The market wasn't flooded with big name MMORPGs this year, but despite that many new ones did pop up. Some were subscription, but many were free to play MMOs. Even a few popped onto browsers, but in the end, there was only one that was able to hold the interest of anyone here at RPGamer... or at least pull people away from the other behemoths of the industry for a little while.
NCsoft is no stranger to the MMORPG market. They have released many unique titles such as Guild Wars and City of Heroes. Fresh from their Korean developers, NCsoft brings Aion to the North American market. Korean MMORPGs have typically had an uphill battle garning the support of the North American players and media. What makes Aion stand out?
Aion pushes the graphics for the MMORPG market. Simply put, it is stunning to behold. The environments are vibrant, the playerís attacks have flair, and the short cutscenes push the story. While the story is relatively simple, it builds the foundation for the true driving force for the game: support your race. Players are divided between Elyos and Asmodians; engaged in a war for survival. In addition, the Balaur, an NPC faction, wish death upon everyone, regardless of their race. This constant conflict allows players to team up and conquer various locations in the Abyss, giving their legion more power. While other MMORPGs have allowed PvP, ownership of part of the world is a relatively unused concept. While Aion is still new on the market, itís a step above the rest of the current offerings in the MMORPG market and worthy of our MMORPG of the Year award.
by Mikel Tidwell, Michael Cunningham