Amazon's next massive Korean MMO promises massive battles with "thousands" of players, all already running cross-platform at 60fps on PC, PS5, and Xbox

Throne and Liberty screenshot showing magical combat
(Image credit: Amazon)

The one thing I'm really looking forward to about Throne and Liberty, the Korean MMO that Amazon is helping bring to the West (in a manner similar to its work with Lost Ark), is its Castle Sieges. Shown in the announcement of Amazon's partnership with the game, the Sieges pit "thousands" of players against each other in a battle that looks more like something out of Mount & Blade than an MMO.

Sadly, there wasn't really room for thousands of players to take part in the game at Summer Game Fest, where I recently went hands-on with Throne and Liberty in a guided PvE dungeon run. Forced to live vicariously through the developers, I spoke to franchise lead Merv Lee Kwai, who was very enthusiastic about the Sieges themselves, as well as the background technology that's gone into making them possible.

Castle Sieges pit "thousands" of players against each other in an attempt to either hold or overthrow a Castle. Various Guilds may come together to lay Siege, while the players camped out inside will attempt to hold them off. A fixed structure will see players trying to break through outer walls, some of them even transforming into siege engine-like Golems to do so, before fighting towards the throne room. If they can get there, they'll claim the Castle, and win the Siege.

"It's a big endeavor," Kwai says, "bringing thousands of players in the Castle Siege together. But the first thing I want to say is that so much of what makes it possible is the underlying tech. I think it's a huge tribute to what the team has been able to do." I wasn't able to see the game operating at full scale, but the developer says that the team "prides itself" on how smoothly the game works, even with all those players in-game at the same time.

Throne and Liberty

(Image credit: Amazon)
Image

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Kwai says that the tech, which comes from original Korean developer NCSoft, has been "very well done." On its end, Amazon is mostly trying to work out how to balance the experience of the game for the player, but Kwai says that that's all helped along by the fact that early technical and beta tests have been "very successful" - something that could be key as Amazon moves towards Throne and Liberty's open beta.

The concept of so many players all operating in the same space at the same time does seem almost impossible to comprehend, but Kwai says that the test data suggests that not only do Throne and Liberty's Castle Sieges work, they work very well indeed: "It's a point of pride. To me, getting to see so many people in the same environment, running at 60 frames, we're just kind of blown away. And not just that, but it's the cross-platform aspect, too, that's even more amazing. We're talking about thousands of players on a console screen, participating in Castle Siege on PS5, Xbox, and PC, all players interwoven together and all having this experience. I think it really takes it to another level."

For now, I've simply had to settle for PvE, and what I've seen suggests that Throne and  Liberty is a competent MMO with a decent array of enemies and potential build paths for dealing with them, as well as some interesting mechanical ideas around its bigger foes. I'm also pretty fond of its transforming traversal techniques - enter water, and you'll switch into an otter form, leap into the air and you'll become a swooping eagle, and that's to say nothing of that Golem form. It's tricky to get a real sense of the long-term, often very social experience that MMOs are built around in a short demo, but if what I saw can truly translate into those massive Castle Sieges, Throne and Liberty could be a lot of fun indeed.

If you need a new time-sink in your life, check out our list of the best MMORPGs.

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.