WildStar is an exuberant and carnival-bright action MMOG
The MMOG didn’t set out to become a theme park, but that’s what it has become. The term is usually used as a pejorative, denoting something false or, in the worst case, exploitative. WildStar is an exuberant and carnival-bright action MMOG that wants to remind its players that there’s a fun side to theme parks, too – that it’s no bad thing to be entertained, to simply play.

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.

If you’re looking for even more extra content, achieving level 15 unlocks the game’s fantastic housing system. Perhaps housing is the wrong word for it. You’re basically given a plot of land, and the rest is up to you. The player has nearly unlimited agency. You can build any sort of house you want, using materials collected throughout your adventures or using the game’s crafting system. Do you want to have a farm? Go for it! Want to build an elaborate platforming maze? Sure thing. It’s been said that once players reach level 15 they get sucked into the housing black hole, and it’s not difficult to see why. It’s sheer customizability and the allure of collecting or creating new pieces of furniture is highly addictive.

Trade Skills are another element of WildStar that are just recognisable enough to allow veteran MMO players to jump on board without much of a learning curve, but different enough to keep those same veterans interested in what a lot of people find the dullest aspect in a role-playing game. Crafting takes place at crafting tables within settlements and, just as in other games, you’ll be required to bring together a selection of materials in order to craft specific items, either something you want for yourself in order to upgrade a particular gear slot, or something to sell for that all important gold.