Every time we make a top 10, we get complaints about how most of the highly anticipated games are Asian. Yeah, we like the idea of moving to South Korea or never playing games such as Peria Chronicles or Black Desert Online just as much as you guys do, but we can’t ignore those great MMOs!
But fear not! This time we’re making a top 10 of the awesome upcoming games that aren’t from Asia! Yes, not a single one of these comes from Asia; it’s either North America or Europe! We’re stretching it a bit, sure, but we wanted to share with you what these regions have in store and it’s a lot of good stuff. Here’s our Top 10 Upcoming Western Free MMO Games 2014-2015.
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10: CHROMA (HARMONIX/HIDDEN PATH ENTERTAINMENT)
Chroma is the brainchild of music games expert Harmonix, makers of Rock Band and Dance Central. But this is an FPS and since the studio isn’t exactly experienced in the genre, it teamed up with Hidden Path Entertainment, creators of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. This is a free-to-play music-driven first-person shooter and while our initial reaction to this is ‘what the heck?’, we couldn’t be more curious about how it is going to turn out. Being able to pick your weapon according to our personal music taste is something that many of you will certainly enjoy. With the soundtrack affecting combat and the way the landscape looks, this is shaping up to be a team-based shooter that looks and sounds like nothing else. Will it be an aural mess or music to your ears? The recent news concerning a “substantial retooling” of the game leaves us a bit skeptic, but we really wanted this to work, so fingers crossed.
9: WORLD OF SPEED (SLIGHTLY MAD STUDIOS)
It’s not easy to be a racing game in the free-to-play arena. Auto Club Revolution isn’t living up to initial expectations and Ridge Racer Driftopia just called it quits less than a year after entering beta. So now our hopes turn to World of Speed, from the makers of the extremely ambitious Project Cars. World of Speed definitely looks the part and the handling tends more towards an arcade-ish kind of feel. The focus on team racing sounds like a good thing to us, with objectives such as leading the race for 120 seconds contributing to the overall completion. World of Speed could turn out to be a pretty fun game.
8: WORLD OF WARSHIPS (WARGAMING.NET)
World of Warships is the third game on the popular franchise that began with the worldwide hit World of Tanks and then took to the skies with World of Warplanes. World of Warships should feature a much more tactical gameplay than the previous games, making it more appealing to players who like to plan their moves and watch things unfold at a slower pace. A game for pure strategic masterminds but also a part of the global conflict that the three games contribute to create, World of Warships barely has any competition but we’re confident Wargaming won’t rest on its laurels and will create an engaging, tactical experience.
7: SKYFORGE (ALLODS TEAM/OBSIDIAN ENTERTAINMENT)
The Allods Team is working on Skyforge since 2010 and while this studio already has the pretty nice Allods Online on its catalog, we are more excited for this MMORPG because they managed to bring Obsidian Entertainment aboard. The acclaimed North American studio is known for its storytelling abilities and that’s exactly what we’re hoping that they’ll bring to Skyforge, a game where you begin as a regular nobody and become a god. There are no experience levels to suffer through and the hybrid combat system looks fun, as well as the ambiguous world where technology lives alongside mystical creatures. Lots of potential here but still much info to be revealed.
BattleCry is the first game from a new Bethesda studio and is shaping up to be quite an awesome team-based action game. With 32-player battles and a steampunk game world designed by Viktor Antonov, of Half-Life 2 and Dishonored fame, this game has the potential to become a true fan favorite. Visuals are highly stylized in a way that isn’t quite reality but also not cartoonish, giving it a slight Team Fortress 2 flavor, only in third-person and with a lot of blood and decapitations to go. BattleCry has everything going for it, so let’s hope gameplay is as dynamic and skill-based as it is said to be.
5: HEROES OF THE STORM (BLIZZARD)
It would be really weird if the studio that made the MOBA genre famous didn’t actually have a MOBA in its catalog. Blizzard is finally putting the finishing touches on Heroes of the Storm, a MOBA that has a few cool ideas to it, such as the dynamic arenas. But when your name is Blizzard and you have such a strong and worldwide famous history in videogames, the big feature in Heroes of the Storm is the roster. With heroes spanning all the big franchises – Diablo, Warcraft and Starcraft – this one will surely capture the heart of many Blizzard fans.
4: H1Z1 (SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT)
H1Z1 won’t certainly win any awards for originality but when DayZ is taking all the attention of the zombie fans, who can blame Sony? If they manage to improve on the original idea and make an even more immersive persistent MMO survival game, then they will have a winner on their hands. The idea of freeform gameplay is one that is attracting a lot of attention in recent years and many studios are now finally exploring the idea to its full potential. We like our themepark rides, but if H1Z1 turns out to be the sandbox zombie MMORPG of our dreams then it could very well make our real lives bite the dust.
3: FORTNITE (EPIC GAMES)
There’s no way in hell anyone can say with a serious face that Fortnite isn’t inspired in the colossal success that is Minecraft. But we’re okay with that; after all, great ideas can sometimes turn into something even more special or, at least, fun. Fortnite will hardly make the same impression as Minecraft did, but it looks like a fun mix of Team Fortress 2 cartoon visuals and the building frenzy of the Mojang classic. It’s not the best game to showcase the power of the Unreal Engine 4, but it looks nice and the procedurally-generated campaigns should feature a lot of destructible elements. This is a perfect example of a game that doesn’t try to break new ground but could very well grab you for many months and become extremely addictive.
2: LANDMARK (SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT)
Don’t call it Everquest Next Landmark anymore; now it’s Landmark only. Sony Online’s ambitious prelude to Everquest Next is an exciting world, one that is still very much in construction as we speak – both by players and the developers themselves. This is more of a tool than a game, but one where you can use your imagination and lose yourself in your creations, spending days gathering materials and planning your next steps like the greatest architect of them all. Even if you’re not the best builder, exploring the creations of other players is enough to make your jaw drop and motivate you for another go at that amazing idea you have. Landmark is like Minecraft for those who don’t like blocky graphics.
1: UNREAL TOURNAMENT (EPIC GAMES)
We couldn’t be happier to see Epic Games bringing back one of the most beloved franchises of all time. Believe it or not, there was a time when Epic Games wasn’t synonymous to Gears of War, a time when competitive FPSs were actually something of a cool new thing and we usually had less of a handful of good games to choose from – it was either Unreal Tournament or Quake 3 Arena. The series needed a well deserved rest and is now returning with a new approach – free and made in collaboration with the players. It’s a game where you can contribute with your ideas during the development and when it finally launches you can create your own content and hopefully make a few bucks with it. The Unreal Engine 4 will certainly make it look outstanding and if it keeps the dynamic gameplay and fast pace of the previous games, it will make oh so many current online shooters disappear in a puff of smoke.
These are our choices so far. We had other contenders that could also turn out to be great games but it was either a case of “close but no cigar” or we need more info before making a proper judgment. In case you’re wondering, you should also keep an eye on games such as Trove, Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age, Albion Online or Human Element. Let us know your opinions in the comments.