Generally, MMOs don’t really have the best reputations. They’re typically seen as massive time-sinks aimed at archetypal nerds with far too much time to waste in eye of the mainstream. You know what, though? That’s kind of spot on. Ignoring the fact that it’s ever so slightly offensive, it’s not wrong at all. MMOs garner the attention they do because they offer the extreme amounts of depth in a game that some people do actually want. One thing that catches a lot of eyes in particular though is the depth of the world being offered. So when someone offers up a franchise we already love in MMO form, every single fan starts foaming at the mouth for it. Extended looks at universes that we love so much are great. So great in fact that I’ve made a top 5 list of what universes would work perfectly for an MMO. This list doesn’t include games that have already been announced, even if unreleased/cancelled. For that reason, no Fallout. Trust me when I say that I would have put it in, but I’m not going to because everyone already knows it exists in some form or another. Let’s start then, shall we?
Now, some of you may be wondering what kind of crazy pick this is, but consider it more like this: modern day Assassins vs Templars. It explores an area that the series barely touches on and isn’t really all that relevant to the Desmond’s plotline. If anything, it starts a whole new plotline in the series that’s completely separate to Desmond and instead shifts focus onto everything going on between the Assassins and the Templars in the modern day. It’s ignored so much that Ubisoft could essentially leave all of the major events in the game down to collective player actions without worrying about breaking canon. It would essentially be a world hopping Assassin’s Creed set in modern times with RPG mechanics added onto combat, creating its own fiction out of current events rather than historical ones.
Borderlands is a bit of an obvious choice, but there really is no denying how well it would work in MMO form. Considering the fact that the first game in the series was essentially an MMO in terms of its design, a lot of the stuff that’s needed for it to work is already there. There’s a random loot system, there’s the quest log which is never seen without a fetch quest on it and there’s at least one boss fight that essentially requires another player to even consider defeating it. Pandora is an entire planet and two games in the series won’t be enough to fully explore it, let alone create a good lore for it. An MMO could take this world that’s got just the right amount of mystery to spark interest, blow it up to a stupid size and create a huge planet touring game that would attract a lot of people.
Thanks to the success of Human Revolution, Deus Ex has become relevant enough for me to drop it into this list. While the original game set the expected factions with the likes of the Illuminati, Triads and UNATCO, Human Revolution set up what could be a great way of making sure players need a range of different traits to proceed through a main story; consumerism. With Human Revolution, you’ve got Sarif Industries – a manufacturer and seller of human augmentations. An MMO could feature several manufacturers, offering different types of augments that cater towards different playstyles and lock out certain perks for people using illegal mods. It’s cyberpunk dystopia, political struggles and human augmentations all in one package.
Hey, look, an obvious choice! Obvious or not, Pokemon has been dying for an MMO ever since the second generation games featured more than one region. Sure, there have been about 300 or so fan-made Pokemon MMOs, but none of them were all that good. The Pokemon games have probably got around 8 different regions collectively now, so an MMO could just throw every single one into the mix. Just imagine a Pokemon game where you can pick your starting town, meet actual players and literally make your way to the Pokemon League where you battle against real people rather than computer players. Legendary Pokemon could literally be legendary Pokemon. Only one exists of each, but nobody dares to go near it because they’re afraid of their Pokemon fainting. There is so much promise to this idea, even if it doesn’t encourage Nintendo to establish their world any more. But then again, why would we want them to? It’s a Pokemon MMO. Just those two words together are enough to make me throw my money at someone.
I’ve been saying this ever since I played Mass Effect 2 back in 2010, but this series is just absolutely perfect for an MMO. The different alien races are there, the politics of the universe are already solidly put in place and Bioware already has a list of named planets that have their own backstories. With Mass Effect 3 over and done, Bioware have several endings to choose from to base an MMO off of. Each one offers something totally unique, setting up the scene for countless different scenarios. And speaking of scenarios, the fact that galactic politics and choice are such huge parts of the franchise, this means that any outcome in-game could be down to collective player choices. Votes can be held among different races to decide whether or not to invade another race for valuable resources, etc. Political partnerships will be formed and political rivalries will result in wars. Throw in an antagonistic force created by Bioware to threaten everyone and you’ve got the makings of a great MMO. With Shepard’s story, so the only logical thing to do with a franchise such as Mass Effect now is to give the players more than just a character to make their own. Give them an entire universe.
Do you agree with this list? Is there anything you would change, or do you completely disagree? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think.
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