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Saga - Genre-Bender or RTS Evolution?

Company: Wahoo Games
Product: Saga

For long periods of time, the videogame industry will sort of run on auto-pilot, with a series of "me-too" games that are hard to separate from the multitudes of sequels they are copied from. Racing games do the racing thing. RPGs do the RPG thing. The big companies seem to generally appreciate the consistency; you can churn out the same game that another company did, so long as the graphics are a little better or you have a gimmick.

Once in a while, however, a game comes along that challenges the status quo, whether it be an intentional attack or by happenstance, elements that are typically agreed to be in one genre end up in another. Lines get blurred and sometimes - just sometimes - gameplay benefits from the cross-breeding of genres.

Saga, a new Massively-Multiplayer Online Real-time Strategy (MMORTS) game from Wahoo Studios, is practicing genre-splicing and hoping to revolutionize the way RTS games are played. Up to this point, RTS games have not been very far in nature from their board-game roots; a single game is just that - a single game. The amount of time taken to play may be up to a few hours, but once the game is won or lost, it's over. Time to start again. Saga is setting out to change this by introducing some of the persistence found in MMORPGs. Wahoo Studios, the makers of Saga, are predicting that the future of Real Time Strategy (RTS) games will be this persistence.

According to Wahoo Studios, Saga brings persistence to RTS gaming; you build cities and armies to defend and manage a persistent online kingdom in a persistent fantasy world. When you’re offline, your kingdom continues to function; your guild wars progress as your friends and teammates play, your resources continue collecting, your kingdom continues to defend against enemy assassins and espionage missions…

"Think World of Warcraft from a thousand feet up… instead of having just a character, you own hundreds of troops and fight massive battles against other players," says Jason Faller, Saga Creator and Executive Producer.

Saga’s features include military questing, an auction house for trading troops and spells, guild wars, espionage, and more. Kingdoms and armies gain permanent experience that carries forward perpetually for a more realistic and more exciting RTS experience.

Additionally, Saga brings the excitement of collectible gaming to the online environment. Rather than pay subscription fees, in Saga you pay as little or as much as you decide. Just as in collectible card or miniatures games, players can buy "booster packs" of random troops and spells, which are traded and customized to create the strategic army of choice for each player.

Saga is the future, and for that matter, the not-so-distant future; internal Alpha testing is under way; closed Alpha testing begins late January, sign-ups beginning immediately. Saga is slated for Beta release in Spring 2007. Visit the Saga site for details and further information.

-GameVortex Staff, GameVortex Communications

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