Obvious Pixar nods aside, other influences on WildStar’s artstyle include Team Fortress 2 and Ratchet & Clank
WildStar doesn’t have a high-profile licence to bring in an audience. It’s relying on attracting players who like the MMORPG for what it is, and will appreciate a considered take on the existing formula. Its message is positive: that theme parks are, ultimately, all about having fun – and that games are, at the end of the day, for playing.

Obvious Pixar nods aside, other influences on WildStar’s artstyle include Team Fortress 2 and Ratchet & Clank. Matt Mocarski worked on the Jak And Daxter series, as well as Legacy Of Kain, and WildStar’s stylised characters display all of these influences. Players may not be able to shape the look as they might in a rival game, but the character creator is surprisingly involved. Mocarski explains that the intent is to give the player the ability to determine the degree of stylisation they want to see. You can dial down the human’s exaggerated proportions, for example, to create something more realistic without breaking Carbine’s stylistic vision.

This spirit of customisation, from your character down to your overall experience, is something that Wildstar does really well and is a huge asset to the game. Once you reach a certain level, player housing will unlock which is not only a brilliant idea but something that is deviously addictive. As soon as I began the process of construction, I felt that same buzz I once had from Animal Crossing, already feeling the urge to find new furniture and change the colour of the sky. Wait, no that is right. In Wildstar, if you want a moody purple sky behind your house, consider it done!

The story tells the tale of both factions feeling wronged by the other, which leads to conflict between the two sides. What WildStar does to add a twist to the formula is stick its tongue so far into its cheek that it becomes lodged and impossible to remove, not that Carbine wants to remove it in the first place. The game almost never takes itself too seriously, even the evil undertones in the Dominion’s starting areas are highlighted with comically overdone stereotypes of Exile races and manages to lighten the mood on the reeducation being done in their ship with ridiculous scientific experiments being run by a tiny furry creature in a labcoat. The story even features a narrator, who delivers information about key areas in zones with a voice that wouldn’t sound out of place overdubbed on monster truck event commercials. This narrator also comments on leveling up, along the lines about how the “universe just got more awesome.” that helps nail down the lighthearted nature of the game’s environments and story.