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Adding A Little Telekinesis To The Fray
Lizard Interactive’s upcoming third-person, online, free-to-play shooter is called Psychic Online and it’s very much like Sega’s Psychic Force meets Maiet Entertainment’s Gunz: The Duel. Just imagine lots of off the wall action in corridor style maps, with, yes, you guessed it, psychic powers.
Much like every other MMO action game out there, Pyshic Online features several character classes to choose from, a fair selection of weapons to utilize and, like the name says, several psychic powers to manipulate which can drastically change the flow of the combat.
The game is another one of those fast-paced, Korean shooters but the highlight falls in line with its physics-based psychic powers. For the most part, gamers who loved shooters like Gunz: The Duel or S4 League would probably find themselves right at home in Lizard Interactive’s latest project.
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What Kind Of Psychic Do you Want To Be?
What’s a free-to-play MMO without character classes? It’s nearly nothing…that’s what it is. So to ensure that their game didn’t fall in line with being classified as “just another shooter" the developers have implemented various upgradable skills and character classes that utilize various forms of psychic and telekinetic abilities.
There is a total of four character classes: Movers, Faders, Modulaters and Binders. Not only do the classes breakdown in what psychic abilities they’ll utilize (i.e., Movers can push or pull objects, Faders can disappear or manipulate visibility, Modulaters can repel objects and Binders can alter their own gravity to leap high distances) but character classes will also determine what weapons will be made available for players to use.
Snipers are relegated to the sleek Binder class with an optional side-arm. Just about all the heavy weapons and close-quarter shotguns belong to the beefy looking Modulaters. Small arms pistols and blades are for the femme fatale Faders. Movers basically specialize in sub-machine guns and automatic pistols. Hence, you can relegate the Movers as the all-around character and will more than likely be the favorite pick among most gamers. It’s still too early to tell, but hopefully there will be a variety of weapons per each class so players don’t have to get stuck with a specific class in order to use certain weapons.
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Expect Exteel Meets S4 League
Gamers should pretty much set themselves up to experience a mix of Exteel’s fast-paced melee and gun mechanics, with S4 League’s skill-reliant gameplay. Based on what’s been shown off of the game so far, Psychic Online plays out much like a console-based third-person shooter but within the standard MMO third-person shooter paradigm.
Just like most other MMOTPS titles there’s the option to roll, shoot, dodge and perform skill-based maneuvers, which, for some characters includes using the physics-based properties to throw or move objects around within a map.
It’s nice, though, that a team is finally taking the liberty to expand on the environmental-debris being applicable for a physics-based weapon. The only other game that made that aspect of gameplay a focal point of in-game manipulation is Cellfactor: Revolution. So it’s nice that they’re at least taking a concept that started in Psi-Ops: The MindGate Conspiracy and have found ways to improve on it in Lizard Interactive’s third-person shooter. Hopefully the balance of the psychic powers-to-class-ratio is evenly balanced enough so that any player of a particular class can’t over abuse their powers to any superfluous advantage.
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Visually Stunning Or Just Another Shooter?
As much as I would love to praise the visuals as something extraordinary in Psychic Online, I just don’t think that’s going to happen. The game doesn’t look like a throwaway by far, as the models and texture work is about on par with Sega’s run-and-gun arcade shooter, The Club. For those of you who have no idea what The Club looks like, it’s safe to say that for graphic whores Psychic Online meets the bare minimum standard of looking like a current generation title for the Xbox 360 or PS3. But for gamers who don't measure their gameplay experience by the amount of polygons on a character model, then Psychic Online should be graphically competent enough.
The real question, however, is how well lower-end computers will manage considering that the game is definitely above the standard of what most older computers will be able to play. Then again, given that the game has psychic-based physics powers, I doubt older computers would be able to process that aspect of the game regardless.
Psychic Online has already finished several alpha and closed beta tests but no word, as of the writing of this preview, on an official start date for the open beta. Nevertheless, the game is expected to go live in the late second half of 2010.