The basis of the movie lent itself to a successful television series titled Stargate: SG1, where this team unlocks more secrets of the Stargate and is able to travel to more dimensions, meeting new civilizations and fighting evil where they find it. SG1 came into our lives in 1995, and is still going strong today, landing itself on TV Guide’s “The 30 Top Cult Shows Ever”.
I have to be honest with you… I watched the movie (and thought it was great), but could never really get into the television series. I thought it lacked the depth and storyline presented in the original film. This is, mind you, strictly my personal opinion - from someone who prefers fantasy to sci-fi. However… look at the Star Trek phenomenon, starting with a television series, and growing into a multi-million dollar franchise spanning several generations of fans with no end in sight. The same can be said for the Star Wars series, although there never has been a television production to continue the storyline.
But can Stargate do the same thing, albeit on a different level? Is it possible for them to create an MMO that will stand the test of time – and the brutality of today’s gamer – as the television series has, and succeed as they hope?
Well, that’s what Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment hopes to tell you – and let you experience for yourself.
But you’ll have to wait. Stargate Worlds has not yet seen its official release date published. The best we could pry from Kevin Balentine’s lips was “maybe open beta in the fall… Q4 of 2008”. Well pfft… I was hoping for something a bit more informative, but I guess that will have to do!
One of the interesting things about this title is that the key to their combat system is in the flanking and modern combat actions. In other words… you won’t be point and click and auto-face while your battle rages without you. You’ll need to maneuver around, take your opponent by surprise, and use modern abilities to perform the most basic of animal urges: kill or be killed. You will also have different experiences based on your archetype. In other words, if you are a soldier, you will see and do things that the scientist may not. I am personally thankful to hear this, as it is nice to finally have a title take into account that, since not everyone is made the same, we should have different paths. In an email after GDC, Kevin Ballentine clarified for me the available archetypes (taken from an article published in the official Stargate Worlds magazine last year):
- Archeologist – The Archeologist is an expert in societies, ancient and living. Once relegated to dusty desert digs and dry libraries, they are now an important asset in off-world exploration. With their extensive knowledge of cultures and societal interaction, they can disguise themselves to blend in with potentially hostile locals for intelligence gathering, confusing enemies or ambushing foes. Archeologists also can specialize in aggro management and puzzle solving, making them capable solo characters and a valuable addition to any team.
- Asgard – The Asgard are the undisputed masters of technology in the Stargate universe. Similar in appearance to the grey aliens of popular myth, the Asgard are physically frail and rely on drones that hover around them, ready to attack, defend or analyze when called upon. Asgard can also call upon their mighty starships to deliver devastating orbital bombardments when faced with overwhelming odds. The Asgard are jack-of-all-trades characters with a wide skill set limited by the number of drones they can activate at any one time – generally just one. The Asgard can shift from a healer to damage dealer by activating a new drone.
- Goa’uld – In Stargate SG-1, the Goa’uld are rarely seen without their many servants. Early on, when we see Hathor rise from sleep alone in the midst of Cheyenne Mountain, she immediately uses her powers to seduce new servants from among the men of Stargate Command. In Stargate Worlds, the Goa’uld command minions who are eager to do their master’s bidding. Goa’uld have a variety of servants at their disposal, making them almost as versatile in play as the Asgard. Some Goa’uld choose to specialize in the arcane technologies of the Ashrak like the phase cloak and specialized weapons designed for stealthy attacks. Goa’uld also have access to exotic poisons used to cripple enemies.
- Jaffa – Jaffa are the shock troops of the Stargate universe. Their staff weapons provide them with a devastating plasma bolt ranged attack and an overwhelming melee combat weapon. Jaffa can call upon their oaths, a special ability that improves the combat ability of their allies, particularly other Jaffa. Jaffa can learn to ignore some damage and continue fighting far beyond the capability of other Archetypes. Jaffa are the strongest characters and they are highly resistant to special attacks. If there is a stereotypical big guy with a sword in Stargate Worlds, it would be a Jaffa.
- Scientist – Teams regularly encounter advanced or esoteric technology when they explore new worlds, and this is where the Scientist Archetype is invaluable. Scientists can specialize in analyzing, repairing and using technological devices, using new technologies to craft personal upgrades and creating battlefield emplacements like gun turrets, shields or target inhibitors. Like the Archaeologist, Scientists are skilled at puzzle solving, though of a technological nature. They also can choose to be adept at healing and resurrection technology.
- Soldier – Every trip through the gate to a new world is a step into an unknown and often hostile environment. The Soldier Archetype is a battlefield veteran with the training and equipment to protect and enhance squad mates by pouring firepower into their enemies. Soldiers can specialize in weapons ranging from grenades and automatic weapons to powerful heavy weapons like machine guns, mortars and rocket launchers. Soldiers can gain basic healing skills, learn to use exotic weapons and lead teams.
- Commando – This Archetype represents highly-specialized warriors like covert agents, Green Berets and Delta Force. Commandos use stealth, demolitions and powerful single-target ranged attacks to disrupt, confuse and neutralize enemies. While able to use stealth effectively, the Commando Archetype also has access to detection technologies used to thwart stealthy foes. They can’t use the variety of weapons available to the Soldier, but they make up for it with access to the sniper rifle and the ability to set up and detect traps.
Another interesting tidbit is that Stargate Worlds will have a military hierarchy. There will be the foot soldiers and the commanders. I didn’t go into too much detail on this subject, as I really didn’t want to be disappointed later if it’s not what I hope to see. In some other titles it has been promised that we could lead armies, captain our own ships and crew, or manage townships. Yet to date, I’ve not seen a system that stacks up to what was promised. So this time I opted to wait and see. And I hope I’m not disappointed… /sigh
Overall, there is promise here. I’m not certain where they will pull the story together to bridge the gap, but then if I knew, it wouldn’t be an enticing intrigue to keep me watching, and you watching with me.
Stargate Worlds… do you have the courage to step through the gate?
Editor's Note: After initial publication of this article, I received several comments regarding incorrect information. Including from Kevin Balentine. Therefore, this article has been updated with the proper information as provided by Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment. My apologies for any confusion the initial article created, and my thanks to both the community here at Allakhazam and to Kevin at Cheyenne Mountain for setting me straight.
Maggie "AutumnKiss" Olsen
Senior Editor, Zam Network