Is The Sandbox Genre Making A Comeback?
Starting rumors are never high on my agenda, but when I see the dots connecting, like a constellation on a clear night, my mind cannot help but wonder. This upcoming year is going to be pretty interesting, if you remember the old days when games took time to complete. I am not sure if you have heard or read about what Sony had in store for us with Everquest Next, and if you have not, check it out here, but expect great things from SOE next year. Mix Sony‘s fever for housing decorations and experience with sandbox games and you are going to get something great. Even more than great, incredible is probably a better word for this next year. You have Darkfall: Unholy Wars that promises to deliver an amazing PvP sandbox, then you have Everquest Next, which leads me to speculate about other MMO‘s that might be in the works.
There is no proof to this, but imagine a World of Warcraft Sandbox. If you are entwined in the gaming community you know Blizzard is working on their next MMORPG and they have release very little about it. I am sure there is a circle of programmers, designers, and artists that are weaved throughout the business’, and they must know each other are doing. It is my speculation that Sony caught wind of what Blizzard was doing. Why else would they change the direction of their game so abruptly? Something made them stop and redesign the game mechanics of the game. They went from theme park to sandbox, so it leads me to believe there is something else in the works. Blizzard has said very little about their new MMORPG and with the recent drop in their workforce they might have to wait a little bit of time on theirs. So if you were Sony, wouldn’t you want to introduce your game first? Again, this is all speculation and I have no pure evidence for this, but a gamer can dream.
If you are one of those players who enjoys the world of a ‘theme park’ type of game, which is the norm on the market right now, have no fear because sandbox is way better. It is not like a job like some people have said, it is almost the same, just no more levels or particular paths you have to follow. Go where you would like to and test the mobs difficulties by fighting the mobs and not by someone giving you permission from a quest you recieved. The beauty of it all is you can take on something above your skill level and still kill it if you try hard enough. No more dotted lines on a map, just a seamless world where you get to be yourself and follow your own path. You shape your character, and you are not a cookie cutter character. Everyone doesn’t have the exact same stuff and everyone has not done the exact same thing as you.
If you are a player who has played the sandbox genre before, get ready for some of that fun you remember. I know I am ready. For all of you haters out there, this is for you.