MMO GAMES OF 2018
The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset Isles
June 5, 2018 | Bethesda | Link
The latest expansion to Elder Scrolls Online takes us to the home of the high elves, Summerset Isles, the biggest zone yet seen in the game. Prepare for a lot of flashbacks to The Witcher III’s Blood and Wine expansion, with rolling country hills and elegant architecture dotting the horizon. There’s a new Psijic skill line, jewelry crafting, a new 12-player trial, and vineyard murder mysteries to solve.
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth
After the stellar launch of Legion, the bar is set high for World of Warcraft's next expansion. Battle for Azeroth ditches the galaxy-spanning story of Legion to reignite the flames of war between the mighty Horde and noble Alliance once again. With each side declaring all out war, both are setting sail to new frontiers in search of allies and resources for the coming battles. It's World of Warcraft at its best, with crazy new systems like the PvPvE Island Expeditions to keep things exciting.
TBA | Cloud Imperium Games | Link
Star Citizen continues its quest to become the ultimate space game. The 3.0 update started to bind the game’s different modules together into a contiguous experience, giving us an encouraging tease of the final vision for the game. The star-studded singleplayer campaign Squadron 42 is also still under development, release date TBA.
TBA (Currently Early Access) | Bossa Studios | Link
This ambitious MMO is lets you chop down trees and build flying ships to explore a universe of floating islands. It’s currently developing in closed beta as Bossa refines the physics-driven simulation that drives all movement in the game and adds new features like an island creator
Wild West Online
May 10, 2018 (Steam release, likely still Early Access) | 612 Games | Link
Though our own Christopher Livingston described Wild West Online’s early access alpha as “more mild than wild” (understandably lacking in the way of meaningful quests, tutorials, or bear trap physics), this MMO promises a large-scale cowboy experience to compete with Red Dead Redemption 2. Live the life of a badge-slinging lawman or develop a reputation as cutthroat outlaw and outrun the bounty on your head in PvE or PvP combat, or just live a simple life farming crops, mining mountains, and charting the unexplored regions of the west.
Late 2018 | Novaquark | Link
As we’ve written about before, Dual Universe is an ambitious sci-fi MMO in which all players will be interacting on the same server. Although other recent over-ambitious sci-fi games loom over the genre, Dual Universe has already begun getting feedback from its Kickstarter backers in alpha testing. From what we know so far, it will involve crafting and building in a voxel-based world, flying between planets, and (in the end-game) attempting to use LUA scripting to create custom interfaces on your ship’s display screen. Players will be able to buy and sell creations, built or scripted, on the in-game market. EVE meets Minecraft is a tall order to aspire to, but we remain hopeful. Developer Novaquark recently announced it will release a pre-alpha build for backers at the end of September.
Ashes of Creation
2018 | Intrepid Studios | Link
In most MMOs, the overworld is set in stone, only changing during an expansion or event. Ashes of Creation throws this trope aside with its “Node” system, which lets players build up unique communities, quests, and narratives for their individual server. But nothing is forever, and multiplayer siege battles can threaten everything you’ve worked for.
Ascent: Infinite Realm
TBA | Bluehole | Link
The company behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds isn’t content with really big shooters, they also want to corner the market on really big steampunk fantasy MMO’s. The fairly jerky debut trailer showed off a seemingly endless list of things to do (multiplayer airship battles, going all Monster Hunter on a big crocodile, wingsuits, and...downhill barrel racing?) amidst all the other typical MMO trappings. No word on a launch date, but they expect A:IR (ha) to start closed beta testing near the end of 2018.
RELEASED AND DELAYED TO 2019
February 13, 2018 (Out now) | Atelier 801 | Link
2018 is not the year when people stop making games about zombies. Dead Maze is a 2D MMO that calls to mind a colourful, cartoon version of Project Zomboid. Explore, scavenge, craft and kill lots and lots of zombies, all while managing hunger, thirst and fatigue—it should be like muscle memory by now. Eventually you’ll be able to make your own post-apocalyptic community, which always ends well, right?