Online multiplayer is the mode du jour for most game developers in every genre from fantasy MMOs to economy-focused space-sims. Even mobile games require persistent online connectivity these days! 2014 has been a great year for online games in its own right with a number of high quality title launches and the revitalisation of old favourites.
Bungie (Halo series) have returned with a brand new FPS IP. Like any good MMO, the key to success here is working together with other players and leveraging your individual strengths. Destiny has local servers but as it’s a brand new title, traffic and lag will be heavy, thus a strong internet connection is essential. Consider a new ISP such http://www.ivox.com.au if your connection is a bit shaky, because no one wants a drop out thirty seconds before the end of a massive raid that would have earned you some sweet, sweet loot.
Team Fortress 2
Team Fortress 2 is one of the most enduring online games of the last ten years. A team-based first person shooter that’s full of charm and humour, TF2 sports a variety of character classes and play modes. It has massive player base too, due to Valve’s decision to make the title free-to-play via Steam (they make their money from a constantly updated in-game store that sells custom items). Local servers are easy to come by which helps keep your ping down and the game just had a massive update this year with new a ton of new items, maps, weapons and taunts.
The Elder Scrolls Online
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was one of the biggest games of 2011. One thing that many players lamented while traversing the frozen Norse-inspired tundra was that, due to Skyrim being a single-player title, it was a journey they had to undertake alone. The idea of a multiplayer Elder Scrolls title got developer Bethesda thinking and earlier his year, The Elder Scrolls Online, a subscription-based MMORPG, was born.
A new sci-fi MMO from Carbine Studios, made up of many former members of Blizzard (and a number of other high profile developers). Wildstar was heralded as the second coming of WOW on release, featuring deep controls, a steep learning curve, beautiful art design and some truly difficult raids. WOW players looking for a new challenge flocked to Wildstar, making it the MMO to watch in 2014.
Respawn Entertainment’s wildly successful future combat multiplayer FPS is possibly the most fun you’ll have online this year. What other game allows you to shoot enemies with high-powered weaponry on-foot, parkour your way up and over buildings before calling down a giant combat robot from orbit, leaping into it and going on a stomping rampage? Perfection. The PC version features a truly whopping 38GB install but is worth every bit of it.
Online gaming has never been broader, smarter or more fun. As the holiday season approaches, even more online titles will drop before Christmas including Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Driveclub and The Crew. As is now customary, gamers have their work cut out for them from now until Christmas. What’s your favourite online game? Are you a relative newcomer or have you been trolling noobs and ganking mobs since Ultima Online? Let us know in the comments below.