For quite some time, a coworker and I have discussed a hypothetical game I like to call SimEverything.
At the grandest scale, it would be like SimCity: a player would be the mayor, zoning and constructing buildings, dispatching police forces, and occasionally leveling whole neighborhoods with the wrath of god.
You know, typical mayor stuff.
But what if, instead of Sims, the landscape was populated by other players? When firemen were sent to put out a blaze, people in the F2P SimFire game on their phones were actually the ones manning the hoses? What if the sports teams in your city’s stadiums were people playing SimNFL and SimWaterPolo? The crimes happening were being perpetrated by players of SimGTA for PS4, being hunted by kids on SimPD for Wii U?
It would be more than an MMO. It would be a beautiful, connected universe that spanned not only platforms, but also genres. This kind of game has been a fantasy of mine some time… but perhaps it will become a reality much sooner than I anticipated.
At last year’s E3, the first glimpses of this vision was peeking through the cracks between otherwise straightforward titles. Ubisoft in particular was pushing the front with The District. PC players who found themselves in trouble could solicit help from people who had downloaded a related smartphone game. The mobile players could swoop in with aerial drones, provide cover fire, then continue on to whatever it is military drones do when they’re not shooting things. Possibly enjoying drone literature.
These plans for The District were great, but I still wanted something closer to SimEverything. This weekend, however, I believe CCP Games, the makers of EVE Online, are finally answering my prayers.
At Fanfest 2014 (a drunken Icelandic party for EVE Online fans), the company’s devs unveiled their vision for the future of EVE. While the starship-centric MMO strategy would remain the meat and potatoes of the New Eden galaxy, two additional titles would soon be included in that world:
- EVE Valkyrie, a dogfighting action game harnessing virtual-reality
- EVE Legion, a first-person shooter evolved from the Dust 514 code
Valkyrie and Dust are by no means fresh news for EVE Online fans, but CCP’s plan was far grander than most players ever anticipated. A new cinematic trailer (embedded above) shows two traditional space fleets squaring off, but this time, Legionnaires were shown slicing into and boarding enemy ships, gunning down the hapless dolts inside. Meanwhile, Valkyries were being launched from nearby capital craft to blast down the invading footsoldiers (not to mention other fighters).
If this wasn’t cool enough, CCP confirmed that players could “jump” between their characters across game modes directly from the client. It’s not inconceivable that a pilot could move his primary ship into enemy space, jump into a Valkyrie to clear the skies of resistance, then kick down a carrier’s front door and blow the ship up from the inside out.
It’s crazy, it’s chaotic, it’s unthinkably complicated, and I can’t fucking wait for it.
Of course, there are a lot of logistics that need to be worked out, and questions that need to be answered. Will certain actions create instances for Valkyrie and Legion players, or will fights start and end on some kind of schedule? Will capsuleers be able to choose or hire the mercs that fight for them on the ground and in the sky, or could a “friendly” FPS player being paid by the enemy easily sabotage your war efforts?
I’ll leave those answers to CCP Games, as I’m sure they’ll have more details in the coming months (or more likely, years). In the interim, I can’t help but be ecstatic with the prospect of a truly cross-genre universe existing. This particular execution may not give me the opportunity to summon tornadoes, but if I finally get to see the inside of an EVE ship while looking down the barrel of a plasma rifle, I’ll be content.