Free-to-play developer gamigo, known best for titles like the up-and-coming Black Prophecy, wants to get further into the browser market... and in a big way. Later this year, the company will be releasing two new titles, both tactical, squad-based, turn-based, and browser-based and both in the Unity engine. And while both games do have some similarities, they feel very different from each other.
UFO Online is set in a gloomy future of alien invasion, but players will also have to contend with defeating their fellow humans in an effort for world domination. If you like to take your turn-based gaming with a cold shot of stat- and skill-management, then you'll love UFO Online. Jagged Alliance Online plays in similar ways but is more straightforward.
We sat down with gamigo at E3 for an exclusive look at the two titles, so click past the cut to read more!
This game is a tweaker's dream. Not only can you spend time deciding which squadmates to take with you into a mission, but each squadmate can be outfitted with different weapons that have additional slots for different items. Gear can also be upgraded and added-to, and each individual can be leveled up with skills. Crafting is a very important part of the game, resulting in better gear and ammo (which is in limited supply when missions start).
There are several different classes in the game, such as the Scout (a sneaky little guy who can help point out the location of enemies) and the Grenadier (a heavy-hitter with, of course, a grenade launcher). Each character has a skill triangle -- not a tree -- that can be filled out in almost any way possible. If you want to start in the corner of stealth, go for it, then work your way into higher damage or a more middle-of-the-triangle balanced character. Between all of these different skills (45 in all for each class), weapon loadouts, and squad configurations, players might never make it into actual combat!
One of the most interesting aspects of the game is the sound, as in literally the sound. As a Scout player sneaks up to a closed door, he might literally hear the enemy on the other side and note where, in a general area, that enemy might be. This is important because every action point available to each character needs to be spent wisely. The difference between being able to move and defend yourself depends on spending action points. You also need to keep track of ammunition, as we noted earlier. Spending it too quickly could mean a bunch of death for you, your squad, and the friends who joined you.
Let's not forget world domination. Three factions are fighting for control over the rest of the world, all while fending off alien hordes. If a faction can gain control of over half the world, its members will receive access to exclusive crafting materials, only emphasizing the importance of resources and crafting in the world of UFO.
The game is intuitive and easy to run, but it looks fantastic.
If you're familiar with the Jagged Alliance IP, then you'll be happy to hear that gamigo is bringing you an online version, for free, that runs in your browser. Now you'll be able to back up your friends in a turn-based combat world of mercenary combat! Boasting over 60 different mercenaries, the game offers many of the familiar faces from the past title.
Essentially, Jagged Alliance Online feels like UFO Online, but it doesn't take its job as seriously. Where UFO is made perfectly for perfecting squad line-ups, Jagged Alliance wants nothing more than to give you a good time. Jump into the game from any browser, load your missions, invite your friends, and pop right into many different maps, all beautifully rendered with dynamic shadows and enemies who die with physics-based precision. Strategy works simply but effectively. If you want to sneak around to avoid being seen, it will cost you twice as many action points. If you try to hide behind a car, you might just activate a car alarm and alert the entire map.
Hovering over enemies or moving your mouse around will give you basic information like hit chances or action points required. It's simple, it's to the point, and it looks really good. We could easily see spending time between the two games and having an almost completely different experience with each. If you have ever enjoyed a tabletop game, you will find a home in either of these MMOs. Turn time-limits are very long or non-existent, so in-depth mission decisions can be taken seriously. gamigo doesn't want you to hurry; it wants you to have fun.
Look for both games to be released later this year!
Massively's on the ground in Los Angeles during the week of June 6-9, bringing you all the best news from E3 2011. Whether you're dying to know more about Star Wars: The Old Republic, RIFT, or any MMO in between, you can bet we'll have it covered!