GamesCampus.com, today announced details about its upcoming genre-bending, free-to-play MMORTS, Soul Master. The addictive new game combines the character advancement of an action RPG with the tactical unit control and balanced game play depth of the Real Time Strategy genre in a uniquely innovative way.
Soul Master features a character progression system similar to traditional MMORPG's, where a player is able to take their character on quests and missions against NPC-controlled monsters across a variety of maps; leveling up and hunting for increasingly better items and armor along the way. The similarity ends there however, as each player-controlled character also happens to be able to gather resources, construct buildings, and produce and upgrade their own army of units during instanced PvE missions and PvP battles while either alone or in a party of other players. The set-piece PvE adventures are
essentially a unique combination of the storyline campaign of an RTS and the dungeon raids of an MMO. Including giant raid bosses, escort and town defense missions, sieges of enemy strongholds, and multi-map endurance challenges allows Soul Master to contain as much variety during character level progression as a pure MMO.
The armor and items found throughout the game also combine aspects of both genres, granting not only the character attack and defense stats usual to an RPG, but also providing RTS bonuses to your character's buildings and units through the game's comprehensive upgrading and crafting systems. Gameplay bonuses include everything from increased unit attack range to stronger defensive structures, faster unit production or building creation times, to faster character re-spawn or skill cool down times.
Each of the three factions players are able to choose from provide their own set of unique units, and each of the six currently available classes grant their own set of different character skills and abilities. With the added bonuses gained from items, players are able to change their combat tactics and strategies on the fly based on their own playing styles and preferences through a quick change of gear. If an opponent is heavily focused on building large armies of units and rushing their opponents' bases early in a PvP match, another player is able to counter that by gearing themselves with armor and weapons they own which have stats that instead benefit their own defensive structures' hit points and tower damage to hold back the oncoming rush attack of weaker, lower level units until they can tech up past them and counterattack.
Like an arcade-style brawler, a player or team loses when their characters run out of lives during the match, or their bases are destroyed like an RTS. During a PvP match players must take over "Seed" points by defeating groups of NPC monsters that are guarding them. After capturing them they begin to receive a steady flow of the resources used for creating buildings and units based on the number of Seed points they control around the map. Players are also then able to advance through technology trees during the battle, unlocking access to higher tier and more powerful units. A player's units can be controlled and ordered around the map independently of their character, which allows for assaults on opponents from multiple sides, or against multiple enemies at once. Alongside each character class' skills and abilities, each of the different sets of units for the three factions also have unique attacks that players are able to activate at will; such as charging knockdown attacks, launching artillery bombardments, and creating force fields that absorb incoming projectiles. With the extensive control and customization optionsor both units and characters affecting strategy to such an extent, the depth of Soul Master gameplay promises to be something worth keeping an eye on.
Soul Master arrives summer 2010, with the first CBT scheduled for July.