Medieval and fantasy MMORPGs are a dime a dozen these days, but not everyone is into wizards, orcs, and dragons. So along comes Auto Assault: an online MMO that breaks with the standard fantasy fare in favor of action-packed, post-apocalyptic car racing. It’s an atypical MMO designed for people who don’t enjoy the life-sucking time requirements of RPGs and, frankly, just want to blow stuff up. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
You begin your adventure by allying yourself with one of three factions. Each faction offers four player classes: There’s a combat-oriented commando, a healing-centric engineer, a support class, and a stealthy agent. This lack of diversity in character customization is disappointing—we like to be able to distinguish our characters from the others in MMO games.
You don’t have to pay attention to the game’s backstory to have fun; just pick up missions wherever you like and drive around the massive game world destroying baddies and collecting loot to your heart’s content. Most missions involve destroying targets, collecting items, or scouting new areas. A helpful waypoint system and mini map prevent you from getting lost, and are especially welcome later on in the game when you have to drive long distances.
Battling with NPCs makes for fast and furious fun. The combination of fast-paced driving, shooting, and destruction-derby-style carnage makes combat more than just a point-and-click affair. And there’s no punishment if you die, so you’re encouraged to go nuts.
Leveling up and finding new items is supposed to keep you coming back to the game. New weapons, armor, and power-ups can be acquired from quests, but eventually you have to rebuild and repair your car with components found around the game world. It can be difficult, however, to find other players who you can team up or trade with. While a dearth of players adds to the barren atmosphere of this game’s desolate world, it belies the game’s “massively multiplayer” status, and could ultimately be the kiss of death if subscriptions don’t increase significantly.