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Cars Are Characters Too.

DATE: -0/5-/2004
PRODUCT: Auto Assault

Think MMORPG and visions of elves, orcs and magical spells will instantly pop into your mind. Adding to that, you've also got the usual assortment of jobs and weapons you're forced to use when creating your character. But have you ever asked yourself why nearly every MMORPG on the market has to include these seemingly mundane things? Why do you have to make yourself a dwarf cleric or a human knight? Taking that thought one step beyond, why does your character even have to be a living, breathing entity? Why can't it be something like a car?

From the first time you look at Auto Assault it's easy to see that it takes obvious inspiration from the Mad Max movies. You're not fighting through some mythical land in order to find a magical sword. Instead it is just you and your car battling for survival on a post-apocalyptic Earth. This setting is only the first of the many, many things that makes Auto Assault an interesting, and welcome, entry into the MMO market. Instead of sticking to the norm, the main focus of Auto Assault is your car. Sure, you still have a "character" in a sense, but you'll rarely see him (or her) within the game. Instead all of the things that normally go into developing that elf mage go towards outfitting your car with parts and weapons.

One of the things that really struck me about Auto Assault was how much focus is placed on non-stop action. Any MMORPG player will surely tell you that it really isn't the most action-oriented of genres. Sure, there are times where things can get hectic, but most of the time combat is based around clicking on something and having your character auto-attack while you go make a sandwich. Auto Assault takes a much different approach and feels more akin to something like Diablo. You enter massive combat areas, guns blazing and never look back. Ammo is unlimited and there's no penalty for dying, leading us to the game's second focus, which is just to have fun while playing.

As much fun as Auto Assault is to play, it?s just as good to look at. Everything in the game's landscape can be destroyed. See a group of trees? Burn 'em down. A gas station? Blow it up. A nice Cape Cod with a white picket fence and spice garden? Light it up. If you see it, you can destroy it. While most of the game world will slowly respawn in order to keep the game from becoming a smoking wasteland, some areas will be specific to your particular character. For example, if you destroy a dam in one mission and then take another mission in the same area, the dam will still be destroyed. If your friend takes a mission in that same area, but didn?t destroy the dam, it will still be there.

If you're tired of the typical MMORPG you might want to take Auto Assault for a spin sometime next year.

GameVortex :: PSIllustrated :: TeamPS2