After only a few weeks of closed beta testing, Sony Online Entertainment has taken down the servers for Free Realms in preparation for tomorrow's official launch.
"It's your world and nothing's impossible," exclaims Free Realm's theme song by Southern California trio The Dares, and apparently that includes one of the shortest closed beta tests in history. Weeks after entering the final phase of testing, Sony Online Entertainment's family-friendly online game is about to open for business, with servers down for final patching and tweaking before tomorrow's launch.
I've played around quite a bit in Free Realms during the beta, and it still holds up to my impressions from E3 last year. It's one of the most intriguing massively multiplayer online games to come out this year. It incorporates pet training; cart racing; Cooking Mama-esque mini-games; puzzles; and your standard hack and slash gaming into a world that will keep both kids and adults entertained for quite a long time.
My favourite feature? Name approvals. Every character name goes through an approval process before being applied, with players stuck using a generic name until their selection passes. As a frequent player on role-playing servers, I approve wholeheartedly.
Free Realms is of course free, though a subscription fee of $US4.95 a month earns players more characters and additional jobs to perform, adding even more game play to the ridiculous amounts included in the free version.
Free Realms launches Tuesday [Massively]