WarCry has published an interesting preview of one of the more elusive MMOs currently in development: Cheyenne Mountain's Stargate Worlds, based on the cult science fiction film and TV series.
Few details on the MMO have been made public since the basics were laid out a year ago.
In the preview, studio head Dan Elggren explained that the game is influenced by both MMORPG and FPS design, but ultimately "feels not like an MMO, it feels not like a shooter, it feels like something fun and unique".
"I don't think it's an exaggeration to say it will so feel different to every other MMO that you'll begin to rethink literally renavigating the playspace," added creative director Chris Klug. He also talked up Stargate Worlds' AI, claiming it was a cut above the simple, predictable rulesets that are the MMO norm.
"The key is really that they react to you," he said. "They're a little unpredictable in a good entertaining way. You really have to think your way through the battlefield." This, he explained, brings proper cover-and-flank tactical teamwork to the fore, and moves away from the traditional "pulling" tactic that has dominated MMOs since the first EverQuest. "I am confident that our game is more fundamentally, organically logical than that ever was," Klug stated.
It all sounds quite similar to claims made this week about THQ's Warhammer 40K MMO, not to mention last year's Tabula Rasa, indicating that most science fiction MMOs are leaning towards this shooter/RPG hybrid.
However, Stargate Worlds also boasts less combat-focused classes. Krug revealed some detail on the archeologist class, based on the Daniel Jackson character played by James Spader in the Stargate film and Michael Shanks in the SG-1 TV show. The archeologist's role will involve support tasks such as lock-picking and disarming bombs, performed by completing Bejewled-style mini-games.
"We are allowing the archeologist to use mini-games to navigate the general gamespace," said Klug. "You've never seen it in an MMO before."
Klug also highlighted the importance of story to the Stargate universe. "Frankly, we have the best writing staff in the game industry and we understand how to tell stories in the interactive space," he said.
Stargate Worlds is due out at the end of this year. Thanks to Unreal Engine 3 and some nice environmental art it certainly looks the part, as you can see in our screenshot gallery. Consider us intrigued.