Playing an MMO on a smartphone typically sounds about as appealing as playing Call of Duty with chopsticks, but if any studio can make something of these strange bedfellows, we suspect it'd be Spacetime Studios. We say suspect, but it's really more along the lines of 'hope,' because if its newly announced sci-fi multiplayer venture, Blackstar, can actually walk its ambitious PR talk, we may finally have a decent handheld multiplayer experience that won't cramp our style and/or thumbs.
Originally developed for a PC launch, Blackstar is being billed as fully-realized MMO for iOS and Android adventurers that will offer players a 3D, open-world multiplayer experience complete with all the social features and MMO trappings typically reserved for consoles or tricked out computing rigs (That's what the kids call it, right? Rigs?).
The game will be set in the 41st century, wherein conflict has broken out between space-faring humans known as the United Colonies Defense Force, and a race of magically endowed aliens named the Scorn who are hell-bent on erasing mankind from the face of the galaxy (as all magically endowed aliens are wont to do). Each side will also have help in the form of the Mode, a robotic army of soldiers who fight for the humans; and the Riven, a 'necro-cyborg' race of baddies who are allied with the Scorn.
Multiple classes, open-worlds, countless loot and 'robust social features' round out Blackstar's ambitious bullet points, as well as an assurance from Spacetime Studios' CEO, Gary Gattis, that, “Blackstar’s production design and overall polish will be unmatched in mobile gaming. We were able to nurture the IP to its maximum potential through years of development – a luxury never before seen in Mobile gaming. If you ever dreamed of a fully-featured sci-fi MMO that you can take anywhere, look for the first chapter of the Blackstar saga soon.”
Taking into account Spacetime Studios' past efforts on its other portable MMO, Pocket Legends, we can understand Mr.Gattis' optimism. We're also familiar with the cold, hard sting of empty promises, so consider us cautiously optimistic for now.
Blackstar is scheduled for a Q2 2011 arrival.
Feb 10, 2011