Making things bigger, funnier, louder and more kick-ass is what WildStar is all about
WildStar is the long-awaited MMO from Carbine Studios, founded in 2005 with the express purpose of creating a "WoW-killer". The rest of the industry has toned down its PR rhetoric since then - for the longest time, WoW's dominance has proved unassailable. WildStar's devs, however, still have that same pugilistic confidence when talking about their sci-fi MMORPG. It's certainly got colour and character in spades, with a Firefly vibe to the outback planet on which it's set, and a vibrant sense of caricature. The mechanics hold promise, too, with their elaborate spread of classes and careers that radically alter the direction of your game.

Making things bigger, funnier, louder and more kick-ass is what WildStar is all about, and it’s a strategy that sets it apart from the other big MMO players out there today. I used to think long and hard about what it would take for a new online RPG to match or even surpass the success enjoyed by World of Warcraft, but then I realised that it’s probably an anomaly the likes of which we’ll never see again, so what teams like Carbine need to do is offer an alternative that fills gaps left by the competition.

WildStar has plenty of neat features to call its own, and in something of a Battlestar Galactica twist, it sees several exiled races – Human, Aurin, Granrok and Mordesh – fleeing across the galaxy to escape the villainous Dominion. It’s worth noting that you can also play as a Dominion race – Cassian, Draken, Chua and Mechari – if you want a different perspective. The Exiles eventually arrive at a newly-discovered planet called Nexus, and the opening tutorial takes place on a vast starship as it comes under fire from enemy forces. It’s not long before the vessel crashes, triggering the core quest line. It’s pretty epic.

It’s hard to discuss any new MMORPG without mentioning World of Warcraft, and WildStar doesn’t make that task any easier. While WildStar’s vibrant cartoon visuals are more lushly lit and beautifully detailed than those of Blizzard’s aging behemoth, they’re still clearly indebted to them, and the overall look and feel is very WoW.

The same goes for the basic premise, which pits plucky renegades against an authoritarian Dominion on a distant world, and for the way it mixes distinct and unusual races with a solid range of classes. Even the text and icons have a WoW-esque feel.
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