While everyone is excited for Red Dead Redemption 2 to be released sometime in the near future, a game that is on the horizon and features a similar style, is Wild West Online. Currently in development by 612 Games, Wild West Online aims to be an MMO set in an open-world Wild West themed environment. PC Gamer recently had the opportunity to get some early gameplay footage showing off some of its features.
Some of the game’s features that were on display in the short, hands-off video were land ownership, treasure hunting, and various methods of acquiring gold. Personally I love the idea of home ownership in MMO games. The thought of owning some acreage in the Wild West, which might allow me to build, design, and expand my ranch, hire ranch hands, own cattle, and produce products to sell in the in-game economy excites me. None of that was shown, mind you, and that’s just my imagination talking. What was shown, however, was the concept of land deeds and how stealing items from someone else’s home affects your reputation.
It looks as if your actions will have a direct impact on your character’s reputation, something that makes sense given the setting. Having the choice between playing a lawful citizen, a road-side robber, or even a sheriff seems like a given for a game set in this genre.
All of your activities need to be financed of course, and a couple of ways of acquiring gold were shown. In true Western style, you can go treasure hunting, though the way to find the gold chest seemed a little unimaginative, at least at this early stage of development. The same could be said for mining for gold or panning for it in rivers. Clearly there’s work left to be done.
Since the announcement of Wild West Online there have been several concerns regarding the game. Perhaps most notably, there is a relationship between the developer, 612 Games, and various people involved in games such as War Z and Big Rigs. These three games share an engine, but 612 Games has been adamant that there is no further relationship and Wild West Online will not fall victim to the problems of those other games. For those not aware, War Z in particular, went through a lot of controversy, several name changes, and was a general disaster of a product.
Judging by the gameplay footage, the game looks pretty, has potential, but also has a long way to go. MMO games aren’t easy to create, and a vibrant world that feels alive is critical to their success. As much as we’d like to experience some of what we all expect from Red Dead Redemption 2 a little earlier and in the MMO setting, only time will tell if Wild West Online will be that game.