A Complete Look at the MMOs of 2013 - Part 2

By all accounts this looks to be a super-busy-fun-time year for online gaming, and today we continue our complete look at the MMOs of 2013.

WeÂ’ve put together a comprehensive two-part look at the games expected to drop sometime in 2013, and as an added bonus have also included a brief look at some of the other titles we hope to learn more about this year, even if they donÂ’t land their ships in our backyard and demand to see our leaders over the course of the next twelve months.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out the first part of the article where we take a look at some of the biggest movers and shakers of 2013, including Neverwinter, The Elder Scrolls Online, Defiance, and more. If you're awesome (and we're sure you are or else you wouldn't be here in the first place!) then chances are you already read through Part One, in which case you can read through the thrilling conclusion in today's episode below.



Marvel Heroes


Developer: Gazillion Entertainment
Status: Closed Beta
Release: 2013

In many ways, Marvel Heroes is kind of like the older sibling of Marvel Super Hero Squad Online. Both games allow players to collect and play as their favorite characters from the Marvel universe, and both attempt to blend elements of action RPGs with an MMO.

If you left it at that, Marvel Heroes would already be worth checking out. While other MMOs in the superhero genre might allow you interact with iconic NPCs, Marvel Heroes throws caution to the wind and lets you live out your HULK SMASH! fantasies more directly. It also boasts the leadership of one David Brevik; a name that should be familiar to the more diehard Diablo fans out there.

If Marvel Heroes has an Achilles heel, it would probably be that it is a bit too faithful to action RPGs at times. I'm talking, of course, about the staple isometric perspective, and the slight disconnect it creates when you spend most of your time looking at the top of your character's head.

Marvel Heroes is a beautiful game, and an incredibly fun one at that. It also offers a distinct change of pace for gamers who may dig certain aspects of Diablo III, but are looking for a richer overall setting to while away the hours.

Read more about Marvel Heroes on Ten Ton Hammer
The Marvel Heroes official website


Warframe


Developer: Digital Extremes
Status: Closed Beta
Release: 2013

Warframe is another of the games on our list - along with Hawken and DUST 514 among others - that is more of an online cooperative experience than a full-blown MMO, but we feel it's worthy of inclusion either way. Unlike the other titles listed within the same loose categorization, Warframe is wholly focused on a progressive PvE experience rather than PvP.

The shooter gameplay is pretty solid, and combat is made far more interesting thanks to the inclusion of powerful melee weapons and active skills. The skills are linked to specific Warframes, so in a lot of ways the Warframes double as the class system for the game.

As some have noted, certain aspects of the free-to-play model for Warframe dance threateningly close to pay-to-win territory, but considering the closed beta status of the game we're willing to give Digital Extremes the benefit of the doubt here. Like most other aspects of the game, there's a good chance that the cash shop end of things will be balanced along with skills, weapons, and Warframes before the full release.

Read more about Warframe on Ten Ton Hammer
The Warframe official website



Transformers Universe


Developer: Jagex
Status: In Development
Release: 2013

Tranformers Universe will be heading into beta soon, and has been gaining quite a bit of media attention and momentum over the past couple of months. From what we've seen of the game so far, visually it seems to sit somewhere on the edge of Michael Bay's front porch watching a televised marathon of the animated series. Color us intrigued.

In a tread on the official forums, the developers are asking fans to let them know who their favorite transformer is, and why. The first poster completely nails it by citing Soundwave. I'm secretly keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be able to play a transformer that turns into an object that's completely useless - much like Soundwave as a boombox - outside of combat. You may think I'm joking, but I'm not!

In all seriousness though, the Transformers IP has grown from a stumpy cartoon about farming energon cubes into a global phenomenon thanks to Megan Fox the film series. So long as the MMO draws inspiration from the latter without devolving into an energon farming simulator, it has a good chance of continuing to stand squarely in the center of its current gaming media spotlight.

Read more about Transformers Universe on Ten Ton Hammer
The Transformers Universe official website


Wizardry Online


Developer: Gamepot
Status: Open Beta
Release: January 16, 2013

Wizardry Online is less than two weeks away from launch, and aims to bring a more hardcore experience back to MMOs. A few valiant attempts have been made over the past few years to do the same thing - notable entries including Mortal Online and Darkfall - but on the whole, hardcore MMOs in this day and age are practically a thing of myth.

Permadeath is about as hardcore as it gets these days, so if an ongoing attachment to a character you develop over a longer period is your thing, Wizardry might not be your cup of tea. If you're up for a challenge, however, you can give Wizardry a shot in the open beta, or download and play it for free on the 16th.

Read more about Wizardry Online on Ten Ton Hammer
The Wizardry Online official website



End of Nations


Developer: PetroGlyph
Status: In Development
Release: 2013

End of Nations has long suffered a personality crisis of sorts. Originally a hybrid RPG and RTS game, it became clear early on that the mashup was simply a bit too confusing for gamers more familiar with either genre. Eventually many of the more RPG hooks were dropped in favor of focusing on making EoN a more clearly defined RTS game, but somewhere along the way it morphed into a quasi-MOBA.

Confused about what kind of game EoN is yet? If so, you're not alone, and the team at PetroGlyph recently decided to take the game out of beta, offer pre-order refunds, move development to the main Trion offices, and continue refining the game into something more specific and fun.

Hopefully the additional development time will pay off, though the game currently runs the risk of becoming the next Tabula Rasa. In other words, a game that wasn't really sure what it wanted to be when it grew up, but ended up having to hit the streets regardless to be able to pay the bills.

Read more about City of Steam on Ten Ton Hammer
The City of Steam official website


World of Warplanes


Developer: Wargaming.net
Status: Closed Beta
Release: 2013

This followup to the critically and commercially successful World of Tanks has been in development for quite some time now, and many expected it to see a full release by the end of 2012. However, if any free-to-play developer has the resources to continue polishing a game until it's ready for prime time, it's Wargaming.

It will be interesting to see if Warplanes lives up to some of the lofty expectations set by its tank-based counterpart. World of Tanks had a very broad appeal, based in part upon the fact that it provides a neat slice of the shooter pie, but one that doesn't necessarily require the same twitch gaming skill set.

Warplanes - and all aerial combat sims, really - might appeal to a somewhat slimmer audience by comparison. Just like trying to play racing games with a keyboard and mouse, flying around in a virtual setting is simply going to be a better experience for those gamers able to afford a flight stick. Barring that potential barrier for entry, Warplanes still has the potential to be one of the top free-to-play games of 2013.

Read more about World of Warplanes on Ten Ton Hammer
The World of Warplanes official website



Phantasy Star Online 2


Developer: SEGA of America
Status: In Development
Release: 2013

While the game had a strong showing at PAX Prime last year, Phantasy Star Online 2 is one of those titles that has largely flown under the radar for most gamers since it was officially announced it would be coming to North America last summer. Between a lack of major marketing hype, and a spotty franchise history, that's perfectly understandable.

With that said, many of our staff writers - including managing editor David "Xerin" Piner - consider PSO2 to be one of the biggest games to watch in 2013. Beyond the semi-familiar setting, one of the main draws for the game seems to be the developer's desire to mimic the kind of adaptive playing experience more commonly found in tabletop gaming.

To be honest, the MMO industry could certainly stand to return to its roots in both tabletop gaming and MUDs at this point, at least to a certain degree. It remains to be seen just how well the latest Phantasy Star title pulls it off, but we're looking forward to finding out once the game drops sometime later this year.

Read more about Phantasy Star Online 2 on Ten Ton Hammer
The Phantasy Star Online 2 official website


World of Darkness


Developer: CCP
Status: In Development
Release: Sometime this century (don't quote us on that though)

O World of Darkness, World of Darkness! Wherefore art thou World of Darkness?

Ever since it was first announced that World of Darkness would be leaping into MMO territory, there have been mixed reports on the actual development status. Depending on who you talk to, development is either progressing quite well, or isn't happening at all. According to a recent series of tweets by the WoD team, internal feature testing is currently taking place, so that's a good sign at least.

While we honestly don't expect the game to launch any sooner than 2015, we're still hopeful that this will be the year that more details finally emerge. DUST 514 is obviously the main focus for CCP currently, but we remain hopeful that the information blackout on WoD lifts sooner rather than later. By announcing the project's existence at such an early stage, CCP runs the risk of never being able to properly manage expectations.

Still, World of Darkness is one of those intellectual properties that is perfect for making the transition into the wacky world of MMOs. Remember that desire to see more of the subtle complexities from tabletop gaming to begin creeping back into MMOs? If any title is capable of doing just that, it's World of Darkness. Now if we could just clear up the darkness surrounding details about the game itself...

Read more about World of Darkness on Ten Ton Hammer



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