Dead Island is a recently released open-world action game that became worldwide famous due to the magnificent trailer where a family got to bit more than they could chew (pun intended). Although opinions are varied in regards to the overall quality of the game, there’s no denying that at least the developers tried to do something bold with it.
If much of Dead Island still seems heavily borrowed from other retail games, something like that in a free-to-play model would seem like the most original game ever. So, here are 6 things we would love to see more frequently in a free-to-play MMORPG:
They just won’t die, literally! These flesh eaters are still showing their skills in the movies and videogames, but name a couple of free MMO games where they star. See what I mean? They make for great, scary enemies and would work wonders in a free-roaming FPS. There’s no need for more than half a dozen different models and a few distinct attacks. It should be easier than creating dozens of clones of mercenaries, gang members or whatever.
Melee combat is another feature that is rarely seen, although this is valid for both retail and F2P games. It is understandable, since it is far from easy to create hand-to-hand combat in first-person view in a convenient manner, but if done right would quickly make the game stand out from the rest.
Dead Island offers the cute Chinese receptionist, the sexy female bodyguard, the one-hit wonder rap star (aren’t they all?) and a former NFL star. It’s not exactly the most eclectic cast, but it’s a far cry from the usual mage, warrior and knight classes from MMOs such as Runes of Magic or Dungeons and Dragons Online. Besides, they’re not random heroes, but actual characters with names, so that players may relate better – something that Vindictus, Elsword Online or Rusty Hearts are already doing.
It’s not often that we enter a game world and are baffled by what we see. It’s more common to be amazed by the lack of detail of the environments in most games and that is something that is, luckily, slowly changing with high-profile games such as Age of Conan: Unchained, Drakensang Online or Dragon Nest. However, no game has yet offered us a trip to a beautiful tropical paradise where bad things happen at every corner. Well, maybe except for Wewaii… sort of.
Real World Vehicles
It’s fine to ride a tiger just like in Perfect World, or to travel using a goat in Lord of the Rings Online. But free-to-play games are lacking the ‘reality’ aspect and so it’s unusual to drive things so common as an SUV or a truck. Apart from Battlefield Play4Free – and that’s not the best advocate for vehicles –, there are few games that allow us not to mount, but to drive. Well, there’s a scooter in Scarlet Legacy, but that’s the exception proves the rule.
Open World Environment
In most free-to-play MMORPGs, you have your city hub and the dungeons that await. Along the way, lots of land to travel for hours and nothing to do. A more contained and interactive open world environment would be great for most players, even if it is divided in a few areas. Besides what we’ve seen in APB: Reloaded (and that’s far from perfect), examples are few and far between.