Remember the phenomenal science fiction tetralogy Otherland by Tad Williams? If not, imagine a futuristic Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz at best. Some even compare it to Lord of the Rings though the plot revolves around the obsession of virtual reality on Earth two decades before the end of the 21st Century. The popular books have been adapted into an interesting game at a seemingly perfect time when virtual technology is at last really taking off. Now this is hardly news per se; both virtual reality and the game itself appeared years ago in an MMO in production based on the novels. Unfortunately, a year after the anticipated release date, the project was cancelled. In 2014, Drago-Entertainment announced they had revived the game into an Unreal-powered action MMORPG which is now available on Steam Early Access.
Players are now able to explore a colorful “Multiverse” of virtual worlds each with distinctive appearances connected by an overarching storyline and hundreds of quests to venture through. The visual representation of full-immersion VR might have sounded insane years ago; however, decades from now it could become part of everyday life. There are positives like businesses opportunities, life improvement, expansions in technology and education, but also the negatives such as new incurable diseases, new insatiable addictions, and new forms of terrorism.
Built using the Unreal 3 Engine, Otherland shows off gorgeous screenshots that compliment both the high tech futuristic realms and other fantastical locations existing in between. There are four classes to choose from: The Warrior, The Assassin, The Marksman, and The Energizer which are explained with a tad extra detail on the game’s website. The extensive character customization also allows manufacturing gear and items to craft. On the subject of combat, expect the feel of an action game than a classic MMORPG using direct aiming and the mouse to look around and control direction – in PVE and PVP including Battlegrounds.
It’s never too late to get familiarized with the books before delving into the game’s rich atmosphere. So what’s included? Expect the fantasy world “Eight Squared”, the cyber-punk inspired “Bad Sector”, the Asian “Five Isles”, and the SciFi planet “Mars”. “Lambda Mall” functions as the central hub for players to socialize, complete with bars, shops and personal player apartments.
Thanks to its unique setting, Otherland features several innovations for MMOs, among them the eDNA of NPCs, Avatars and Items as well as the “USpace” (Player housing) and “ClanLand”-systems.
• Quest-driven MMORPG with 4 character classes in PvE and PvP
• Action-based combat with WASD-controls and Mouse-aiming
• Outstanding virtual reality scenario with 5 uniquely designed worlds and a strong story, based on Tad Williams’ bestselling novels
• eDNA: Players craft items and clone NPCs based on their virtual DNA
• USpace: Personal housing – customize, grow resources and defend against other players
• ClanLand: Clans develop their own worlds and protect them in clan wars
If the Future isn’t now, it’s otherwise coming!