Amazon Games has to this point put up an uninspiring effort to break into the gaming market. Any notable efforts made can be traced back to around 2014, and for the most part have mostly consisted of small time mobile games. Their first big title was a free to play, third person, multiplayer shooter game called Crucible. If you’ve never heard of it there’s good reason for that. The game was first launched on May 20, 2020. Then, in July of that year the game was placed back into a closed beta form before finally, the game’s servers went dark on November 9, 2020.
Crucible was supposed to be a lasting multiplayer shooter, similar in ways to Overwatch. Millions of dollars were poured into the game’s development, and it ended up being a huge blow to consumer confidence for further Amazon properties. Luckily for them the game was so abhorrent very few people played, or even heard about the game, which allows Amazon to save some face for the future.
For the curious few wondering what made it so bad I’ll save you a Google search. The game was reportedly filled with characters that were wildly unbalanced, maps that’s were far too big to traverse, and it was hemorrhaging players from the start. It was utterly apparent that it was Amazon’s first real at-bat in the big leagues. We’re sorry to inform you, but game development isn’t as simple to master as your grandma’s bookstore, Jeff.
The Next Generation of MMO is Here
Moving on to the new hotness that is New World, I think it’s fair to say Amazon has finally got a handle on what they’re doing. Not only does this game help to brighten up a pretty dry period for games, but it might just be the best MMO I’ve ever played. There’s just something about it that makes me never want to turn it off. If ever lines of code could be laced with cocaine this is the game that does it. I simply do not want to stop playing. I am nearing the point to taking an extended vacation from work just to put in some quality time for the good of the Syndicate.
There’s just something special about New World. Few people even notice what’s happening, but I think I’ve figured it out. New World offers the first MMO world I’ve ever experienced that actually feels alive when you’re in it, rather than just being a static, regenerating pool of resources to farm. From the simple things of just being able to see trees falling after cutting them down to the ever changing, interactive territory map, as seen below, it just all feels right.
Just like any MMO, in New World you must embrace the grind. That is especially true if you want to partake in the PvP aspects of the game, because there will always be someone higher level then you, just accept it. If you find yourself struggling to find the time to put real hours into this game however, you will quickly fall behind. As great as New World may be, it comes with a substantial time commitment. Otherwise, you might find yourself missing out on a lot, and this is especially true when it comes to PvP.
You have to be willing to chop down trees for hours at a time for no other reason than it’s an honest days work, and somebody’s got to do it. For me, one of the most miraculous feats they’ve achieved with this game is that chopping down trees and mining for hours at a time is oddly a satisfying process. You don’t mind it like you think you would. I’m not sure how, but grinding just doesn’t feel as grindy in New World as it has for me in other MMOs. For example, I remember in Black Desert Online I dreaded grinding for xp and resources. It just felt like a chore, and ultimately ended up being the reason I stopped playing. Here it is just different. I’m sure as I get closer to max level a wall will be hit somewhere, but over 20 hours in and I’m still enjoying resource gathering as much as I am questing.
The most intriguing part of New World is the PvP and faction wars. For those that don’t know, there are three factions for players to choose from, and they’re all constantly fighting to take over each other’s territory on the world/server you choose to play on. The more territory a faction can control the more benefits players receive from it.
If you’re interested in creating or joining guilds, New World offers the ability to be able to claim control of your own individual territory on the map on behalf of your guild, and ultimately your chosen faction. This is a great way to reward a group of friends or strangers joined together for building a formidable force in PvP action. You will of course be responsible for defending this claimed territory, but every time another player comes near your territory, or enters it to do PvE questing, they will see displayed the name of your guild. As you can see above this particular territory is owned by the guild “The Order of Atlas”. Little things like this are a pretty great “look at me, I did that” moment that reward the players putting in the work during wars.
More Than Just a Bookstore
Recently in an interview with The Verge, Amazon Gaming VP Christoph Hartmann was quoted saying, “My personal goal is to create 2-3 AAA, live-service games, which capture millions of players and stay in the market for 10+ years”. Well I’m here to say if the other couple games he’s got tucked under his sleeve are anywhere near to the standard of New World then that goal will be a cakewalk.
Going from hemorrhaging players after the release of Crucible to having to navigate player queues with New World is one hell of a turn around. As long as Amazon Games doesn’t “Cyberpunk” us with their next big title, I think their future is looking bright. If nothing else New World’s success goes a long way in validating Amazon’s venture into gaming development after a near decade of struggles. This may not be your grandma’s bookstore, but you guys are welcome anytime.