WildStar is a trip in every sense of the word--definitely one of the more unique settings for an MMO
In the nine years since World of Warcraft's release, plenty of other MMORPGs have tried to capture Blizzard's magic. The problem, for many, was a fundamental misunderstanding of what that magic was. Rather than start with an earnest wish to give people expansive, varied worlds, deep systems and engaging lore, they were instead conceived with the realisation that having millions of regular subscribers would look good on an annual earnings report.

WildStar is Carbine Studios’ first game and a sci-fi MMORPG set on the planet Nexus against the war between Exiles and the Dominion. The amount of talent coveted to create this game spans some of the most significant games of the past decade, from World of Warcraft to Metroid Prime, Half Life 2 to Everquest and Fallout.

It’s super serious while not asking you to take things so seriously. That and the all-encompassing atmosphere of adventure, raucous animated abandon and pure fun that dictates this all too grave war. WildStar developer Carbine lays out an attractive stall with its sci-fi Wild West mash-up, but can it take on the kings of the MMO genre? Dave Cook gets stuck into the beta to find out.

I think WildStar is a trip in every sense of the word--definitely one of the more unique settings for an MMO. The game is an elaborate compilation of throwbacks to different eras of gaming. When you actually consider the design, it’s actually rather ingenious--containing ingredients which appeal to gamers of all ages on the highly addictive and profitable vehicle of an MMORPG, it is a meticulously designed nostalgia bomb set to destroy every moment of free time you will ever have.

I’ve just strolled into a Dominion encampment swarming with robotic footsoldiers and explosive auto-turrets to help liberate the snowy Northern Wilds from the empire’s oppression.

Basic grunts fall screaming one by one as I cut through them with ease using my aqua-tinted blade, while mortar bombardments explode all around my bearded warrior. I fight my way up a hill towards the last of the hostile army, only to be met by a towering Megabot that stomps through the tree line unexpectedly.