Release Date: Q4 2007
One of the interesting things about the MMORPG genre is that it is, technically, a niche market. Not everyone wants to play one of them, and those who do, don't tend to play much of anything else. As World of Warcraft has recently proven, though, it is an extremely big niche, with room for hundreds of variations on the theme.
Fury is one of those variations. PVP is a big part of most MMOs, but as most of the (deeply whiny) hardcore fanbase of those MMOs would tell you, they aren't usually designed for it. Abilities and character builds that are fine for PVE content are often useless or broken when applied to PVP, which starts the usual hilarious cycle of nerfing, unnerfing, and renerfing.
Fury, on the other hand, is designed as a pure PVP game, with no PVE content whatsoever. The developers compare it to Unreal Tournament, which makes a lot of sense; Fury's combat combines the hell-for-leather running around of an FPS with the character building and general feel of an MMO. It manages to fuse two entirely different genres in a very weird but effective sort of way.
In Fury's game world, all players are one of the Chosen, a warrior from the past who's been called back to protect the realms they once called home. A magical cataclysm has shattered the world into barely sustainable pocket dimensions, and by dueling each other, the Chosen can generate the energies needed to keep the realms livable. At the same time, through combat, the Chosen will slowly remember the powers and abilities they used to have.
At E3, Auran had a demo station set up at the Hotel California, and were letting journalists get in a few rounds. While the hotel's spotty Internet connection made the gameplay a little less smooth than anyone would've liked, I still managed to win a couple of matches. Believe me, I'm more surprised about that than anyone.
When you enter a match in Fury, you're dropped into an arena with several other players and left to it. We played every-man-for-himself deathmatch style, but groups, realm-vs-realm, and guild combat will all be supported in the final version. In both rounds, the arena was a large and intricate battleground full of tunnels and hidden areas; one was a snow-covered Japanese courtyard, while the other was a circular stone room lined with gargoyles. Both had jump pads and hidden passages, allowing for ambushes or rapid escapes.
In addition to the powers your character has — my character was some kind of combo-happy ice mage, which turned out to be fairly effective; I could just spam her ice missiles and take out other players — there are power-ups scattered around the battlefield which respawn at regular intervals. These include large heals, HOTs, temporary stat boosts, damage multipliers, and more. You wouldn't want to rely on them, but they're useful and they change the entire flow of the battle. Now when you run away, you're actually running to something instead of praying for some kind of divine intervention.
At the end of a match, each character is evaluated and rewarded based on their achievements, such as the most damage dealt, the highest score, the most healing, and so on. In this early beta, no points were handed out, but apparently the final version will change that.
Fury still has a lot of unanswered questions about it, like how character creation and building are going to work, but Auran is preparing to hand out about two hundred thousand keys for their closed beta. All these questions are presumably about to be answered. Naturally, as we learn more, we'll let you know more.
Preview by: Thomas Wilde
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