SHOOOOT HER!!!!! SHOOOOT HER!!!
So I’d post this over on Massively, but it would be met with so much Hux-hate that it would probably burn in flames the second it was released on the website. People are really bitter over Huxley, and I’m guessing it’s coming from the fact that the title has gone from a boxed release to a free-to-play game on ijji.com. Everyone wanted this big Xbox 360 release (which is pretty much dead in the water at this point, unless they release it as a downloadable title, which would be awesome) and everyone wanted this big game that would kill Planetside.
Well, after getting my hands on Huxley, let me be the first to say that this game probably won’t be killing Planetside. But let me also say the following: Who the hell cares?
People really need to stop playing rock, paper, scissors with their damn video games. I’m sick and tired about hearing the phrase “WoW-Killer” or “Halo-Killer” or “Hello Kitty Online-Killer.” I really am. Games need to stand on their own merits, and not those assigned to them by another game in the genre. If they didn’t and every game attempted to one up a prior game using the same systems, then we’d have a bunch of games that were veritable clones of one another. And if you think I’m making that up, take a look at the MMO genre right now and tell me you don’t see 20 different types of World of Warcraft clones out there. It’s silly to the point of being ludicrous, and we just keep pushing the developers into these corners by not giving credit to games that break the mold in the right ways.
Ok… that was a rant… sorry about that, but let’s get back to Huxley. I was in the closed beta test — I can say that because there’s a tag on my forum handle on ijji.com that says “Huxley Beta Tester.” What I can’t say, however, is anything about Huxley‘s gameplay beyond the information that’s already known. So I’m going to be a little limited here, but I think I can still give everyone a good perspective.
Huxley is a lot like Unreal Tournament. I mean, A LOT like Unreal Tournament. This game cooks. Everyone’s heard about the freeform deathmatching that you can do at any time in the game, and that mode is pretty much UT3 with your tricked out character. The only difference is that Huxley characters have unique abilities that you can choose and level up while you play. For example, Phantoms (the snipers) have stealth. You could be shooting at the Phantom at one minute, and then bam, she’s gone for long enough to get around behind you and school you.
Then you get into the battlegrounds, which are like Battlefield style matches. They’re large, they’re full of people, and they give you vehicles. I can’t say much more about this mode because it’s not really out there, but I can say that I like it.
Then, finally, the mode I really can’t talk about is the questing. What I can say is that the game provides quests from the city that require you to go out into areas all over the map and perform objectives. You can do it alone or you can do it in a team. I can’t say more than “it’s exactly what it sounds like” but I really enjoyed this mode too. I could see this as being fun for a group of friends who want to hone their skills by fighting side by side. It’s a great difference from having to go out and get blown up by other people. Cooperative shooting is always a good plan, especially when it plays like a dungeon crawl.
Oh, and the game has an auction house, and item purchases in-game, and crafting, and weapon/armor modifications. It’s a full item system with a crafting system. Take that, other online FPS games.
What’s the best part about this game? It’s the part that people hate — it’s free. It looks nice, it plays nice, it’s not too grindy (but there are elements of grind, trust me), but it’s free. Just to give you an idea how much that blew me away, let me tell you a story.
I threw a Rock Band party one night and just as everyone was arriving I was playing Huxley. My first friend came in, looked at my monitor, and went, “Dude, what game is this? Looks nice.” I told him it was Huxley, and it was in beta. He never heard of it, but he was shocked to see a FPS that played like an MMO. He sat down and watched me play for a bit before my next friend came in. Once again, another person who had never heard of Huxley who was now interested just by watching me play. He too sat down, and eventually I offered them a chance to try the game out.
Before long, two more people showed up, walked into my room, asked what was being played, and then they sat down as well. I now had 5 people stuffed into my tiny room, all watching Huxley. Finally, after doing a couple deathmatches and giving everyone the chance to try the game, someone asked me, “So 15 bucks a month, right?”
It was then when I went, “Nah, it’s free.” Everyone was like, “Oh sweet! Good deal! I have to grab this from GameStop when it comes out!” Another friend went, “Yeah, I’ll pre-order this.” Then I laughed and got to say, “Nah, you guys don’t understand. This game is free-free. Like free-to-play item shop free.”
It was then when everyone turned to me and said the following, “WHY WOULD WE NOT PLAY THIS? HOLY CRAP? WE’RE ALL GETTING TOGETHER AND WE’RE GOING TO OWN THIS GAME. CRAZY STATIC PARTY TIME!”
And that’s how I got a static party for Huxley with the game not even being out. That’s why I’m excited for Huxley. As for you, you should be excited because it’s a solid free game. It looks nice, it plays nice, and it will certainly be worth your time. Why? Because it’s free and running on the Unreal 3 engine, that’s why.