THQ’s seen better days. The gaming world has all but left it in a gutter inches away from death’s door, bleeding worrisome amounts of money. Worse still, the struggling publisher took another set of brass knuckles to the teeth in the form of a radical downsizing of its great MMO hope: Dark Millennium Online. The Warhammer-40K-themed behemoth has been stripped of its two-ton subscription-fueled MMO supersuit, leaving its single-player and multi-player bits flapping freely in the air. How, though, does that work? Will I explore a desolate world, spamming an empty trade channel for [friendship] x 1?
Speaking in an interview with Ripten, THQ God Emperor Danny Bilson explained – admittedly, on fairly general terms – Dark Millennium Online’s forced evolution into a more intimate affair. After all, wouldn’t a single-player MMO be a bit… boring? Not in this case, said Bilson.
“The reason is that there was a lot of innovation in that game. In particular, the shooting mechanics are real-time, not turn based. The content is absolutely incredible, and any time anyone ever had any doubts about it, all I had to do was bring them into the room and show them progress on the game. So there’s a tremendous amount of content that was built. At its core, the mechanics are very action based. Nobody has seen this before.”
“I much prefer the route we’re going down than having brought in investors, and possibly diluted some of the controls around it. The game is still sitting with the people who invented it five years ago, and honestly, they are incredibly excited about the new direction… If you liked Space Marine, you’re gonna love this thing. It’s much deeper. Space Marine was designed as a console experience. This one has tremendous multiplayer gameplay, and there is a lot going on in this game that’s spectacular.”
So, enthused/perhaps desperate exec speak aside, that’s where Dark Millennium’s at. And hey, there are worse things in this world than the prospect of a more complex take on Space Marine. So then, here’s hoping this one helps THQ turn things around. I mean, given all the previous cancellations, what else could they possibly cut? Metro’s last light? I get the impression that Metro: No Light would be a distinctly more frustrating experience.