In the late 21st century virtual reality has become the world's favourite pastime, and people spend massive amounts of time exploring fantasy worlds instead of fixing bugs and making sure the servers can handle the game launch.
I might be blurring two worlds here. One, based on the science fiction series Otherland by Tad Williams, is a virtual playground packed with potential for fantastic sights and sounds. Just look at this screenshot.
This is what I want a science fiction MMO to be. The screen, that is. Massive creatures unlike anything I've ever seen, strange landscapes filled with mysterious geometry. Drago Entertainment's MMO delivers that, plus a variety of fantasy themed worlds, at least to an extent.
Which brings us to the other world. The real one, where trying to play this game has been a massive pain in the arse.
But to get to those exquisitely alien moments I've had to deal with disconnects, lock-ups, missing prompts, entire missions not spawning, major loading lag and an interface that doesn't have to explain itself to the likes of me.
It's early access still, so it's bound to improve, and when it does quirky moments like the one at the end of the video above will come off as brilliant additions rather than garnish on a fast food hamburger.
Here's the game's official Steam description:
Otherland is an action-packed Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game based on Tad Williams's highly acclaimed novels. Embark on exciting adventures in a virtual multiverse with worlds ranging from fantasy to sci-fi. Built on the Unreal-engine, the Otherland MMO features beautiful graphics, action-based combat with direct controls, PVE and PVP, a rich storyline and complex RPG character development with four classes and numerous skills. The game's unique virtual reality setting brings several innovative features. The eDNA System, for instance, allows you to craft and clone both Items and NPCs to help you protect your virtual apartment or play a part in clan wars.
Considering Otherland was originally due out in 2012, cancelled in 2013 and then picked up by another developer in 2014, I am pleased to see it released at all. Now let's make it playable!
The First Five is the first five minutes of a game with light commentary. Once the five minutes are up, so am I.