E3 2011: Prime World mixes free-to-play MMO with Facebook friend interaction
Nival's Prime World is an upcoming free-to-play PC game that allows players a chance to enter a never-ending battle between two warring factions. Prime, the game's currency, is a source of power, magic and overall life on this war torn planet, and your ultimate goal will be to gather as much Prime as possible, to strengthen your own skills and abilities. As there are two different armies in this war, each has their own moral code and way of life. One, a scientific culture, focuses on logic and uses Prime to create new mechanical objects; the other is more spiritual, artistic and free-flowing, using Prime to enhance their magical abilities.
Prime World's gameplay seems two-fold. For one, you can exit the safety of your castle/kingdom and battle members of the opposite army, destroying towers, defeating monsters, and claiming new land for your own (the land physically changes from dry and barren to lush and downright beautiful as you claim it). You'll earn Prime for most actions, and can then spend that prime on new abilities, whether for use in defense, self-growth or offense. The other element shown at our E3 demo was that of city-building, as you create new buildings inside your castle's walls. The major elements of free-to-play MMOs all seem to be present, but where the game becomes a bit different is in its inclusion of Facebook.You'll be able to invite your Facebook friends to play the game with you (as Nival says, to introduce players who may not be as hardcore to the fun), via a castle-building mini game. There's even a Zuma-inspired marble game for those that would prefer to match marbles than enter combat (at least temporarily). Gender based bonuses are available as well, so if a male and female play in the same group, they might receive a bonus that protects them from damage if they stay close together. As strategy and teamwork play a huge role in PvP sessions (of course, two or more units attacking the same enemy will greatly increase the odds for survival), you'll want to invite as many Facebook friends into the game as possible to take advantage of those bonuses.
In my hands-on time with the game, I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. The graphics include a mixture of both western and eastern influences, and are very, very pleasing to the eyes. Enemy towers stand high on the landscape, but you might find yourself distracted by their complexity when you should be clicking to destroy it. Gameplay seems fluid, with customizable hot keys, and we overall look forward to seeing what else the game has in store when it launches in beta later this year.
Would you like to play MMOs with your Facebook friends? Does Prime World seem like something you'd enjoy? Let us know in the comments.