Browser-based space strategy MMO Planetarion turned me into an awful, teenaged jackass (or rather exacerbated the qualities that already made me one), so why did I just sign up to play AD2460, a new game by the same developers? It’s certainly not because of the still space images of its trailer, which have little to do with its menu-based interactions. It’s because I long to again be invested in months-long galactic battles with tens of thousands of other players. Obv.
Here’s the trailer, which at least introduces the story and themes and gives some sense at the end of what it’s like to play.
Planetarion was undoubtedly a neatly balanced game, compelling both because of its satisfying progression curve and because of the interesting decisions it forced you to make when everything took so long to do. It was the player politics that hooked me, though. I became invested in the success of my faction, in defeating our enemies and defending our planets, and in the terrible backstabbing that was necessary in order to survive. I don’t know if I have it in me to invest so much in a game like that again, and I certainly don’t have the group of friends who are likely to also get involved.
The new appeal is that, because AD2460 is browser-based and requires no plugins, it’s also been designed to run on mobile devices. I like the idea of that kind of ambient fun; that I could be out and about, running errands, but secretly concerned about the research project or spaceship fight I’ve just initiated with the phone in my pocket.
I have just logged in. The game begins with a warning that the experience will be difficult and surprising (which I like), and then the tutorial is long and wordy (which I dislike). Let’s see how long I last.