NC Soft has made a fine niche for itself with their innovative MMORPG games. Sure they have some of the run of the mill fantasy games like the Lineage series but they also have games like the no-fee Guild Wars, the superhero themed City of Heroes/City of Villains, and their upcoming post apocalyptic car game Auto Assault.
To be up front with you I’m not exactly a hard core MMORPG player. I’ve played bits and pieces of several games in the past and quit them to either a lack of interest (Everquest II)/RF Online) or too much of an interest (World of Warcraft/City of Heroes). I’m also a fan of games that I can jump in and out of as I don’t have a lot of free time to invest in just one game which directly impacts my ability to invest large amounts of time to just one game. So I was a bit intrigued by Auto Assault which seemed to provide a decent experience for those who didn’t have a lot of time to spend during the week with a game as well as the depth for those who did.
The plot for the game starts in the near future with the Earth being hit by a mysterious meteor shower. The shower has the slightly negative effect of mutating a large number of the human race. The humans tried to control the mutants but didn’t have a lot of luck so they created bio-mechanical humans (biomeks) to try and control the mutants. This didn’t really solve the problem as the biomeks rebelled against their human masters. The humans then decided to go under ground and restart the world using the giant nuclear reset button and then re-establish themselves with a clean slate of a planet (the humans are kind of douchebags in this game). After the humans emerged from their underground bunkers they realize that their plan didn’t exactly work as planned as they now have to compete with the biomeks and mutants survivors for resources and control of the planet.
I have been in the beta for the game for about since around October of last year and it was hard not to be excited after the game. After two really strong showings at E3 in 2004 and 2005 I was eager to get my hands on the game. What I found initially was a little on the disappointing side. For some reason I really did not connect with the game the way that I had hoped to. The missions were a little on the sparse side and I just couldn’t get into the game play they way that I had gotten into City of Heroes and other games, Heading the age of advice of “If you don’t have anything nice to say keep your yap shut” I decided to hold off on committing pixels to the screen to see what magic the folks at Net Devil could infuse into the game.
Flash forward to December and I am looking for something to do on a Saturday night as the girlfriend has left me stranded for the night and all of my other friends were out with their own significant others. It had just been announced that Net Devil was going to push back the release of the game into 2006 and I wanted to see where the game was at in its current state. After spending an hour or so watching the game download a new version of the game I re-rolled a new toon and was immediately enthralled with the game. I began to look forward to Wednesday and Saturday nights when I could get the opportunity to play the game (NC Soft only allowed people to test the games on those nights during the early part of the beta). This was OK as it didn’t really interfere with my normal life. That was until a few weeks ago when NC Soft turned the servers on 24/7 and I could play whenever I wanted to. Since then I’ve I often caught myself sneaking online to blow through a couple of quick missions before I went to bed or just hopping on to a server to craft a few items for some extra clink before I went to work in the morning. This isn’t to say that you will only enjoy the game in small doses rather you can just hop on for a “quickie” instead of having to devote several hours to getting anything done in the game.
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