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Age Of Conan: Hyborian Adventures

26 Stories for this game so far
Conan is cool, noone's going to deny that, so who wouldn't want to be him or one of his companions and kick James Earl Jones' ass all over Hyboria? The game itself is pretty much generic MMO fare, prettily done admittedly but still very much world of warcraft with a few tweaks. From what I can gather its a bit of a marmite game - you either love it or hate it. It garnered mixed reviews from the press when it launched and the playerbase crashed soon after release as people got bored and wandered off. However on the other side a dedicated population continue to love and play it and a stream of updates have improved it beyond recognition from the original release.

Aion: The Tower of Eternity

5 Stories for this game so far
Released only a couple of years ago Aion is a fresh-faced newcomer to the MMO Scene. As such it has a beautiful graphics engine lifted straight from the FPS world, never before in an MMO have scantily clad females been so lovingly rendered! Also you get to soar around the skies with your own set of feathery wings, cool! That said, being targetted more towards the far-eastern market, it is a bit of a grindfest.

City of Heroes / Villians

3 Stories for this game so far
Hurrah! An MMO tht doesn't feature orcs, wizards or people that say the word morrow when they mean to say morning. Instead in CoH/CoV you get to play as either a full on super hero or a twisted evil villian. Sounds like fun doesn't it? What with all the flying, laserbeam eye-ing and spandex wearing fun you could get up to. That said though, under the bright shiny exterior it has pretty much the same quest/reward mechanics of all MMOs

Dofus

1 Stories for this game so far
Dofus is a free to play MMORPG from our friends the French. Originally launched only in France it was soon translated in to other languages and since then its popularity has exploded round the world. The laid back gameplay and cartoony, styalised visuals make this more of a casual game than some so it can provide a refreshing and quirky alternative to its more serious bretheren.

Dungeons & Dragons Online

4 Stories for this game so far
Given that it's based on the Dungeons and Dragons board game beloved of generations of greasy haired geeks the world over, you'll not be surprised in the least to know that this is one of the more hardcore MMOs out there. It contains all the spells and dismemberment that you'd expect from your typical MMO but with a seriousness and level of involvement that you just don't get in some of the more mainstream titles. That doesn't mean its boring though! It's generally received as a good game and has a modest but thriving community making it as strong now as it has ever been.

Eve Online

12 Stories for this game so far
Often described as a 'Space Opera' EVE is an absolutely vast game that takes place across an entire universe full of millions of stars, planets and other locations you can visit. Although slow paced and daunting for new players, the rewards lie in becoming a small cog in the overall machine. Huge player-run corporations combine together to fight for territory and resources. This means epic space battles involving hundreds of ships of all sizes vieing for superiority - All in a completely live and unscripted universe that evolves constantly in reaction to the thrust and counter thrust of ongoing, endless war.

EverQuest 2

2 Stories for this game so far
Everquest pretty much gave birth to the whole MMO genre as we know it today. Its favoured son Everquest 2 came along in 2004 to carry the standard forward with shiny new graphics and an updated engine. The idea was a solid one but the timing wasn't. Everquest 2 launched in direct competition to the behemoth that is World of Warcraft. As a consequence, despite gathering a dedicated player base from mainly ex-everquest players, it never really took off and was ignored by the wider gaming community.

Final Fantasy XI

0 Stories for this game so far
Everyone's played a final fantasy game at some point in their lives, so you should know roughly what to expect here. Although originally designed for the PS2 this game has all the depth and complexity you'd expect from an MMO. It's a little grindy and its getting long in the tooth but there's still a hell of a game there.

Guild Wars

3 Stories for this game so far
Once viewed as the only serious competition out there to the all conquering WoW machine, GuildWars is still a very popular game with a key innovation: No subscription fees. When first launched Free-2-Play games were pretty thin on the ground and/or pretty shit to play. GuildWars revolutionised this, and as a result its user numbers skyrocketed way past the million mark in no time flat. It's fallen by the wayside in recent years as other MMOs have come online and eaten away its market share, but with GuildWars 2 galloping over the horizon there's life in the old dog yet!

Lineage

1 Stories for this game so far
I know nothing about Lineage, apart from the fact that its made by NCSoft - A Korean company, and therefore probably has more grind than coffee maker. Looking at the wikipedia page I can tell you that it seems to follow the standard fantasy MMORPG template, and also that it is really big in - you guessed it - Korea.

Lineage II: The Chaotic Throne

0 Stories for this game so far
Lineage 2 is a prequel to the first game, set 150 years previous to the original games' events. It was launched in 2003 and, as with the first game, enjoyed a big uptake in the far east. Having never played it we can't tell you much about the game itself but if those crazy Asians love it so much then its got to be half decent.

Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar

2 Stories for this game so far
A lovingly created reincarnation of JRR Tolkien's Middle Earth. Play as one of the free races and take up your sword or staff in the battle against the evil forces of Sauron. Initially based in and around the Shire, several expansions have opened up the lands all the way to Moria and beyond. And parhaps thats the most compulsive part of the game - they're not scratching around for new ideas on which to base future expansions, instead they're carefully meting out chapters of a story we all know and love. All of this leading to an Epic climax in front of the gates of Mordor itself!

PlanetSide

1 Stories for this game so far
Another ageing behemoth of the MMO world. Planetside sets itself out from the crowd by being a sci-fi experience: with laser guns, tanks and huge hulking mechs taking the place of the orcs, battle axes and the general poncing about that makes up most of the competition. That said its as old as the hills and has pretty much had its day. You can still play PlanetSide of course, but you might get a little lonely....

Runescape

0 Stories for this game so far
Runescape has a huge following, as its website will scream at you it is the #1 free 2 play MMO out there. Although its look and feel are simplistic compared to full price games it is still a vast and absorbing experience... and after all it is completely free :-) In terms of gameplay expect the usual haking at stuff with swords malarky.

Star Wars Galaxies

2 Stories for this game so far
An MMO based on the Star Wars universe - not the mediocre, emo, Jar-Jar Binks infested new one but the awesome oldschool 'that's not a moon its a space station' one that we all know and love. So on paper it's a real stonker! SWG the game however is a bit of a mongrel these days: It first opened its doors to gamers over a decade ago and met with large scale initial success. But the ravages of time, some disastrous design decisions from the developers and the mass player exodus they provoked have left it an empty and somewhat broken game. It's still going though, it still has a small but loyal community and at the end of the day it's still Star Wars!

Warhammer: Age of Reckoning

0 Stories for this game so far
Whilst being based on the age old Warhammer table top games, the WaR MMO tried to do something different and shake up the stagnant warcraft-clone ridden fantasy genre. At the hart of its myriad innovations was a full blown and involving PvP system that put the fight right on your doorstep and begged you to get involved. Although many of the other innovations have been shamelessly ripped off by the competition and the subscriber numbers have fallen away since launch, WaR is still very much alive and kicking!

World of Warcraft

16 Stories for this game so far
WoW is the king of all MMOs, its the biggest paid-for MMO out there by a huge margin, which therefore makes it the target that pretty much every other game is gunning for. The nuts and bolts are pretty much the same as all fantasy MMOs - You use big swords and magic spells to smite hordes of evil looking monsters. However it's a very highly polished game, it's absorbing world, intuitive interface and warming graphics help to give it widespread appeal to n00bs and hardcore gamers alike.

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