Sony Unveils MMO For PlayStation 3

Not a sword in sight

Posted by Staff
Sony Unveils MMO For PlayStation 3
In gaming news from Sony, the company has dished the dirt on its upcoming espionage-based MMO for the PS3. The title will bear the sinister name The Agency, and is expected out sometime before Christmas in the US.

The game is the first confirmed MMO for the platform. It comes from Sony Online Entertainment, the company behind Everquest Online Adventures for the PS2.

According to the game's producer, Matt Wilson, The Agency will offer up the genre's stock traits, "action, adventure and intrigue." Wilson also teased that the game will feature "betrayals... the stuff that hasn't been tapped yet in the genre."

There are two factions to throw your lot in with, which suggests a player-vs-player element. You also get to build your own team of AI-controlled secret agents, although it's unknown whether you'll be able to lead them into conflict online.

Of course, while a stealthy spy-based PvP element might be interesting, it won't satisfy those who love nothing more than ploughing into combat with guns blazing and testosterone that bubble out of their ears. Those of you who fit that bill need not worry, however. "You are what you wear," according to Wilson. Roughly translated, that means you can either don armour and pump your opponents full of hot lead or slip into something a bit more innocuous and blend into the background like a beige ninja.

SPOnG, for one, is glad to see an MMO on the way that doesn't re-tread the tried and tested trail blazed by World of Warcraft. Publishers are finally demonstrating that they have the stones to move beyond the swords and sorcery model, as demonstrated by Ubisoft with EndWar.

Source: Games Radar
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Comments

Theturk 5 Jun 2007 13:50
1/8
At Last. A game where you can get characters to do stuff for you while you sit back and enjoy a cool drink and snacks.
I wonder if perhaps the engine will use stuff like 'gambits' those pre-programmed instructions you can give to FFXII characters so given certain conditions they will behave in certain ways. It's just simple distance programming innit?

http://psplaytime.blogspot.com
Tim Smith 5 Jun 2007 14:20
2/8
Theturk wrote:
At Last. A game where you can get characters to do stuff for you while you sit back and enjoy a cool drink and snacks.
I wonder if perhaps the engine will use stuff like 'gambits' those pre-programmed instructions you can give to FFXII characters so given certain conditions they will behave in certain ways. It's just simple distance programming innit?

http://psplaytime.blogspot.com


Hello there... interesting take on 'lazy gaming' you'll like our upcoming Slouchpad review.

By the way, I can see you linking back to your blog, but strangely no link from there to SPOnG. A little unfair don't you think? How about quid pro quo?
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Theturk 5 Jun 2007 14:24
3/8
Tim Smith wrote:
Theturk wrote:
At Last. A game where you can get characters to do stuff for you while you sit back and enjoy a cool drink and snacks.
I wonder if perhaps the engine will use stuff like 'gambits' those pre-programmed instructions you can give to FFXII characters so given certain conditions they will behave in certain ways. It's just simple distance programming innit?

http://psplaytime.blogspot.com


Hello there... interesting take on 'lazy gaming' you'll like our upcoming Slouchpad review.

By the way, I can see you linking back to your blog, but strangely no link from there to SPOnG. A little unfair don't you think? How about quid pro quo?


Ok willco !
Tim Smith 5 Jun 2007 14:30
4/8
Theturk wrote:
Tim Smith wrote:
Theturk wrote:
At Last. A game where you can get characters to do stuff for you while you sit back and enjoy a cool drink and snacks.
I wonder if perhaps the engine will use stuff like 'gambits' those pre-programmed instructions you can give to FFXII characters so given certain conditions they will behave in certain ways. It's just simple distance programming innit?

http://psplaytime.blogspot.com


Hello there... interesting take on 'lazy gaming' you'll like our upcoming Slouchpad review.

By the way, I can see you linking back to your blog, but strangely no link from there to SPOnG. A little unfair don't you think? How about quid pro quo?


Ok willco !


Now that's what I call a decent Forum exchange... nice one.

Cheers

Tim
Theturk 5 Jun 2007 15:38
5/8
Tim Smith wrote:
Theturk wrote:
Tim Smith wrote:
Theturk wrote:
At Last. A game where you can get characters to do stuff for you while you sit back and enjoy a cool drink and snacks.
I wonder if perhaps the engine will use stuff like 'gambits' those pre-programmed instructions you can give to FFXII characters so given certain conditions they will behave in certain ways. It's just simple distance programming innit?

http://psplaytime.blogspot.com


Hello there... interesting take on 'lazy gaming' you'll like our upcoming Slouchpad review.

By the way, I can see you linking back to your blog, but strangely no link from there to SPOnG. A little unfair don't you think? How about quid pro quo?


Ok willco !


Now that's what I call a decent Forum exchange... nice one.

Cheers

Tim

Link Done !

This new MMO sounds like a real innovation.
I've noticed that the whole emergence of 'next-gen' has raised the level of expectation of gaming way beyond what we would expect. So journalists and punters alike all regularly nit-pick and comment on every aspect of a game and what it can / should do. Spider-man 3 is the ideal example. There's more to the game, its selling very well yet the reviews point out a whole range of failings with some gaming sites giving it only a 'passable' review.
It seems that the 'next-gen' hype has been a victim of it's own success!
Which is why I'm particularly interested in this new approach from Sony to "The Agent". There's enough processor power out there and in the PS3 to set up whole string of commands for different scenarios. If it actually does what it says on the label and allows some pre-programmed behaviors then we might be looking at a truly radical evolution of gaming
It's easy to imagine picking up a 'mission' with field data and profiles and having to select agents, equip them, give instructions and then press 'run' to see how far they get before being busted, bumped off or completing the mission .
And here I am succumbing to the same tendency, to hype up a game with speculations all based on hardly any real facts at all.
The high expectations of next-gen has us wanting (all at the same time) better graphics, bigger and more interactive environments, more intelligent AI opponents, longer and more varied storylines.
mean while some gamerzines (on and offline) treat developers like gods and take everything they say as gospel, especially if their comments praise one console over another - so fans can say "see I told you x360 / PS3 was better" But behind such console cargo cults is the same level of ill-informed expectation.
We've all got it wrong.
God of War II has people astonished at the capability of the PS2 while Spider-man 3 for the PS3, because it fails to deliver on ALL counts, gets a rather feeble thumbs up.
Similarly F.E.A.R has critics mumbling about shadows for gawds sake. People might read such picky criticisms and think 'hmm, I won;t buy the game because of the lack of graphic realism" - IT'S A GAME - it's meant to be a bit of fun, not an expression of your cultural finesse.
Naturally what we take for granted in terms of quality would go up with the next-gen machines, but I think our expectations now far exceed what we take for granted.
In the past I think we relished in the features and functionality the PS2 and Xbox gave us and that was enough of a wow factor. Now we also second guess what the technology should be giving us as a right.
This might be the reason why game release dates are constantly being put back. (Final Fantasy XIII, Killzone II, MGS4) developers are looking at the market, reading reviews and thinking "we should add this, improve that, modify these".
Just think if the people developing final fantasy 1 had todays critics !
Maybe we should have regular reminders of what was being reported in the first days of next-gen gaming, that it would take years for developers to make full use (better quality and quantity) of the new technology and also keep an eye out for people with new (different) uses as well.
The Agent sounds like it could go way beyond the simple formula of an increase in quality and quantity by adding a whole different (perhaps more cerebral) dimension to gaming.
Phew !
Theturk 5 Jun 2007 15:43
6/8
And another thing..
No, forget it, I'll wait for some real details.
Theturk 5 Jun 2007 18:08
7/8
Here's a bit more info
According the the latest issue of PSM magazine, The Agency will drop the player into a modern world full of espionages and intrigue.(ooohhh!!)
The Agency will play with 2 rival factions, each fighting for control of the world. (The world !) what happens when they do get control? raise taxes, deal with global warming ban or encourage worker co-operatives and unions, improve health and education - make a better job of the Olympic 2012 logo?)
During play you will pull together a team of A.I.-controlled agents and send them out on various secret missions.
Some of the missions referred to include boat chases through Venice and Casino raids.
Stealth will be a big deal. Your own or enemy factions will stick out like a sore thumb if not dressed to blend in with their surroundings.

http://psplaytime.blogspot.com
OptimusP 6 Jun 2007 10:35
8/8
Finally, a new take on MMO'en! With super secret agent stuff! Offcourse you'll get bored after two months off it all, but will keep playing it because of the inbuild content streched out reward-system (all MMO's work like that and i hate MMO's in general).

Ways to keep the game interesting: make it cell-shading! With a lot of exegerated animations and brilliant gritty artstyle. Chance of this happening: 0,0001 %, part of Sony's "realism=cool" mentality and Sony's lack of talent of doing anything that brilliant. But just imagine all the potential over-the-top James Bond cartoon-action man!

Sell the game free of charge. Why? because a lot of these features (sending out AI-agents on missions for example) sound like stuff that webbrowser-based games can do too! Or you add so much varied content and possibilities in it, then you can charge for it.

Why we over-expect stuff from next-gen consoles.
1) it's the consolemaker fault. We didn't invent hype, they hype everything up.
2) generational shifts. Every new generation of gamers takes the best of last generation as the lowest standard combined with the hype, kaboom! high expactation standards.
3) We think there is such a thing as next-gen and contribute a lot of properties to this fictional (and hugely undefined) term and then start expecting certain stuff of consoles that call themselves next-gen, which as a property doesn't exist. So it's also our own fault by belieivng in a completly made-up term and then attaching certain properties to that term. It's worse then some religions I tell you!

Also a possible reason for some delays is the financial position of some companies and the Wii. The Wii very cleverly loop-holed around all the negatives of the PS3 and Xbox360 and is creating a entirely new structure next and/or overlapping and/or inside the allready existing structure. With the same kind of money you'll spend on a X360 or PS3 title you can make 2-3 Wii titles who are also faster made unto a ever-fast increasing userbase. Which one will make you more money you think?
I Wouldn't be surprised if RE5 suddenly does come out on the Wii and that's why we haven't heard or saw anything of it.

And really, if you didn't expect FF13 or MGS4 to be delayed...something is wrong with your logic thinking. PS3 ass-hard development + huge titles...hmmm...
Don't get me wrong, Wii-titles are delayed too, but that's because they have restarted development (FF:CC), are balancingfreaks (SSB:B), planning something huge extra (MP3) or is just under charge of mister miyamoto (Mario Galaxy). MGS4 has a possible multi-plaforms plit coming up and FF13, well...square-enix needs to launch some other FF-titles first on handhelds and Wii to fund 13, sort of...
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