Maybe it's the fact that original science fiction based MMORPG games come along so rarely, or maybe it's just that Skyforge is pretty damn strange. Either way it's keeping me on my toes.
Developed by Russia's Allods Team in conjunction with Obsidian Entertainment, Skyforge is a free-to-play MMO that's not quite like anything I've played before. Or maybe it is like several things I've played before, all mashed up into one. It's all a bit hazy.
It's a game where players take on the role of an immortal on the path to godhood, tasked with defending the world of Aelion from vile invaders. Doing this involves engaging in active-targeting action-based combat inspired by games that are definitely outside the normal MMORPG spectrum.
Instead of picking a class and sticking with it, Skyforge players can swap between the game's five professions (two of which are generally unlocked through progression). It's like Final Fantasy XIV that way I suppose, though the change feels more immediate and shouldn't instantly get you killed should you swap to a less advanced role.
It's all a bit overwhelming at first -- I've played on and off for several days during the early access open beta in different roles, across open-roaming areas and through instanced group adventures, and I still don't feel like I've got a firm grasp of what's going on.
That's a little bad, but also good -- if it takes a veteran of countless other MMOs a while to find his footing, the developers are certainly straying from established formula.
Here's a quick look at the game's combat and class systems, along with extended periods of me completely forgetting the game's name:
I'll likely keep at it, if I can manage to keep juggling my time between it and other massively mutiplayer obligations. Perhaps one day all of its strangeness will become so familiar that I'll regularly remember its name instead of having to alt-tab out of the game to read the window label. Fingers crossed!
Want to try and figure it all out yourself? Skyforge launches into open beta proper tomorrow.