at what I found. A console game with a living world? A single-player action RPG with purpose and incentive? That's just what you get when you interrupt traditional console game development with a few designers from this crazy new genre known as MMORPG.

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MMO Burnout: Yucking it up with Saints Row The Third

Real-Life, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Crime, Hands-On (Massively's), Sandbox, MMO Burnout

MMO Burnout - Saints Row The Third
So how would you feel about running around in an open-world action title smacking enemies with a giant dildo? The answer to that question will go a long way toward determining whether or not you'll dig Saints Row The Third, which is, naturally, the third installment of Volition's sordid sandbox saga.

If that question made you laugh, utter some version of "hell yeah," or type "Saints Row 3 dildo" into your Google image search box, you and SRTT will get along famously. If you shifted uncomfortably in your seat, grumbled about kids these days, or fired off a how-dare-you email in the general vicinity of the Massively tip box, well, you can probably skip the rest of this week's MMO Burnout.

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MMO Burnout: Do yourself a favor and play Sleeping Dogs

Real-Life, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Hands-On, Crime, Sandbox, MMO Burnout

MMO Burnout - Sleeping Dogs' Wei Shen
This week I thought I'd travel to Hong Kong as an undercover cop, infiltrate the Triads, enter a few street races, sing some karaoke, and generally kung fu fight my way through another jewel of an open-world sandbox actioner.

You're welcome to come with me, but you'll need a copy of Sleeping Dogs to make it happen. Square's 2012 gangster opus got a new DLC injection this week, but it'll be a while before I can report on it since the rest of game is so large and involving.

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MMO Burnout: Second time's the charm for L.A. Noire

Historical, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Crime, MMO Burnout

MMO Burnout - L.A. Noire
I don't know about you, but I really wanted to like L.A. Noire at release. I mean, come on. It was Rockstar. It was also a gigantic open playfield based on the 1947 incarnation of a real-life town that's spilling over with sordid, sultry characters all looking to make their mark on post-World War II America.

Alas, something about the title just didn't jell with me at launch. In fact, I didn't even finish the original campaign on my Xbox 360, which is rare when it comes to personal gaming habits. Equally rare is the occasion when I repurchase a game that I didn't really like on a different platform, but that's what I did thanks to yet another ridiculous Steam sale this past December.

My second tour of duty as hard-boiled detective Cole Phelps has been decidedly more enjoyable than my first, and while L.A. Noire is still a flawed video game in some respects, it makes for an engaging vacation from massively multiplayer convention while riffing on some of the genre's new-school charms.

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MMO Burnout: Skyrim's shortcut to mushrooms

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Sandbox, MMO Burnout

MMO Burnout 14
"This is Morrowind, not Skyrim," said a stern-faced Dunmer named Adril Arano as he greeted my ship at the Solstheim docks. And just like that, I felt a flood of 2002-ish nostalgia despite the fact that this is actually Skyrim. More precisely, it's Dragonborn, the new (to the PC) DLC pack that expands Bethesda's already sprawling sandbox opus beyond its Nord roots.

I'm guessing that a fair few of you have played at least a portion of the game by this point, and the rest of you are probably wondering why it's being written about on an MMO site. Well, that's not a short answer, but as I'm in the habit of looking at non-MMOs that might appeal to MMO players in this column, it would be woefully incomplete without a few deep dives into The Elder Scrolls.

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MMO Burnout: Two weeks in the valley with Multi Theft Auto

Real-Life, Galleries, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Roleplaying, Crime, Hands-On (Massively's), First Impressions, Sandbox, MMO Burnout

MMO Burnout - Multi Theft Auto
OK, you know that guy who's always going on about how bloody awesome it would be if someone ever made a working multiplayer mod for Skyrim? If you don't know him, well, you do now, because he's me. Back before I was bitten in earnest by the MMO bug, I spent quite a lot of time messing with private servers of both the Jedi Academy and Neverwinter Nights persuasions. And when I say "messing with," I don't mean I logged into them, I mean I hosted them, made mods and skins for them, and generally wasted significant portions of my youth serving as a GM.

Needless to say, it was a blast, and the thought of having that experience again in a larger game world is just short of orgasmic. Alas, no one has made much of a multiplayer Skyrim mod yet, and while private servers for NWN and Neverwinter Nights 2 are still running and serving their niche communities quite capably, those are topics for another edition of MMO Burnout.

I'd like to tell you about something similar that I've been playing lately, though. It's called Multi Theft Auto.

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MMO Burnout: A week with id Software's Rage

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, Reviews, Opinion, Hands-On, Hands-On (Massively's), Post-Apocalyptic, MMO Burnout

MMO Burnout A week with id Software's Rage
So I've been dabbing in id Software's RAGE over the last little while. Actually, I'm not sure whether the late-2011 shooter is called RAGE or simply Rage, but either way, it has the worst (or perhaps least descriptive) video game name of all time.

Also, yes, I know it's not an MMO. This is MMO Burnout and I thought we were past that already.

Anyhow, I'm afraid I'm going to have to recommend the title to burned-out MMO gamers for several reasons. It's quite beautiful, quite fun, and it's the perfect getaway from the typical massively multiplayer grind.

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MMO Burnout: Revisiting Gotham City Impostors

Super-hero, Game Mechanics, PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On (Massively's), First Impressions, MMO Burnout

MMO Burnout - Gotham City Impostors
Remember that scene in 2008's The Dark Knight where those nerdling Batman-wannabes were running around in imitation capes and cowls shooting at criminals with shotguns? That's pretty much what you get when you log into Gotham City Impostors, Monolith's garish, goofy first-person shooter set against the sprawling backdrop of DC Comics' legendary mythos.

And for all you MMO historians in the crowd, yes, that's the same Monolith that originally developed the late, great Matrix Online.

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MMO Burnout: Quality time with Guns of Icarus Online

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, Opinion, Hands-On, Hands-On (Massively's), First Impressions, MMO Burnout

MMO Burnout  20
Pardon me for being a fanboy, but I need to get this out of the way up front: Guns of Icarus Online is funking awesome. If you're OK with the fact that I couldn't make it past the 24th word of a 1000-word impressions piece without sharing that little nugget, keep reading and I'll tell you why this indie gem is in fact funking awesome... and why you should give it a whirl.

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MMO Burnout: A weekend with Just Cause 2 multiplayer

Real-Life, Galleries, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, PvP, Opinion, Sandbox, MMO Burnout

MMO Burnout 7
Wait, what the heck is this? MMO Burnout? On an MMO site? Yes, kids, this is the scary part of the story where Massively strays from the straight and narrow, beating a path through the tangled underbrush of pseudo-MMOs and single-player games that are nonetheless related to MMOs by way of a crucial feature or two.

If you've been following the site for a while now, you've probably noticed us reaching into the realm of MOBAs, shooters, and mobile/browser titles. MMO Burnout, then, is our latest branching opinion column, and as the title suggests, it's largely concerned with what to play when you tire of gear resets, rep grinds, and being your shard's 3,721st incarnation of "the One."

Don't worry, though; we're not delving into Call of Duty or Angry Birds. Burnout will turn its all-seeing eye on RPGs and open-world action games primarily, and we'll do our due diligence when it comes to the PC modding community, too. Speaking of, won't you join us after the cut for a look at the crazy fun to be had on Just Cause 2's multiplayer server?

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