Sweat It Out
HIGH The satisfying muscle aches following a productive session.
LOW That awful solo mode.
WTF Ranked multiplayer getting walled off behind said solo mode.
When I was growing up, everyone wanted to be a TIE Fighter or X-Wing pilot. Not me. I always had my eye on the larger ships — I wanted to be in command of the Star Destroyer. Those mammoth vessels were crewed by a few hundred people and bristled with enough firepower to annihilate a small fleet. The developers at Yager seem to have shared my affinity for capital ships in their upcoming game, Dreadnought.
Raiders of the Broken Planet is an interesting proposition. Self-funded by Spanish Developers MercurySteam (a team not known for their online skills) the game is an asymmetrical multiplayer third-person shooter that tries to set a balance between guns and melee. The beta itself does a lot to give me hope for the full game, but that hope comes with caveats.
Ubisoft recently invited GameCritics for an extended session of their upcoming Ghost Recon Wildlands, and I’m happy to say that even after playing it for four hours straight, I still want to hop right back into the world they created. Wildlands dramatically freshens up this long-standing franchise by setting the action in an open- world, fictionalized version of Bolivia.
A few months ago, I played the alpha build of For Honor, Ubisoft’s multiplayer-centric knights-versus-Vikings-versus-samurai dueling game. I mostly loved it for its authentic-looking visual design and deceptively deep combat engine, but had some concerns regarding its accessibility and barrier to mastery.
Free-to-play games have boomed to unprecedented levels of quality over the past couple of years. It’s hardly even a gamble that starting one will be time well spent at this point — it’s just a matter of deciding which game is the most worthy of sinking a boatload of hours into. Whether you’re a MOBA fan, an MMO connoisseur, or an FPS master, there’s something out there for everyone, all at the low, low price of … well, free.
As exciting as it is to venture through nature’s toughest terrains in a high-octane action-adventure title or exploring uncharted territories in open-world RPGs, nothing quite thrills like immersing yourself in a competitive multiplayer match. Win or lose, each round is a blood-pumper, and MOBAs have become the poster children of some of the most intense gaming sessions around.