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Darkfall gets January release date

Ultra-hardcore MMO is nearly here.

Here's a snippet of MMO news which we missed at the end of last week: Darkfall Online, a barmy Greek MMO which has been in development for over seven years, finally has a release date.

The developer Adventurine and publisher Audio Visual Enterprises announced on Friday that Darkfall would be released across Europe for PC on 22nd January. A North American launch will follow, but for now, North American players "are also welcome to participate in the European launch".

Darkfall, as we explained in September, is a hardcore fantasy MMO with a player-versus-player focus.

While it makes the usual claims for innovation (real-time combat with manual aiming, real-world physics, no levelling, weather and so on), it's the aspects of Darkfall that hark back to MMOs' roots that some players will find most appealing. Player-versus-player combat is entirely unrestricted, there will be harsh death penalties, and all player corpses can be looted of all items, including precious weapons and armour.

A player-driven economy and storyline, and support for large battles between 200 players or more, suggest that Darkfall is following some of the open-ended design of space MMO EVE Online. Although it will have discrete servers (unlike EVE), each will support a single, non-instanced world of up to 10,000 players.

We'll be taking a closer look at Darkfall around the time of release. In the meantime, you can see shots and video on the Darkfall Online gamepage.