Auto Assault Preview
My first look at Auto Assault, a vehicular combat MMO, was during E3 2005. At the time, I reflected on the explosive growth of the massively multiplayer genre and wondered how much longer it could continue. World of Warcraft had recently surpassed one million subscribers, a noteworthy sum for the genre to be sure. Ten months later, that growth certainly hasn't slowed. World of Warcraft has just reached six million subscribers, there are current and upcoming film tie-in MMOs, and worldwide publishers such as NCsoft survive entirely on the business of MMOs. Of course, any company putting all of its game eggs into one genre basket has to at least make sure the eggs are of varying shape and color to--okay, well, they need a diverse portfolio, let's just say that. Cryptic Studios' City of Heroes/City of Villains has been the company's biggest success in straying away from the hallowed wizards and warriors fantasy setting that is traditional to the massively multiplayer genre, but developer NetDevil is straying a lot further with Auto Assault. The game has many of the trappings of most MMOs--character progression through levels, crafting, skill trees, quests, instances--but all combat and exploration is done in Mad Maxian armed and armored vehicles.
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