ZAM's MMOs to Watch for 2013

We list the new MMOs to have us licking our lips for the year ahead.

With a whole 362 days of 2013 ahead, there's a lot of new MMOs slated to launch. Here's a list of some of the shinier prospects for the next 12 months.


1. The Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls is one of the most beloved franchises in modern gaming, particularly after the phenomenon that is Skyrim. The game’s announcement just before E3 last year – yes, it really was last year – caused heated debate as some fans turned their backs on the title before any details could be released. “It will never work as an MMO,” “An MMO will ruin Elder Scrolls” and similar sentiments were expressed.

ZeniMax Online has been diligent, releasing regular details on the progress of the game and the design decisions being made. The innovative use of phasing to make the game more socially structured, the combos between NPCs and intelligent behaviors of enemy groups, adapting some recent innovations from games like Guild Wars 2 and then building on them are all ingredients that point toward something a bit special.

I played the game myself in November and felt many of my own fears allayed very quickly. It’s fun to play, the humor of the NPCs and the richness of the storied surroundings permeate the game already.

The community and the social cohesion created by quality mass PvP and from large scale, engaging PvE are central to the game’s design and the way that the game’s systems work to bring like minded players together could be a big aid in bolstering the ESO’s long term success.

The Elder Scrolls Online does not look to be a single-player RPG bolted onto an MMO framework; instead there are high hopes that this progressive and expansive game will be a quality addition to the MMO roster.

Although this list is in no particular order, The Elder Scrolls Online is the heavyweight MMO for 2013, just one of the reasons it won our Most Anticipated Game in the recent ZAM Awards.


2 WildStar

There’s so much promise in WildStar. An offbeat design style, interesting fast-paced combat and some ambitious systems, including trade and player housing, denote an MMO to keep a close eye on.

Player housing is of particular interest to me as so few MMOs have got that aspect right at launch – including some games that don’t have it at all. Have a look at the housing tease below.

Carbine Studios looks to be building a word that is very distinctive and a lot of us at ZAM are very keen to see what else the dev team has in store this year.


3. Defiance

It’s an MMO, a television show on the SyFy network and it promises heavy duty action within a colorful, lore-rich world.


Trion has been proving its mettle with Rift and particularly Storm Legion in 2012, the quality of which alone is enough to garner anticipation for Defiance. Add in the promise to update the game based on the events of the television series and a meaningful way to interact with the world’s story and the ambition of the title is obvious.

4 Marvel Heroes

Marvel’s stable of superheroes is among the hottest intellectual properties on the planet at the moment. Last year’s biggest movie was The Avengers; this year will see Wolverine, Iron Man 3 and more grabbing cultural prominence.

Mix the feverish enjoyment of all things Marvel with a Diablo-style game by David Brevik and it’s no surprise that so many fans are salivating for Marvel Heroes.


5 FireFall

A post-apocalyptic vision that veers away from the usual desolation, FireFall is catching the eye of many as it continues to be reiterated through the current beta. Red 5 Studios has been very responsive to the community and has revamped many features.

The PvP aspects are exciting many in the eSports crowd and, while other MMOs make platitudes toward the hardcore, FireFall already contains features that others only promise, including a phenomenal spectator mode and shoutcasting set up.



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