With the past in the rear-view mirror, we speed ever onward towards the future, but not before pulling over at the present to get a sandwich and use the rest room.

The Secret World/Secret World Legends

I have to put these together because. I am a massive fan of the “urban horror” genre. Not the traditional slasher horror, or all that weird body-horror stuff; I like stories about normal people living in alternate realities where the things we actual people consider to be myth and legend are real and true. Secret World is exactly that, and an MMO to boot! I bought a lifetime sub to TSW, but then Funcom ultimately did SW dirty, despite it being one of the most innovative IPs in the MMO space ever, which is a crime. Thankfully, there’s a TTRPG version coming from Star Anvil Studios, who are NOT Funcom.

No Man’s Sky

NMS is the Little Game That Did, starting off like a rocket during that fateful Sony presentation, only to crash on launch but then not only did it rise from the ashes, but it did so with a brain-melting heavy metal guitar solo. NMS is one of the most expansive and involved games ever released, and Hello Games deserves a country named after them for never having given up, and also for releasing every single expansion to the game for free (and usually announcing it a day before it launches).

Ultima Online

I know this game isn’t “now”, but this post is “now-ish” and I cannot omit Ultima Online from this or any list of this sort. UO was my first “modern” MMO, and set the bar very high for my personal ideas of the kinds of features an MMO should offer: expansive harvesting and crafting, housing, flexible classes, sandbox, and much more. It’s also where I started hating people in MMOs since early UO was oPvP.

Stellaris, et al.

I include Stellaris as an example of my love of deep, involved strategy games. As I age, my ability to deal with twitchy shooters or fiddly platformers diminishes, so I turn to games that allow me to furrow my brow, stroke my chin, and then make colossal, game-ending mistakes. In truth, I might elevate games like the Crusader Kings series, or even city-builders above Stellaris, but Steam says I have a paltry 25 hours in Stellaris (which has to be completely false) so I am using this as a conceptual representative.

Star Citizen

This list could not be honest if I didn’t include the game industry’s favorite punching bag, Star Citizen. On paper, SC is everything I have ever wanted in a video game, even before features such as multiplayer, seamless worlds, and high-fidelity graphics were possible in my youth. The icing on the cake is that it takes place in the future, and in space, two things I am a massive fan of. The downside, however, is that the game is taking so damn long to create, and I’m increasingly convinced that it’s because CIG is having trouble getting out of its own way, not because “making games is hard” (which it is, I know). But that discussion is for another post, which I’m sure I’ll draft as soon as I post this one.

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