Amazon have announced three PC games being made by their own games studio: a multiplayer sandbox world, a MOBA-ish 4v4 mythological murdersport, and some sort of class-based Battle Royale ’em up. That sandbox ’em up sounds like it might be interesting, at least. As Amazon also owns Twitch, all three games have bits to entertain livestream viewers or let them fiddle with what’s going on. Let’s look at New World, Breakaway [official site], and Crucible in decreasing order of interestingness.
Details on New World are a bit vague, which may be why it sounds promising. It’s a “massively multiplayer, open-ended sandbox game” set in a supernatural take on 17th century Colonial America, with all sorts of nasties lurking in the worlds. Weather and seasons will come and go, changing the world and its challenges too. Players can build settlements, or go and fight monsters, or murder each other. It sounds like it could be anything between the starkness of Wurm Online or Ultima Online and just another Ark-ish, Rust-y survival sandbox. No idea at this point. Ah, possibilities!
As for Twitch stuff, Amazon say it’ll have “broadcaster-led events, achievements, and rewards.”
Crucible is a 12-player, class-based last man standing game. Unlike, say, The Culling, it’s supposedly set in a world so dangerous players will need to band together at times. Which could lead to interesting fleeting alliances and dastardly betrayals as players get closer to being the sole winner.
It’ll also have a Twitch-friendly thirteenth player who sounds a bit like Left 4 Dead’s director, triggering events and letting viewers interact with bits too.
Then there’s Breakway, a 4v4 arena-based brawl-o-sport. Both teams are fighting for control of a ball to get it to the opponents’ goal, stopping them with shootyzaps and deploying structures. Each class/character has their own buildings, from ballistae and spike traps to trampolines and healing auras.
It’ll have Twitch guff like polls and whatnot, along with ways to win and use the new ‘Stream+’ imaginary currency. Players will get to “wager loyalty points that are redeemable for in-game rewards” which… well, I’m sure they’ve thought about how to avoid this sort of mess.
I am slightly put off by Twitch tying into gameguts. Games design with Twitch or YouTube viewers in mind can lead to good performances for broadcasters but be a bit bland to play by yourself. But hey, I don’t really stream – this isn’t for me. Though I do hope New World is on the more interesting end of its spectrum of possibility.