Massively Multiplayer Online games were once a niche preserve. A corner of the gaming landscape which was fiercely, and proudly, reserved for the existing close-knit society. As time has passed, the MMO has opened up in terms of genres, gameplay styles, and player base. Games like Minecraft and Rust have shown that the idea of inhabiting a world with others, while having an impact on that world, is incredibly popular. It is for this reason I would love to bring your attention to Worlds Adrift from Bossa Studios and Improbable. Worlds Adrift aims to take those key elements, develop them into something more meaningful, and create a more rewarding experience.
The Universe (Adrift)
Ambitious is something of an understatement when it comes to Worlds Adrift. The game is being developed as a sandbox MMO where players exist in one persistent world. This means that thousands of players will not only be online together at the same time, but also in the same space. This might sound cramped but Worlds Adrift is using cloud-based systems to ensure the universe is large enough for you to explore away from others, while also being able to interact if you choose. This is no small feat. Bossa Studios and Improbable are looking to avoid the schism other MMO’s create with multiple worlds and servers, by unifying the in-game playable universe. If that wasn’t already an audacious aim, there is more. Not only will there be one shared universe, but it will also be persistent and permanent. If you destroy something, it’s destroyed. No respawn timer. It’s gone. This includes global damage, damage to the ecosystem, and damage to player structures. Don’t panic though! Any building or creating you do will also be permanent. Wax on, wax off.
What’s In The World (Adrift)
Perhaps second in terms of ambition is the fact that Worlds Adrift won’t be an empty space for would-be explorers. Bossa Studios and Improbable are generating creatures and environmental elements to add to the experience. Creatures will vary from placid beasts up to apex predators. Of course, you can interact with these creatures how you see fit but you should consider that not all placid creatures will remain so. The variety in scale is astonishing; there are sky whales. These creatures will be so huge that they’ll barely notice a single player, and you’ll be able to ride them if you can find your way onto the sky whale. Environmentally, Worlds Adrift will be throwing weather changes at you which, admittedly, may sound commonplace. In true Bossa fashion though, this won’t just be the expected aesthetic change. Instead, the conditions surrounding you will impact your traversal on foot, and in your ships. You certainly won’t just be admiring the shiny leather you’re wearing.
Adrifting We Will Go
So, how do you move around this staggering game world if you can’t mount a sky whale? Sky ships and grappling hooks, obviously. Sky ships, like many things in Worlds Adrift, will be player created. You will craft all the parts of your sky ships from the chassis to the engines. You are limited only by your imagination and the resources you have to hand. This could be a tiny boat, just enough to carry you from island to island. This could be an epic sky battleship ready to lay waste to all who cross your path. This could be a rocket-propelled banana. Get creative. The grapple system will allow you to connect to any physical point and swing around like Spider-Man in the clouds. Add these two movement tools together and you can only begin to imagine the scenarios Worlds Adrift might lead to. Swinging onto a ship and getting into a little tussle before grappling back onto your ship could be just the beginning. You will have to consider the universe physics though, or you might find yourself smacking into the hull of your target. I cannot wait for the epic wins and epic fails compilations on YouTube.
Your Worlds Adrift
If you’re thinking all of this is beyond exciting, then you are correct. However, there is still more. Worlds Adrift is also looking to include you in a larger role than that of just the player. Naturally, you will be perfectly fine to roam solo, perhaps crafting a mysterious legacy among the player base. You will also be able to join an Alliance and band together with others. This will offer safety in numbers (it’s a dangerous universe out there) along with the opportunities to craft larger vessels, and larger adventures. Allies don’t have to stay allies though, and I expect to hear tales of daring treachery on the forums before too long. You can create your own Alliance logo, as well as a logo for your character, to build in even more personalisation. Players will be able to create entire islands for others to explore; in fact, you can do that right now using the Island Creator through Steam for absolutely free. The option to carefully craft your own masterpiece island will entice the design focused players out there, but there is another avenue players are already exploring; using islands to tell narratives. You can control the flora, fauna, and geography of your island creation giving you the chance to guide players through a mini-adventure. Or lead them into a trap for your amusement. That’ll probably happen. Personally, I’m going to recreate Skull Cave and pretend I’m a sky faring version of The Phantom.
Worlds Adrift promises so much, and people will understandably be wary of getting hyped for a game which sells itself on so many aspects. Thankfully, Bossa Studios and Improbable are being impressively transparent throughout the production process. The Island Creator is already showing off some of the powerful potential this canvas of a game could offer, and the more footage that is released the more I believe they may be able to pull it off. Either way, I’m getting myself prepared for a life of Sky Piracy, and I’d recommend you do to.